Becker online CPA review is by far the most popular and biggest name in the CPA exam study course industry. All of the Big Four recommend Becker to their employees because it has proven itself to be an effective course for thousands of candidates over the years.
Since their inception in 1957, Newt Becker has developed a system of teaching that requires students to pay attention and keep up. Today Becker offers many different options from live in-person training to online classrooms and self-study materials. Each layout has slightly different options, but all of the courses are apply for the Becker Promise.
They promise if you attend 100 percent of the lectures and maintain a 90 percent on all PassMaster homework problems and you still don’t pass the exam on your first time, you can retake the entire course tuition free. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, this is a pretty big commitment. If you miss one lecture, you can wave the promise goodbye. Plus, retaking the course will still cost you money. They only waive the tuition. You will still have to pay for materials, so this is a good guarantee if you are able to meet all of their requirements.
There are three different ways you can take the Becker course, so let’s take a look at them and see if any will work for you.
Live Teaching – Most review courses don’t do live, in-classroom teaching because of the high cost and logistics. Becker arranges college professors and industry professionals across the country to do local, nightly classes for each section. These classes generally meet in a college or office building and usually last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.
There have been mixed reviews on how well these live classes are actually run. Since professionals and professions teaching them have other full-time jobs, the review courses sometimes fall on the back burner. In other words, many people have told me the classes are a waste of time and extremely boring. One student even said the instructor just stood in the front of the room and read directly out of the book for an hour.
Still there are a few others who have said these classes are great and just like college accounting courses. If you take the live version, you will get the study text and access to the computerized tools.
Online Teaching – The online version was introduced a few years ago for students who want the benefits of a live classroom and schedule without having to drive to a physical meeting room every night.
They work exactly how you would assume. You log on to the system and attend lectures virtually. Your homework assignments have similar due dates to the live teaching sections and the Becker Promise works the same as well.
Self Study Course – The self-study course is similar to other review courses in that it includes video lectures, an interactive study planner, a test bank of 6,500 questions, and exam simulations. Unlike the live and virtual classrooms, however, the self-study course is set at your own pace and does not have stringent deadlines.
The Becker System
There is a reason why this is the most popular guide. They have a good system that keeps students accountable and forces them to complete the guide otherwise their pass guarantee expires.
The live and online classes are organized and give candidates a schedule with deadlines to meet. This works well for people who are not good self-studiers. On the other hand, their online materials are easy to navigate and provide a comfortable learning experience.
The study materials are extensive and well put together. All of the options come with over 6,500 multiple-choice questions, exam simulators, and practice exams to help you prepare for the CPA exam. All three study options also include over 100 hours of instruction. This is more than the industry average.
Let’s face it. Becker is the biggest name in the industry and that’s exactly what you are paying for. You get the confidence of using something that is familiar to many CPAs.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few shortfalls to this package.
Price – Extremely Expensive
The biggest problem with Becker CPA is the price. Even at a discount, the full course costs $3,393. That’s crazy especially when Roger CPA is only $1,700! This is by far the most expensive study guide in the industry. In fact it’s over two times what other comparable courses cost. I think this is WAY too much of your own money to spend on a single study guide. Some firms and employers will pay for study materials, however. If yours does, take them up on it. Otherwise, I’d look at a few of the other course out there.
Short Time Limit
You only have 12 months to complete the course and take the exam. This is another crazy thing to me. If you have 18 months to take the exam, why would you want a course that is only good for 12 months especially when CPAexcel review is unlimited?
One year might sound like a long enough time, but that basically means you will be studying for each section back to back for an entire year. No breaks. No exam failures. Sorry, but this doesn’t work for me. I had to take a few months off between my exams to regroup and have a life.
Poor Quality Lectures
As I mentioned in the course overview, tons of students have complained to me about how bad the live lectures are. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure there are some instructors that are great, but that doesn’t seem to be the standard. Candidates have complained that instructors read straight from the book or powerpoint without adding anything to the lectures. Some instructors have even just played the same video lectures you get with the self-study course!
Not to mention, some live course locations are not always convenient. Depending on your area and the popularity of the course, you might have to drive quite a ways after work to get to the classes. 🙁
Like I said before. Becker CPA is a good course if you don’t have to pay for it. There is a reason why they have the biggest name in the industry, but unfortunately I think a lot of it has to do with advertising and marketing relationships. It is way to expensive and doesn’t really offer more than the other options that are available for half the price. Unless your employer is paying for it or you have your heart set on attending live lectures, I wouldn’t recommend this course.
Instead, I’d suggest you take a look at Roger CPA, CPA Excel, or Yaeger CPA if you want a reasonably priced full line study guide. All of these courses offer the same benefits of Becker without the crazy price tag and marketing hype.