Becker CPA Review is the most well-known guided review course in the accounting industry. Furthermore, Becker CPA has relationships with Big 4 CPA firms. So, as a result, a high percentage of Big 4 hires receive Becker CPA Review for free as part of their employment package.
So, maybe you’re a Big 4 hopeful who could end up receiving Becker. But if you wait until you start working to take the CPA Exam, you’ll put in 60+ hours a week, probably have to give up your weekends for work on a frequent basis, and still have to go home and study for the CPA Exam. And who wants to do that?
Or maybe, you can take the CPA Exam while still taking classes. And in that case, you shouldn’t delay sitting for the exam, as the sooner you take the CPA Exam after earning 120 credit hours, the more likely you are to pass.
Finally, you might be considering Becker because your friends or colleagues used the course successfully.
If you’re a CPA candidate in any of these scenarios, you need to know why you might want to choose Becker CPA Review materials. So, you can use my assessment of this course to inform your decision.
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Becker CPA Review was one of the first CPA review courses ever. Accountant and entrepreneur Newton Becker developed Becker CPA Review in 1957 as a training course for Price Waterhouse. Then, in 1960, he launched Becker CPA Review as an independent company. The company grew quickly and maintained its solid reputation in the industry to the extent that it became part of DeVry in 1996. Today, Becker is the largest provider of U.S. CPA Exam prep in the world.
Therefore, Becker’s history is not only long, but it is also successful. Becker has global partners in over 55 countries. They also serve all of the Big 4 global accounting firms and actually have strong relationships with 99 of the top 100 accounting firms in the United States. What’s more, Becker usually produces the most Elijah Watt Sells Award winners each year, as from 2005-2016, over 90% of all Watt Sells Award winners prepared with Becker. Therefore, Becker CPA Review truly has a stellar reputation in the industry.
In order to provide a fair and objective review of all major CPA review courses, I provide a thorough and impartial evaluation of the program in addition to my personal view based on firsthand experience (Yes, I used Becker to pass my own CPA exams!). But like every other CPA review courses, Becker may not be the best course for everyone. Yet, everyone can find the best CPA review course for them. So, if you need help with this process, feel free to contact me.
Each Becker CPA Review package presents an integrated and guided review course containing adaptive technology, video lectures, proprietary textbooks, practice questions and mock exams, a study planner, a learning game, the Becker Promise, and unlimited academic support all in one online platform.
Becker calls their proprietary adaptive technology Adapt2U. And as is the case with all adaptive courses, the purpose of Becker’s adaptive technology is to save candidates time by helping them study as efficiently as possible.
Becker’s adaptive course asks candidates to initiate their review with an assessment so that the course can gauge their current knowledge levels. The course then uses this information to craft a customized study plan that focuses on the content areas in which candidates need to strengthen their understanding. The course also conducts regular performance checks to update you on your progress and continue to refine the direction of your studies.
With this commitment to preparing you for every type of exam question, the adaptive technology of Becker CPA Review enables candidates to develop the confidence they need to pass the CPA Exam.
Both Becker CPA Review courses offer over 150 hours of video lectures. The instructors that lead these lectures are CPAs and accounting, law, or business professionals with real-world experience. Becker trains them to use engaging and informative teaching techniques, and thousands of accounting firms, corporations, universities, and government agencies trust Becker’s lectures.
Furthermore, Becker constructs the content of the lectures in such a way that candidates can truly comprehend the subject matter rather than settle for rote memorization. The lectures strictly cover the format and questions of the real CPA Exam, and the SkillMaster videos, in particular, delve deeply into the process of completing TBSs. Specifically, these videos feature an instructor using custom animation and touchscreen technology to guide candidates through the steps of answering practice TBSs by applying key exam concepts.
While other courses include similar numbers of video lecture hours, few other courses employ such knowledgeable lecturers or provide such intentional focus on CPA Exam questions.
When you purchase a Becker CPA Review course, you receive both printed textbooks and e-books. These books are fairly comprehensive and well-written. Because Becker has been in the industry for so long, they’ve been able to assemble a team of very skilled and experienced writers who know the ins and outs of the CPA Exam Blueprints and can distill all of that exam content into material that candidates understand.
Furthermore, Becker updates their lectures and textbooks regularly so that you are only studying the topics that are most likely to be tested according to the most current CPA Exam syllabus.
The numbers of practice questions and mock exams that Becker CPA Review supplies are average in the industry.
Becker CPA Review includes over 7,000 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and 400+ task-based simulations (TBSs). And the Adapt2U technology serves you these questions to you according to the content areas with which you struggle. What’s more, Becker constantly compares the quality of their questions against the most recent version of the CPA Exam to ensure that their questions remain up to date and effective for helping candidates pass.
Depending on which Becker course you purchase, you also receive either 2 or 3 exam-emulating mock exams per exam section. Becker bases one of the mock exams on the CPA Exam Blueprints to demonstrate how much the exam asks candidates to know and how the exam weights the questions. Another one of the mock exams is more comprehensive and concentrates on the exam areas that are more challenging for you. Finally, the course also gives you the option to generate your own mock exams to further strengthen your weak areas.
The platform also contains a great interactive study planner to help you plot all your studies and make sure you are giving yourself enough time to successfully pass your exams. The study planner works with progress tests to track your studying and give you feedback so you can maximize your preparation and your confidence.
Accounting for Empires is Becker’s unique learning game. This app is an interactive mobile gaming experience that lets you answer CPA Exam questions in order to build your empire. You can choose the number of questions you answer and the topics the questions ask you about so you can work on content areas where you need the most help. Then, you can get credit in your Becker course for the MCQs you answer correctly in the game. In this way, you can really enjoy your studies while increasing your skills.
You can play individually or with a group of other CPA candidates. And when you play with others, you can create alliances, conduct espionage, and challenge other players so you can boost your resources. Finally, because Accounting for Empires is available on Android™ and iOS® phones and tablets, you can play anytime, anywhere.
The Becker Promise is a pass guarantee of sorts. Specifically, Becker explains that the Becker Promise is a tuition waiver program for people who finish the Becker CPA Review course but don’t pass the CPA Exam. If you find yourself in this situation and meet the specific Promise requirements, Becker will let you repeat the course at no additional cost. But because the most complete Becker course features access until you pass, the Becker Promise only seems relevant to the smaller Becker study option.
Becker CPA Review allows candidates to receive as much academic support from experienced professors as they need. Specifically, you can receive professor mentoring by posting your exam related-questions to a forum and getting a response back within 48 hours or less. You can also search through archived discussions to get immediate access to similar candidate questions and their answers.
I like how Becker Review keeps its course offerings pretty simple. They don’t overwhelm candidates with a huge number of options. Instead, you’ll just need to choose between these 2 courses:
To summarize, the Becker Bundle basically includes everything Becker offers. On the other hand, the Becker 4-Part CPA Exam Review Course is the pared-down version and doesn’t have some of the nicer Becker features, like flashcards or the Becker Final Review. This table breaks down the differences between the Becker Bundle and the 4-part option.
|Becker Bundle (includes 4 parts)||Becker 4-Part CPA Exam Review|
|Video Lectures||Yes: 150+ hours||Yes: 150+ hours|
|Access Until You Pass||Yes: Unlimited access to all the features||No: 18 months of course access|
|Flashcards||Yes: 1,400 digital flashcards||No: flashcards are not included, but you can purchase them separately|
|Final Review||Yes: Becker Final Review is included||No: you’ll need to pay extra to get the Becker Final Review|
Both Becker CPA Review courses are a bit expensive. Specifically, the Becker Bundle costs $3,987 before the use of any Becker CPA discounts. And the price of the Becker 4-Part Review is $3,393 before applying any Becker CPA coupons. Finally, individual sections of Becker CPA Review cost $1,131.
At one point in the past, meeting at a hotel or conference room with 100+ of your closest friends to learn from a live Becker instructor was extremely popular.
But, this method of learning has kind of going the way of the dodo, as most candidates now prefer self-study.
However, if you would like to attend a live class, Becker does still have some CPA classes available. However, Becker is probably going to transition to just offering Becker Live Online classes, which are basically like webinars in which a professor walks you through the notes and goes over a few examples.
Becker is one of the oldest and most established brands in the CPA Exam prep market. In fact, Becker has purchased a few competitors to become what it is today, and it now has endorsements from the Big 4 and partnerships with thousands of big companies and CPA firms.
The Becker brand also covers other accounting certifications, such as the ACCA and CMA certifications.
So, the Becker brand is pretty prestigious, and that prestige carries a lot of weight. However, the course is more than just a name. Becker CPA Review includes some solid features, too.
As a former Becker student, I have to say that Becker’s notes are pretty good. They are comprehensive, and the layout is user-friendly. Becker CPA Review uses also different fonts and formats to highlight important areas. Additionally, Becker’s course is one of the best at providing plenty of space to write your own notes.
This testimonial from Becker CPA’s website is a typical example:
Becker’s approach to review is concise and focused. It doesn’t overload you with extraneous or esoteric material. It teaches you to rely on your own understanding to get to the right answer.” – Tyler S. Wright
Personally, I think the practice questions align a bit too well with the lecture notes. And by that I mean, the Becker test bank has few surprises and tricky questions. Therefore, I would like to see more out-of-the-blue questions that can train candidates to think on their feet.
But otherwise, Becker’s practice multiple-choice questions are decently similar to the actual exam questions. Becker also has well-written answer explanations. These explanations help reinforce the concepts so you’re well-prepared. What’s more, Becker CPA Review has some video explanations as well. These videos involve instructors walking you step-by-step through the question and answer process. Consequently, these explanations can really help candidates who need to visualize the entire process.
However, this feature isn’t available for all the questions, so you’ll have to answer a large percentage of the questions on your own. But taking this step is a good thing, as you’ll need to know how to answer the actual exam questions on your own. Because, of course, when you go to the testing center, you won’t have a Becker professor there to help you along the way (that would be nice though!).
Becker CPA Review has one of the nicest interfaces on the market. The course is easy to navigate and clearly identifies the next steps that candidates must take. What’s more, taking notes, highlighting text, searching for keywords, and control video speed is easy to do thanks to the seamless navigation and effective learning tools. Furthermore, the Becker course takes every opportunity to mirror the CPA Exam so that you can be totally comfortable with the Prometric environment before you test.
Additionally, the Becker CPA Review course also includes insightful reporting so you can see your progress as you move through the program. Adaptive analytics let you know where you need to focus your attention so you experience minimal surprises on exam day.
A final review is something you complete closer to your exam date. Most candidates start their final review 1-2 weeks prior to their actual exam date.
Becker is only 1 of 2 CPA review companies to provide candidates with a fully comprehensive final review. So, what does this mean?
In Becker’s final review, you’ll get brand new lectures that Becker has pared down to only include the most crucial content. Additionally, you’ll also receive never-before-seen multiple-choice questions and simulations that allow you to get even more prepared (and in case you’ve memorized some questions, having brand new ones served at this stage is immensely helpful).
In contrast to CPA review providers that don’t include this level of final review, Becker gives you everything you need in the end to wrap up your studies in an efficient way. An effective final review stage could be the difference between passing or failing the CPA Exam, so this is a truly important feature.
The Becker Bundle contains 1,400 digital flashcards that you can use to solidify your understanding of the most important exam concepts. These cards include questions and brief answers. When you access the flashcards within the online course, you can use the search function to locate cards about certain topics. And when you want to drill yourself, you can tell the course to present the flashcards in random order or in order of lecture and topics. What’s more, the digital flashcards also display statics about your progress with them.
Printed flashcards are also available. And if you don’t purchase the Becker Bundle, you can purchase the digital or printed flashcards separately.
As mentioned, the 4-part Becker course retails for around $3,300. And if you want the Becker Bundle, which offers a few more helpful features, then that course will cost you almost $4,000. You can find Becker CPA discounts, but even with them, this price range is outside of many CPA candidates’ budgets.
In contrast, other CPA review courses cost about $2,000 or a little less, with a valid discount.
Therefore, the Becker CPA Review cost is likely one of the biggest hurdles for most CPA candidates to get over when deciding on this course.
The lecturer in the videos guide you through the notes, but they don’t usually speak with enthusiasm or extrapolate on the concepts with personal examples or anecdotes. The lecturers are very knowledgeable, but they are not the most entertaining. Some candidates find the length of the lectures to be a little too long as well. However, the SkillMaster videos are usually only about 15 minutes each.
Thankfully, other CPA review courses provide engaging video lecture instruction by taking a white-board approach. However, the type of lecture style that you find works best for you may surprise you. So, if you are on the fence about the best lecture style for you, I’m here to help.
You might be saying, “Who cares about the size of the test bank?” But if you’re a logical learner like me, you know that you need to answer lots of questions about a topic before you can feel confident checking that topic off your list. So, when you use a test bank that is only average in size, what happens after you answer all of the questions? If you need to go through them again because you still have weak areas, you run the (high) risk of memorizing the questions.
Because comprehension is key to passing the CPA Exam, you won’t get any benefit from memorizing the questions.
Additionally, when you use a review course that includes an average-sized or small test bank, you’ll sometimes find just ONE question about some of the topics. And even worse, some topics may not have any simulations. Or, the course may use one simulation to cover multiple exam topics or tasks. In that case, the simulation only briefly touches on each topic.
Therefore, if you purchase Becker, you’ll probably need to supplement with a bigger test bank, even after you kick out $3,000+.
But, if you are in this camp, you can find the best CPA test bank for supplementing on my site.
So, for fun, let’s check out how Becker’s test bank question counts stack up against some of the test banks from the best CPA review courses.
|Number of Multiple-Choice Questions||Number of Simulations|
|Becker CPA Review||7,000||400|
|Gleim CPA Review||10,000+||~900|
As you can see, if you learn best through practicing MCQs and simulations, Becker may not be the right course for you.
Basically, Becker CPA Review is the most established course in the industry, as it is pretty much the oldest and most widely-used. However, both of Becker’s courses are on the pricey side of the market. Therefore, considering whether Becker CPA Review is the right course for you at some point is a sensible thing to do.
So, should you invest in Becker? Well, I can understand if you’d feel more comfortable going with a top brand in the industry. Becker does have good notes, decent practice questions, adaptive technology, flashcards, a final review, and more. So, if the brand of your course is important to you, and you have the budget to foot the Becker bill, then Becker CPA Review should be a good fit.
But, if Becker CPA Review doesn’t sound worth it to you, then check out these Becker CPA competitors.
You can find all the Becker CPA Review discounts on my comprehensive CPA discounts page. Or, you can use the button below to go straight to the best Becker CPA discount available.Save on Becker CPA Review Now!
I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites
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