An In-Depth Review of the CPAexcel Review Course
- Lectures. Each lesson has its own lecture. There are different instructors for different topics which helps break up the monotony.
- Slides. You have the slides for each lesson that the video lecture is based on. You'll find yourself using these a lot as you go back to find a formula or concept as you're working through the questions.
- Study Text. The study text is the meat of each lesson. Actually it's the whole cow. The study text for each lesson is very, very detailed. I definitely didn't read every word of every study text, but if you ever get confused on a certain topic, you can be sure that the answer will be somewhere in the study text. The study texts are very well-written and easy to understand, and they're filled with examples that help the concepts make sense. Here's a snapshot of what 'study text' looks like:
- Proficiency Questions. These are true and false questions that will quickly test whether or not you know a topic. I didn't use these on every lesson, but they are helpful when reviewing because you can go through them so fast.
- Exam Questions. These are where you should spend your time. Again, since the lessons are broken down into very specific topics, you won't usually have more than 10 exam questions for any given lesson. This really helps you not feel overwhelmed- it's eating an elephant one bite at a time. You can take the exam questions in study mode or exam mode. In study mode, you'll see the answer and explanation after every question. In exam mode, you take all the questions in the lesson at once and you'll see the answers after you're done. To study I recommend plowing through the questions in study mode and reading each explanation until you fully understand the what and why.
- Flashcards. I didn't use these for quite a while when I first started using CPAexcel, but they're very useful - especially on the more difficult topics. The flashcards are setup to test you on the rules and concepts behind each topic, so that if you master the flashcards for a given topic, you'll be able to answer pretty much any question on that topic. You are also able to access all the flashcards from the mobile app. Spending any extra 5 minutes you have through your day going through flashcards will really help cement the concepts in your brain.
- Mentored Discussions. This is the forum for each topic where you can ask questions and an instructor will answer. The answer does take at least 24 hours usually, but on most topics someone has probably already asked your question and so it's sitting there at all times for you to refer to. Just reading through the forum on hard topics will give you a lot of insight or ideas for approaching problems that you probably hadn't thought of.
There are 3 different levels of CPAexcel. All 3 of them come with the core materials which means the simulations, the exam questions, and the electronic study text.
Here's a breakdown of each level and what they include:
Platinum CPAexcel Review Course
The platinum course includes everything you could want for your study journey. If you're someone who wants it all, or you feel like you need all the help you can get, then the Platinum course is for you.
The platinum course includes:
- Proficiency questions, exam questions, and practice sims
- Access to forums where you can ask questions from instructors
- Video lectures and the slides for each lesson
- Course textbooks
- Focus notes which include formulas, mnemonics, exam tips, and other condensed key topics
- Flash drive which contains the course for travel if you can't take your computer
- Physical set of the flashcards
- Access to the virtual classroom series
- CPA online test bank questions- these are additional questions above and beyond the 5,100 original questions
- No expiration date- you have access until you pass
The platinum course is for you if:
You want access to everything that Wiley has. Having physical flashcards are something that a lot of people want, and access to the extra CPA questions is a huge benefit.
Video Gold Medal Course
The video gold medal course is what I used. The main difference between the Gold video course and the Platinum course is that the gold course does not include the physical flashcards, the focus notes, or the virtual classroom sessions. To me, not having the virtual classroom sessions is not a big deal. Keep in mind, this is an individual preference... if you feel like attending some virtual sessions with a live instructor would really cement the ideas in your head, then it might be worth it to you to go with the platinum course.
The Gold video course is for you if:
You're more a self-studier. You'll still have access to the digital flashcards, and you can use them on the mobile app, you just won't have the actual physical flashcards.
The Golf video course does include the physical textbooks. If you learn really well reading out of a book and you want the physical books so that you can underline and highlight things, then the Gold video course is your best bet.
Silver CPA Review Course
The Silver course contains the basics. The main thing you need to know is that it includes everything the Gold course includes except the physical textbooks.
Like I mentioned above, I used the Gold video course, but I never used the physical textbooks. I would have gotten the exact same results with the Silver course.
The Silver video course is for you if:
You are a self-studier and you don't care about having the physical textbooks.
Like I mentioned, I had the Gold course but I never touched the textbooks. If you want to save yourself some money and still have more study materials than you'll ever use, then the Silver course is what you should go with.