Our comprehensive evaluation and review of the Becker CPA Review course
Many people regard Becker to be the king of CPA exam prep. Their course is endorsed by all four Big Four accounting firms and is used by about 2,000 other firms, government organizations, and colleges for their staff’s Becker CPA exam preparation. In short, practically every accounting firm relies on Becker to completely prepare their accountants and deliver them across the CPA finish line. Is a review course the best simply because it has the support of so many prominent and prestigious organizations? In this extensive guide, we delve into the finer features of the Becker CPA Review course and assess its merits and limitations.
Becker CPA Review Course Options
Becker provides three distinct courses from which CPA candidates might choose. These prep packages often differ in terms of the level of resources and study materials included, and they include the following options:
The Advantage course is Becker’s entry-level package, and it covers nearly everything you’ll need to prepare for the Becker CPA exam, albeit with less study material than more expensive options. This is essentially an essentials-only bundle, with fewer practice questions and no live sessions. The Advantage course costs roughly $2,400, but it is frequently on sale for less. This is approximately the most expensive essentials-only beginner course in the CPA test prep sector.
The Premium course is similar to the Advantage package, but it includes more practice questions, live online courses, and unrestricted access. This is Becker’s most popular package and is widely regarded as their “standard” CPA test prep course. This item costs around $3,000, however it is frequently on sale. Becker is once again one of the more expensive CPA prep solutions at this pricing bracket.
Finally, the Pro course costs approximately $3,500. For an extra $500 or more, you receive access to live in-person classes (held across the country), as well as 5 hours of private 1-on-1 tutoring with a Becker CPA exam expert, among other benefits. This is the option for pupils who do not want to take any risks.
Course selections and pricing are up to date as of the date of publication.
Evaluation of Becker CPA Coursework
As soon as you log in to your new Becker account, you will see why the Big 4 and so many other accounting firms rely on Becker — their curriculum is extremely extensive. Their curriculum is aligned to the AICPA exam blueprints and covers everything that might possibly occur on the exam. It is simply a mountain of lessons, practice work, and study materials.
In terms of course organization, each of the four exam sections is divided into a series of 6 to 10 units, each covering a separate subsection. For example, the REG section is divided into eight units – R1, R2, R3, and so on. There are then a number of modules to finish within each of these units. Within each subchapter, each module addresses a specific topic. As a result, the modules serve as the foundation for the Becker program, and there are hundreds of them spread among the four CPA exam parts.
The actual teaching is done within each module. Each lesson module follows the same basic structure:
Lecture Skills Simulations of multiple-choice questions
It isn’t all that difficult. Within the module, you work through each of these four learning categories, and when you’re finished, you move on to the next module. Becker’s “Adapt2U Technology” is wrapped around this deceptively basic structure. This software uses artificial intelligence to discover your weak points and reallocate work to those areas, ensuring you are well-prepared for exam day in all subjects.
The software modifies your study schedule in real time to account for these detected shortcomings and attempts to broaden your skill set. It’s a good feature, but it doesn’t appear to be as powerful as Surgent CPAs comparable technology.
Becker video lectures are unlike any other review course in the industry. Rather than having an instructor onscreen presenting a standard lecture in front of a whiteboard or talking over a PowerPoint slideshow, the Becker lessons use their texts as the foundation of the video lectures. During the lectures, the teacher seldom appears on screen — usually only for a brief module introduction. It may sound strange, but it works.
As you read, a digital textbook displays on the screen, and your educator verbalizes their lecture. They highlight crucial points, underline critical words, add notes in the margins, and mark up the text as you read. They even scroll down the page for you when you get to the bottom. It’s as if someone is hanging over your shoulder as you read a text, providing context and helpful morsels and pointing out where you should pay attention to the key details.
I can imagine some kids enjoying this format and others being turned off by it. Personally, I like it a lot. To begin with, I favor textbook-based learning, so I may be biased, but I found this technique of teaching to be really effective. All of the information is right in front of you, and you have an expert reading alongside you, pointing out precisely where you should pay attention and providing some helpful context.
These 750+ video lectures are divided into tiny, page-by-page chunks that flow together without a jump or awkward stop. And the production value is outstanding. The image is sharp, and the visuals are excellent. Overall, it’s a very enjoyable lesson.
After your presentation, you will go on to skills practice. This is normally in the form of a minute video or two in which your instructor provides a quick refresher of the material and context for the drill you’ll be undertaking. Then you work on a simulation-style drill that evaluates your knowledge of the material you just learned. Following your completion, an explanation video will play in which the instructor will deliver the solution and explain the answers.
This is a great drill element that you won’t find in other CPA review courses. Most other cpa exam prep businesses just jump right to multiple-choice questions, but I like how Becker assesses your new information in a variety of ways.
Then you go on to the more typical method of multiple-choice questions. The module normally has 5 to 50 questions, depending on the scope and size of the subchapter. This means that it could take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour and a half to complete. In either case, you are given a set of pertinent multiple-choice questions to answer in order to reinforce what you have just learned.
As you complete each question, you will be offered the correct answer as well as an explanation of the problem. Each answer choice is explained in detail, along with why it was accurate or incorrect. These explanations were helpful in my perspective, but not the finest I’ve seen (personally, I think Gleim CPAs are superior). They’re a touch thin, and I’d like to see more comprehensive analysis that breaks down the entire problem and provides more targeted information on the subject.
The set of task-based simulations is the module’s final component. Depending on the curriculum, there could be anywhere from one to ten scenarios for you to complete. These simulations are quite realistic when compared to the task-based simulations seen on the actual CPA test. With each module, they cover a wide range of topics and issues, and they do a fantastic job of testing your new knowledge in a variety of ways.
And the explanations that go with each simulation are far superior to those that go with the multiple-choice questions. Each simulation is accompanied by a “Skill Master” video in which a Becker expert explains the simulation in detail. They display in the upper left corner of the screen and show you exactly how you should have approached the simulation through notes and calculations. These movies are an excellent resource and a valuable learning experience in and of themselves.
Becker provides certain performance trackers and analytics to assist you examine your present knowledge base and skills to supplement the curriculum. Overall, these indicators are a little simplistic and unhelpful, especially when compared to statistics from other CPA exam prep firms. You’re only provided the fundamentals – percentage of correct questions, percentage of lecture completion, number of correct answers on simulations, and so on. These metrics aren’t particularly noteworthy.
The proficiency measures are Becker’s one redeeming grace in his performance trackers. Becker shows you how proficient you are in each module (based on a star grade). This, in turn, defines your level of preparedness. This was the sole useful metric I utilized in my study.
Overall, Becker’s course structure is an extremely successful method of learning. The combination of video, practice questions, and simulations improves comprehension and retention by testing your knowledge in a variety of ways. To be honest, I was quite impressed by the Becker coursework’s design and execution.
Becker CPA Reviews Practice Work
Becker provides a wealth of supplemental practice material in addition to the basic program. You are granted access to a useful practice test instrument, even if it is not required by your designated study path. You can create as many practice question sessions as you want with this function, which includes both simulations and multiple-choice questions. You can personalize the practice set by mode, question type, section, and many other factors. This is a fantastic opportunity to get some focused practice in.
Becker’s question bank is used to produce practice questions as part of your tailored session. They display in the same interface and format as your module-based lesson work, with the exception that when you answer the question, you must click affirmatively to receive the explanation.
This was one of the things that irritated me about the Becker practice tests. When you click to see the problem explanation, it opens in a new window distinct from the onscreen problem and is always too small to read. As a result, you must drag the window to the center of the screen, enlarge it, and then read the explanation. This may seem like a minor irritation, but when you have to do it thousands of times in a succession, it becomes exasperating. It would be far more efficient if the explanation appears automatically, as it does in the lesson work. But I’m digressing.
Becker offers nearly 9,000 multiple-choice questions and 400+ simulations across its modules, practice test bank, and simulated exams in terms of number. This takes a lot of practice. And, while not as extensive as Wiley CPAexcel, this level of practice material should suffice for your CPA exam review.
CPA Review Becker – Simulated Exams
The package of simulated tests is one of the Becker CPA Review course’s strengths, and something you won’t find with other suppliers. Becker offers three full-length, simulated exams every section, for a total of twelve. Moreover, unlike other CPA prep suppliers that provide practice tests but simply recycle problems from their question bank, the questions on the Becker simulated exams have never been seen before.
When attempting to prepare in exam-like conditions, seeing wholly new problems for the first time is a big benefit. Furthermore, the interface of these simulated examinations is identical to that of the genuine CPA exam, so you receive the appearance and feel of the real thing. This is just one more benefit available to Becker students.
This, in my opinion, is one of the greatest assets of Becker CPA Review course. There is frequently no better way to learn than through doing. And 12 full-length practice examinations with new topics go a long way toward helping with that.
Becker Review CPA – The Becker Live Classes
If you purchase the Premium or Pro version of the Becker course, you will be able to attend any of Becker’s live CPA Review courses. This means only live online for Premium students. However, Pro students have the option of taking the lesson live online from the comfort of their couch or in person.
These live CPA Review courses often cover the same subject as the video lessons available on demand. However, instead of a faceless off-screen educator instructing you on where to circle and underline items, your tutor is right in front of you (virtually or in person). The framework is the same, where you study through your hard copy textbook and take notes as you go; however, I believe the live version of the course has a number of advantages.
To begin, you will receive some additional suggestions and methods that you would not receive with the on-demand sessions. The video lectures available on demand are written and heavily rehearsed. As a result, the national instructor moves through the content fast and efficiently, never deviating. The live instructor, on the other hand, is not as confined, so you receive some extra tips, tactics, and strategies that you don’t get in the recorded sessions.
Furthermore, I believe that live classes are a good way to stay on track for students who need commitment and accountability in their studies. When you’re exhausted at the end of a long day as a working professional, it’s tempting to think, “Oh, I’ll simply watch that class and solve those issues tomorrow.” But, if you have a live course that meets twice a week, you can’t afford to miss a day. It keeps you focused on your academics and holds you accountable. Furthermore, it provides good structure in your prep work, and we all know how much accountants adore structure.
I chose the Premium course, so I didn’t have the option of attending the in-person class. Having said that, I thoroughly loved the live online course. The webcast was always extremely clear, on time, and without technological glitches. I believe I received many of the above-mentioned benefits. The lecturer was knowledgable and provided some excellent side notes, and the structured format kept me on track.
The basic fact is that no other courses offer the breadth and depth of live sessions like Becker, therefore this is a big value to students.
The Becker CPA Prep Books
Another benefit of the Becker course is the bundle of digital and physical copy prep books that you receive when you enroll. These books are extremely detailed and well-written. And they must be since they constitute the foundation of the instruction. The books are the cornerstone of your learning no matter what course mode you use – on demand, live online, or in person. And they don’t let you down.
The level of information in these books is just astounding. And, more significantly, they are extremely well-organized. The books are meticulously laid out in a logical and easy-to-follow manner. It should come as no surprise that I believe these prep materials are among the best in the review industry. Becker is well-versed in the big game and has been vetting and updating these publications for decades.
CPA Becker Review – User Interface
The Becker digital platform has an excellent user interface. The half-dozen or so icons on the left-hand navigation bar are well organized and clearly direct you to all of your study resources. You may instantly get to your current lesson, a practice session, your study calendar, or a variety of other useful tools from the dashboard. You should never have to battle to get a study aid.
The portal’s appearance and feel are also excellent. The entire atmosphere is professional and sophisticated, with eye-catching graphics and a smart appearance. Unlike some other CPA review courses, Becker has clearly spent significant efforts on offering a high-end experience, rather than investing in the operation of their online platform and focusing on the subject.
Becker’s CPA – Bonus Resources with Becker
In addition to the fundamental course components outlined above, Becker includes a slew of extremely useful materials as a courtesy to their students. Among these resources are:
- Student forums and a FAQ database are available.
- Accessibility when not connected to the internet
- Sessions for final review
- Access to CPA exam success coaches Academic help from CPAs
- More than 1,400 digital flashcards
It should be noticed right away that many of these tools are exclusive to Premium and Pro students and are not included in the Advantage package. So, if you’re thinking about taking the Advantage Essentials course, bear this in mind.
However, if you purchase the Premium or Pro edition of the Becker course (as most students do), you will have access to all of these valuable tools. The last review sessions are my favorite of the group. These short, intense sessions are intended to help you cram in the final few days before your test. They focus on the most heavily weighted subjects and aim for quick score gains. These sessions are really beneficial and, in my opinion, should not be squandered.
Another noteworthy resource is the availability of a CPA success coach. Take advantage of these opportunities. While these discussions will not dive into the weeds of technical information like a full tutoring session, they are excellent for gaining ideas on overarching exam tactics. In terms of support, I believe Yaeger CPA Review’s academic achievement sessions are a touch superior, but I found my couple sessions with Becker to be pretty beneficial.
Private Tutoring with Becker
When you purchase Becker’s Pro course, you will receive five separate one-hour sessions with a personalized Becker coach. Alternatively, tutoring sessions can be purchased separately. Becker, in any case, delivers excellent tutoring services. I received a complimentary one-hour session with a Becker tutor and found it quite beneficial.
I put my tutor’s knowledge to the test by asking her a couple of specific FAR questions, and she didn’t miss a beat. My teacher was not hesitant to go into the nitty gritty of situations and provided me with some valuable insights. She was not just incredibly knowledgeable, but also very friendly and open. I felt like I could ask her anything and she would have run it down for me even if she didn’t know the answer (which she did). In short, despite the fact that I only had a one-hour tutoring session, I thought Becker’s tuition to be excellent.
Becker CPA Review – Content Access Period
Though it should be an afterthought in terms of review course features, many busy professionals want to know how long they will have access to study materials when looking for the best CPA review course for their needs. The length of your access to Becker’s online content is determined on the course type you purchase. If you choose the Advantage course, you will have access to your materials for only 24 months. Furthermore, if you purchase the Premium or Pro edition of the course, you will have unlimited access to your resources.
While 24 months may appear to be a tiny period of time when compared to an endless period, for most people, 24 months should be sufficient. However, if you’re a working professional and believe your CPA study and passage will take more than two years, consider upgrading to the Premium edition to gain the extended access.
Does Becker have a Mobile App?
Becker not only has a mobile app, but it is a very, very good mobile app. Their current 4.7-star rating in the app store, with almost 5,000 reviews, is warranted. Whereas other exam prep companies offer mobile apps with extremely limited resources, Becker’s app offers it all. Well, not everything, but near enough. You can access your lectures, multiple-choice problems, simulations, flashcards, and a variety of other resources.
Essentially, the resources in the mobile app are linked to your underlying coursework. Furthermore, once downloaded, you may access anything in the app both online and offline. This makes it an excellent tool for on-the-go learning. This is a pretty nice app that works well in conjunction with the PC version of the course.
Does Becker Have a Pass or Money Back Guarantee?
Becker, however, does not provide a money-back guarantee if you do not pass all four portions of the exam. Other CPA review businesses provide such tuition returns if you are unable to cross the finish line with the help of their preparation, but Becker does not. In lieu of a refund, Becker does provide a free repeat program that allows you to retake the course if you fail all four portions. However, the conditions surrounding this pledge are quite stringent. In any case, if you have the Premium or Pro editions of the course with unlimited access, this shouldn’t be an issue.
General Refund Policy
If you change your mind about your Becker course or a life event interferes with your studies, you can cancel your membership in the Becker course and receive a full refund within 10 days of purchase. This is a limited time frame, so keep track of it over the first few days of your study in case something comes up. However, in general, this is a pretty good return policy.
The Big 4 and hundreds of other firms rely on Becker to prepare its professionals for a reason: their coursework design and content are absolutely unparalleled. Their course structure, which is neatly divided into learning modules that cover specific Becker CPA exam subtopics, provides a very effective manner of teaching that increases comprehension and retention.
Furthermore, the quantity of preparation required is mind-boggling, with thousands of practice problems, hundreds of hours of video lectures, 12 full-length simulated exams, and much more.
The explanations that break down and clarify the answer possibilities around each and every practice issue are a little thin for our team’s liking, and we’d want to see more depth in this area, but that is about the only criticism we have about Becker.
Otherwise, their video lectures and practice exercises are excellent, and it is evident from the time you open your course materials why Becker is ranked first in the opinion of accounting experts. In short, while it may cost a little more than other prep providers, if you don’t want to take any chances with your review and want a quality all-around course, turn to Becker, as so many others have over the past 60 years.