Pass The CPA Exam For < $2,000

By Bryan Kesler on 8/19/2013

Pass The CPA Exam For < $2,000

Is it possible to pass the CPA exam for <$2000? When you have to purchase a CPA Review Course and pay for CPA exam fees plus the hundreds of hours of your time to study for the CPA exam, it can easily cost you > $5,000. If you are in a situation where you can't afford to buy a several thousand dollar review course, I have laid out 3 different options that you currently have.

So how does a frugal CPA candidate who doesn't have the necessary funds to buy Becker and pay for the CPA exam fees pass?? Find out how here!

What State To Sit For The CPA Exam?

Some states are cheaper than others when charging CPA exam fees. The average total cost among all 50 states is currently $888.86. The range of total exam fees is as follows:

Most expensive state: Wisconsin at $990.20
Least expensive state: Rhode Island at $743.20

You can always transfer your CPA exam credits to the state that you will be working. If you currently live in one of the more expensive states check out the list of states that do not require you to be a resident and see if you qualify to sit for the exam in that state. I sat for the exam in Illinois but was taking the exam in Missouri. After I passed I was able to transfer my CPA exam credits to Missouri when I applied to become a licensed CPA. As always check with your State board to see if you can sit for the exam in a different state but still sit in your home town. Keep in mind that it is a hassle to transfer your credits so it might not be worth saving a few bucks just to take the exam in a cheaper state.

State Requirements CPA Exam Fee State Requirements CPA Exam Fee State Requirements CPA Exam Fee
Alabama $900.00 Kentucky $934.50 Ohio $883.20
Alaska $893.20 Louisiana $873.20 Oklahoma $834.50
Arizona $843.20 Maine $888.20 Oregon $843.20
Arkansas $863.20 Maryland $955.00 Pennsylvania $838.20
California $843.20 Massachusetts $938.20 Puerto Rico $953.20
Colorado $893.20 Michigan $890.20 Rhode Island $743.20
Connecticut $878.20 Minnesota $918.20 South Carolina $878.20
Delware $888.20 Mississippi $893.20 South Dakota $983.20
Washington D.C. $959.50 Missouri $875.20 Tennessee $898.20
Florida $793.20 Montana $938.20 Texas $793.20
Georgia $868.20 Nebraska $903.20 Utah $888.20
Guam $768.20 Nevada $843.20 Vermont $963.20
Hawaii $843.20 New Hampshire $963.20 Virgin Islands $943.23
Idaho $843.20 New Jersey $968.20 Virginia $863.20
Illinois $863.20 New Mexico $898.20 Washington $898.20
Indiana $893.20 New York $869.20 West Virginia $954.50
Iowa $888.20 North Carolina $973.20 Wisconsin $990.20
Kansas $888.20 North Dakota $863.20 Wyoming $853.20

What Review Courses Are Effective But Affordable?

I would not be a CPA today without the comprehensive review course made by Dr. Gleim. Gleim is available to viewers of The CPA Guide for $890.95. Gleim CPA Review Course has been a proven system for the past 30 years to more than prepare students to pass the CPA exam.

You can watch a video review of what Gleim has to offer here and read the full review

Fast Forward Academies review course is fairly new to the CPA market. They are prepared to offer the most affordable Full Review Course while providing a very effective review course with one of the most interactive study planners and study communities currently available.

Viewers of The CPA Guide can also use the coupon code THECPAGUIDE to receive an additional 15% off to bring your total price to a mere $732. If you want to find out more about Fast Forward Academy you can watch my video review here to find out what FFA has to offer and read the full review here

If you want a big name review course but don't want to pay more than $1,000 then I highly recommend the Wiley CPAexcel self study course. The self-study course lacks the lectures and other resources that the more expensive version has to offer but you still receive the excellent multiple choice sections, electronic note cards, and study materials.

If you consider yourself extremely motivated and able to teach yourself than you should have no problem using the self-study course to pass the exam. Feel free to watch this review of CPAexcel to get a good idea of what to expect when you purchase CPAexcel and read the full review here.

Best Combinations that = <$2,000

So now that you have an idea what each course has to offer it is time to review what purchase options you have to keep your CPA exam fees to a minimum. Below I have listed the 3 top options currently available for CPA exam candidates that will give you the best chance at passing the CPA exam. You can purchase any of these items from the links below:

Option 1

Average CPA Exam Fees $888.50
Full Gleim CPA System (With 10% CPA Guide Discount) $890.95
Total $1,779.45

Option 2

Average CPA Exam Fees $888.50
Fast Forward Academy CPA System (Use THECPAGUIDE coupon code at checkout) $722.08
Gleim Section Question Banks (BEC, REG, FAR, & AUD) $339.80
Total $2,093.15

Option 3

Average CPA Exam Fees $888.50
CPAexcel CPA Review Self Study (With 20% Student Discount) $732.00
Gleim Books and Test Prep $339.80
Total $1,960.30

Final Thoughts

Passing the CPA exam should really be seen as an investment in yourself for the future of your career. However, if times are very tough it is possible to pass the exam for less that $2,000.

  • I highly recommend Gleim as your go to review course. I give full credit to Dr. Gleim for helping me pass the CPA exam and am confident based on the video review of the 2013 Gleim Review Course that they have continued to innovate their program for the benefit of all CPA candidates.

  • Fast Forward Academy also has a very attractive CPA review system which has been catching on at various universities around the US so I also recommend them as a viable option for being your sole CPA Review course.

  • CPAexcel CPA Review is one of the biggest names in the CPA review course market and the fact that they have a self-study for less than $750 is certainly a viable option for people who are very self motivated. If you can couple CPAexcel and the Gleim Books and Test Prep then I am confident you will be well on your way to passing the CPA exam.

I wish you the best in your decision and I hope that you can empower your career by obtaining your CPA license! Please let me know if you have any questions regarding review course tips. Email me at

If you or someone you know is just starting out trying to get a job in Public Accounting, then I highly recommend you start with the following articles. I have written all of these from personal experience in an effort to help you get your first job!

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