CPA Exam Challenges and Solutions
It’s no secret that preparing for the CPA Exam can be intense. To keep you on track to pass, Becker Professional Education helps you address potential challenges right from the start.
Challenge 1 | Lack of complete preparation
Comprehensive and rigorous preparation is the key to passing all four parts of the CPA Exam.
If you are a recent graduate of an accounting program, you may find that much of the exam content is familiar. However, the CPA Exam is comprehensive and not all subjects are tested equally. A comprehensive review is necessary to anchor knowledge in a broad set of topics and focus your efforts on studying the topics most likely to be tested.
If you are a working professional, you may find that your recall and knowledge of some areas may have eroded. A comprehensive review will be necessary to cover the subject areas required to pass the exam, as well as to develop necessary mental endurance and speed.
Solution: A comprehensive review program
Successful CPA candidates must have a thorough academic understanding of exam material, as well as the ability to apply their knowledge instinctively. Becker’s CPA Exam Review course is both comprehensive and highly focused on what candidates need to know and how to pass.
Challenge 2 | Time Management
It’s important to budget the total exam time appropriately among the testlets within each part of the exam, and devote adequate time to each. The CPA Exam is a timed exam and you have to answer the questions quickly and accurately. To do so, you will need to learn how to quickly understand the question and respond instinctively.
For multiple-choice questions, allow 1.5 to 2 minutes per question. Task-based simulations will require about 70-80 minutes on REG and 90-110 minutes on FAR and AUD. Allow 30-40 minutes for the BEC written communication task depending on your writing ability. And don’t forget to reserve 15 minutes of “oops and breathe” time.
Solution: Practice and planning
Becker’s CPA Exam Review administers timed drills that assess your strongest and weakest areas. Our course includes thousands of past exam questions so that you will understand the content that will be tested and become familiar with the way the questions are phrased and the exam functionality. And with two full final exams per part, you will be able to practice using exam-like conditions before exam day.
Our expert instructors will show you how to structure time for each exam part and provide valuable timesaving tips. Flashcards are also an excellent tool to increase speed.
Challenge 3 | The Unique Computer-Based Exam Environment
The CPA Exam environment contains a unique interface and tools that may be uncomfortable to you without practice.
The exam requires that you demonstrate the ability to perform beyond basic computer skills. You must also be proficient in using the provided four-function calculator, spreadsheet, and research function. You will also need to access authoritative literature to answer auditing, accounting, and taxation questions; to support judgments; and to create formal audit communications. (The AICPA offers a tutorial and sample test on the computer-based exam at www.cpa-exam.org.)
Solution: Simulation of exam conditions
The tools and materials contained within Becker’s CPA Exam Review course are specially designed to mirror the CPA Exam interface so on exam day you can focus on answering the questions, not figuring out the format, features and functions. With our course, Becker students learn to master:
- The subject material
- Navigating the computer-based exam environment
- Using the computer tools provided in the exam interface
Challenge 4 | Lack of Self-Discipline
It’s not uncommon for candidates to put off their actual testing date even after they have started to prepare. This can result in lower scores as well as incremental fees, missed testing windows, or even lost credit for previously passed parts of the exam.
To maximize your chance of success, commit to a date of completion and map out a plan to:
- Complete preparation for each exam part
- Take the exam parts on schedule
- Provide for retaking one or more parts of the exam
Solution: Structured methodology and flexible schedule
Becker has laid out an exam strategy that can lead you to success within just eight months. The Becker plan provides you with a head start in staying on track.
If you want the freedom to study at your own pace, Becker’s interactive Study Planner in our CPA Exam Review course will help you develop an individually tailored study plan that will prepare you to pass the CPA Exam.
For additional help adhering to your exam plan, tell your family and friends about your goal so that they can provide moral support during your studies. Set daily goals and stick to them. Also consider finding a study partner to help keep you on track.