Preparing for the certified public accountant, or CPA, exam can be a nerve-wracking process for even the most confident and successful accounting student. This is because the exam is considered to be one of the most difficult of all post-graduate certification exams, covering as it does your entire coursework during the four to five years you have been in school to prepare for this important exam. The CPA exam comes in four sections, and you must pass all four in order to pass the course and be eligible for licensure by your state as a CPA.
To prepare, most students elect to take some kind of study and preparation course with refresher lessons, homework, practice exams, grading and rating systems to spot weak areas and spend extra time there, and interaction with instructiors who can provide extra assistance where needed. There are dozens of CPA exam courses, of which some of the best-known and widely used include the Becker CPA exam, CPAExcel, Yaeger CPA Exam Review, Kaplan's CPA Exam Review, and the Bisk CPA Review Course. These courses can vary in price, content, and lesson delivery style, and you will need to simply review each course and choose the one that fits your style. Some courses offer iPod-streamed lessons or short lectures, while others offer live phone support or community chat rooms, and still others offer classroom-style instruction that is offered at dedicated times weekly.
Once you have chosen your CPA exam preparation course, your final preparation step is to sign up for the course and get acquainted with how exam day will proceed, including when breaks will happen, what kind of identification you need to bring with you, when you will get your exam results, and what to do if you don't pass all four sections of the exam on your first try.