CPA Review Courses

New Choices in CPA Review Courses

The CPA licensing exam is designed to cover the profession’s entire body of knowledge, which means that preparing with CPA review courses requires intensive focus over many hours of study. The process is easier with high-quality CPA review courses taught by experts in the field. A variety of services offer CPA review courses; however, this is an area where reputation does matter. The CPA exam pass rate is under 50 percent, and most students who sit for the test aren’t successful. Choosing the right CPA review courses can dramatically improve testing outcomes. There are four sections to the CPA Exam and Surgent CPA Review offers A.S.A.P. Technology that customizes your learning to adapt to only the courses you need to study more.

CPA Exam Basics

The CPA exam validates that licensed professionals have the basic knowledge necessary to operate effectively in the field. It covers four major subject areas:

Financial Accounting and Reporting

This section of the exam covers information that is typically reviewed during college and university coursework. Many exam prep instructors recommend taking this section first, as it includes the most familiar concepts. Prepare for questions on the standards for financial statements, as well as the items that go into these statements. Choose review courses that go over a range of events and transactions and make sure there is intensive review of governmental and non-profit accounting.

Auditing and Attestation

Many find the auditing section of the exam the most difficult because test-takers must choose the best answer – not necessarily the correct answer. If all of the choices given are correct, it comes down to judgment. CPA review courses focused on this section should cover topics related to ethics and independence as well as auditing procedures and standards. Most important, students must be prepared to demonstrate an ability to apply the information appropriately.


Historically, more than 60 percent of the regulation section of the CPA exam is related to taxation, though this section also covers business law, ethics and professional and legal responsibilities. CPA review courses must offer in-depth, easily understood discussion of tax topics to ensure student success in this section.

Business Environment and Concepts

Though the Business Environment and Concepts section is often considered the least difficult, it does present a unique challenge. Traditionally, this section requires students to produce written simulations on business and economic topics; financial management, planning and measurement; and information technology. This part of the exam is scored by hand, so it takes longer to get the results.

New technology has changed the way students are preparing for exams and the course features being offered by providers. Instead of printed materials, the most effective CPA review courses are entirely digital. Webinars, podcasts and pdf documents like those offered by Surgent allow studying to take place anytime, anywhere. Most important, digital courses can be updated quickly to match changes in the regulatory environment.

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