This topic needs no introductions! Here are the things you should consider when choosing your CPA Exam study materials.

FIRST: Your learning style. This is number one because, in my opinion, it’s the most important. Think about how you learned best in school or how you currently like to take on information. The three key learning styles are below, including what you should look for in study materials.

Auditory: If you’re an auditory learner, you will benefit from the lectures provided with all study materials. You might also look for the option for audio lectures that you can listen to in the car or from your phone. Note: I don’t recommend studying from the car as your only study hours. Just thought I’d make that CRYSTAL clear

Kinesthetic: If you are a kinesthetic learner, look for study materials that keep you engaged with things to do during the lectures- i.e. following along and taking notes in the text along with the lecture.

Visual: Again, you will benefit from the video lectures as a visual learner, but ensure that they are engaging for you. You might also look for materials that offer more tutorials or video examples walking you through problems.

Second is Your attention span.  If you already know that you can’t sit still and stay focused for hours at a time, consider a program that offers micro-learning.  All of the content is still there, but it is broken into smaller bite-sized pieces. However, if you are easily overwhelmed by a huge To-Do list, these micro-learning programs might not be for you!  

Next is Personality fit.  You’re going to spend many hours with these instructors.  If they annoy you, or you don’t like their jokes, consider going a different route!  

Finally, there’s cost.  This is the final consideration on my list, and I’ve done that on purpose.  Cost is obviously important, but I find too many candidates are putting this as their MAIN consideration.  If you choose based on cost alone, it could end up costing you more down the road in retake fees if the materials aren’t working for you.  Try to find the best fit for you and then consider cost; your employer may be willing to offer reimbursements, and some of the prep companies will offer financing.

Cheers to 75s!

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