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Roger CPA Review
Our comprehensive and detailed review of the Roger CPA Review course
Known for its energetic and passionate founder Roger Philipp’s superb video lectures, Roger CPA Review has been helping students pass the CPA exam for close to 20 years. And now backed by near unlimited resources following its recent acquisition by test prep giant UWorld, Roger CPA has been growing like wildfire. But does this partnership of a test prep David and Goliath result in a CPA review course that is right for you? We discuss all of the pros and cons of the newly updated Roger CPA Review course in this in-depth guide.
Keeping things simple, Roger CPA offers just two comprehensive prep options— its Premier Course and Elite Course. The Premier Course is the starter level option and contains the basics for what you will need to pass the CPA Exam. This includes video lectures, eBooks, full access to all Roger CPA practice problems and simulations, and performance trackers. This package typically runs for around $1,900 full retail. Though not as cheap as other providers’ basic courses, such as Yaeger CPA Review and Wiley CPAexcel, we often see it on sale for less.
At the next level up, Roger CPA’s Elite Course ups the ante. In addition to all materials and access contained in the Premier Course, the Elite Course additionally provides students with:
Last-minute “cram course” for each of the 4 sections
Hard copy textbooks
Coaching with a Roger CPA exam expert
These bonus resources come at a cost though, as this course option carries a price tag of nearly $3,000. That said, this prep package can often be found on sale for less, similar to its more affordable counterpart.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.
Evaluation of Lessons and Coursework
For years, Roger CPA Review has been known for its lively video lectures, and that remains the case even after their merger with UWorld. Every video lesson is led by enthusiastic founder Roger Philipp, who delivers some top-notch lessons. To say these lessons are engaging would be an understatement – once watching, you can’t seem to look away.
The video lessons take the format of Roger before a whiteboard, delivering his lesson and frequently bouncing back-and-forth between the camera and the board to draw up notes. Along the right side of the screen appears the corresponding written section of the eBook that aligns with the lesson, so you can follow along. And in the bottom left corner is typically the list of video segments, so you can see where you are at in the subject at large. It is a very clean and easy to follow layout, and you can actually reverse the layout as needed if you would like the text bigger than the video.
For those have not seen him on camera before, Roger has crazy energy levels. He is constantly on the move, jotting down quick notes, drawing pictures and graphs, and gesticulating wildly. I know he drinks Mountain Dew on camera, but I don’t know how he keeps it up. But Roger’s abilities go well beyond just energy and entertainment, as he has a deep and thorough understanding of all things CPA exam.
He does a masterful job explaining difficult concepts in simple, easy-to-understand terms. He manages this mostly through funny anecdotes, analogies, mnemonics and other memory assistive techniques. Rather than trying to have you just memorize material, the idea behind the Roger CPA madness is to have you learn the material, associate it with some memory aid that improves recall, and store it away. It is a very smart means of building comprehension and retention.
I personally love these video lessons and think are about the best in the CPA review course space. They are ultra-engaging and your attention never fades. And the lessons deliver all the hard content you need in very digestible chunks. It all makes for an incredibly entertaining and effective learning experience.
Beyond the video lectures, Roger CPA Review delivers some top flight practice material. They don’t offer the most in the industry (see Gleim CPA for that), but the quality is impeccable. Their 6,000+ multiple-choice questions very closely resemble the actual CPA exam questions you will see on game day. And the 200 or so simulations they offer are just as good. But more importantly than the questions and simulations themselves are the explanations that accompany them.
The multiple-choice questions each come with a very thorough text explanation, breaking down the problem and running through why each answer choice is correct or incorrect. In addition, the answers that accompany the simulations are just as helpful. Each answer explanation is very detailed and often contains graphics, charts and other helpful visual aids to make the material easier to understand.
This is where the real learning comes in, and I would recommend running all practice tests in “tutor mode” so you can see the explanations after each question. At least initially, this is where you’ll get a lot of lift.
Perhaps not as important as the quality of the questions and the accompanying text explanations, I also really liked the manner in which the practice was delivered. You can create custom practice tests in Roger’s online platform, filtering questions by type (MC vs simulation), mode (tutor vs timed), and number of questions, among other others. This allows you to narrow your focus on where you really need improvement and hammer those questions types.
In addition, you can track your performance the whole way with Roger’s “SmartPath” technology and performance trackers. The “SmartPath Predictive Technology” is Roger CPA’s innovative tool for seeing how your current knowledge and skills stack up against candidates who have successfully passed the CPA exam. Essentially it compares your data against other successful student’s data at a given point in your studies and provides you an estimate of your percentage chance of passing. If you can work your SmartPath score up to a predetermined threshold, then you have a 91% chance of passing, according to Roger.
I found this resource to be exceptionally cool. There is something very satisfying about watching your SmartPath score grow as you work through lessons and practice material. It really gives you something tangible to help you measure your success so you’d don’t feel like you’re spinning your wheels.
Roger CPA also kicks in some nice, but more generic, performance trackers. These graphs and charts track your basic data and put them into a visual form for you. You can see the percentage of questions you got right and wrong thus far in your studies, and your timing. It is helpful data, but you don’t likely use it too much outside of seeing where your weaknesses lie.
All things considered, the Roger CPA Review course really impresses and I struggled to find much to complain about apart from the eBooks (more on that below). The video lectures are just about best-in-class and the practice materials are first-rate, each delivered with helpful explanations and analysis. In short, the curriculum and coursework at Roger CPA is some of the best.
Roger CPA Review Prep Books
Each of the two Roger CPA Review course options come with a set of eBooks, and the Elite Course actually includes printed versions. So if you are a kinesthetic person that likes to touch and feel your textbook, you may want to considering springing for the Elite Course. That said, if there is one aspect of the Roger CPA Review course that falls a little flat, it is the books in my opinion.
While they are generally well-written and nicely organized, they lack the detail that other review courses’ books have. I even border on calling them thin. Whereas Surgent CPA Review basically drops a bible of CPA exam content in your lap with its content-soaked books, the Roger CPA books just don’t stack up in terms of depth.
This is not to say the Roger CPA books are bad – I actually think they are OK in their own right. They are just this course’s weak spot when compared against others. So if you’re the type of learner that does best with quiet time and a heavy reading assignment from a prep book, this may affect how you look at Roger CPA.
Interface and User Experience
With the onslaught of online-only prep courses and digital test prep materials, it is crucial that any review company worth their salt has a solid digital platform. And fortunately for Roger CPA, they do. Previously a bit of a clunker before the UWorld merger, their digital platform is now sharp and very professional.
Starting with the dashboard, Roger’s homepage has a very clean and appealing appearance. When you first log in you are taken directly to the QBank, which sits atop the various resource tabs along the left-hand side of the screen. All of your major study tools, including video lectures, performance trackers, flashcards, and more, are easily found in dropdowns under 4 main tabs.
The layout is very easy to understand and navigate. So much so that I’m fairly sure my 5-year-old second cousin could do it. This intuitive buildout pays dividends when you need to quickly jump from one resource to another.
And perhaps my favorite feature of the user experience is the connection between practice problem type and relevant lesson. If you miss a practice problem, in the explanation they provide a direct link to the relevant video lecture on point. Click it and you are taken right to the video segment covering that topic. It is extremely helpful if you’re looking for a quick way to brush up.
Additional Resources with Roger CPA Review
Unlike some other barebones courses that just give you a no-frills package of CPA exam review content, Roger provides a handful of very handy additional resources. These include:
Access to Roger CPA exam advisors
Customizable digital flashcards
Altogether, these “extras” provide a very nice complement to the core course components. I will note that some of these features are only available to Elite Course students, but as the Elite Course is Roger’s most popular prep package, they are worth listing here.
My personal favorite of the bunch are the cram courses. These condensed review sessions focus on the most heavily weighted topics on the CPA exam and provide a quick hit lesson on each. Essentially, these short sessions are intended to grab as much of the low hanging fruit as possible.
There are topics that historically appear on nearly every version of the exam, so it worth covering these particular areas with extra emphasis for some easy point grabs. I found these courses to be intense, but immediately helpful when you have limited time left and need to maximize your cramming.
Roger CPA Review Tutoring
Although they do not provide direct 1-on-1 private tutoring packages like other review courses such as Becker, Roger CPA Review does provide their Elite Course students with coaching from their exam experts. These mentoring sessions are intended to help students that are stuck on a particular issue or want some assistance game planning their study strategy.
In my opinion, these mentoring sessions with Roger CPA’s team are extremely valuable. I found these sessions were best used for more general exam help, and not specific content review. I utilized my session to discuss test taking tips and study plan strategies for getting the most out of cramming the last couple days before the exam. Whatever you use your session for, just try to go in with an agenda to make the most of your time.
Content Access Period
Interestingly, Roger CPA provides differing content access periods depending on which package you purchase. If you go with the Premier package, you will receive access rights for 18 months. And if you go with the Elite Course, you will get unlimited access to their online materials until you pass the exam.
Given the nature of the CPA exam and candidates’ work schedules, content access periods can often be an important feature in determining which CPA review course is best for your needs. Some individuals knock out the CPA exam in 3 or so months between school and work, and others take years to finish it as they handle sections one at a time around a busy work schedule.
So whether the 18-month access period will work for you, will totally depend on your situation. Though it should be noted that you can always extend your package access and add on an extra month or two of studying for a fee.
Roger CPA’s Mobile App
To maximize content access and flexibility for its students, Roger CPA has rolled out a very useful mobile app. Available for both iOS and Android devices, this app provides full access to all of your course materials.
Some test prep companies’ apps only offer flashcards or a couple hundred practice problems. Roger CPA, however, goes above and beyond by allowing access to all the same study materials you get thorough desktop. This is immensely helpful if you’re an on-the-go type person.
I am a huge fan of this app. The full content access is obviously the best perk, but it is also a very functional and well-designed app as well. It is intuitive and the layout of the various resources on screen (lectures, practice, flashcards, etc.) is very easy on the eyes.
Additionally, the load speeds and response times are uber quick, so you’re not sitting there watching the pinwheel spin waiting for you next practice problem. This is a very nice little app in my opinion and a great complement to the core course.
Money Back Guarantee
Following the rollout of its SmartPath technology, Roger is so confident in its ability to predict your readiness that they guarantee you will pass if you hit certain thresholds on the performance tracker. It is really that simple. Hit your minimum SmartPath targets, take the test, and if you fail, you get your tuition back. There are a few other minor limitations, so check the fine print, but overall it’s a very comforting insurance policy.
Verdict: Roger CPA Review Course
Roger CPA Review provides an all-round solid prep package that should work effectively for most students. The highlight of this course is the series of video lectures led by Roger CPA’s energetic and passionate founder, Roger Philipp. He bounces around on screen jotting notes on a whiteboard, enthusiastically breaking down difficult subjects with mnemonics and anecdotes, and delivering an all-around engaging learning experience. And these entertaining video lessons are supplemented with some well-written practice questions, adding a nice “learn by doing” practice element to the course.
If there is one weakness with this course, it is the prep books in our opinion. They are a little on the thin side and lack detail that you get with other courses’ textbooks. But books aside, the rest of the study resources are rock solid. Priced very fairly, Roger CPA Review delivers a well-rounded and comprehensive course that visual learners will particularly like.
How much does Roger CPA Review cost?
The Roger CPA Review comprehensive courses range in price from around $1,900 to nearly $3,000, with the upper tier Elite Course being the most popular with its additional study resources.
What is the highlight of the Roger CPA Review course?
By far, the biggest selling point of the Roger CPA course is the set of video lectures led by founder Roger Philipp. These video lessons are not only entertaining and engaging, but also extremely informative.
Is Roger CPA Review worth it?
In our teams’ opinion, Roger CPA Review is well worth the money. This is a very solid all-around prep course that is fairly priced and provides all the necessary material to get you ready to pass the CPA exam.