Student Case Studies
We interviewed students to see how our revolutionary CPA QBank is helping them master difficult accounting concepts through active learning. The result? Success on the CPA Exam and beyond in their careers.
Student Case Studies
Clifton Larson Allen
Nishil is big sports fan, loves outdoor activities such as hiking, and is also a car aficionado. After graduating with a B.B.A. in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton, he joined Clifton Larson Allen as an Audit Associate. Nishil’s goal of becoming a CPA stems from his passion for analyzing and solving financial problems.Study Experience
His study methodology involved using our signature SmartPath Predictive Technology™ to strengthen his weak areas, and practicing Multiple-Choice Questions as a form of review. SmartPath provides targeted recommendations on where to focus study efforts by comparing students’ progress and performance data to those who have passed the CPA Exam.Learning Outcomes
Nishil passed all 4 sections of the CPA Exam within 18 months. He credits his passing scores to UWorld’s revolutionary QBank. “The questions really emulate the actual exam. The answer explanations get straight to the point.”
All 4 Exam Parts
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Quality and Accuracy
Read on for Nishil's Tips to Pass the CPA Exam
Nishil's Tips to Passing the CPA Exam with UWorld Roger CPA ReviewWhy Nishil chose UWorld Roger CPA Review
Although Nishil's firm offered a couple review course options, including UWorld, Nishil decided to study with UWorld because many of his colleagues had recommended it. According to Nishil, "It's not just cut and dry lectures; it's not just plain multiple-choice questions (MCQs). The whole interface is really well set up. It engages you more just because there's a variety of explanations. It gives you different options of how to learn."How our revolutionary QBank helped Nishil
Nishil began studying for the CPA Exam in May 2019 and passed all 4 sections by February 2021. Using SmartPath to pinpoint his weak areas and then strengthening them by focusing on MCQs, Nishil attributes his success on the CPA Exam to the quality of UWorld Roger CPA Review's question and answer explanations.
Quality of Questions
Nishil believes that the "quality and accuracy of the practice questions compared to the actual test" played a key role in his success. "The thing I like about UWorld is that the questions were pretty dead-on of what the real exam was like. They weren't extremely difficult, and they weren't too easy." On test day, Nishil emphasizes, "I even had some questions that were almost exactly the same, but obviously just with different numbers."
I don't know how they do it -- the level of research that they put into the questions. I don't know how these questions are formed, or how they're made so accurate, but it really emulates the actual exam.
Quality of Answer Explanations
For Nishil, it wasn't just the quality of the questions themselves that attributed to his passing scores, but also the quality of the accompanying answer explanations.
"What really helped were the illustrations. I'm a visual learner, so seeing it put in a format where it's laid out very simply is useful. Sometimes I would copy the illustrations and put them in my flashcards just so I could keep looking at it for questions that I didn't know." Because the illustrations helped Nishil retain and recall information, he emphasizes, "They were probably the most useful part -- especially when you're going through hundreds of MCQs at a time."
Additionally, whenever Nishil needed further clarification on a question he didn't understand, he would read the in-depth explanations provided beneath the illustrations.
"I would read the whole explanation and then skim through. And the bolded words, I would read and use because it's essentially showing what's in the image. One thing with these explanations: it goes straight to the point. It's not giving you a bunch of information you don't need. It was very practical toward what's important and not important. It's not over-complicated and it's not too simple. For people who are working and taking the test, time is really valuable. You're not going to spend 10 minutes trying to figure something out that you don't need to."
Everything is right there in the explanation. I never needed to go back to the lectures; I never needed to go back to the textbook to look at anything. If I needed to, that was also linked right there.
Another area Nishil utilized to quickly measure comprehension was the "Things to Remember" section -- the last area in the answer explanation that provides a quick summarization of the most important information students should retain about the topic at hand. "For any question that I got right or wrong, I would read that, just to see what the question was about or what I'm supposed to take away. I think that was really, really helpful."
Overall, Nishil also appreciated how the formatting of the answer explanations empowered him to learn in different ways. "The variety helps. I think that itself is really useful to give people the option of which explanation do I want to use. Do I want to read through this? Do I want to look at the illustration? Do I just want a brief summary of the question? I think in that way, you can choose what to do -- which way you want to learn it."Measuring Positive Learning Outcomes
As a result of UWorld Roger CPA Review's revolutionary QBank, Nishil not only passed the CPA Exam simply by focusing on MCQs, but also saved valuable time and energy as a full-time candidate and working professional.
It was 100% UWorld MCQs...that's how I ended up passing. It's just so accurate. It's not over-complicated and it's not too simple. When we're studying, our time is the most valuable thing. We don't want to spend so much time doing MCQs that are not relevant.
"I felt confident going through and scoring well. I was actually understanding the questions and explanations and scoring in the 80s. Not once did I need to go back into the book. So in that way, practice questions reduced my study time. I think that itself shows, hey, if you're doing well on the practice questions, then you're going to do well on the actual exam." Which proved to be the case.Conclusion
Nishil points out that no other review courses match UWorld Roger CPA Review's content quality. "The course itself...it's out of the box. To give you perspective, I used NINJA MCQs and Wiley questions. With them, there's nothing like this. The explanations would just be words: A is right because of this, and B, C, D is wrong. There's no illustration; no takeaways; no summary at the end. It doesn't really make it useful."
"I've been with UWorld Roger CPA Review for a while now, and I think it's just amazing. The content, the lectures, everything that has been put together...thank you for everything. It's been a great journey, honestly. I owe it all to this course."
Marathon runner, breakfast enthusiast, newlywed, and dog mom to a mini Australian labradoodle, Ally and her husband reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ally received her B.A. in Accounting & Finance from Loyola University Chicago, where she also recently obtained her M.B.A. in Accounting. She currently works at Plante Moran as an Assurance Staff on the Audit side, where she enjoys learning about business operations.Study Experience
Ally studied for the CPA Exam while simultaneously finishing her Master’s degree. She studied 1-3 hours each day for 6 days a week, aligned her coursework with her CPA Exam studies, and relied heavily on our signature SmartPath Predictive Technology™ tool.Learning Outcomes
Ally passed all 4 CPA Exam sections on the first try in just 11 months. She credits her passing scores to Smartpath and the structure and content of our program. “It’s very organized and easy to follow. Once I got to the actual exam, I thought the questions were extremely accurate.”
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Find out how Ally found success on the CPA Exam
How Ally Found Success with UWorld Roger CPA ReviewWhy Ally chose UWorld Roger CPA Review
After seeing a UWorld Roger CPA Review representative do a presentation about the CPA Exam on her college campus, Ally was immediately drawn to the program. "He stated the case that UWorld took a different approach from the other competitors. So I took his word for it because I thought he was also very engaging. I associated him with the program in general." The stars aligned when Ally found out that her firm also offered UWorld as an option, which she gladly chose. It gives you different options of how to learn."How our revolutionary QBank helped Ally
Ally began studying for the CPA Exam in January 2020 and passed all 4 sections on her first try by November 2020 -- around the same time she graduated with her Master’s of Business Administration in Accounting. Ally attributes her success of passing the CPA Exam while simultaneously being in school to the program’s interface and content.
Quality of Questions
Ally used SmartPath to gauge her readiness for exam day, focusing on Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) until she met all the recommended targets for every section.
Once I got to the actual exam, the questions were pretty much verbatim; basically word for word, just with the numbers changed. They were extremely accurate.
"And that kind of helped my confidence going into the next ones; that the questions were going to be pretty much the exact same as the practice; that the quality you’re getting is going to correlate to the actual exam. I knew what to expect from start to finish."
Because Ally’s main form of comprehension and review stemmed from practicing on MCQs, she believes that the quantity and quality of questions played a significant role in her success, and commends UWorld for having both.
"Quantity is important. It’s helpful if you get one question wrong that you have a new question on that same concept to try again. The amount that UWorld has is plenty. I wasn’t running out of questions by any means." On the other hand, Ally points out that the question also has to be cohesive in content and structure. "If there’s quality there in the question, you will be able to understand it the first time, without having to do five more on the same topic. That’s what makes studying more efficient."
Quality of Answer Explanations
Another confidence builder for Ally was the structure and content of the program’s answer explanations, which is formatted so that students can engage in a way that meets their learning needs with illustrations, bolding, and key takeaways. "First of all, I like how it gives you the answer immediately after each question. You don't have to wait until the end of the practice test to get the answer one by one."
I also never ran into an issue where I was left confused after I read the answer. You feel like the answers you’re getting are coming from an expert; someone who knows the exam very well. They’re extremely detailed, so you can either scan it and get the gist of it, or you can go into super detail if you’re really confused about something.
Ally also appreciated the different formats the explanations came in, which empowered her to choose the best way to learn and retain information. "I’m not much of a full reader; I’m more of a scanner in general. If it was something that's based more on memorization, I would probably just scan the bold words for a quick answer. But if it was something more complicated, I would go to the different answer choices because I would want to know why my selected answer choice wasn’t right."
Program Structure & Interface
Lastly, another area that Ally found helpful during her studies was the program’s overall organization and ease of use.
"It’s very organized and easy to follow. I think most accountants who are going the CPA route are usually organized and methodical. So I think this is very well-suited to show that these are the chapters; these are the modules in the chapters; these are the questions that go with them. It takes the work out of it, essentially. I felt very confident that if I went through the modules one by one and completed it, that I was going to be able to succeed on the exam." Which she did!
Ally also appreciated how the program’s interface mimicked the actual exam. "It takes away the unknown element. It looks exactly the same. That’s one thing I always noticed -- was how similar it looked and felt to the real thing. Which made a difference for me."
Active LearningMeasuring Positive Learning Outcomes
As a result of SmartPath and the program’s overall structure and quality content, Ally was able to pass all 4 sections on her first try.
My scores were all pretty close together in general. I think SmartPath is pretty accurate. If you hit all the recommended targets, you’re most likely going to pass because you covered at least 90% of the questions.
Ally comments that another important element that aided in comprehension was the lectures. "The instructor is very engaging; not super dry like I've heard others can be. So I think that was a big factor because obviously you're spending a lot of time just listening to videos, or at least I spent a lot of time doing that. So that made a big difference for me; that I was able to pay attention to his lectures."Conclusion
Ally began studying for the CPA Exam in January 2020 and passed her last section in November 2020 -- all while completing her Master’s program. Ally reassures CPA Exam candidates that passing the CPA Exam while being in school full-time is accomplishable with the right mindset and strategy.
Her top tip for candidates who are in a similar position is to take advantage of the situation. "I’m not going to say it wasn’t hard, but it’s worth it just because when you’re already in school, you’re used to studying. And you’re kind of in a rhythm. So I just added CPA Review as an extra class in my mind. I tried to match up my classes with the CPA Exam sections that I was studying."