How I Study for FAR on the CPA Exam

how i study for far on the cpa exam

The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the CPA Exam is the most comprehensive, wide-ranging section and considered toughest of all 4 sections. It covers all the financial, managerial, and cost accounting courses we have taken in college. It also covers governmental and nonprofit accounting, which are not a part of the accounting programs in a lot of colleges.If you have graduated a few years ago like me, then all the International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS) will be totally new to you

Since FAR is considered the most difficult part of the CPA Exam,

many candidates are automatically intimidated by it before they even begin studying. However, I knew that I couldn’t allow that to be the case. When I began studying for FAR, I quickly realized the importance of segmenting the easier from the more difficult topics, and allocating my study time accordingly.

For example, the easier topics for me to grasp on FAR were receivable, liabilities, property, and plant and equipment.

These topics I know all too well since I went over them in college many times and they are all around me almost on a daily basis at work. I dedicated plenty of study time to these topics, but not as much as I dedicated to something more difficult for me to understand, such as pensions, which I considered to be the most difficult topic on FAR. 

Here’s how I used my Interactive Practice Questions (IPQs) to help me get through both the easy and difficult concepts:

  • After each full chapter, I would use the IPQs to create quizzes for myself based on the content of that chapter. Because I can create many customized quizzes out of a bank of many questions, I would choose to include questions that I answered incorrectly or questions that I have not seen yet. This gave me a good range of different ways questions could be asked on the same topic, providing  me with lots of coverage.
  • I also found that using the timer when I was taking my FAR quizzes on the IPQ software was enormously helpful because there are a lot of calculations involved—more so than AUD, BEC, or REG. It’s easy to get caught up in numbers and formulas under pressure, so having the timer on really ensures that I’m managing my time wisely. If I find that my time is running out and I still haven’t decided on an answer, I’ll use the bookmark feature to go back and review the questions I struggled with. 
  • After completing each quiz, the best thing about the IPQs that helps me understand the material better is going back and reading the explanations for all my answer choices. This includes both incorrect and correct answers. I highly recommend reading all of the answer explanations because it enhances and deepens understanding of the concepts being learned. 

I know that sometimes it feels like the multiple choice questions for FAR are long and draining because most of them require calculations. If you are tired after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is go through these intense sessions of MCQs. However, just remember that lots of practice and patience are required for FAR. And if you can figure out what’s easy and what’s hard for you and use your time wisely, you’ll get through it soon enough! 

“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits.” ― Michael Phelps

–Margo Pacific, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review 

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