CPA review course helps students pass tough exam


With the job market in such a poor state, students are tasked with finding that extra something to help them get ahead. For those accounting majors soon entering the real world, NIU just might have the edge they need.

NIU’s Intensive Certified Public Accountancy Review Course is designed for individuals who have already taken the CPA exam but are disappointed with their results. The course is being held at the Inland Meeting Center, 400 East Ogden Ave., Westmont.

Despite the fact that sessions began on Saturday, interested students have until Feb. 20 to enroll. Classes will then be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. nearly every Saturday and from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The CPA exam is becoming an increasingly important event in the lives of accountants. More and more employers are placing emphasis on hiring accountants who have taken the CPA exam and have succeeded. Passing the three-day exam, however, is more easily said than done.

Debra Hopkins, NIU faculty member and director of the review course, acknowledges the difficulty of the marathon exam. The course works to relieve the strain of the exam through a variety of methods.

“We emphasize live instruction rather than concentrating on the use of video tapes or cassettes. In the process, we cover all of the problems students may face on the exam, essentially taking some of the mystery out of the test,” Hopkins said.

Although the review sessions officially end April 24, the support from the review staff continues throughout the exam, which is slated for May 5 through May 7. In fact, staffers travel to the test site to lend support to their students, even giving pep talks at the end of each day.

The full price of the review session is $775, which includes supplementary tapes and software. While the price might seem expensive, the course, going on its 21st year, produces more than its share of successes.

“Twice a year, 70,000 people take the CPA exam,” Hopkins said. “That is 140,000 people total, and of that number only 20 percent pass the exam on the first attempt.

“NIU students, however, generally show a pass rate upwards of 60 percent. NIU accounting programs are among the best in the nation when it comes to preparing students for the CPA exam,” she said.

NIU also offers review programs for those who have yet to take the CPA exam. To register for the Westmont review sessions call (800) 345-9472. For questions regarding any of the offered review sessions contact Hopkins at 753-6207.