Surgent CPA Review + NINJA: 7 Easy Steps to Smash Any CPA Exam
Disclosure: We have an affiliate partnership with Surgent CPA Review.
If you purchase a Surgent CPA course through our site, we may make a referral commission, which supports the site (thank you).
We also own NINJA CPA, which works great with Surgent.
“Why We Chose It (Best Artificial Intelligence): Surgent CPA Review provides students with AI software to determine exactly what topics need to be covered. This ensures the shortest study time. Their advanced online technological tools set them apart from the others.”
“Why We Chose It (Best Price): NINJA CPA Review works nicely as an inexpensive supplement to an online course. This is an efficient studying tool that can be used as your main course but serves best as an auxiliary study aid with an excellent online support community.”
– Investopedia, the 5 Best CPA Prep Courses of 2022
Step 1. Nail the Concepts
Fire up your Surgent CPA login and Nail the Concepts with your Surgent video lectures (or Surgent CPA books) & NINJA Audio. Time: 2.5 Weeks
If something is confusing in your Surgent CPA Review materials, look it up in the NINJA Book or NINJA Notes.
Start listening to your NINJA Audio. Never drive to work without it on. You can listen to fun things when you're a CPA. Let that motivate you. 🙂
If your commute is 1 hour round trip, then that's 1 hour of NINJA Audio per day (and that's for the commute alone … if you can work and listen to the NINJA Audio: even better.)
Start reading the NINJA Notes in your downtime, especially at work. It's ok if you haven't studied the section before. It will start clicking the third time through, regardless of where you are in your prep.
Step 2. Intense Notes
Take Intense Notes over your Surgent CPA Review lectures or NINJA Book.
It doesn't matter.
Take Intense Notes while watching your Surgent CPA lectures.
Step 3. Non-Stop MCQ
Non-Stop MCQ – Surgent CPA Test Bank or NINJA MCQ. & Take Notes. Time: 2.5 Weeks
If this is your first time taking this exam, then do Non-Stop MCQ with your Surgent CPA Test Bank, and then in the review phase (A – All Comes Together), then you switch to NINJA MCQ and work backward, beginning with your weakest topic.
If this is a retake OR you've found yourself memorizing your Surgent questions, then switch 100% over to NINJA MCQ for this phase. When it comes time to do the SIMS, switch back and forth according to which software you like better.
Again … if this is your first time taking this exam, use your Surgent CPA questions for N (Non-Stop MCQ) and use NINJA MCQ for A (All Comes Together) as you review.
Your Surgent CPA ReadyScore AND your NINJA Trending Score should both be in the mid-80s prior to exam day.
“Back by popular demand, we’re happy to once again partner with Jeff Elliott and NINJA CPA Review to help you pass the CPA Exam even faster.”
– Roger CPA Review
If this is your first time taking this exam and you're memorizing the test bank questions (which is bad because it causes false confidence … you're scoring in the 90s, but on exam day, you score a 65 and can't figure out why), then switch over to NINJA MCQ 100% for both (N) and (A).
SIMS – First time or retake alike: switch back and forth between your Surgent test bank and NINJA MCQ. Depending on which of the Surgent CPA Review courses you have (Ultimate, Premier, or Essentials).
Step 4. Just Rewrite
Rewrite Your Surgent CPA Review notes or NINJA Notes. Time: 1 Week
We know you took killer notes over your Surgent lectures … re-write those 😀
If taking notes just wasn't in the cards this time around, and you did the best you could do, then I suggest that you re-write the NINJA Notes.
(Listen, I get it – re-writing notes sounds sooo boring. You know what else is sooo boring? Re-studying for a failed exam. Just Do It.)
Step 5. All Comes Together
All Comes Together in a Final Review. Watch NINJA CRAM and/or the Surgent CPA Review Cram. Time: 1 Week
If you're using your Surgent Test Bank in the Non-Stop MCQ phase, this is where you switch over to NINJA MCQ (if you've already switched, then keep using it here as well).
Start with your weakest topics first and work backward. You can let the software feed you questions, but since you're in a final review phase, I recommend doing topic-specific mini-testlets and really drilling down.
Do a set of 20 over your weakest area. If you're weak in several areas, choose the one that keeps you awake at night first.
The one you DREAD seeing on exam day.
If you are hitting in the low-70s (70-75), then move on to your next weakest area.
The reason why you don't go for mastery here is that you have a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time for your review. It's better to get all of the topics into the 70s and then come back and hit them again vs. getting a few into the 80s/90s and running out of time before you can get to the rest.
For instance, if you're taking Financial Accounting and Reporting and your weak area is Bonds, then do 20-question mini-testlets until you're scoring in the 70s (which may take 3 or 4 sets) and then move on to your next-weakest area, which might be Leases. Repeat this with Leases, and then move on to the next one – which might be Governmental Accounting, etc.
As you head into your exam – hammer MCQ and read the NINJA Notes every spare millisecond you have.
“Few people are more familiar with the stresses of exam prep than Jeff Elliott, licensed CPA and the face behind Another71.com.” – Wiley CPA
(Note – if you have 5 minutes to spare – DON'T spend it on Facebook…knock out two pages of NINJA Notes instead).
Everywhere you go – car, gym, sitting at your desk at work, it's NINJA Audio, NINJA Audio, and … you guessed it NINJA Audio.
(I get it – the content is boring, and my voice won't be confused with Morgan Freeman anytime soon but hit Play anyway. You can listen to your Spotify Playlist of 90s Pop Hits AFTER your exam).
NINJA MCQ … NINJA Notes … NINJA Audio on repeat...even up to the minute you leave your vehicle and head into Prometric (what if the extra 3 minutes of some nuance of Corporate Taxation was the difference between a 74 and a 75 on exam day?).
THEN … walk through those Prometric doors with confidence, barf out all of that knowledge in your head, and go sleep for 3 days.
You've earned it.
Total Study Time: 4 or 7 weeks. We have Study Planners for both timelines.
Step 6: Exam Day is Finally Here
Take your exam with confidence and PASS.
Step 7: Take 3 Days Off, Then Repeat
Sleep. Celebrate. Repeat (the studying, not the celebrating).
“I used NINJA MCQ for each of the exams as a supplement to Becker, which was provided by my work…I worked through all the Becker MCQs, then did about 50-60% of the NINJA MCQs. I thought the NINJA ones were more difficult than the Becker questions, which was a good thing. I was trending about 7-10 points below my actual exam scores for each of the sections. The NINJA product was great because it showed me where I was weakest, and I was able to focus on that section until I felt really comfortable with it. I would say the NINJA MCQ were essential to my success.”
Elijah Watt Sells Award Winner
“The questions and practice tests were extremely useful, they helped me find some weak spots I didn’t even know I had and gave me the extra practice I needed to get my best score of any of the exams.”
Elijah Watt Sells Award Winner
“I personally used NINJA when I studied for the CPA Exam (in addition to Becker CPA Review). Back then, NINJA was only a supplement, whereas now, it’s a full course. However, the NINJA Notes are still as concise and helpful now as they were when I sat for the CPA Exam. In my opinion, there’s no better way to quickly solidly all the topics covered in the AICPA’s CSOs than NINJA notes. And if you’re unhappy with your NINJA products, you’ll receive a no-questions-asked refund.”
Stephanie Ng, CPA
iPass The CPA Exam
“Why We Chose It (Best Price): Ninja CPA Review works nicely as an inexpensive supplement to an online course. This is an efficient studying tool that can be used as your main course but serves best as an auxiliary study aid with an excellent online support community.”
5 Best CPA Prep Courses of 2022
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To Your Success,
Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)
Founder, NINJA CPA & Another71