How We Review Online Prep Courses
In order to help readers like you get a job at one of the Big 4 Accounting Firms, we research and review a lot of educational resources. These products and services claim to help students pass their certification exams and become professional accountants, financial analysts, and managers— but how can you know for sure?
In order to accurately assess every certification course and study guide we cover, there are several criteria we consider. Check out our detailed Review Policy below and learn why you can rely on our content to help you start a rewarding career!
What makes a good exam review course?
There are a lot of necessary features to make an online course that can adequately prepare students to take a certification exam. When comparing all available options to rank the best review courses, we look for these things:
- A good review course will provide educational lectures to teach students specific concepts that are covered on their exams.
- A better review course will offer these lectures as videos with corresponding visual information that can be easily viewed and understood.
- The best review courses have hundreds of live video lectures, bonus audio supplements for multitasking, and rave reviews from students who used them to pass their exams.
Practice Questions and Exams
- A good prep course will provide a number of practice questions that are similar to the ones that show up on the real exam.
- A better prep course will offer hundreds of questions for each exam section and realistic simulations of the full exam.
- The best prep courses have thousands of multiple choice questions, hundreds of extra questions, and the ability to generate an unlimited number of realistic exam simulations.
- A decent exam review course will have a physical or digital textbook as supplementary study material.
- A better than average exam review course will also provide flashcards (digital and/or physical) to help students memorize key terms and concepts.
- The most helpful exam review courses have textbooks, flashcards, extra workbooks, and a condensed final review or cram sheet to consult on the day of the exam.
Pricing and Access
- A good course comes with a price tag that’s appropriate for the amount of content it contains.
- A better course has multiple tiers of enrollment with a range of costs to accommodate different budgets and academic needs.
- The best online courses have multiple tiers of priced content, extra study materials for a small additional cost, and financing options if you need to pay in installments.
Staff and Support
- An average online course will have a staff of experienced educators and professionals and will offer phone and email support for students to contact them with questions.
- An above-average online course will also have tutors with professional accreditation from reputable governing bodies, and will offer chat support in addition to phone and email.
- The best online courses have professionally recognized staff that have published books or won awards. These courses also offer fast response times for support issues and will always connect you to a real person when asking support-related questions.
What kind of review courses do we avoid covering?
There are a few reasons why we may choose not to write a review or comparison of a particular online course. We may pass on a product or service for the following reasons:
- Unsecure: If your data isn’t encrypted while browsing their website, we don’t want to give them any coverage. We only discuss courses from companies that avoid fraudulent or illegal behavior and will keep your personal information safe.
- Outdated: As exams change their format and content to stay relevant, products that are meant to prepare students for those exams also need to change. But if there haven’t been updates to a prep course’s curriculum for several years, it’s not worth your time.
Irrelevant: You can learn from a variety of sources, but we only want to discuss the ones most relevant to aspiring accountants and financial managers. Because of this, we will avoid discussing companies and courses that don’t directly relate to this industry and niche.