Figuring out which best CPA exam study planner will prepare a study schedule for you to ace the CPA exam can be a bit tricky. Every CPA study guide comes with some type of exam planning software, but not all of them do the same things or have the same features.
Some planners focus on charting out their full study guide based on the number of days until your exam, while other use their adaptive technology to plot out topics you need to cover in that period of time. Each one has their own approach.
In order to get one that will work for you, you need to think about how you learn and what type of studying is the easiest for you. For example, you might be able to focus more when watching a video lesson than reading a textbook. You’ll need a planner that can focus on study methods like that.
You want a planner that will help you chart out your studying and focus on the things that you need to learn before your exam day. Everyone is different, so most likely everyone will use their study tools slightly differently.
Let’s take a look at the top-rated CPA study planners, so you can decide which will prepare you to pass the CPA exam in the shortest amount of time possible.
Top 6 Best CPA Exam Study Planners & Tools to Create Study Schedules Below:
Here are the best CPA exam study planners and tools to help you create a study schedule to pass the CPA exam.
- Wiley CPAexcel Study Planner
- Becker CPA Exam Planner
- UWorld Roger CPA Study Planner
- Yaeger CPA Review Planner
- Gleim CPA Exam Study Planner
- Surgent CPA Exam Review Planner
Wiley CPAexcel CPA Study Planner
The Wiley CPAexcel review study planner is very interactive and combines self-study with weekly live study guides. Studying using this study plan will be effective since you can ask questions directly to the tutors. The study material offered is online, but there are also study notes for offline study as well.
The Wiley CPA exam planner has specific features designed to help you learn at your own comfortable pace. It has study schedules made to suit your study needs. Moreover, there are study notes on auditing and other related subjects and an online forum where you can post questions for the tutors to respond to in live study sessions.
You can study wherever and whenever you want. They have study notes for first-time auditors, financial accounting study notes, managerial accounting study notes, review courses, and other study materials available on their website. This plan has a reminder feature to send you calendar alerts. The alerts will keep you updated about oncoming reviews and tests. It also reminds you about your final exam date.
This study plan has a study tips section that offers study advice and study hints. You can also post-study questions on the study forum. The course materials are available in PDF format so you can study using your laptop, iPad, or any mobile device for that matter. The planner comes with 12-month access to their online study courses.
The Wiley CPA study planner is good for people who like structure and don’t mind logging into a website daily to see their progress and also people who are self-disciplined enough to study from home without distractions.
Becker CPA Study Planner
The Becker CPA review study planner comes in PDF format and TM (Trainer Mate) software. The exam planner comes with 12-month access to their online study courses, live workshops, and unlimited study questions.
The planner also comes with a free Becker CPA review course valued at $150. The only study material that you have to purchase separately is the CPA review study material.
The Becker CPA planner comes with a total of 34 study courses.
These study courses are broken down into the following categories:
- Practical Strategic planning- 28 training modules 30 study plans
- Financial Accounting & Reporting – 18 study plans
- Auditing & Attestation – 7 study plans Regulation – 5 study plans
- Business Environment & Concepts – 8 study plans
- Taxation – 11 study plans
Computerized Test Bank: With this exam planner, you will get access to Becker’s Computerized test bank that provides 200 questions covering all the content areas that are on the CPA exam. Once you have registered for a Becker Account, you will receive an email to confirm your payment and give you access to the planner.
The main advantage of the Becker CPA planner is that it will help you prioritize what study areas you should go over so that you can study in a more efficient manner.
The Becker CPA study plan is ideal for you if you study well with a study schedule and like to be organized. Becker also comes in the form of an app and is available for Apple products only. You must pay $15.99/month or $27.99/3 month in order to access the study guide.
Uworld Roger CPA Study Planner
The Uworld Roger CPA exam study planner has study schedules based off 8 study hours/day for 6 days a week. The Roger CPA planner also comes in the form of an app and is available for Apple products only and costs $15/month or $180/year.
Uworld CPA exam planner stands out among other CPA study provider’s plans because the planner can be used to study for any of the CPA exams. It also provides a schedule based on study hours and study days, providing study tips, webinars/training videos, podcasts, etc.
The main disadvantage with this planner is that the exam planner is based off study hours (not study days). For example, the study schedule for the CPA exam is 6 study days/week and 8 study hours per day, whereas this study plan will have you studying 4 study days a week with 8 study hours each day.
Uworld CPA currently has two study plan software packages: a general exam planner (available in app or online) and one that is available in app only.
Roger CPA study exam planner is ideal if your study environment allows you to study in random sessions with mandatory breaks and study limits. Its main disadvantage is that it does not provide a study schedule, hence requiring additional resources or time management skills to ensure study sessions are balanced between the various study subjects/courses.
Yaeger CPA Study Planner
The Yaeger CPA exam study planner is ideal if you study in fixed study sessions (e.g. study for 4 study hours a day, study for 3 study days a week) and want to study most courses in one go. The planner comes with features such as study schedule, study session range, and study program.
The main advantage of using the Yaeger CPA planner is that study programs can be implemented in study sessions to ensure study sessions are balanced between the various study subjects/courses. The planner is also useful for those who want to study in fixed time periods such as study for 3 study days a week for 16 weeks and plan their study schedule (time duration) accordingly.
Its main disadvantage is that it does not provide flexibility to study each course in any order. You must stick to the course arrangement as provided.
Gleim CPA Study Planner
The Gleim CPA review study planner is also very useful. It includes mini-study planners for each course such as the Audit planner, Tax planner, Financial Accounting study planning guide, etc.
The most outstanding advantage of using the Gleim CPA planner when studying for your assessment is that it combines two of the best CPA planners to come up with a comprehensive guide for your study sessions.
The Gleim exam planner has its main weakness in areas such as taxation, as it fails to provide study guides for a comprehensive study of taxation. Also, it lacks study guides for Management Accounting. Moreover, Gleim provides an intensive study planning calendar which can be overwhelming to some students.
The Gleim CPA planner is best suited for those who want to follow a detailed study schedule and prefer to study in detail all through the exam preparation period.
Surgent CPA Study Planner
The Surgent CPA review exam study planner is unique in its study planner as it comprises a study calendar, study tracker, and progress dashboard.
The study calendar allows you to schedule your study sessions while the study tracker is there to help you monitor your study progress. The progress dashboard helps you evaluate how well you’re doing in covering the topics.
Surgent includes study calendars for the business environment section, 150+ study sessions, and a study schedule for each area.
The main advantage of using the Surgent is that it helps you study smarter by telling you how many study hours to spend on each study session.
The exam planner also tells you how long it will take to complete your study sessions depending on the amount of study time per day/week.
The main disadvantage of using the Surgent CPA planner is that it does not include study calendars for the professional responsibility (AUD/BEC), Regulation, and Business Environment study areas. Surgent also doesn’t tell you how to study professionally responsible, regulation and business environment study sessions or why these study sessions should even be taken if possible.
Surgent is ideal for you if you study best when working in blocks of study, where you study consecutive units back-to-back. It is also ideal if you have some form of structure in your study as you tend to get lost easily when studying for a long period of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions CPA exam candidates have about CPA study planners.
What is a CPA exam study planner?
An exam planner is a study plan that outlines what study sessions should be taken and how long the study sessions should last.
The study planner also states when units should be reviewed and why. The study planner may also state which study sessions will help you to prepare for your exam or where a unit fits within the overall structure of the course.
Can I pass the CPA exam without a study planner?
Studying without a study planner is like driving without a map. It leads to confusion and stress as you try to ‘find your way home’. An exam planner will keep you on track for the duration of the study period and strip away the confusion about which study sessions to attend.
Do I need a CPA exam study planner?
Study planners are needed by all students and study groups that study at a desk. These study sessions can take place in a study group or on your own as you study the CPA Review Manuals.
How do I create a study plan?
The best way to create a study plan for the CPA exam is to use a study planner tool that comes with your CPA review guide. These planners have software to count the days until your exam and prepare a unique study schedule, so you are prepared to take the exam on your date.
How many hours should I study for the CPA exam?
The AICPA estimates that CPA candidates spend on average 300-400 hours studying for the CPA exam. This equates to about 100 hours for each CPA exam section. A great way to reduce this time is to use an organized CPA exam planning tool.
Can I self study for the CPA exam?
Yes, the most popular study method for the CPA exam using a self-study course. You can learn the exam topics at your own pace and complete the study guide based on your schedule.