After running short on time on my first exam, I read through a number of online articles on speeding up answer times on multiple choice questions, as well as a book a friend suggested on speeding up answer times on the LSAT exam.
Here are the suggestions I found to be the most useful:
Top 10 Tips for CPA Exam Multiple Choice Questions
1. Read the question, usually the last sentence in the paragraph, first.
If you know the question, you can better formulate the answer while reading the scenario.
2. Scan the answers.
If you’ve read through the question and did not understand it, scanning through the answers, provided they are short (one or two words each), before reading the question again may jog your memory on the topic.
3. Use the flags.
It’s easy to run out of time, so set a limit for each question. If you go past it, flag it and come back. You may get information in another question that will help you on that one. Also, coming back to it at the end of the section, slightly less stressed, might help you read through it with a clearer mind.
4. Don’t leave blanks.
Partial credit is offered on the CPA exam. For more information on how the exam is graded, see the following article or watch the introductory videos of any Roger section:
How the CPA Exam is Scored
5. Take timed practice tests to get a feel for what your pace needs to be.
Try to take at least one within the last few days before each exam.
6. Use the flash cards.
Getting in the habit of answering questions without having a list to choose from could reduce your time on multiple choice questions.
7. Budget time to check your answers.
Although you’re pressed for time on the exam, if you’re a person that finds many errors when checking through the second time, it may be a good idea to spend slightly less time on each question the first time around, and then budget in time to recheck them again later.
8. Isolate a question line by line.
This may be difficult to do on a computer based exam, but holding the provided scratch sheet under the line you are reading (similar to how young children use a ruler to read) may help you focus on one line at a time, increasing understanding and reading speed. Some believe this is because you inadvertently glance at other words on the page which can slow down your thought process.
9. If multiple answers seem correct, verify that you did not miss a key word.
It’s common to have a couple answers that seem correct. Often when I’ve found three or more that seem correct I’ve actually missed a key word that changes the question such as: “not”, “never”, “always”, “least likely” or “most likely”.
10. Answer the question without looking at the answers.
This may be a bit time consuming, but this can work if you do it quickly. Read the question and then see if you can answer it without looking at the actual answers. Afterward, scan the answers to see which one most closely matches your own.
Hope you guys find that helpful!
-Tyler Remington, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review