Top 10 Tips for During the CPA Exam

Exam day is stressful. You’ve been studying for several weeks, maybe even months, and all your hard work boils down to your performance on a two to four and half hour test. While you might not have gotten in every last hour of study time you had hoped by the time exam day rolls around, we’ve put together Rogers top exam taking tips to score those extra few points on exam day.

1. Have your Exam Section ID ready to enter before you begin your exam.

This ID is provided on your Notice to Schedule and youll have to use it once youre seated at your computer workstation. You will have a limited amount of time available to enter your examination password so have it ready!

2. Focus on effective time management!

The AUD, REG & FAR sections of the exam all have 3 multiple choice testlets and 2 simulations. We always tell students to allow 45 minutes for each simulation and then split the rest of the time evenly among the multiple choice testlets. The breakdown looks like this:

mc 1mc 2mc 3sim 1sim 2
FAR4 hours50 mins50 mins50 mins45 mins45 mins
AUD4.5 hours60 mins60 mins60 mins45 mins45 mins
REG3 hours30 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins
BEC2.5 hours50 mins50 mins50 mins00

Candidates often run out of time on FAR & REG so watch the clock extra carefully during those exams!

3. Do the written communication portion first when you get to the simulations.

The written communication section of the simulation is worth 10 points – thats 10 percent of your total grade! Remember that only one of the written communications on the exam is actually graded, but you dont know which one it will be so its important to do a good job on both. Learn more about CPA Exam written communication.

4. Dont go to the bathroom or take breaks between testlets.

The clock does not stop if you choose to take a break. You need every last minute!

5. Dont get distracted by other test takers.

Prometric tests many other exams such as the Nurse Practitioners exam, Dental exam, and Informational Technology. Some of these tests are open book, so dont be alarmed if you notice your neighbor is reading. Theyre taking a different exam!

6. Mark questions and go back to them later if you dont know the answer right away.

You can go back and forth between questions on the exam within each section, but once you move to the next testlet or simulation, you can never go back to the previous section. Answer ones you are sure of first and go back for the harder ones.

7. Guess; never leave a question blank.

The CPA Exam does not penalize candidates for wrong answers so youre always better off guessing. You have a 25% chance of getting it right!

8. Don’t be distracted by a computerized glitch as long as you are able to continue testing.

For example, if during the simulation problem, the pencil icons at the top of each tab dont become shaded as they should after you open each tab, , continue testing and report the issue to the Test Center Administration at the end of the session. This rule is applicable for any minor computer or software glitch you notice during testing. The TCA will file a report and the system will verify the capture of your responses.

9. If you’re running low on time during the simulation sections, blow off the research function.

The AICPA only allocates about one point to the use of the research function. If youre short on time dont worry about using it as instead focus on solving a final problem or fine tuning your written communication section.

10. Remember to breathe 🙂

It will do wonders for your concentration!

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