Overpriced But Solid
Becker CPA Review is the most popular review course in the industry and is endorsed by the Big 4. Becker offers three different course formats to choose from: Self-Study, Online, and Live Classes. They are one of the rare major companies that organize live classes for their students. Theses live classes have received many mixed reviews by students who generally agree that the Becker teaching pool is polarized and filled with both very bad instructors as well as a some good ones.
The online and live classes uphold a very stringent attendance policy where you must attend 100% of the classes and complete all of the assignments with a 90% or better to qualify for the “Becker Promise”. This is the program which allows you to retake the classes if you do not pass the exam on the first try. Unfortunately, if you do not meet all of their eligibility requirements you will be stuck paying 50% of the original price to retake those classes (around $400 a section).
1. Excellent Study Materials
Becker offers great lecture notes, multiple choice questions, software programs and other types of primary study materials. This is the greatest strength of Becker CPA Review. Their notes and textbooks are user-friendly, comprehensive and well-written. The notes are arranged in a logical, easy to follow manner. They also provide space for you to add your own notes or comments as you read through the book. Becker provides 6,000 MC questions which is above the industry average.
2. Structured Format
Both live and online classes are tightly structured. This allows students to build a routine around their studying schedule. The self-study course is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems unlike many of their competitors.
3. Regular Updates
Becker materials are updated on a regular basis. This ensures you will always have the most up to date and accurate information.
It costs $3,315!! This is the most expensive CPA review course in the market and is DOUBLE the industry average. You will also have to pay more money in order to get their updated materials every time they are released. If you can’t get your employer to pay for it, or get a large discount, then you should definitely consider using another review course that can provide more value to you.
2. Inconsistent Live Classes
Their live lessons are a hit or a miss, depending on your instructor and location. Even if you end up with a good instructor, there are many places where live lessons aren’t truly “live”. If you are unfortunate enough to schedule your classes at one of these locations you will find that all your instructors do is throw on a DVD and don’t provide much help or explanation. Not exactly the type of quality you would expect for over $3,300. I’ve interviewed dozens of Becker students and the majority of them agree that their live classes are below par.
3. Poor Customer Service
Many students feel that Becker has poor customer service. It’s sometimes difficult to get helpful answers to your questions. Not to mention it’s often complicated to qualify for a discount, even though you meet all the requirements. Many students complain that Becker’s customer service reminds them of large cable and cell phone companies who are too big to care about the individual customer’s needs.
Becker’s online or self-study course will prepare most students very well. However, I would stay away from their live classes as the quality of them has decreased a lot. The overall value Becker provides in exchange for $3,315 is comparative to other major CPA review courses like Roger, Yaeger, and CPAexcel which cost between $1,400 and $1,800.
There are several other quality CPA review courses that might actually be a better fit for your learning style and schedule. I would suggest that you check out Becker’s competitors before jumping on this expensive bandwagon. Becker CPA Review is not a bad course, but it’s overpriced and you run the risk of having to pay additional fees if you do not pass all your exams on the first try.
If your company is going to pay for it then you should feel good about using Becker. However, if you have to come up with the money yourself then you are better off choosing another course that will give you a lot more bang for your buck.