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Surgent CPA Review vs Becker CPA Review

Best CPA Exam Reviews

To help you find the Best CPA Reviews, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Surgent CPA Review and Becker CPA Review.

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What's the best CPA Review program to help you pass the exam? Whether you're about to graduate from college or you've been wanting to get your CPA for years, you know that it's a big commitment. Taking the four sections of the CPA exam is not only challenging but expensive. Because of the constantly-changing nature of the content of the CPA exam, it can be very difficult for even the best students and seasoned professionals to pass the test without using a very rigorous preparation program.

For nearly half a century, CPA Review programs have helped aspiring accountants to know what to study to succeed on the required tests. Of course, as times have changed, so have many of these providers: what used to be available only in textbooks and later on CD-ROM has now evolved into a format that can be accessed virtually anywhere, using a tablet or laptop to take adaptive practice tests, using a phone to listen to lessons on MP3, and so on.

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Best Reviews

2018

CPA Exam Reviews

5 stars
Surgent CPA Review

SURGENT CPA REVIEW Visit Site

Cost:

$549 for individual test section prep

$1,899 to $2,999 for comprehensive packages

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Surgent is an expert in Professional Education, offering continuing ed programs and test prep in accounting, tax, and other career paths. The company has been in business for more than 30 years and offers more than 10,000 credit hours across all of their courses.

Impressively, Surgent CPA Review wants you to know exactly how their program works before you make a commitment. You can participate in a live, interactive demonstration of their learning system; it takes 30-45 minutes, and you can ask questions of the demo leader in real time. Also, attendees receive a discount code on their program purchase. We found that link in the FAQ or under the Buy Now heading near the top of the site. You can also try Surgent free for 5 days - just click on the Try For Free link at the top of the page.

There are three course packages available with Surgent CPA Review:

  • Essentials: regularly priced at $1,899, this is the basic Surgent plan. This includes more than 6000 multiple-choice questions, 350+ video lectures, e-books for all four exam sections, personalized study plans, real-time trending scores (to evaluate your current progress), lecture study notes, flashcard app for iOS and Android, and support via email/phone/live chat.
  • Premier: regularly priced at $2,399, you get all of the features of the Essentials package, plus printed textbooks and flashcards. You'll also have access to 3 30-minute sessions with a CPA exam success coach.
  • Ultimate: regularly priced at $2,999, this offers all of the benefits of the first two packages, while adding 4 hours of tutoring from an accounting professor and an Excel certificate course.

Individual exam sections can be purchased a la carte; all are regularly priced at $549.

Keep an eye out for extra savings. When we visited the site, we got a pop-up offering a $500 discount on a complete 4-course purchase: there was no need to sign up for a mailing list or any other requirement, just a coupon code to enter at checkout. This discount was not available for courses purchased on a payment plan. There was also a 35% discount on the Essentials and Premier packages in a banner on the site.

Have you tried another CPA Review program but still didn't pass? Surgent will offer you a discount from 30-45%, up to $900, with proof of purchase of any competitor product. Plus, Surgent CPA Review has several advantages over other exam prep programs. First, if you choose to use their payment plan rather than pay for everything at once, you won't be charged interest or application fees. Second, your course access has no expiration date: whether you take 6 months or 6 years to study for the CPA exams, you'll always be able to use your Surgent CPA Review materials.

Surgent also is one of the most up-to-date programs available. While many CPA Exam Review programs only update their course materials once a year, Surgent refreshes their content, multiple choice questions, simulation questions, and videos every week based on changes that are made by authoritative bodies like the IRS or FASB. Finally, every Surgent CPA Review client is assigned a Personal Success Coach that can be contacted directly with any questions they have about the course materials, test questions, and so on.

You'll also appreciate Surgent CPA Review's guarantee: if you use their program to study ,but still fail the CPA exam, they'll either refund your tuition or allow you to use the program until you pass, at no extra charge. There are some eligibility requirements for this guarantee - taking all four parts within a year of enrollment in the review course, and viewing all video lectures, for example. Still, this is an impressive feature not commonly found among test prep courses.

Surgent enjoys an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau - a good indicator that they deliver what they promise. But, an even better yardstick for their success is their reputation with their students. We found numerous compliments describing the effectiveness of the Surgent CPA Review method, especially the adaptive technology. Some people said they had tried studying with other programs, many of which we also reviewed, but they got bogged down in videos and texts that didn't actually help them know where they should focus their efforts. Surgent, by comparison, allowed them to see exactly what they needed and not what they didn't; the adaptive testing then gave them questions that focused in on their weaker areas of knowledge. Students also praised Surgent's mobile-friendly platform, using their tablets and other devices to catch a few minutes of study during their commute or between other tasks.

Surgent CPA Review is a terrific choice for your CPA Exam test prep needs. If you're looking for a comprehensive program that helps you spend your time on the right topics and gives you unlimited access to your course materials, this is an ideal fit. For all of these reasons, Surgent CPA Review earns our highest rating as the best CPA Exam Review program available today.

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3.5 stars
Becker CPA Review

BECKER CPA REVIEW Visit Site

Cost:

$1,131 per section (AUD, BUS, FIN, REG)

$3,487 for the Becker Bundle

Becker is one of the most recognized names among CPA Review companies, having started in 1957 and currently with over a million students who've used their program to pass the CPA exam.

This is the only company in our review that offers four approaches to test prep:

  • Self-Study: watch lectures and do simulations and mock exams on your timetable
  • LiveOnline: webinar courses give you live instruction, wherever you choose to connect
  • Live: more than 100 classrooms worldwide, with 18-30 hours of in-person instruction per exam section
  • University Cohort: this option is designed for specific firms, customers, or universities and may be available in your area

If you start the Becker CPA Review program in one format but decide to switch to a different structure, you can do so for a fee of $195.

Most students opt for the Becker Bundle at $3487, which includes all 4 parts of the CPA Exam, along with these features:

  • 100 hours of modular review
  • 6,200+ multiple choice questions
  • Textbooks and e-books
  • 300+ task-based simulations
  • 1,400 digital flashcards
  • Interactive study planner
  • Accounting for Empires learning game
  • Unlimited academic support
  • Adapt2U learning technology, with a pre-assessment that helps determine your ideal path for study and performance reports that track your progress

What happens if you don't pass? You may be able to take advantage of the "Becker Promise"; there's a long list of eligibility requirements, but in general you'll get a tuition waiver for reusing the Becker materials for a second round. However, the fine print says that you'll pay a $195/part material and license fee for each section you need to retake, and you'll only have a year to use it. If you don't qualify for this tuition waiver, you are eligible to buy the Becker program again at a discount of 50%. Of course, if you don't pass it the first time, you may not want to pay for it again, even at half-off.

Becker Professional Education, the company that provides the CPA Review program, has an excellent "A+" rating as an accredited business with the BBB. But, what do the students have to say? For those who use the online platform, the feedback is almost entirely positive. They especially like that the Becker mobile app keeps track of their learning and syncs up seamlessly from tablet to smartphone to laptop and back again. They also appreciate that the study time is completely customizable to fit their life, whether they're trying to fit in a few lessons between classes or juggling a full-time job.

On the other hand, those who've used the live classes haven't always found the instructors to be helpful or effective. If you want the live format, you may do better with the LiveOnline program, which gives you the ability to switch instructors to ones that are a good match for your learning style, rather than being obligated to study with the ones that are in your geographic area in the live not-online classes.

Obviously, the biggest drawback of the Becker CPA Review system is the cost: almost double the price of several competitors' test prep programs. And, that cost isn't limited to the program itself: remember that if you don't pass, you will still have to pay money to reuse the course materials for your next attempt at passing the CPA exam.

Becker is still well-respected by the Big 4 accounting companies, because of their longstanding reputation and flexible study options that include live classroom lessons. Their CPA Review can probably help you pass the exam - if you can afford their test prep program.

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Continued from above

When deciding on the best CPA Review program for your needs, you should carefully consider your options based on your learning style, budget, and timeframe. These programs vary widely, and it's important for you to know exactly what you're getting before making a significant financial investment.

In other words, as you compare what different companies have to offer, keep in mind these factors:

  • Price. What will you spend for your CPA Review program? What's included at that cost?
  • Flexibility. Can you purchase study materials for just one section of the test? Does the program take a one-size-fits-all approach, or are there study and/or testing portions that adapt to your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Timeframe. Many CPA Review providers limit your access to the study materials, with deadlines ranging from 12 to 24 months. Will you be able to complete your studies within that timeframe?
  • Instruction Method/Format. How does the review program convey the material: text-only, text-plus-video lecture, etc.? What's the best method for your learning style?
  • Reputation/Guarantee. Is the CPA Review program effective? What is the pass rate for students using their method? Does the company offer any guarantee or refund if you fail all or part of the four-part exam? What do other students say about their experience using the program?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best CPA Review Programs available today. We hope this information helps you find the best study plan that will lead you to success on the CPA Exam!

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