5 Tips for Answering CPA Exam Multiple Choice Questions

Today’s guest blogger, Steven, give his top 5 tips on how to answer CPA Exam multiple choice questions.

1. Read the multiple choice question and then write down a general phrase or subject that is associated with the question. Continue doing this until you get more specific phrases within the multiple choice question.  This method is particularly useful for building a codex within your mind so when you see a word you instantly associate it with a testable phrase or subject matter.

Example: If a multiple choice question uses the phrase audit reports,” write down the phrase “audit reports,” because it falls under a general subject within the CPA Exam. In fact, it is so general that there is an entire review section written about it in the review book. The question also uses the phrase unqualified opinion.  Write this phrase down too because it is a subcategory of audit reports. Keep track of all unknown phrases within a multiple choice question so that you can read and review as you work each question.

2. When taking notes on the multiple choice questions use pictures or symbols to mark keywords.

Example: I like to draw a symbol for a keyword and then write the keyword in red ink next to the symbol during my note-taking.  Using symbols is quicker and easier for me when referring to the keyword later.

3. After completing a multiple choice question the first time, take notes and then work the question again to see if you have improved on getting it correct the second time.

Example: After doing the word associations described above, it should be easier to associate a phrase with the multiple choice question the second time.  For example, when looking at the phrase, audit reports, I remember all of the possible associations for that particular word, like unqualified opinion, adverse opinion, disclaimer, scope limitation and auditors responsibility paragraph. Working the multiple choice question a second time should be much easier with word associations.

4. Don’t be discouraged when you find yourself taking a lot of notes or seemingly wasting your time. Try to keep a positive mental attitude by paying attention to the things that are getting better rather than all of your perceived mistakes.

Example: Sometimes I end up taking too many notes when Im tired because it actually takes more effort to think deeply before writing the notes than it does to simply copy them down. When I find myself doing this, I take a break.

5. Change your study environment.

Example: Consider relaxing on the couch or in a different area from where you usually study.  Work through multiple choice questions on an iPad using the Roger CPA Review app instead of sitting at a desk taking notes on every question.  Changing locations and/or study methods will help you figure out better ways to learn.

— Steven

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