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In-Depth Review of the Yaeger CPA Exam Review Prep Course (2016)



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Surgent CPA Review Highlight Features

  • 350 video lectures;
  • over 6,840 AICPA-Licensed multiple choice questions;
  • 295 task-based simulations for all four sections of the CPA Exam;
  • Customized study notes and their study planning tool.

Surgent CPA Exam Review


Before we dive into breaking down the Surgent CPA exam review course and actually showing you key features within the course, I want to first say that Surgent CPA exam review could be a great option for you for a few different reasons.

Surgent takes a tailored learning approach.  What do I mean by that?  Well, the typical CPA exam prep course has you watch the lectures and/or read the incredibly long lecture guides before you work any practice problems.  This is what takes up the bulk of your CPA study time.  However, Surgent takes a different approach and has you work the problems FIRST.  Their system is adaptive learning based, and it is able to identify your weak areas and adjust the questions delivered to you based on the questions you miss.

The online dashboard will notify you of these weak areas and you can then go in and watch lecture videos as you please based on which area you performed poorly in.  Additionally, when you miss a practice question, you will be prompted with an excerpt from the respective reference text (i.e. lecture guide).  The thought being, you don’t need to read anything unless you show signs that you don’t already know it (i.e. missing a question).  The bottom line, Surgent can be a TIME SAVER.

You might be wondering why you’ve never heard of Surgent CPA Exam Review, and how successful can they really be at preparing you if you’ve never heard of them.  You’ve likely never heard of them because most institutions only push the big block brands.  My guess is that one of the big block brands already didn’t work for you and/or the cost of the big block brands is too much.  Don’t worry if a big block brand didn’t work for you!  It simply means that particular course didn’t match your learning needs.  Everybody is different, and that’s why companies like Surgent CPA Exam Review exist.  They offer a different learning environment that might just be the perfect fit for you.

As far as their track record, Surgent has an overall pass rate of 89.7%!  That’s extremely impressive, and shows that they are doing something right.  Also, students who complete the Surgent course with a trending score of 80% or higher have a 100% pass rate.

These are just some of the positives to this course, and i’ll list out more below in the actual review.

One of my primary concerns with this prep course is that the user experience (i.e. student course experience) is less than satisfying.  The design of the prep course looks like something from the late 1990’s, and with it’s lack of design quality throughout, you could find yourself disliking the overall aesthetic design.  With that said, the aesthetic design might not matter to you at all.  The good news for you is that you can see what i’m talking about below and you can test drive the course with a free trial if you so choose.

Overall, this course takes a much different approach to preparing you for the CPA exam.  If you are short on time and/or just don’t like watching long lectures or reading through standard textbooks, then their adaptive learning question bank approach might be just the ticket for you.  They are using 6,000 licensed CPA exam questions from the AICPA.  So, from a content perspective you are not getting short changed.

Alright, lets dive into the detailed review…

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Real quick and simple, are you somebody who is looking for a prep course that can analyze your weaknesses and strengths; adjust the content deliver based on those analysis results; and deliver content quickly?  Then, you might have just found your perfect match!  It’s a unique course and approach to CPA exam prep, but Surgent realizes your time is extremely valuable and they try to address that.

This course is potentially perfect for the person with an extremely busy job and/or personal life that is looking for an efficient quality prep course option.

If you’re looking to watch the entire set of lecture videos and you need a high energy instructor to keep your attention, then I would advise to look into other options.  Definitely try Surgent with their free trial and check it out for yourself, but if you know you need high energy instructors, then there are better options.

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Try the course out at no risk if you’re interested!


CUSTOM PREP!  That’s what Surgent is selling you on.  Their courses are designed to cut your study time down significantly, and provide you with a custom adaptive learning approach.  That means your analysis dashboards should be highly informative and clearly identify your weak areas.  Surgent has successfully done this.  Below you’ll notice a snapshot from their system, which evidences my results analysis for two of the major auditing sections.  Each one of these high level section dashboards clearly shows you how many total questions Surgent has for you in that section; the number of questions you’ve already attempted; and your percent correct total.  From this high level view you can easily see which sections you need help in, and you can easily click to watch the section lecture videos.

That’s not all thought!  They have much more detailed analysis reports, which we go into below this high level one.

Surgent Dashboard Analysis


Alright, so you’ve seen the high level reporting tool above.  The reporting tool you see below is essentially the same information, but with one additional KEY feature.  It shows you the average time spent on each question.  This is huge considering your CPA exam success is going to be driven by your ability to not only answer the questions correctly, but also by your ability to efficiently move through the exam.  Trust me when I say that you should pay VERY close attention to these performance statistics to help identify areas you need more practice in.  A 100% average score for a 125 question section is AWEFUL IF you had an average time of 7 minutes to complete each question.  This tool will help you analyze your speed!

Surgent CPA Practice Question Analysis


Additionally, you’re going to receive a detailed analysis of each one of your individual study question sessions.  This is BIG because it identifies a specific question description and corresponding category reference so that you can EASILY identify your problem areas.  Check it out…

Surgent CPA Exam Review Practice Question Analysis

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Below you will find an example of what a Surgent practice question will look like.  It’s very simple and straight forward.

Surgent CPA Review Practice Problem Example


Recall above that I mentioned within each individual question you will have an opportunity to read the lecture text if you so choose.  Below, you can see the question explanation, but also the link to the lecture text, which you’ll have in the practice problems.  This does make it very easy to read the relevant guidance.

Surgent CPA Exam Practice Problem Explanation

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Below you’ll notice a screenshot of the Surgent lecture video dashboard.  The video dashboard is slide based, and probably what you’re used to if you’ve taken an online class.  You can see below how the content is sectioned off into category time blocks, which makes it easy for you to navigate through the lecture.

Additionally, on the left of the screenshot you’ll notice a place for ‘notes’ and ‘bookmarks.’  This will come in handy for you as you progress through your prep.  The system auto logs where the video lecture was when you took the notes, and that makes it very easy for you to go back to the specific point in the lecture video.

You’ll notice a 1x speed below in the snapshot.  This is a really nice feature that allows you to speed up the lecture so you don’t have to spend as much time watching it.  Many people use this feature for online book reading, and it enables them to quickly move through content.  You should definitely take advantage of this.

With regards to the instructors themselves, they do bring a level of personality to the table, but at times it can seem like they are just reading from their notes as opposed to really getting into the lecture.  I will say that this is being pretty critical of me, and I do think that the instructors did a great job.  Keep in mind that this course isn’t like all the others.  It’s not designed for you to sit and watch all the lecture videos.  It’s designed so you only have to watch videos that pertain to areas of weakness identified by the Surgent learning management system.

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Surgent CPA Review Video Lecture


If you need to access a lecture guide (i.e. reference text), you will have that option within your dashboard.  Below is an excerpt from the auditing reference text.  You can take a quick read through this example and see the level of detail attained.  This is definitely nice that they packaged together this reference text within the prep course.

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Surgent CPA Exam Lecture Guide


Another nice feature they have in the prep course is a section glossary at your disposal.  It’s always beneficial to have something like this as you move through a CPA exam prep course.  It will make your life easier as you go to do your final reviews.

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Surgent CPA Review Glossary


The simulations get the job done.  Period.  The tool isn’t going to look exactly like what you’re going to see on the official CPA exam or other high end CPA exam prep courses, but that’s ok.  You don’t need it to.  Would it be nice if it did?  Absolutely, but that costs major development dollars, and this is an affordable CPA exam prep course that’s trying to keep your cost down.  With that said, you’re going to give up some design features, but you shouldn’t lose sleep over it.

Surgent’s job is to get you familiar with simulations so it’s not something completely foreign to you when you get to the official exam, and they do get that job done.  Check out your simulation view below…

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Surgent CPA Exam Review Simulations


DESIGNED TO SAVE YOU TIME  – Surgent CPA exam review has two primary goals: 1) save you time when it comes to studying and 2) prepare you to pass the CPA exam.  They are succeeding at both, and I personally think Surgent CPA is a good option for people looking to save money and get through their CPA prep quickly.

PASS RATE – 89.7% overall pass rate!  Enough said!

ADAPTIVE LEARNING – Having a prep course that can identify your weak areas and adjust the content it delivers to you is huge!  It saves you time!!!

Pass Guarantee – As long as you meet all the criteria, they do have a pass guarantee.  For many, this allows them to sleep easy at night.

Price – This course is very affordable at just under $1,600, and they do offer payment plans.

Course Aesthetic Design – Simply put, i’m not a fan of the overall design elements of this course.  I think the company could do a MUCH better job at making this course look like a modern prep course.