Best CPA exam prep curriculum for someone out of college 7 years?

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  • #191325

    Hello there – I graduated with an Accounting and MIS degree from college about 7 years ago. I’ve been working primarily in the audit environment aside from a brief stint in ERP implementations. I’ve decided that I need to take the CPA exam to get to where I want to be. I should have taken it years ago but there wasn’t a direct need.

    I’m trying to figure out the best CPA prep curriculum to buy. It’s been years since I covered pension accounting – like other things I don’t remember much if anything about topics like that. There are a lot of prep course options out there and I want to make sure I purchase the right one. I need something detailed that will break things down into baby steps for when I need to completely relearn something.

    Everyone says “if you use Becker you will pass” but most people I know who have used Becker haven’t been out of school that long. My company is paying for materials so cost isn’t a huge issue.

    Would appreciate some insight, especially if you’re like me and taking the exam after being out of school for a while.

    I appreciate your help!

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #638144

    I would begin with becker but that's all I really know. If you still understand the basics (Assets have debit balances and Liabilities and Equity have credit balances) [Unless its contra] you should be fine. They really reteach you the material so if you put in the time and effort becker will work just fine.


    Most people say to get Becker if somebody else is paying for it. I would have gone that route if that was my situation. I was out of college for 10 years before completing a MACC and am now studying for the CPA exams.

    Since I am paying for it I chose Roger. Why? Because it is about half the price (look around for discount codes) of Becker and that allows you some room to purchase additional materials if your original budget in mind was Becker. Additionally, because Roger is goofy, upbeat, and includes some adult humor from time to time. He will keep you awake during those late night study sessions.

    Then I purchased the entire Ninja 10pt Combo. I did that mainly for the MCQs and the audio to listen to commuting to and from work. So far so good.

    BEC 7/14 - PASS
    FAR 10/14 - PASS
    AUD 1/15 - PASS
    REG 4/15 - PASS

    AZ license - Official 8/20/2015


    I do not have an accounting degree, just took the number of accounting classes I needed to sit for the exam. I do have an MS, anyway I have Becker and I don't think it has helped me, for me I took classes to be able to sit and I like cost accounting so I took three of those, lol. I need another study program but I spent way to much money on Becker so I am stuck. I bought the Ninja MCQ for AUD, which I am studying for now, super happy with them.


    i was out of college fifteen years and went with becker and passed each section on the first try, the last of which was REG in July. I did have to take 6 acctg classes to get the hours so that helped alot.


    I have been out of college for 15 years and passed with Becker. I basically had to start from scratch because I haven't looked at a lot of the material since college.

    Everyone is different, but Becker worked for me.

    The tallest oak in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground.


    Rocky123, CPA


    This information is great! Thanks for contributing.


    I was out of college for 7 years when I started. I footed the bill for Becker. It helped me pass REG, but what pushed me over the edge for the other 3 is the supplement of the Ninja MCQ's, audio and Ninja Notes. Its kind of like Becker laid the groundwork for me, and Jeff's materials provided the glue that solidified my understanding.


    I finished college in 2001. When I looked around for review materials, my budget was a little under 1K , so Becker was obviously out. I dont like watching lectures but I like reading my way through books, so Gleim fit my requirement. I have so far written 3 exams and to be honest, Gleim did prepare me well, if I put my heart into it. At the time I started CPA, I had no idea ninja existed. If I had known that, I would have probably gone for that considering how cheap it really is.

    FAR : 71, 83
    AUD : 73,88
    BEC : 87
    REG : sweet 82 and DONE !!


    I know that my study habits were non-existent at best. I needed the lectures to visually watch something as I just don't have the discipline or attention span to read a book. If you have the ability to read for enjoyment, I would definitely go another route besides Becker.

    I also was turned to this site from a coworker who was also working on the exam. He told me there was this site that had a forum with a lot of good information. Little did I know how valuable that advice was.


    I took some accounting classes prior to sitting, but didn't retain any of the information. I had to start my studies from scratch, aside from knowing the basic accounting stuff like debits on the left, credits on the right, A=L + E. I used whatever I could get my hands on. Kaplan book/test bank/lectures for BEC, Kaplan book and Wiley test bank for AUD, Wiley book/test bank for FAR, Wiley book and Ninja test bank for REG. I also added in Ninja notes/audio/flashcards for a couple of sections. You don't have to break the bank to pass. You have to know what style of learning suits you and go from there. Lectures did nothing for me. I really only used flashcards for AUD and REG. I only read half of the book for FAR. My suggestion would be to get Wiley or Ninja books (not sure which Ninja ones have been released at this point in time) and the Ninja MCQ/notes/audio. You should have all the materials you need to pass with that right there. You just have to be diligent in your studies. If you don't understand something, ask on here or google it. Don't look at the text and say, “wow, that is confusing” and move on. Drill it until you get it.

    CPA Exam - Finally DONE (November 2014)
    BEC (08/10/13) 80
    AUD (08/24/13) 65 (11/13/13) 85
    FAR (04/12/14) 81
    REG (07/19/14) 69 (11/29/14) 87!!


    I started studying 12 years out of school. I used Becker. Highly recommend it.

    Licensed Florida CPA:
    B: 71, 73, 79
    A: 83
    R: 78 (expired), 77
    F: 74, 74, 80

    It's finally freaking over.


    You might want to try Gleim.

    AUD - 90
    BEC - 78
    FAR - 84
    REG - 87
    World Domination Plan

    Phase I : Pass CPA Exams - Complete
    Phase II : Megan Fox - In Progress
    Phase III : Megan Fox & Scarlett Johansson Lingerie Pillow Fight
    Phase IV : Form the new Charlie's Angels with Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansson, & Gal Gadot
    Phase V : TBD

    BEC : 78
    REG : 87
    FAR : 84
    AUD : 90

    World Domination Plan

    Phase I : Pass CPA Exams - Complete
    Phase II : Megan Fox - Initiated
    Phase III : Bring back 8-Tracks
    Phase IV : Megan Fox & Scarlett Johansson Lingerie Pillow Fight
    Phase V : TBA


    Have you considered Ninja? The books are great by my count.

    REG- (1) 76
    FAR- (2) 64, (5)74, (7)83 (Over achiever!)
    AUD- (3) 70, (4) 75
    BEC- (6) 75


    I have passed my first three the first time with Becker. I haven't been out of school long but I am faced with challenges. I got my Masters in Accounting in May 2014 but I have never taken a tax class in my life (have a liberal arts undergrad). REG was terrifying for me. I put my heart into it and Becker helped me pass with the best 75 I've ever seen in my life.

    I am so happy I went with Becker.

    I will make a side note. I am now on BEC and don't have any finance background. I found a Roger video on YouTube for cost accounting. I was really struggling with Becker but Roger's video really helped me figure it out. At the end of the day, no matter what you get it won't have everything. But if your job is paying, get Becker and you can supplement as needed.

    For a demographic reference I do work full time in a senior accounting position and I am in my 30's.


    I finished my undergrad in 2000. I also have an MIS. HIGHLY recommend Becker. Passed all 4 parts first shot.

    FAR--(5/27/14) 90
    REG--(8/11/14) 90
    AUD--(10/1/14) 88
    BEC--(11/24/14) 89 Done!!
    Virginia CPA License (12/24/14)

    100% Becker CPA Self-Study

    CISA (2010) CISSP (2012)

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