What Are the 4 Toughest Questions You’re Likely to Encounter in Your CPA Exam?
by Arina Smith Job & Career 21 November 2019
No one likes taking exams, especially ones that will determine the future of a person’s career. Taking the CPA exam is difficult and an unprepared person can do poorly. If a person fails this important exam, they must wait, study again, and retake the exam, wasting time and money. People do their best to pass the CPA exam by seeking a targeted review course. These courses may be costly but they help prepare the person to pass the CPA exam sections and move forward with their careers.
Knowing the Toughest Questions in Advance
What if a person has a good idea what the 4 toughest questions will be on an exam, and knows the answers? This is a huge advantage. Taking an exam preparation course before taking an exam is not cheating. It is being well prepared. Instead of studying willy-nilly, these courses help applicants study material that is more likely to be on an exam. They are not giving applicants a list of test answers, they are giving applicants important material to study and learn.
Applicants may look for a discounted CPA exam review to save money. It is important to check out several exam review options to choose the best one to invest time, money and energy into. Many review programs allow a person to test drive them for a short period before purchasing them. When trying out a test preparation program, make sure the information is current and that the review program is easy to follow and learn from.
The current rate of passing the CPA exam is just over 50% for individual sections. That is why being well prepared is so important. The exam is divided into 4 difficult sections. An applicant must pass all four sections in an 18-month window to become a licensed CPA.
The First Difficult Section
The most difficult section of the testing process is the FAR or Financial Accounting and Reporting section. It includes knowledge of numerous regulatory, reporting, and accounting frameworks that may be used by non-profits, business entities, and governmental entities. There are also questions on standards issues and more. This section of the testing will require between 125 and 150 hours of study and has the lowest pass rate. If it is taken first, the study time will not count in the testing window of time.
The Second Difficult Section
The second most difficult section of the exam is the AUD or Auditing and Attestation Section. This section will require considerable study and preparation and should be taken second during the window for complete testing. To be well-prepared, a person might spend 100 hours of study. This section covers the whole auditing process including preparation, obtaining evidence, risk assessment, reporting, auditing procedures, and ethical standards.
The Third Difficult Section
The REG or Regulation section of the CPA Exam takes about 75 t0 100 hours of prep and study time and covers the applicant’s knowledge of taxation, business law, and professional and ethical responsibilities pertaining to tax practice.
The Fouth difficult Section
The Business Environment and Concepts or BEC section of the exam covers a person’s knowledge of the professional duties of the CPA in business settings. It will take about 50 to 75 hours of study to pass.
Because of how each section is organized and the types of questions, different sections might be harder to pass for different test takers. Some sections are more multiple-choice, some require more written answers, and others require more rote memorization. It depends on the test taker’s way of learning and processing information. The study helps like targeted review programs that match a person’s learning style make passing the 4 sections easier.