Are you preparing for a career in public accounting? If so, you should take the CPA exam very seriously. No matter how prepared you think you are, there’s a good chance your professional knowledge of accounting concepts will be challenged in a way that it’s never been before. That’s why nearly half of all CPA exam takers end up failing on or more sections of this notoriously difficult test.
If you want to avoid being caught off guard, the best way to pass the exam on your first try is to sign up for a CPA review course.
When I was first preparing for the CPA exam, I used Wiley CPAexcel and passed on my first attempt. Since that time, Wiley has made several changes to their user experience and curriculum in order to compete with other online CPA review courses. But is it enough to set them apart from big names like Surgent and Becker?
Check out my full review below to find out for yourself whether or not Wiley CPA Review can help you pass the exam!
Wiley Efficient Learning has been around for a lot longer than you might expect— they’ve actually been in business for over 200 years, starting as an academic publishing company in 1807. Over the next two centuries, this company has evolved into a modern educational powerhouse that offers a wide range of instructional content for several high-skill trades, such as management accounting, financial analysis, and investment banking.
Wiley CPAexcel Course Snapshot
- Unlimited access and free updates until you pass
- Over 17,000 practice questions on desktop and mobile
- FocusMeTechnology adaptive learning integration
- More than 140 hours of video lectures
- 600+ task-based simulations and unlimited practice exams
- Virtual Classroom with online instructor support
- 4,000+ digital flashcards and 1,000 physical flashcards
Wiley CPA Review Course Features
Check out some of these specific features you get with Wiley CPAexcel:
Like most CPA review courses, Wiley provides students a library of multiple-choice practice questions, task-based simulations (TBS), and flashcards. These are some of the most effective methods of teaching new concepts and reinforcing them in your memory, so it makes sense that Wiley places a lot of emphasis on these materials.
However, it’s worth noting that this is one of the largest libraries of these materials you can find in an online CPA prep course: over 17,000 multiple choice questions, 5,000 True/False questions, 600 TBS, and 4,000-plus digital flashcards is way more content than the average online class.
Aside from their practice questions and quizzes, Wiley includes video lectures and textbooks to teach you the different concepts covered on each part of the CPA exam. This includes over 2,200 pages of online text passages and more than 140 hours of video lectures. The instructors who write the study pages and host each lecture are accomplished professionals and expert educators— with 11 of them having a Ph.D.
Cutting-Edge Learning Technology
Although this company may be older than dirt, the tech Wiley uses to reinforce their educational curriculum is extremely impressive. Adaptive learning technology can be used to generate custom study schedules for each student, which is what Wiley’s FocusMeTechnology provides.
Both downloadable and online features of this program allow it to analyze your proficiency with specific CPA exam concepts as you progress through the material, which is then used to change your schedule on the fly to meet your specific needs as a student. It’s not too different from what the other prep companies offer, but it gets the job done!
During the numerous live classroom sessions hosted by Wiley, you’ll have the ability to communicate with the lecturer in real time— just like a traditional classroom setting. But if you’re looking for more hands-on instruction, I recommend checking out their Ultimate Mentorship Bundle that includes personalized review sessions and email support.
Speaking of email, you’ll have ways to contact other members of Wiley’s support team if you encounter any technical or billing issues. It can sometimes take a day or two to hear a response, so you can always check the private student discussion boards to see if someone already asked the same question as you.
Wiley CPAexcel Pricing
You have three different options when signing up for Wiley CPAexcel:
- First is the Pro CPA Review Course, which has a base price of $2,199. This contains everything you need for a full study schedule, including the 5,000-plus practice questions, 2,200-plus pages of online study text, digital/physical flashcards, and unlimited practice CPA exams. This is the most affordable way to start studying with Wiley, and it frequently goes on sale for hundreds of dollars off base price.
- The next step up is Wiley’s Platinum CPA Review Course, which is their most popular online CPA prep course that costs $2,499. In addition to everything included in the Pro Course, this package includes exclusive access to Wiley’s expert mentors, additional support for international students, and an extra Final Review Course for some last-minute cramming.
- Finally, the best course offered by Wiley is their Ultimate CPA Review Course, which costs $3,100 and includes everything in the Platinum and Pro courses. Additionally, it provides lifetime access to Wiley’s Ultimate CPA Exam Guide Mentorship Course, which includes personalized 1-on-1 tutoring sessions with expert instructors. However, most students can get enough extra tutoring from the Platinum package and save the extra money.
No matter which package you choose, Wiley will regularly offer steep discounts to make it easier for your wallet. Another nice feature that makes paying for these courses much less stressful is flexible financing; if you qualify, Wiley will allow you to spread out payments over 12 months with no interest.
Pros and Cons
Still unsure if Wiley CPAexcel is a good choice for your study needs? Consider these positives and negatives before making a decision:
Pro – Ample Study Content
The last thing you’ll have to worry about when studying is running out of practice questions or flashcards. Wiley made sure to pack in thousands of these, in addition to a great deal of textbook pages, alternative question types, and hundreds of hours worth of video content. It’s not the largest library of CPA content (that honor belongs to Gleim) but it’s more than enough to help you prepare for your exam over the course of a year at least.
Pro – Extra Help
One of the reasons why students might be hesitant to trust an online course is a perceived lack of accountability. Some online classes in college are notorious for having unclear or confusing instructions and a professor that’s impossible to reach for extra help. Fortunately, Wiley avoids all of these issues by having easy access to their expert instructors for all Platinum and Ultimate students.
Pro – Variety
Despite having such a large library of content, Wiley’s course is structured in a way that you shouldn’t feel burnt out by practicing just one type of question for your entire study schedule. Instead, they’ve included lots of different question types, including multiple choice, true/false, and written communications. At the end of this course, you’ll be a seasoned veteran at answering all the types of questions the CPA exam can throw at you!
Con – Guarantee
With all the content and technology provided by Wiley, there’s one feature that’s conspicuously missing from their catalog. Despite claiming that 9 out of 10 students who use their course will pass the CPA exam, they don’t offer any kind of refund if you fail on your first try. Instead, you’ll just have access until you eventually earn a passing grade.
If you’re still not sure whether or not Wiley CPAexcel is a good fit for you, consider these final recommendations:
- If you need a lot of practice materials to work through over a year or longer, this is the course for you.
- If you need extra one-on-one help from your instructors and don’t mind paying a little more for it, this is the course for you.
- If you want the most practice questions possible in your study course, this isn’t the course for you.
Ultimately, I recommend that you use Wiley CPAexcel to pass your exams— after all, it’s what helped me become a CPA years ago. Good luck on your exams!