Navigating the 2024 CPA Exam: Your Top 10 Questions Answered

2024 CPA Exam Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

The new CPA Exam is unchartered territory, and many candidates are seeking guidance on determining their roadmap to success. In our recent webinar, top CPA Exam experts, including Peter Olinto, CFA, CPA (inactive), JD, addressed key questions on navigating the new exam. They shared insights on scheduling strategies, choosing a discipline aligned with strengths, and much more. Candidates also participated and had some great questions for our hosts. 

Below are the top 10 questions CPA candidates had about navigating the 2024 CPA Exam—along with our expert answers.

1. How is the current CPA Exam compared to the old CPA Exam? How has the exam changed and the studying methods?
The 2024 CPA Exam changed significantly on January 10, 2024. We have completely overhauled the UWorld CPA Review Course to ensure candidates are prepared. Our course content is perfectly aligned with the 2024 CPA Exam Blueprints. Learn more about the exam changes.

2. How long do you have to take the CPA Exam when you start? How long does it take to get your score back when you take it?
Candidates in most states now have 30 months to pass. The clock begins ticking on the date you pass your first exam section. In the past, it was 18 months but most states have extended this period to give you some breathing room in light of recent exam changes. Check out this helpful map that was provided by NASBA to see where your State Board of Accountancy falls on this historic change:

Status of CPA Credit Period Decision By Jurisdiction

You can read more about this historical rule amendment here. Be sure to check with your State Board of Accountancy to confirm what the current rule is in your state.

3. Is the 30-month window 100% approved/effective?
The enactment date varies by state. Please check NASBA to be 100% sure and refer to this map that shows the Status of Credit Period Decision by Jurisdiction as of January 25, 2024.

4. If you are taking BAR as your discipline, what order do you suggest taking all 4 exams?
This depends on your schedule and strengths. But if you’re taking BAR because you have a strong understanding of financial accounting, consider taking it right after FAR. And AUD has some parallels to financial accounting so potentially do that one after.
So, REG – FAR – BAR – AUD.

5. Are there still 12 MCQs and 1 TBS that don’t count towards my score?
There will still be “test” questions the AICPA will include on your exam that won’t count towards your score (to see how those questions perform). The exact amount of test questions is not information provided to us. It will be difficult to identify these questions on exam day so please plan to answer whichever question is in front of you to the best of your ability.

6. Are there any states that only require 120 credit hours to sit for the exam?
There are states where you only need 120 hours to sit for the exam, but (at least for now) even those states require 150 hours to ultimately get your license and become a CPA.

Ready to tackle the CPA Exam?
Sign up for a free 7-day trial of UWorld CPA Review. No credit card required.

7. I have a question regarding the multi-stage testing process. What are your recommendations to succeed in it? Do you believe that answering the first testlet to the best of your abilities could potentially lead to triggering questions in the second testlet that are outside your abilities?
The AICPA removed the system of making the second testlet harder if you do well on the first. As an aside, answer every question to the best of your ability. And focus on the question in front of you. If you start overthinking what might be coming in the next testlet, you might lose or miss some details on the question you’re currently working on.

8. I love IT, accounting, and taxes. If I choose to sit for ISC, do I have to go the “audit” career route? It seems like ISC is related to auditing.
No, you don’t have to go the audit route. ISC is a great foundation for any accountant no matter which route their career ultimately takes them down. A solid understanding of systems and technology would benefit even tax accountants. For example, large accounting firms have entire practices devoted to tax technology. This is why even REG and TCP exams are incorporating technology more and more.

9. Does UWorld offer Virtual Classes?
Yes! CPA virtual classes are now offered as a part of our Elite-Unlimited and Elite-Unlimited+ course packages.

10. Is there a schedule/plan that you can recommend for a full-time working mom?
The UWorld CPA Review Course has a personalized study planner that will help you plan out your review sessions based on your individual needs. Check it out for yourself with a free trial. Good luck to you!

Want more information on navigating the 2024 CPA Exam and choosing the right discipline? Be sure to watch the full webinar recording here.

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