Does BEC mean anything to you? If it does, chances are you either look back un-fondly on all the hours you spent studying for the dreaded Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, or worse, you're neck-deep in it right now. For those of you in the latter camp, we've lined up 40 vital links to articles, commercial sites, blogs, forums, and more that can help you score that all-important 75 on the first try (or pull your score up if that ship has already sailed).
- CPA Exam Game Plan: Give an ear to Roger Philipp of Roger CPA Review in this free YouTube vid as he helps you craft a course of action all the way from deciding one day you want to be a CPA to the time they yell, "Pencils down!"
- AICPA Exam Tutorial: To help you become one of its honored members, the American Institute of CPAs provides a guided tour of the exam, plus a "functional replica" practice test.
- CWU sample questions: Prof. Atkinson of Central Washington University keeps a decent collection of MC ethics, reporting, and audit questions available for free online, along with their answers.
- NASBA: On the resources page, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy supplies helpful info on applying for the exam online, credentials evaluation for candidates, data on the accounting profession, and more.
- CPA Exam Tweets: Get connected to links to helpful articles, score course material discounts, or just rant about how much you've had to study by following this Twitter feed.
- Tips on How to Pass the CPA Exam: All the text bizarrely underlines when you hover over it, but there are good pointers to be had in this article by CPA Tom Vucinic of the New Accountant.
- CPAReviewMaterials: There's a store for all the name test companies' products, but there's also a free help section with features like "Ask the CPA" and a practice test.
- CPAZone: Different angles of the exam are covered here to prep you psychologically, you might say, for the exam and what follows, including exam day procedure and outside links with articles on best study practices.
- State Requirements for the CPA Exam: Different states have different rules. Use this convenient map, courtesy of Kaplan, to determine the ones in your neck of the woods.
- Exam Timer: In your studying, train yourself by using a timer like this free one for Android smartphones that calculates how much time you have per question and flashes to warn you once you've exceeded that amount.
- CPA Exam Tips For the Overambitious, Impending Graduate: Online tabloid GoingConcern has five key bits of wisdom for gung-ho seniors, and readers chip in their helpful two cents in the comments section.
- Yaeger: Yaeger heavily pushes its teaching style as superior for teaching students not only what to do but why to do it that way. At $1,800 it's one of the more affordable courses, and current college students get a $200 discount.
- Roger: Get straight talk from Roger Philipp — hence the name — who seems more like a passionate fitness instructor, as he leads all these video prep courses. You may love his style or hate it, but you won't be bored.
- Becker: Claiming to have a student pass rate double any other company, Becker offers excellent lectures and a user-friendly experience if you're willing to pay its premium price.
- Kaplan: A well-established name in educational material, Kaplan's course is a thorough (possibly even too thorough) rundown of all things accounting.
- Wiley: Budget-conscious test-takers would do well to check out this company's wide range of offerings, with review outlines and test questions that even competitors use in their courses.
- Bisk: Half the Big Four recommend Bisk as their preferred prep company, with its distinguished stable of instructors and money-back guarantee.
- Gleim: A dirt-cheap offering, all four sections of the exam can be studied with books, audio, a "Simulation Wizard," and access to a personal counselor for under a grand.
- Fast Forward Academy: FFA believes in its five-point system — plan, hands on, simulate, diagnose, and connect — so much, it guarantees you'll only have to buy the materials once.
- CPAexcel: For the attention-challenged, CPAexcel delivers with neat 30-minute lessons. It's also a good option for studiers on the go, with both smartphone and e-book options.
- CPAreviewforFREE: No doubt the word "free" caught your eye. CPAreviewforFREE acknowledges that most will use another course in addition to this one, but it's an excellent resource created by three people with 60 years' experience who seem generally interested in helping CPA candidates pass the test.
- Lambers: Go budget with the flashcard products or go mobile with the iPod courses with Lambers. If you find yourself easily distracted while studying online, the DVD packages could be the perfect way to zero in on studying.
- CPA Exam Help: The forums are a joke and the course reviews are paltry, but there are multiple choice tests of between 75 and 3,000 questions for $20 or under.
- Keller's CPA Prep Courses: For the brave souls out there, be aware that integrated prep courses like Becker's can be taken through programs like that at DeVry's Keller Graduate School of Management while pursuing a graduate degree.
- ExamMatrix: There aren't a lot of reviews for this company online, but the "CPA review for the rest of us" claims an 80%-plus pass rate and might be worth trying out one section for $300.
Books and Study Aids
- Wiley CPA Exam Review 2012, 4-Volume Set by Whittington and Delaney: The Wiley course costs far more, but for $150 you can get pretty much the definitive collection of CPA exam study books on the market.
- CPA Army Boot Camp Study Guide: For $30 a section, these "boot camp" guides are a handy way to filter all the superfluous info down to the crucial stuff you need to know the pass the test, in 30 days.
- You Can Pass the CPA Exam: Get Motivated! by Debra R. Hopkins: Get some nice big-picture tips on things related to the exam like time management, coping with family and friends, and scheduling the exam, plus the actual components of the test.
- Ninja Notes: From the blog Another71 (see below) come these low-priced notes created from knowledge earned the hard way and that many customers can attest helped get them over the hump.
Blogs and Forums
- Another71: The name refers to blogger Jeff Elliott's brutal run of 71s on the BEC section of the exam. With one of the best forums on the subject, this site is a haven for students who find comfort in Jeff's success story of finally beating the exam and "moving on with his life."
- Crush the CPA Exam!: As an admittedly average accounting student, blogger Bryce had to work to get his required 75 points on each exam section. He's here to bring you study tips, course reviews, and more to help you do the same.
- CPAnet: Find local study groups, get advice on courses and prices, and have your questions answered here. It's not much to look at, but if you want to be an accountant, that probably won't bother you.
- This Way to CPA: This site is the AICPA's effort to provide college students considering life as an accountant the info they need, as well as expert guidance for grads nearing their exam date.
- 2 Become a CPA: In this guest post, a recently made CPA shares the studying and planning secrets she used to pass all four sections.
- NJSCPA's Exam Cram: The New Jersey Society of CPAs hosts this collection of blog posts by guys and gals currently prepping for the exam. You'll get tips, anecdotes, and an idea of what to expect of life as a CPA through their writings.
- All Things CPA Exam: This blog has been abandoned since 2009, but the insights are many and honest about the exam prep journey.
- NOIR CPA: Targeted to black accounting pros, NOIR CPA features articles, deal alerts, and a forum for everything students need to earn those three letters next to their name.
- Sleep on CPA: An instructor from Bisk recently notified this blogger and CPA candidate to let her know her site's helpful archives and real-world experiences prepping for the exam had made it one of their top resources for students this year.
- Crammin' and Jammin' CPA Style: This colorfully named blog features writers who relate their experiences with different paid prep courses like Roger and study techniques like those promoted by Another71. It's a terrific batch of been-there, done-that insight.
- CPA Exam Club: Connect with folks just like you who are aiming to master the FAR, AUD, REG, or BEC in the coming days.