Normally I am a fan of their graphics but, um:
- Adrienne Gonzalez
- January 15, 2010
Editor’s note: This is the latest edition of >75, our weekly post on questions that you have related to the CPA Exam. Send your questions to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer as many of them as possible. You can see all of the JDA’s posts for GC here and all our posts related to the CPA Exam here.
Do you have a CPA exam question for >75? Send it in. I’ll be nice I swear. Possibly useful.
So it’s January and some of you are heading into a rough couple of months. With the 18 month clock ticking on the CPA exam, you don’t really have any options but to fight through it. Or argue with people on the Internet. Maybe that’s why you don’t have enough time to study?
Anyway. It’s not easy but remember it is also temporary so as long as you suffer through it a bit (oh please, is it really that bad?), it’s possible. Here are some things I’ve seen work:
• Talking to management and partners – I know. You’re going to laugh me out of here (“wtf version of JDA is this?”) but stick with me. Have you asked? I’m not saying this is always a successful method but it can never hurt to ask or let management know you’re taking the CPA exam. Especially if you work in a smaller firm, just talk to someone above you with some pull. I’ve seen it so I know it isn’t impossible.
• Cutting out the extraneous crap – You know exactly what I mean. Time management for studying is a lot like budgeting for chronic spenders. I used to burn through paychecks until I actually printed out three months worth of debit and ATM charges and saw how I was $2 and $7 and $14ing my way to $0 in no time. In much the same way, you have to figure out where you are spending your time in a week (or a day if that works better for you). Things that take “a few minutes” (Facebook anyone?) add up so count them.
• Not doing too much – One exam is enough if you really are swamped. It’s fine. Just don’t let post April 15th suddenly turn into late August because you were “so wiped out” from busy season. Take a realistic break but don’t get too detached from your goal.
What works for you to get through busy season and the exam? And don’t say trolling accounting websites trying to pick Internet fights.
Good luck? As always, it has nothing to do with circumstance, it’s just discipline.
- Adrienne Gonzalez
- September 28, 2012
I don't know about you guys but I'm sick of writing advice articles so because […]
- Adrienne Gonzalez
- June 7, 2011
I’m digging deep in the mailbag for this one, only because you kids have been awfully quiet lately (a sure sign that we’re in a blackout month). If you have a CPA exam question, comment or complaint for us, please let it launch. Come on, you’re going to be sitting around for the next 2 – 3 weeks waiting for your scores, might as well.
I was wondering if you could go over what the simulations entails in FAR. I understand that the multiple choice contains 30 questions, and that there are 3 testlets. However, does the break down for the 7 simulations include more than one part.
For example, I know you will have a problem say leases, maybe a research question…but is that 1 simulation or is that 2 of 7?
Recent Grad…miserable studying…
Let’s defer to the good ole AICPA on this one, you can never go wrong getting info straight from the source. From How the CPA Exam Is Scored:
In addition to multiple-choice questions, the AUD, FAR, and REG sections also contain task-based simulations. Task-based simulations are case studies that allow candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and skills by generating responses to questions rather than simply selecting the correct answer. Task-based simulations typically require candidates to use spreadsheets and/or research authoritative literature provided in the Exam.
Well that’s not very helpful, is it?
In FAR, you’ll encounter 7 task-based simulations, of which 6 will be graded. You don’t know which TBS is pre-test so you have to go into it as if they are all graded.
Assume that each of your simulations will be on a different topic and will only require you to complete one tab. You may see more than one research question so be sure to get in some practice in that area (and access your free 6-month subscription to the authoritative literature if you haven’t already – note that you must have a valid NTS to sign up for this).
In previous versions of the exam, one simulation consisted of several tabs. You’d have to get through two of them in 45 minutes a piece and hope you filled in enough tabs to pass. In the latest incarnation of the exam, however, you will receive more varied topics. This works in your benefit as you have a better chance of getting TBS problems on areas you feel comfortable in, whereas in the old exam you had to hope and pray you didn’t get a simulation on a topic you didn’t study well or suck hard in, as you were just about guaranteed to bomb it.
Then again, in the old exam you could blow the sims and still have a chance to pass. Nowadays, however, you don’t have that luxury as simulation problems carry a heavier weight point-wise.
That said, you’ll want to do the tutorial on the AICPA’s website. While review course materials can come close to simulating the actual exam environment, the CPA exam remains the intellectual property of the AICPA, therefore no review course can copy simulation problems exactly. But since the AICPA provides that tutorial, it has the exact look and feel of the questions you will see on the exam.