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      October 27, 2020

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Gleim CPA Review vs CPA Training Center

Best CPA Exam Reviews

To help you find the Best CPA Reviews, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Gleim CPA Review and CPA Training Center.

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What's the best CPA Review program to help you pass the exam? Whether you're about to graduate from college or you've been wanting to get your CPA for years, you know that it's a big commitment. Taking the four sections of the CPA exam is not only challenging but expensive. Because of the constantly-changing nature of the content of the CPA exam, it can be very difficult for even the best students and seasoned professionals to pass the test without using a very rigorous preparation program.

For nearly half a century, CPA Review programs have helped aspiring accountants to know what to study to succeed on the required tests. Of course, as times have changed, so have many of these providers: what used to be available only in textbooks and later on CD-ROM has now evolved into a format that can be accessed virtually anywhere, using a tablet or laptop to take adaptive practice tests, using a phone to listen to lessons on MP3, and so on.

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Best Reviews

2020

CPA Exam Reviews

4 stars
Gleim CPa Review

GLEIM CPA REVIEW

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Cost:

From $999 to $1,999

The Gleim CPA Review system has been on the market since 1974, one of the longest providers in the industry with more than one million exams passed using their study materials. Their program aims to help students gain as much knowledge as possible without spending time in areas that aren't helpful, using a system that focuses on analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Gleim offers a free trial, giving prospective customers unlimited access to the first Study Unit in their CPA Review program. We highly recommend that you take advantage of this complimentary access: Gleim's exam prep is known for being heavily geared towards students who are most comfortable using a self-study format, rather than listening to lengthy lectures, which may or may not be what works for you.

When choosing Gleim CPA Review, you'll have three main options:

  • Mega Test Bank: for $999, you can access more than 10,000 unique questions and simulations, along with answer explanations and unlimited practice exams. You'll also get the Gleim textbook - your choice of physical or digital copies - with more than 2,000 pages of outlines and examples.
  • Traditional: for $1,599, you'll get access to Gleim's SmartAdapt technology, that customizes the learning path you take based on your weakest areas of knowledge. This gives you access to a test bank of more than 13,000 simulations and practice questions, along with their answer explanations. You'll also get both digital and physical copies of your textbooks and audio lectures.
  • Premium: for $1,999, you'll get the features of the first two packages, along with 100+ hours of detailed video lectures, support from their accounting experts, and their "Access Until You Pass" Guarantee.

Be sure to understand what you're getting with each package. For example, you will only be able to get support on your learning path if you choose the Premium tier. That level is also the only CPA review plan offered by Gleim that offers any kind of guarantee: namely, that you'll be able to access all of your study materials for as long as it takes to pass all four sections of the CPA exam.

So, does the Gleim CPA review system work? The company doesn't advertise their pass rate - possibly because they allow students in the Premier plan to keep their study materials until they do pass - but we found plenty of happy customers who used the program and passed all four sections on the first try. Students say that the adaptive study plan really helped them to stay focused. The company also enjoys a solid "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Overall, Gleim CPA Review enjoys a strong reputation spanning decades, and although their program may be best suited for students who don't need long video lessons and can study independently, their comprehensive package comes in at an affordable price.

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1 star
CPA Training Center

CPA TRAINING CENTER

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Cost:

$1,199.80 for DVD/PDF course

$1,800 for online video self-study course

CPA Training Center is part of the Training Center brand, which offers instruction across a variety of careers, such as Engineering, Banking, Insurance, and Human Resources. They offer connections to several different online training courses to prepare you for the necessary exams to get your CPA.

If you prefer to study using DVDs, you can choose a package that includes video lessons for AUD, BEC, FAR, and REG along with PDF textbooks you can print on your own. Interestingly, this course is the Lambers CPA Review Package: one of the competitor CPA Review courses we examined. This is priced at $1,199.80

In fact, the more we dug into it, we found that CPA Training Center is just a reseller of other programs. We found most of the other programs we reviewed, from Lambers to Yaeger, all sold at the same price or higher than when buying directly from the company that produced the course.

Browsing the site trying to find the right coursework was confusing. The website is outdated, and not all courses are featured in easy-to-locate places. For example, when following one link to the CPA Training Center courses, we found an online video self-study course through CPA Excel, priced at $1,455. But, when we visited the site later and tried to find the same course using the Exam Prep or Certifications links, we couldn't find it. Instead, we were taken to a more expensive course produced by Kaplan.

We found only negative reviews about Training Center products: customers said that they paid the business for their coursework and got nothing, or they were handed off to a third-party service for the review they paid for.

CPA review courses aren't cheap. Why go with a lackluster, third-party reseller if you can work directly with the companies that make the courses? Given that CPA Training Center has no listing with the BBB, no positive customer reviews, and hard-to-navigate website, we strongly recommend that you choose one of the higher-ranked CPA prep programs in our review.

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Continued from above

When deciding on the best CPA Review program for your needs, you should carefully consider your options based on your learning style, budget, and timeframe. These programs vary widely, and it's important for you to know exactly what you're getting before making a significant financial investment.

In other words, as you compare what different companies have to offer, keep in mind these factors:

  • Price. What will you spend for your CPA Review program? What's included at that cost?
  • Flexibility. Can you purchase study materials for just one section of the test? Does the program take a one-size-fits-all approach, or are there study and/or testing portions that adapt to your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Timeframe. Many CPA Review providers limit your access to the study materials, with deadlines ranging from 12 to 24 months. Will you be able to complete your studies within that timeframe?
  • Instruction Method/Format. How does the review program convey the material: text-only, text-plus-video lecture, etc.? What's the best method for your learning style?
  • Reputation/Guarantee. Is the CPA Review program effective? What is the pass rate for students using their method? Does the company offer any guarantee or refund if you fail all or part of the four-part exam? What do other students say about their experience using the program?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best CPA Review Programs available today. We hope this information helps you find the best study plan that will lead you to success on the CPA Exam!

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