Should I Prepare for the CPA Exam Alone Or With a Review Provider?

10 min read

So, you’ve decided to start your CPA journey? You made a great choice! The next step is to determine whether you’ll prepare for the exam alone or with help from a CPA review provider.

Here are key considerations that should be top of mind as you decide on your study plan.

Course Rankings

You'll want to use a review provider that you trust will build your exam day confidence. Becker was just ranked as the number one CPA Exam review provider by, founded by CPA Exam author Stephanie Ng! To quote Stephanie Ng, CPA (not in public practice): “Why do I consider Becker to be the best? I personally used Becker to study for the CPA Exam (which I passed on the 1st try). And the new Becker course is fantastic – even more so than the one I used when I was a CPA candidate. Becker has updated its course to include videos for every simulation, a transparent map to the AICPA’s Blueprint, and detailed video walkthroughs for the most difficult CPA Exam questions. Also, the Becker Pro Course includes tutoring and live classes that you can watch anywhere. There is no other course that equips candidates with as many learning tools as Becker. While I passed with Becker using an earlier version of their course, current CPA candidates can pass too using the same quality content I used, except they now get more engaging learning components that will cater to nearly every learning style.” upgraded Becker to the number one CPA Exam review provider based on key differentiating features such as award-winning AI technology to help you personalize your exam review preparation, more video lecture hours than any other CPA Exam review course on the market, and exclusive SkillMaster videos designed to help you triumph over task-based simulations, the CPA Exam’s most difficult question type.

Save Time and Energy

You’ve probably heard that the CPA Exam is a huge challenge that requires a large amount of time and energy. In total, we recommend that CPA candidates spend about 500 total hours studying for the exam. In the midst of your busy schedule, you want to be sure that you’re spending your 500 CPA hours in the best way possible. Studying with an exam provider can ensure that you’re studying content that is the most relevant and represented on the exam.

We can help here! We regularly consult with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for guidance on potential exam changes to be sure you’re preparing for the actual content you’ll encounter on the exam. You won’t study out-of-date concepts or questions that are no longer used. Furthermore, our study planner helps to structure your study time for maximum efficiency and the best results.

As one of student shared in our Facebook study group, “Becker can teach you how to master the questions AND the content.” You’ll spend your time on the most important concepts and study smarter, not harder.

Dynamic Instructors

When you study alone, you’re missing out on the knowledge of experts who are willing and able to help you along the way. All Becker instructors are experts in accounting, law or business.

Peter Olinto, CPA, one of our National Instructors, often shares quirky stories or mnemonic devices to ensure that students understand key concepts. One student recently shared her favorite Olinto moment on our Facebook page, “I love when Pete wore a shirt saying ‘Tax Deduction’ as he was holding a baby. Hilarious!” This goes above and beyond definitions in a textbook. Our instructors care about the success of future CPAs and will provide support to ensure that you pass the exam the first time.

A Support System

Sometimes finding the motivation to continue requires assistance from your biggest supporters. Friends and family members who haven’t taken the CPA exam can’t always match the support of those who have experienced the journey. Once you choose an exam provider, you become part of a support system of current and future CPAs.

The Becker social media community is a great place to start for support! Students and current CPAs frequently offer support and motivation, as we all understand the rigor of the study process. Once you’re with Becker, don’t forget to join our Facebook study groups to exchange motivation and study tips with your fellow future CPAs.

While you may be considering studying for the exam without a structured exam source, remember that a review provider can save you time and effort studying, and can also save you money if you pass the exam on the first try. Becker has designed our CPA Exam Review to give you the right tools to prepare you, mentally and emotionally, for that moment of truth. Get started with Becker CPA Exam Review here.  

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