CMA exam preparation is already a dense subject— you don’t need to waste your time and brain cells searching for the best options to help further your career and pass your tests. To make it easier for you to pick the right review course, we’ve assembled this breakdown of Wiley vs. Gleim. Keep reading to learn more about the services included with these two titans of CMA prep:

Where do these two companies overlap and how do they differ? 

Which is the better provider of high-quality test prep? 

Which course offers the most bang for your buck? 

We’ve got the answers:

Despite similarities between their offerings, presentation, and course pricing structures, there are a few key differences between the two. Knowing these differences can help you to pick the better option for your personal preferences and goals. For that reason check out these highlights of both companies as well as our a guide to the ins and outs of each. 

Let’s get going— you have an exam to ace!

Overview of Wiley vs. Gleim

Before taking a deeper dive into course offerings, let’s take a moment to introduce our contenders:

Wiley

Having acquired Efficient Learning Systems Inc and its signature product CPAexcel in November of 2012, Wiley officially came out of the gates with guns blazing when they launched in 2013. In the almost ten years since, Wiley has continued to add to and optimize their platform to enhance the learning capabilities of their students. Their platform is even mobile-friendly, which is pretty rare among CMA prep courses (more on that later!).

Gleim

Gleim can trace its roots all the way back as far as 1974 when professor Irvin Gleim and his wife wrote their very first Gleim CPA Review book. Over the subsequent years, Irvin Gleim has worked on several additional self-study prep books and supplementary study materials to build Gleim into the CMA course prep powerhouse that it is today. In addition to CPA Exam prep courses, Gleim prides itself on being an eco-friendly company.

Wiley vs. Gleim: Course Access and Enrollment Expiration

Wiley and Gleim both claim to provide unlimited access to all their course content until you pass. However, not all of the content available in some of Gleim’s packages provide this option. 

When checking the additional details of some packages, you can see that access to recordings and other items actually expire in October of the following year instead of lasting for a full year. It’s likely that these recordings are replaced with newer recordings, but you may still want to save these somewhere if you plan to review them again at some point.

Regarding Wiley, this CMA exam review course offers one fully unique aspect to their pricing structure. Any class that you’ve enrolled in and passed can be taken again at no additional cost.  For comparison, Gleim’s courses don’t have this same feature included in their access-until-you-pass model.

Wiley wins this round by extending their value one step further than the Gleim. With that being said, both courses offer generous guarantees and access periods that should be more than enough for your study needs.

Winner:

Wiley vs. Gleim: Course Study Materials

When you’re dropping serious amounts of cash on exam prep courses, it’s only natural to find yourself asking: Are there any extra perks included? More often than not, the answer to that question is yes. However, which CMA review course offers the best perks is another question entirely. 

Here’s what you need to know:

For example: the Platinum Wiley CMAexcel Exam Review Course includes a slew of study materials and content, including an online test bank that includes thousands of practice questions, flash cards, and their 11th Hour Final Review. However, Wiley’s direct mentoring options aren’t as fleshed out as Gleim’s. 

Many of the features provided with Wiley’s Platinum course can also be found in Gleim’s CMA Premium Review package. In addition to mentoring provided by personal counselors, Gleim also provides its students with assistance from their team of Accounting Experts. This extra one-on-one help is hard to find— especially at this price!

It’s almost too close to call here, but Gleim takes the win. Due to the extra level of attention — and the value of having additional tutoring when you need it — Gleim CMA Review offers the better set of study materials for their students.

Winner:

Wiley vs. Gleim: Pricing

While both WIley and Gleim offer a 3 level pricing structure, there are some key differences to understand between the two company’s offerings. 

At first glance, it would appear that these prices are pretty close, with Gleim taking a slight edge on the majority of packages. Check out this infographic for more info:

Pretty close, right? However, the checkout screen tells a different story.

Wiley offers a 20% student discount on both their complete and partial course offerings. Applying this discount at the checkout screen shows that their pricing is actually lower than Gleim’s on every package.

Not a student? Not a problem:

In almost all cases Wiley will still provide you with a discount code for 20%, regardless of whether or not you identify as a student. This distinction ultimately makes Wiley the lower cost overall for all three packages, whether you opt to purchase the complete CMA Course Review or prefer to take things one part at a time.

With that being said, Gleim offers some excellent deals as well. Although they’re not currently offering a competitive discount to Wiley, they do attempt to provide options to clients who may not have all of the cash for a course on hand. For students looking to keep to a pricing model consisting of lower monthly payments, financing options are available through Affirm.

Gleim and Affirm

Wiley has the lower prices overall thanks to that discount. The better price really depends on your personal preference and budget, but Wiley clinches the victory here. Definitely check out their Complete package for access to items that cost hundreds of dollars on their own— like their 11th Hour Final Review and Flash Cards.

Winner:

Wiley vs. Gleim: Supplementary Content

Both Wiley and Gleim have extra offerings in addition to their three primary course sets and both let you purchase their course in 2 parts. However, these two companies don’t allow users the same level of freedom to purchase items a la carte.

To their credit, Gleim’s auxiliary content is mostly free content consisting of Practice Exam Questions, a free CMA Exam Study Guide, and a series of free CMA Webinars and Educational Videos. Free is always a plus!

On the other side of the coin is Wiley’s offerings. First, there’s the 11th Hour Final Review. This includes a list of target categories you need to hit before your exam, additional practice tests, and a CMA Associate Professor from Brigham Young University as your instructor. Wiley also offers their Flash Cards as a separate purchase option as well as virtual online classroom sessions. 

What’s more, if you opt to enroll in their Platinum CMA prep course then the 11th Hour Final Review and Flash Cards are included within your total cost. Lastly, Wiley also includes mobile support for their content through their mobile app letting you study anywhere and at any time. 

When two providers are throwing excellent free content your way and bundling hundreds of dollars of extras into their premium packages, the only real winner is you, the consumer. However, in this case we found Wiley to be the winner, as their inclusion of the 11th Hour Final Review, Flash Cards, and Mobile app practically amounted to the value of an additional course all on its own.

Winner:

Wiley vs. Gleim: Site Design & Ease of Use

Looking between Wiley and Gleim, you’ll see that the two sites are very different in their approach and design despite having similar offerings: 

In the case of Gleim, their site’s impressive but a little overwhelming. Prepare for multiple popups and automated chat windows to interrupt your experience browsing their course catalog. In fact, you may need to go back and forth between several of the pages to fully understand the courses available and the pricing options associated with them. Ultimately, there’s quite a bit of information available— it’s just included in a way that’s not easy to navigate.

On the other hand, Wiley’s site offers its namesake— efficiency. This company’s respect for your time is immediately apparent when you visit their CMAexcel page. Information is clearly presented on what each course is about as well as a discount and free 2-week trial offer. And while Wiley does offer a percentage-off discount like Gleim, this offer doesn’t impede site navigation or require the user to close out of extra pop ups.

While both sites are informative and functional, we found Wiley to be the better experience. They have an understated and streamlined approach to presenting information to their users, whether you’re navigating their homepage or accessing their CMA study materials.

Winner:

Final Recommendation

While your final decision will ultimately come down to personal preference, hopefully the information provided above can help point you in the right direction. 

The impressive background of their company and the massive amount of content available makes Gleim a great value. This is especially true for those that need a little more of a hands-on personal touch for their style of learning.

By the same token, we found Wiley CMAexcel to be a streamlined and highly efficient program. They implement technology and flexibility to help their students while still fully respecting their time— which is extremely important in today’s hectic business landscape.

Both courses provide ample materials to students and each has its own set of appealing traits and features at their respective price points. However, Wiley is the more desirable choice; their mobile app, competitive pricing, and focus on efficiency are well-tuned for students in the modern landscape. The option to purchase certain items a la carte is also a plus, and we feel that their approach was also more personalized.

Winner:

Kenneth W. Boyd is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the author of several of the popular "For Dummies" books published by John Wiley & Sons including 'CPA Exam for Dummies' and 'Cost Accounting for Dummies'.

Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.