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What are the best CPA exam study materials and methods?

Becker vs CPAExcel CPA exam prepOne of my team members is about to embark on her quest for the CPA certification. What process and study materials are the best to ensure success on her first try?


Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

I am currently pursuing this. I am using CPAExcel study materials and I enjoy them. The videos are instructional and well-done. Books are to the point and offer candidates study tips. Here is a link:

Her success on her first try though will be mostly on her desire and effort to learn the materials, setting aside time with family and friends, eating, sleeping, dreaming CPA review material. I think if she chooses Becker or CPAExcel she will do well. But how well she does will depend on how much effort she puts into it, and how well she tests. After all some people do not test well.

Best of luck to her, and happy studying.

David DePiano
Title: Controller
Company: Dyn, Inc.
(Controller, Dyn, Inc.) |

I used Bisk to pass the exam though many folks I knew also used Becker. My suggestion is she think about the best way she learns. For example, there are in-class review programs, video lectures, books, and online websites. All add slightly different components to the review process, but aren't necessarily needed for every candidate. In my case, I was a "read the book" and take the exam person. The only time I watched a video lecture was on the very complicated stuff that I was a little rusty from college or those topics I never covered in college or my job.

The most important thing is not the books or review materials, but ensuring she dedicates the time required to study. Most programs suggest 15-20 hours each week to prepare. This is not a trivial task and is certainly a commitment that she needs to stick to for several months.

Best of luck to her.

Natalie Barranco
Title: CFO
Company: All Aboard America! Holdings, Inc.
(CFO, All Aboard America! Holdings, Inc.) |

I used Becker and was a fortunate - pass on the first try candidate. I thought Becker was good and I used the video lectures and the flash cards.

However, I think it is more about being disciplined to put the required time in to study. The time required depends on how long she has from now until the first exam. Then I would suggest making a daily study plan covering specific topics from her start date to her exam date. Leaving a few days before the exam to review topics that she may be struggling with. This will determine how many hours per day are needed.

Put the time in and study hard so you have to only take the test once! Good luck to her.


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