The ExamMatrix CPA review course was originally developed by the MicroMash CPA review company in the early 1980s. It was the first real computerized CPA exam study guide. Needless to say, it was ahead of its time. ExamMatrix purchase the study guide from MicroMash in 2003 and has future developed the platform into a more modern review system.
The Exam Matrix team has parted ways with the traditional CPA courses in that they don’t offer a study guide that has a start and end lesson or lecture. You don’t go through the course chapter by chapter. Instead they interpret what you know and what you don’t know in an effort to focus on the topics that you are weakest at. They called this adaptive learning because the system learns what you know and what you don’t and adapts the course accordingly.
Let’s take a look at the course in more detail and see if it’s right for you.
The course consists of four many phases or steps. The first step is setting your exam date and schedule. In order to properly help you study, the system has to know the timeline and due date you need to be ready to take the exam.
After you date is set, you move onto the assessment phase. This is where you complete up to 90 multiple-choice problems without really doing any review before hand. You will most likely get a lot of wrong answers on your first 90 questions and that is okay because the course is trying to assess what you know and what you don’t.
After you have taken enough multiple-choice questions for the study guide to understand you strengthens and weaknesses, it will customize a course to focus on the areas you need help with and leave out the areas that you don’t. This is considered the adaptive learning phase because it adapts the course around your current knowledge.
Once the exam matrix understands what you know, it will begin testing you in the review phase.
Although the inside of the online materials doesn’t look very modern, it has all of the features of a modern review course. The main dashboard has options to go through the study guide in either adaptive mode or customized study mode. The adaptive mode guides you though topics you need more help with; where as, the custom mode is more of a free for all.
The course textbook can be purchased in a physical copy, but it is usually offered as a PDF ebook inside the dashboard. The book is pretty basic and reads more like an outline to a powerpoint presentation than a traditional textbook. It’s not really for comprehension purposes, but the bullet pointed lists are nice for memorizing important topics.
The study session area allows you to make custom quizzes with both multiple choice questions and simulations based on either topics you struggle with or topics you have hand picked to review. Their test bank has over 5,700 questions and is great for preparing for the exam because it shows you an in depth analysis of your grades, right answers, wrong answers, and explanations after you finish a quiz.
The ExamMatrix CPA review course pass guarantee offers a full refund if you don’t pass the exam using their study guide. This is a pretty big plus because you can’t really go wrong with a full refund if it doesn’t work. Keep in mind that you do have to meet a number of requirements in order for the guarantee to be met. You might want to look into the fine print before you get too excited about anything, however.
Included in the standard CPA exam prep course is a last minute cram course. This is pretty helpful for anyone who needs a final week review before they take the exam.
For Motivated People
This doesn’t really sound like a con, but it is. The audio and video lectures and adaptive learning style of this course really don’t work for people who don’t really feel like studying because it’s based on the candidate wanting to learn more of the unknown instead of simply going through a course lesson by lesson.
Almost Modern but not quite
They have done a really good job with the software and the user interface, but it could use a facelift. Not to say the course doesn’t work, because it does. It just looks like it’s from the early 2000s. It also doesn’t have many of the features more modern review guides have like flash cards, mobile apps, and note/bookmark systems.
I think the Exam Matrix CPA prep course is one of the best review courses as far as its ability to adapt to anyone’s current knowledge set. It can create a complete custom course for anyone who buys it. Although this style is not for everyone.
If you prefer a more traditional lesson based schedule or are not quite a “self-starter”, I think you would be better off with a different prep course.
On the other hand, this entire system is extremely affordable and has everything you need in it to pass the CPA exam. The study questions, simulations, and test bank are phenomenal. They also do a great job at recognizing your strengthens and focusing on your weaknesses.
I have also heard a lot of people having success using this as a supplemental guide because it’s so affordable. You can even get a ExamMatrix discount here. Either way, check it out for yourself and see if it is right for you.