Best CPA Test Banks & 7 Things To Know
Table of Contents
Regardless of your current CPA Review course, you need a second CPA Test Bank.
Consider it a “hedge” against an exam day disaster.
Since we accountants like math, here's some mathiness:
For every two people who walk into Prometric to take the CPA Exam, one will pass, and one will fail.
To put it another way: one in two CPA candidates will have wasted eight weeks of their life studying for a failed exam.
That is a staggering statistic considering that 80%-90% of CPA Candidates use one of three CPA Review courses.
The following is a detailed breakdown of why you need a second CPA Test Bank and a comparison of two top CPA test banks:
I know the CPA Test Bank market very well.
Before creating NINJA MCQ in 2014, Another71.com was the #1 reseller of the Wiley CPA Test Bank.
Between the Wiley Test Bank and NINJA MCQ, a strong case could be made that I know the CPA Test Bank market better than anyone.
1. Yes, You Need a ‘Second' CPA Test Bank
You've spent thousands on a course and aren't keen on adding more CPA Study Materials (notes, audio, test bank, etc.). I get it.
Think of a second test bank as a sort of insurance policy.
- Insurance against failing and the emotional hangover that follows. If you've experienced a failing score, you know the temporary panic, depression, and paralyzing despair that a bad score release can cause.
- Insurance against eight weeks of studying down the drain (and the flood of reminders of all the things you skipped to study for those eight weeks… guys' night out… girls' night out…fun nights with the kids…weekends with the kids…Friday night Netflix and Chill sessions (is it still called that when you're married?). GONE. You can't get those opportunities back. And for what? You get to study again.
- Insurance against quitting the CPA Exam. One of the biggest risks of failing isn't the NTS fees or the restudying…those things suck real bad, for sure. The biggest risk is that after enough fails, you'll quit.
Statistically, upwards of 20% just up and quit the CPA Exam and never finish. Why? Failure. Enough is enough.
Who do you want to be five years from now?
Being a CPA is a ticket to doing whatever you want – and making more doing it.
Own your own firm/small business?
Do taxes on the side?
Leverage your CPA credential in another area?
It's completely up to you.
While becoming a CPA will improve your future life, what about the pure misery of the CPA Exam life?
The NINJA Study Framework will cut down on weeks of pointless studying and allow you to actually have a weekend (remember those?) again.
Crazy thought, I know.
Elijah Watt Sells Award Winner
“Gave me the extra practice I needed to get my best score of any of the exams.”
2. Different Test Banks have Different Questions & Answer Explanations
Different CPA Test Banks have different questions. Sure, there is some overlap, but it's not to a material degree, and it has been overblown by people marketing competing “non-AICPA” Test Banks.
For example, Becker, Wiley, NINJA, etc. had to update their large numbers of revenue recognition questions.
The answer explanations were already completely different, but now each question is completely different and testing on a different nuance of the same concept.
Same with Leases.
Same with TCJA.
Same with QBI (REG), etc.
A supplemental CPA test bank may better explain an answer or concept than your “main” course.
These answer explanations are written by people, and some people are better writers (and teachers) than others.
Over time, the questions themselves change due to standards/regulations changing. A classic example of this is FAR, where each CPA Review Course had to completely re-write its Revenue questions due to FASB ASC 606. Consider for a moment all of the “revenue” questions that the AICPA had released over the years. They all changed. Everything changed – the questions, the answers, and the answer explanations.
The same thing happened with Leases a few years ago. The same thing happened with REG and TCJA in 2017 and again in 2021 when the CPA Exam stopped testing numerous tax concepts. Did the courses simply delete these questions? No. You can see in the table above that there is an “arms race” to have the most questions. The courses rewrote the questions and put them in a different blueprint bucket.
Outside of not wanting to spend money (hey, it's cheaper than buying another NTS for a retake), there's no reason not to use another CPA test bank.
3. Each Test Bank has its Pros and Cons
NINJA MCQ has more questions and simulations than Wiley, but NINJA is month-to-month, so there's no financial commitment, whereas Wiley CPA ($600) gives you 24 and 18-month access, respectively. NINJA also includes many features that Wiley only offers with their course packages (Study Guide, Audio, Tutoring, Cram, etc.).
The Wiley CPA Test Bank has fewer questions than NINJA but has two years of access. Wiley's test bank software is not adaptive per their website.
Ready to Finally Be a CPA? Choose Your NINJA Study Path.
4. Adaptive Learning Makes Life Easier
Adaptive Learning in a CPA test bank was a major feature a few years ago. Today, most CPA Review courses have some form of adaptive technology. You can still pass the CPA Exam without it (as people have done for decades), but you could make a case that you're at a disadvantage vs. other CPA candidates using it. It's like buying a new car without cruise control. It will still get you from point A to B, but it's annoying that it's not there (first-world problems, I get it).
Adaptive Learning allows the test bank to ‘feed' you more questions based on your weak areas. Your strong areas are still tested but less frequently. Different courses have different names for it – and each company uses its own adaptive algorithm, so they aren't the same.
NINJA MCQ is adaptive. The Wiley CPA Test Bank is not.
5. AICPA CPA Exam Questions are a No-Brainer
Before purchasing any CPA Review Test Bank (aside from Wiley or NINJA), ask them the following question:
Does your CPA Exam test bank use AICPA questions?
If the answer is “no, we don't use AICPA questions” (followed by a long
creative excuse explanation as to why), go elsewhere. Period.
“But Jeff, I asked them, and they said they had a really good reason…overlap, blah blah.“
Uh-huh. Find a different test bank.
When your test bank doesn't use AICPA-Licensed materials, you're at a disadvantage because only AICPA-Licensed courses get critical content updates from the AICPA Examinations Team and can use past CPA Exam questions in their materials (or service).
How can they help you pass the CPA Exam if they don't know what's tested on the CPA Exam?
It's less important for supplements to use AICPA content, but it's still very helpful.
Your main course must incorporate them into the materials.
Not knowing what's testable on the exam can be the difference between a 75 and a heart-breaking 74.
6. More Questions Are Not More Betterer
Yeah, that's poor grammar. I don't recommend using phrases like this on your BEC written communications, but I can get away with it since I'm on the other side of the CPA Exam. 😀
A solid baseline for CPA Exam questions in a CPA test bank is 6,000 questions.
The Wiley Test Bank and NINJA MCQ have around 6,000 and 7,000 questions, respectively.
This is more than enough and then some.
7. Take Each CPA Test Bank for a Test Drive
NINJA MCQ vs. Wiley CPA Test Bank:
Choose the CPA Exam Test Bank package you like the best.
To Your Success,
Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)