Kaplan Review

Kaplan Review is huge in standardized test market, and one of the CFA study guide top sellers through the Schweser brand. How about Kaplan CPA Review?

In fact, no one really talks about Kaplan CPA — Do they cover CPA exam at all? Are they good? Let’s take a look.

I have to profess that I don’t have first-hand experience in Kaplan CPA. I do get a review from a kind “industry insider” who told me that Kaplan has been pretty fickle about its CPA review program — for the last 20 years the company has launched big and then withdrawn from their CPA review program at least 5 times…

Anyway, just to be fair to Kaplan I have done a review on their products based on the demo provided, as well as the feedback from 30+ users that I have contact with via my mini course.

So, why Kaplan in the first place?

Kaplan CPA Review Course Description

Kaplan Live Online Review Courses

  • Weekly real-time online classes, with interaction with instructor in the virtual classroom
  • Classes are recorded and are available for 24/7 review
  • 24 months access to online tools

Self-Study Online Review Courses

  • Online courses from the most recent recording
  • One-on-one instructor access: they promise an answer by an instructor within 24 hours
  • Self-paced study anytime, anywhere, and on your own schedule

Demo of Videos

Here is a demo on FAR. There are demos on other parts of the exam in YouTube:

Kaplan CPA Pros and Cons

So let’s take a look into why you should (or shouldn’t) pick Kaplan:


1. Innovative Services.

They have an interesting service called “Instructor-led Office Hours“, essentially a CPA is available online and real-time to guide you and answer questions.

2. Selected Good Products.

Audio CD and (arguably) flashcards are good. If they fit your style of learning, go for it.


1. Book Is An Encyclopedia.

Taking BEC as an example, the book has 25 chapters vs Becker’s 5 chapters. It has like 800 pages vs Wiley’s 400 pages. If it is even more comprehensive than Wiley, Kaplan goes way overboard. I heard people say Wiley reads like a dictionary. If so, Kaplan would be an encyclopedia.

2. Video instruction is So-so.

This is specially the case if there are much better alternatives out there. Do check out the demos yourself.

I was told that online instructor to answer questions from students are often not reachable or you have to wait for a few days to get back the answers.

3. Minimal Readers’ Feedback.

After running this popular site for almost 4 years, I have collected hundreds if not thousands of readers’ comment on various CPA review courses, and I have been relying their first-hand experience in my evaluation.

I have to say that Kaplan is rarely used by my readers, and even if I identify one, they don’t seem to be enthusiastic telling me about it.

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