Updated:December 14, 2018
Kenneth W. Boyd
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fast-forward-academyThe Fast Forward Academy CPA review course is one of most modern CPA exam study materials on the market today. They have reinvented the idea of fast learning and come up with a software platform that helps you study faster by focusing on the topics and concepts you are weakest on instead of studying your strengths.

Typical CPA study guides are linear in nature. This means that a candidate works through one chapter at a time. When one chapter is completely he or she moves on to the next chapter. These chapters are usually categories by topics or areas of study. Does this sound familiar to you? Well, it should because this is how all study materials have been presented since the beginning of time.

Fast Forward Academy developed a smart learning system that tracks what you know and what you don’t based on your testing results. It then modifies the study materials to focus on topics that you need to work on more. Thus, the course is unique for each candidate using it.

Let’s look at the Fast Forward CPA exam full course format.

Fast Forward Academy CPA Course Format

The structure of this CPA study guide is different from others on the market. Although there is a study book with chapters and topics, it is set up to guide you through the information you need to study instead of allowing you to read the book from front to back. That being said, let’s look at the components of this course.

Video Lectures

As a new update this year, Fast Forward Academy just introduced a full set of video lectures. They offer over 80 hours of lectures on all of the key topics covered on the exam. The 470 lessons explain concepts with real world examples, so you can understand them. These lectures are more engaging than a traditional University lecture, but I wouldn’t say they are entertaining my any means. They are still informational accounting lectures. 🙂 They do have an auto generated study text next to each video, so you can follow along with the key points and make notes during the videos.

Fast Book Study Textbook

The Fast book is FFA’s study text and contains all of the reading materials for the course. It’s fairly direct with little commentary about the subjects. It’s more of a series of bullet pointed lists than an accounting textbook that explains concepts in great detail. In some ways this is a good thing, however. Some CPA textbooks are too long and detailed causing candidates to read too much and spend way longer studying than they need to. The Fast book is a good middle ground. The most important aspect of the Fastbook is its intelligence. It’s programmed to learn what you know and what you don’t, so it can suggest topics and readings for you. This is almost like having a tutor select areas for you to study on an on going basis. Very effective!

Fast Forward Academy Test Bank

The FFA CPA study bank includes more than 5,000 multiple-choice questions in it that integrate into their adaptive, intelligent study system. This means that as you take quizzes, watch the lectures, and read the study text, the test bank automatically generates question sets for you to work through based on your current knowledge of the subject or concept. This allows you to focus on testing topics you need to work on rather than testing you on everything. You can also make custom quizzes covering any topic or length if you want to, but the adaptive approach is much better.

Task Based Simulations

The FFA CPA study materials include 230 task-based simulations. Although this isn’t more than other courses out there, it is implemented differently. Similar to the test bank, the simulations are integrated into the adaptive system, so the course will automatically suggest you do simulations based on your current knowledge. Thus, if there is a simulation available for the topic you are struggling with, the course will automatically put it in your study schedule to work through. You can also take these any time you want or make custom quizzes based on topics as well.

Exam Simulator

The FFA exam simulator is a great representation of the AICPA exam layout. It has some of the Fast Forward styling in it, but the functionality is identical to the real CPA exam. You can use the simulator in exam mode or practice mode to either emulate the real exam or simply test yourself on the topics. Each question provides detailed explanations for the correct and incorrect answers in the analytics section of the dashboard.

Study Notes

The dashboard has a section for notes that can be tagged to the lectures, study text, or even questions. This is a powerful feature because it allows you to review different parts of the study guide based on your note. For example, if you wanted to go review a practice question, you could make a note of the question and video. When you click the note, it will take you to the question or the lecture directly. This makes reviewing extremely quickly.

That’s all of the main components included in the study materials. Let’s discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of this course compared with others on the market.


Adaptive Learning

This benefit can also be a drawback if you don’t embrace it. If you try to use this course like a tradition linear course, it won’t work for you. It will be frustrating. That being said, if you use it the way it was intended to be used, it is amazing. The course automatically creates a study schedule for you and tells you want you need to study and learn next. It also changes as you go through it, so it can keep targeting areas you need to study until you know them all.

Unlimited Access

Fast Forward Academy offers unlimited access on all of their products. This is a huge benefit because it means you won’t ever have to pay an extra fee to keep using the course.

Academic Support

Unlike other courses that have message boards or emails that don’t get answered, FFA allows you to talk directly with academic experts about your course material questions. This is a big help for people who need more explanations about topics.


Fast Forward Academy offers a several different discounts and coupons on their review materials. Here are the current ones.

Student discount: FFA offers students a 10% discount on their smart bundle review course. Click here to get 10% the full course.

Special Promo Coupons: Fast Forward typically offers several different special promo discount coupons throughout the year. Click here to see the current promotion.


No Offline Use

Unfortunately, there are not ways to use this course offline. You’ll need to login to their website in order to use the test bank or watch the lectures. You can order a printed study book, but that’s it.

No Cram Course

FFA does not offer a cram course at all. Although this isn’t really a must have, it is nice to have a final review.

No Audio Lectures

Some people enjoy listening audio lectures on their commute to work or while they are working out. FFA doesn’t currently offer them.


Fast Forward Academy is an excellent CPA exam review course for anyone who wants to embrace the adaptive approach to studying. This system does work and it includes more than enough materials to properly prepare for the exam. It is different than what you are probably used to. If you are willing to give it a chance, I’m sure you will be happy with it and it will help you pass the exam on your first try.

Best Fast Forward Academy Coupon Codes & Discounts

Save $310 – Fast Forward Academy CPA Discount

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Fast Forward Academy EA Discount – 25% OFF

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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.

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