Posts Tagged ‘Lambers’
Reviewed and Updated January 15, 2012
Lambers has been providing test preparation courses for more than 40 years. It provides review courses for various accounting and finance exams, including the CPA exam. The Lambers CPA review course is entirely self-study, meaning there is no live or online class that follows a set schedule. You study at your own pace using the Lambers materials.
Unlike many of the other review courses, Lambers offers its materials on an individual basis. Depending on your perspective, this may be a good or bad thing. Lambers sells audio lectures, video lectures, flashcards, iPod courses, test prep software and textbooks. You select which materials you would like and purchase each of them. There is no overall bundle or package of materials you can purchase.
Audio Lectures – The audio lectures are delivered on CD and include electronic versions of the textbooks. You can either listen to the lectures directly from the CD or download them to your mp3 player. The CD’s cost $200 per part or $800 for all 4 parts.
Video Lectures – The video lectures are delivered on DVD’s that can only be watched on your computer. The DVD’s also include electronic versions of the textbooks and electronic versions of the instructor notes. The videos cost $300 per part or $1,200 for all 4 parts.
Flaschcards – The flashcards are delivered electronically. You can either study the flashcards on your computer or you can print them out to review them the way you would normally use flashcards. The flashcards cost $125 per part or $500 for all 4 parts.
iPod Courses – The iPod courses are the same as the DVD video lectures except you can load them onto your iPod or mp4 video player. They come with the electronic textbooks and electronic instructor notes. The iPod courses cost the same as the DVD videos – $300 per part or $1,200 for all 4 parts.
Test Prep Software - The test prep software is delivered on CD and includes multiple choice questions, simulations, and electronic versions of the textbooks. The software tracks your progress and focuses your study time on your weak areas. The software costs $150 per part or $600 for all 4 parts.
Textbooks – The textbooks you can purchase separately are the printed textbooks. Actually, you get a 3-ring binder with the printed text inside, so it is technically not a book. With each of the other options above, you get electronic versions of the textbooks. The only reasons to buy the textbooks are if you really want a physical copy or if you are not buying any of the other Lambers materials. The textbooks cost $50 per part or $200 for all 4 parts.
To get comparable materials to the other review courses, you would have to buy the DVD’s or iPod courses and the software. All of the other major review courses also include textbooks, so if you wanted to be truly comparable, you would also have to buy the physical textbooks, but for the pricing below, I will assume you are okay with just using the electric text included with the videos.
Price of videos and software – $450 per part / $1,800 for all 4 parts
1. Flexibility – Lambers offers you the ability to buy materials individually so you are not stuck paying for materials you may not want or use.
2. Per Part Price – If you are buying only one or two parts, Lambers is your second cheapest option for a guided self-study course behind Kaplan.
3. iPod Courses – The ability to install your videos on your iPod or other mp4 player allows you to study in places were you may not be able to bring your laptop.
4. Lecture Hours – In total, the videos include 132 hours of lectures, which is second only to Yaeger for the most lecture time included in a course.
1. Limited Number of Questions – The test prep software includes only 3,850 multiple choice questions (“MCQs”) and simulations combined. The other major review courses have well over 4,000 combined MCQs and simulations.
2. 4 Part Price – The price of buying review materials for all 4 parts will cost you $1,800 if you are trying to get materials comparable to the other major review courses. This is higher than all but Bisk and Becker.
3. No Books – You have to buy the textbooks separately or print them yourself if you want a physical copy. Many people, including me, appreciate the ability to get away from the computer to study and work questions. With Lambers, this costs extra.
4. No Published Pass Rate – Most of the other courses either publish a pass rate or address why they do not. Lambers does neither, which does not inspire a lot of confidence in the effectiveness of their courses.
5. No Ability to Contact Instructors – Yaeger is obviously the cream of the crop since students can call them up and talk live on the phone with the instructors, but the other review courses at least offer email or internet forums as a way to get help from instructors. Lambers does not offer any of these, so you are left on your own if you are having trouble with a particular topic.
The Bottom Line
Lambers has a few positive aspects, but has more significant downsides. If the ability to load your video lectures onto your iPod appeals to you or if you are price conscious and only buying materials to study for one or two parts, Lambers may be the course for you. If not, you are better suited with one of the other review courses. In general, I recommend Yaeger as the best course.