Best CPA Review Course?

best cpa review course
What is the best CPA review course for you? Budget, Learning Style, and Peer Review are key factors.

Shopping for CPA Review materials?

In search of the Best CPA Review Course?

Here's a Secret: There is no “Best CPA Review Course”.

That's Fake News.

Anyone proclaiming a “Best CPA Review Course” has an agenda.

Including this one. owns NINJA CPA Review and we are inherently biased.

That's why we offer a 30 Day, No Questions Asked, 100% Refund Guarantee. We've made your purchase 100% Risk-Free.

No one else will do that – but then again, no one else is a NINJA. πŸ™‚

Truth: Every Course has their advantages … and their drawbacks.

While we aren't independent, we do seek to be objective.

Some courses are affordable … but might not be as polished or have as many bells and whistles.

And flashing lights.

NINJA probably falls into this category.

It gets the job done (tens of thousands of CPA Candidates have used NINJA materials, including several Elijah Watt Sells Award winners), but it doesn't come with a breakdancing robot that studies for you while you sleep.

Other CPA Review Courses have the above-mentioned bells, whistles, flashing lights, and breakdancing robots, but it comes at a significant cost.

Between a mortgage, car payments, student loans, starting a family, trying to take a vacation once every five years, 401(k) contributions, Roth IRAs … good luck paying it off before you have grandchildren.

Want to find the Best CPA Review Course – *For You*? Now we're talking.

Whether this is your first CPA Review Course purchase or you simply want to add some extra firepower to your current (and crazy-expensive) CPA Review Course, you've come to the right place.


How to Choose the Best CPA Review Courses (For You)

When looking to pick the Best CPA Review Course (for you), here are 3 things you need to consider before dropping the equivalent of a nice celebratory cruise for two – or for the more practical-minded, the equivalent of a 27″ iMac, MacBook Pro, and an iPad Pro (the Apple fanboy in me is shedding a tear).

As the 90s rap song said, “you can get with THIS, or you can get with THAT.”

You can buy THIS (expensive course) or you can buy THAT (lower-priced course + Celebratory Cruise/Macbook, etc).

Opportunity Cost isn't just a theoretical concept in your BEC study materials – it's very much alive and well in CPA Review-land.

  1. Budget.
    Do you want to be paying for your CPA Exam prep course lonnngggg after you've passed and moved on to better things?

    How many years of Christmas bonuses and raises will you have to fork over to the credit card company to pay off the CPA Review Course?

    According to CNBC, the average household in America owes $16,883 in credit card debt.

    Tacking on a $3,000 CPA Review Course will add $230 in interest per year – and that's a conservative 7.6% interest rate.

    Some CPA Review courses offer financing with up to 30% APR. We're talking $900 per year in interest!

    (I realize this is getting a little soap-boxy, but no one talks about the real cost of buying a CPA prep course – as well as the opportunity costs. It's important to point out the impact that a CPA Review course will have on you long after the euphoria and high-fives of passing have faded and you cringe opening up your credit card statement each month.)

    Saying “yes” to an expensive course will likely mean saying “no” to fun things (and fun little people who want to do fun things) down the road.

    Take the plunge if that's the best path for you – but just do it with eyes wide open.

    If none of this sounds appetizing – then consider paying cash (i.e. don't go into debt) for your CPA Review course.

    This may mean that you don't pick one of the most expensive CPA Review courses.

    Or if you do, maybe it means you that you purchase one of their lower-tier packages instead of the one that comes with the breakdancing robot.

    Then again – the most expensive courses might not be for you anyway because of your learning style…which brings us to the next consideration…


  3. Learning Style.
    Do you prefer “power-point” style lectures or a “talking head”?

    If it's a talking head – does the instructor stare straight ahead and read from a teleprompter, or do you like that they wing it and dance around?

    Do they add value to the material or simply read from the book?

    Do you want audio lectures and study notes to study in your downtime?

    If so – does the course even offer study notes and an audio course ?


  5. Peer Review.
    What is the course's reputation?

    Are there usage limits or restrictions?

    Does it expire?

    Free Trials? Can you take it for a test drive and try before you buy?

    Can you Return it without penalty? If not – why?

    What is their Refund Policy? What if you hate it?


To Your CPA Exam Success,


Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS) & NINJA CPA Review


CPA Review Course Comparison

Disclosure: This site owns NINJA CPA Review and has advertising/affiliate relationships with the CPA Review courses on this page. Courses listed in order of retail price.

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NINJA MonthlyYaeger BundlePremium CoursePlatinum CourseUltimate PassElite CourseBecker Bundle
βœ… AICPA-Licensedβœ… AICPA-Licensedβœ… AICPA-Licensedβœ… AICPA-Licensedβœ… AICPA-Licensedβœ… AICPA-Licensedβœ… AICPA-Licensed
βœ… Videosβœ… Videosβœ… Videosβœ… Videosβœ… Videosβœ… Videosβœ… Videos
βœ… Bookβœ… Bookβœ… Bookβœ… Bookβœ… Bookβœ… Bookβœ… Book
βœ… Test Bankβœ… Test Bankβœ… Test Bankβœ… Test Bankβœ… Test Bankβœ… Test Bankβœ… Test Bank
βœ… Study Notes🚫 Study Notes🚫 Study Notesβœ… Study Notesβœ… Study Notes🚫 Study Notesβœ… Study Notes
βœ… Audio Courseβœ… Audio Courseβœ… Audio Course🚫 Audio Courseβœ… Audio Courseβœ… Audio Course🚫 Audio Course
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βœ… Adaptive MCQβœ… Adaptive MCQβœ… Adaptive MCQ🚫 Adaptive MCQβœ… Adaptive MCQβœ… Adaptive MCQβœ… Adaptive MCQ
βœ… Audio MCQ🚫 Audio MCQ🚫 Audio MCQ🚫 Audio MCQ🚫 Audio MCQ🚫 Audio MCQ🚫 Audio MCQ
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How to Pass the CPA Exam (with Only NINJA)

Ready to take the plunge and go #FullNINJA?

You're in Good Hands.

Let's break this down step-by-step.

Step 1: (N)INJA – Nail the Concepts

Read your NINJA Book for two weeks max. Create a per-day study budget according to how many days out of the week you're going to study.

Are you going to study five days a week for those two weeks?

Great. That's ten study days.

Just using a nice round number, assume a book has 500 pages. That's 50 pages per day.

By 50 pages per day, I mean reading … skimming … going over examples … skimming some more … application questions.

Make sure you hit your daily budget!

This is where you deploy two other NINJA weapons: NINJA Notes and NINJA Audio.

You want to consume each of these as many times as possible between now and exam day.

Have a 30-minute commute each way? That's 5 hours of NINJA Audio per week, which is at least one listen all the way through, depending on the section.

Load it onto your phone and listen as much as possible.

At the grocery store? Earbuds (Airpods) + NINJA Audio.

Doing laundry? NINJA Audio.

At the gym? NINJA Audio.

Going to sleep at night? NINJA Audio (a side benefit is that you'll fall asleep faster than ever before).

NINJA Audio.

NINJA Audio.

NINJA Audio.

People tell me all of the time, “I kept hearing your voice on exam day.”

(They also tell me that their kids hate the NINJA Audio because it's always on. #winning)

Similarly, load the NINJA Notes onto your tablet, phone, and if you want to – print them out.

Read them constantly.

Some people don't like the fact that sometimes they are listening/reading material in the notes or audio that they haven't yet covered in the book.

Two things here:

1) When you do cover it, it will make more sense.

2) The repetition over time will pay big dividends, I promise.

Notes Notes Notes.

Audio Audio Audio.

Your kids and significant other will be sick of my voice, which will cause them to celebrate even more once you pass and they chant, “no more ninja!”

Step 2: N(I)NJA – Intense Notes

If you've already plunked down a few thousand on a CPA Review course, you likely had study videos, and you probably took notes.

When the instructor said something interesting, you wrote it down.

Same thing here.

As you see things in bold, or something in an example that catches your eye – write it down.

I recommend buying a big stack of legal pads and going to town on them.

Keep in mind that taking notes is still part of your daily budget. Using 50 pages as an example – you still have to hit it even though you're taking notes in addition to reading.

Very Important: If you find yourself getting bogged down and can't quite get through the book at the budgeted pace: That's ok. It's normal actually.

Keep going.

After your two weeks are up, punt the book and move on to the MCQ. You can make up lost ground there.

Step 3: NI(N)JA – Non-Stop MCQ

MCQ. MCQ is the most critical step in your CPA Exam prep. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either confused or has another agenda.

You can read the NINJA Book all day long. You can watch XYZ review course videos about ABC topic, but one thing is for sure:

The multiple-choice questions in NINJA MCQ are from past exams.

Yes, they are theoretically retired questions (but come on, you can only ask a question about Bonds or Leases so many different ways), but these are actual concepts that the AICPA has tested on in the past.

Concepts are wonderful.

Concepts that have been tested are wonderful-er. That's a word.

What I mean is this:

NINJA MCQ is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. You must know the concepts in your software.

I recommend camping out in this middle stage 2-3 weeks.

If you miss a question: write it down.

If you get it right but think you'll forget it in 3 weeks: write it down.

You can make up for a lot of lost time by cranking on the MCQ.

What about the Simulations?

Good question. Let's talk about that.

I have never been a huge proponent of spending a lot of time on the Simulations.

I know some people disagree, and that's fine.

Here is why.

You can study 20 SIM topics and get none of them on exam day.

You are guaranteed to see your MCQ topics on exam day, and those same topics will be tested in the SIMS.

Consequently, I believe that if you are conceptually-sound enough to master the MCQ, then you can apply that knowledge to the SIMS.

Let's face it: The SIMS are simply MCQ concepts tested another way.

Sure, they have a different look and feel, but that's why it's important to do the AICPA Sample Test.

In the past, I recommended people do an 80/20 split between MCQ/SIMS. That was when SIMS were 40%. They're 50% now … So, I can see someone doing 70/30.

(Although, I'm still a fan of 80/20 … 75/25? Sure. I'll give some ground there.)


Olga Timirgalieva, Elijah Watt Sells Award Winner

NINJA MCQ – A must! Solving through all of the MCQ, understanding solutions, and adding new information nuggets to your notes — absolutely critical.

With the NINJA Notes, I printed out the notes and used as a knowledge check closer to the exam. Information is high-level, so you can quickly run through and get a comfort level on what you should go back to review in detail.

NINJA Audio is nice to use during the commute or if you are an auditory learner. The Audio MCQ are nice to keep you engaged.”
– Olga Timirgalieva, Elijah Watt Sells Award Winner
(Passed the CPA Exam on the first try with an average score of 95.5*)

* Disclaimer – Not a typical result … Only 1 out of every 1,000 CPA Candidates win the EWS Award each year.


Step 4: NIN(J)A – Just Re-Write Your Notes

It's boring.

It's tedious.

It's horrible.

(hmmm…sounds vaguely like the CPA Exam itself…)

It works.

Two weeks out from your exam, re-write your notes.

What if taking notes along the way wasn't for you, or you didn't have time, or whatever?

No worries. Re-write the NINJA Notes.

In the decade-plus that I've been recommending this, I can count on zero fingers the number of emails from people who were upset that they spent all of that time re-writing their notes.

I have received many emails over time from people thanking me for recommending that they do it.

There's nothing magical about it. It's simply this:

Taking your furious note scribbles and re-writing them into little fact nuggets causes you to think about the material and let it marinate in your brain.

It's why highlighting is terrible and taking notes is good. Your brain absorbs the information better.

Again, only do this if you're two weeks out…because it will take a week to do this step.

Step 5: NINJ(A) – All Comes Together

You made it! Review time. It's your final week of exam prep.

Your Notice to Schedule is printed out (multiple copies – including one in your glove box), and it's t-minus seven days.

Start doing 20 question mini testlets in the MCQ, starting with your weakest topic first.

Picking your weakest topic is easy.

Sure, you have the analytics showing your deficiencies, but think about which topics you HOPE they don't test you on.

The ones that scare you to death keep you up and night and paralyze you with anxiety and fear to the point that you can't even utter their names.

Those are your weakest topics. Start there.

Do 20 question sets until you're scoring in the mid-70s and move on to your next-weakest topic.

If you're especially weak in an area, it might be a good idea to watch a NINJA PLUS or Hot Spot video over that area before continuing.

As you review during this final week, you only have time for three things:


When you're not cranking on NINJA MCQ, you're reading NINJA Notes.

When you make a quick run to the grocery store to grab cat food for Fluffy, you listen to the NINJA Audio.

When you're walking through the store to the cat food aisle, you're listening to the NINJA Audio on your phone.

When you're in the waiting room at the dentist: NINJA Notes.

When you're at work, staring at spreadsheets: NINJA Audio.

Utilize every last study second and cram as much info as you can.

As you do all of this, you'll ask yourself, “Hmmm … What if I listened to the audio non-stop during week one of my next exam as intensely as I am week seven for this one?”

This is where you take an afternoon and watch the NINJA BLITZ videos, preferably the afternoon before your exam for maximum cramming impact.

The Night Before The CPA Exam

Some people say, “Go watch a movie. What's done is done.”

I say, “Pffft” to that.

I am a big fan of 1 pm exams so that you can study late the night before and then get up the next morning and hit the weak areas one more time.

Crank. Crank. Crank.

Cram. Cram. Cram.

Notes. Notes. Notes.

Read the NINJA Notes so many times that you hate me, the word “NINJA,” and the state of Kansas in general.

(There's nothing to do here, except head West to Colorado, so we're not offended.)

Listen to the NINJA Audio up to the millisecond that you get out of the car to walk into Prometric, and give your exam a spinning back-fist to the face.

Take several days off from studying after your exam. If possible, go on that Road Trip (and send pics to your co-workers who are still studying).


To Your CPA Exam Success,


Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS) & NINJA CPA Review

NINJA CPA Review 7-Day Free Trial

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