Posts Tagged ‘CPAexcel’
Reviewed and updated January 15, 2012
CPAExcel is an experienced provider of CPA exam review courses. One of the major differences between CPAexcel and the other review courses is CPAexcel offers their study materials in “bite sized” modules rather than longer chapters or video segments.
CPAexcel offers 6 main options for study.
1. Online Self Study – This includes online study text, online exam questions, online flash cards, online discussion group membership, and online final review that helps you with last minute study before the exam.
The “online self study” does not include any printed materials, video, or audio guidance. The materials and questions are all online in an electronic format.
Price – $265 per part / $795 for all 4 parts
2. Text Self Study – This course includes everything in the “online self study” and adds in printed textbooks. The texts are developed by CPAexcel.
Price – $310 per part / $930 for all 4 parts
3. Online Video Self Study – This course includes everything in the “online self study” and adds in streaming online video of professors and online access to their slides. It does not include any printed study materials.
Price – $445 per part / $1,335 for all 4 parts
4. Video Self Study – This course includes everything in the “text self study” and adds in streaming online video of professors teaching the course material, the same videos on CD-ROM (not DVD), and access to the slides the professors use.
Price – $490 per part / $1,470 for all 4 parts
5. Online Professor Guided – This course includes everything in the “text self study” and adds professor guidance. This guidance is all online, and text only. It is through email, graded assignments and discussion forums, not audio or video.
During this course, the professors assign work to the students. The students have 3 days to complete each assignment. Students can send questions to professors and receive answers throughout the course period.
Price – $400 per part / $1,195 for all 4 parts
6. Video Professor Guided – This course includes everything in the “video self study” and the “online professor guided” courses.
Price – $580 per part / $1,690 for all 4 parts
1. Discount - There is a 20% discount on all purchases if you are a college student.
2. Unlimited Updates – CPAexcel offers unlimited updates to the course materials. If you do not pass as quickly as you want, you can still get updated materials without paying extra. Other CPA exam review courses have expiration dates after which you need to pay to get updates. You do have to pay for shipping costs if you order updates, though.
3. Good Pass Rate – The 87% pass rate is about double the national average pass rate, but is lower than some of the other review courses. CPAexcel makes a big deal on their website about how other review services calculate pass rates, but in my conversations with other course providers, they all calculate pass rates based on surveys of students, the same as CPAexcel does.
4. Combined Scores – CPAexcel synchronizes your scores on practice questions and exams on the downloaded and online versions of the software. This means that if you answer practice questions both online and offline, CPAexcel will combine your performance when you go back online. This is a handy feature some of the other review courses do not offer.
5. Special Bonuses – If you purchase all 4 parts, you can choose from either free e-books or a free USB course and flash cards.
1. Limited Access To Instructors – Access to the professors is online only and not live or real-time.
2. Inefficient Options – In my opinion, the “online self study” and “text self study” courses are not an efficient way to study for the exam. Audio and video support are much more helpful and work well to reinforce test questions and text study.
3. Misleading Final Review – The “final review” touted by CPAexcel is an exam only. It is customized to your strengths and weaknesses, but it is not comparable to the “cram courses” offered by other CPA exam review courses. CPAexcel tries to make this comparison on its website, but I believe that is misleading given the content and structure of other final review courses that are more comprehensive.
4. Guided Self Study Only – There are no “in person” classes. CPAexcel does have professor mentoring as part of two training packages, but this is for questions you email to a professor. They respond back via email within 24 hours.
5. Price – You can get more materials and options from other review courses for similar pricing, which means CPAexcel is a bit overpriced for what it offers.
6. Many Instructors – Compared to the other review courses, CPAexcel has a huge number of instructors (16 in total!). This leads to an inconsistent learning experience as you switch from instructor to instructor.
The Bottom Line
The major difference between CPAexcel and the other review courses is the bite-sized lessons and the large number of instructors. The lessons are delivered in 30 minute chunks allowing you to knock out a topic if you are pressed for time. CPAexcel also has a nice guarantee where you get free updates and access to course materials until you pass the exam. There is no expiration date.
If you will have trouble dedicating time to study or feel like it may take you several tries to pass the exam, CPAExcel may be the course for you since there are free updates and the course does not expire.
If you are looking for consistency in the instruction, the best value in a review course and the best chance for passing the exam, Yaeger is the course to choose, in my opinion.