Multiple Choice Question Tips for the CPA Exam


Hi everyone! Today, I would like to write about three Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) tips to keep in mind as you prepare for the CPA Exam. I tend to get overwhelmed easily when taking exams and some of the tips that I learned helped me stay focused. Here are three tips I would like to share with you.

1. When looking at the exam questions, reading a last sentence first can save you a lot of time.

There are numerous times that Roger Phillip talks about this in his lectures as well. When I read a MCQ from the beginning, I am amazed by the many irrelevant numbers and information that is presented. I then get confused before even getting to the end of the problem. However, if you read the last sentence of the question, that’s usually where you’ll find what the question is truly asking. If you can figure that out, then you can go back to the beginning of the problem and look at the numbers and information being presented. You will be able to better organize all those different components to fit into your solution. 

2. Make sure that you look at all of the answer choices for a problem before making your final decision.

This may seem like total common sense, but you will be surprised at how the testing environment can make you do strange things under pressure–like thinking that the answer choice you picked was the absolute correct one. And while that may seem like the case, remember that answer choices can be similar and there’s always one that is better or more correct than the others. So do a quick check to make sure the answer you pick makes the most sense. It’s also a good idea to look at the other choices and think about why they are incorrect. Even if you don’t know the answer right away, seeing the ones that are incorrect can help you figure out the one that is correct. 

3. Lastly, when you struggle to come up with an answer, I recommend you try working backwards from the choices.

Some numbers make more sense than others and working your way backwards can get you through tricky calculations. This is especially useful in BEC because there are many computations for ratios and cash flows. 

Generally speaking, time management during the exam is crucial, and saving time in the MCQ section is key because you can focus on questions or simulations on the exam. What is more helpful, however, is staying calm and confident while doing the MCQs. If you can get through the MCQ testlets with a positive and good demeanor, it will set the tone for the rest of your exam and can make the whole experience much more pleasant. I hope these tips help you have a successful CPA journey!

–J. Frazier, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review 

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