CPA Exam Game Plan
Passing the CPA Exam will be one of your most rewarding professional accomplishments—but where do you start? Research shows that having a clear plan of attack is critical to CPA Exam success. Start today with this exclusive free webcast from the most cele
– Hello, and welcome. Today we’re gonna talk about the CPA exam game plan. Which deals with how to prepare for, how to sit for and how to pass the uniform CPA exam. Now I’d like to start out by letting people realize the CPA exam is not an IQ test, it’s a test of discipline. which means if you study you will pass. Our job is to motivate you in order to put the required amount of hours in, in order to accomplish your goal, which is to pass the CPA exam. Now I’m Roger Phillip of UWorld Roger CPA Review and we at UWorld have helped over 2 million students prepare for high stake exams such as medical, nursing, legal, finance and also CPA Review. Now, as far as CPA Review, we have over a 91% pass rate. That means that if you do what we tell you to do you will accomplish that goal of passing the CPA exam. That 91% is the highest in the industry. We’ve also found that our students pass the CPA exam at about three times the rate of a non UWorld Roger CPA Review student especially because of the great products that we’ve created, one of which is called Smart Path. And that is basically using predictive technology which helps test you and your knowledge to make sure that you are properly prepared to sit for and successfully pass the CPA exam. Now, why is it an exciting time to become a CPA? First of all, long-term job security. What that means is as the economy picks up you get through the pandemic and so forth businesses start coming back. What is the first thing they need? A CPA in order to keep track of all their finances. So first of all, it is awesome as far as job security, you have great flexibility. You become a trusted advisor to your client but also to your family and friends. I have family and friends that come to me and look to me as a consultant, for example in getting information in order to help them in their individual or business lives as well. We’re also at the forefront of the latest technology. And you’ll see that as we talk about some of the upcoming changes to the CPA exam, especially in audit BEC where we talk about IT information technology. You also get to enjoy a work-life balance and a work-life balance means that I’m going to go in there I’m gonna have a career that I love and is always changing so you’re always learning. In other words, you’re not going to get bored that’s for sure, because there’s always new accounting laws, tax laws, and so forth, but also you get a great salary. In other words, I think they’ve done a study and they said the average CPA makes about a million dollars more over their lifetime than a non CPA. So right there alone that should be enough motivation to help you put in the hours it takes to become a CPA. Now, when we talk about how to pass the CPA exam we like to say how do you get from point A to point CPA? And that’s known as the four E’s that we’re gonna talk about momentarily. And those four E’s include the education and that’s the education requirements. What does it take me to qualify, to sit for the CPA exam? What is the CPA exam itself? We’ll talk about something called the ethics exam, we’ve got to make sure you’re ethical and then also the work experience required. And once I’ve got all that, let’s submit the paperwork. So I can in fact, obtain my CPA exam license. Now, as far as the national educational requirements and this is an important point that every state is a little bit different. So please go to our website, our UWorld website and look at your particular individual state. So you’ll understand what in fact the requirements are for your individual state but in general you need a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in order to sit for the exam. Generally, it’s about 120 to 150 semester units. Now in many States, you just need 120 to sit but 150 to get certified. In other States, you may need 150 which is like a Master’s degree in order to sit and also to get certified. So again, that’s why it’s important to understand your individual state’s requirements. You also need in that degree a certain number of accounting and business courses. So for example, you might need a certain number of courses 24 semester 36 quarter units and so forth. So we’ll talk about that a little bit later but it’s important to realize that every state’s a little bit different. So please take a few moments, go to our website. We have listed in detail, state by state, by state. Now a lot of people sit back and go I can’t wait to become a CPA. Well, people what is the CPA exam? Well, there are four parts to the CPA exam. Each part is four hours in length. Let’s see four times four, 16 hours. You already passed the first part of exam. So what that means is it’s four, four hour exams. You can sit for these parts in any order you choose. And a lot of people will say, well what order should I take it in? And I’ll talk about that momentarily as well but let’s first start off by saying, well, what is on the CPA exam? The four parts are FAR, financial accounting reporting, auditing, regulation, and business environment and concepts known as BEC. In the FAR or financial accounting reporting exam that includes your intermediate one. Intermediate two, advanced government and nonprofit accounting squeezed into a fun-filled four hour adventure. So that is FAR and that will probably take by far the most hours to prepare for because the book itself and the content is very thick. There’s a lot of material, lots of detail but it’s actually kind of a fun part to study for. Another part of the exam is auditing and attestation. Auditing involves and most of you probably had an audit class and if not, don’t worry because we will teach you what you need to know to pass the exam. But that includes planning the audit internal controls, substandard testing IT, audit reports, reviews, compilations. So all of that is wrapped up into a four hour exam. Regulation is also four hours. That includes tax, law and ethics. Now, as far as taxes that makes up the majority of the regulation exam that would involve things like individual taxes escrows, partnerships, C corporations. It involves things like your partnerships. So all of that is part of your regulation exam and part of that tax portion. Then finally we have BEC, business environment and concepts also four hours that includes economics, micro, macro, corporate governance, internal control enterprise risk management, financial management, budgeting our favorite cost managerial, right? It’s back, so that’s all part of the BEC exam. Now, one of the things you’ll see as you’re studying for the exam is all of these parts are interrelated. What that means is a lot of the stuff that you’ll talk about in one part. So for example, let’s say, you’ll talk about that in FAR and let’s say, we’ll be talking about leases. Well, then you go to the auditing portion and there we talk about, okay, in financial accounting how do you account for the Lease in auditing, how do you audit that lease? How do you make sure that they accounted for the lease properly? Whether it’s income statement, balance sheet and so forth. So there’s a lot of interrelation that you’re going to see there as you’re studying. And that’s why, as I tell my students, you know the first exam just feels on my gosh kind of overwhelming. Then the second exam kind of builds upon and the third and so on. Because way back in the day when I took the exam when I was your age, I sound like your parents. But back in my day we had to take all four parts simultaneously at the same time. The thing that was great about that is when you studied for it, you really understood how auditing tied into financial accounting, which tied into your tax into your M1 reconciliation and so on. So you could see how the things were interrelated. Nowadays, most people study for part take a part pass a part study for part pass a part. So by the third or fourth time or the third or fourth part, rather, you start to go, Oh now I see how it’s interrelated. So it really starts to fall into place. So it’s important that you realize, again what’s on the exam but also how all these parts are interrelated as well. Now, as far as the waiting on the exam when we look at audit, FAR and REG all three of those exams are similar in that they’re four hours and it’s 50% of the exam is multiple choice. 15% is task-based simulations. So multiple choice I’ll show you examples. It could be like a, you know, four choices ABCD type choice. And then this task based simulation could be a research question, or it could be a problem where you’re actually filling out documents. It could be matching type questions. So that’s your task based simulation. With BEC now, remember BEC was economics financial management, cost managerial, IT and so on. BEC is 50% multiple choice, 35% task-based simulations and 15% written communication or essays. Notice that BEC is the only exam with written communication and AUD, FAR and REG all have a research question whereas BEC does not. So that’s the way it’s set up. Now, I always tell students the CPA exam is not an IQ test. What does it take to pass the exam? A score of 75 or better? So if you get a 75 or better, woo, I’m a CPA. Right now, if I got a 75 in all my college classes, yes, I’d be a CPA but it feels like you’re C, a C average student. Well, that’s what C in CPA stands for we’re average. Now that doesn’t mean you should go to the partner in the firm and go, you’re a CPA you must be average. No, what it means is it’s not an IQ test but you need a little bit about a lot of information. So it’s kind of like a river, an inch deep and a mile wide. So we’ve gotta be able to go through the material and you need to understand it. So in a minute and a quarter you can jump from leases, bonds, pensions deferred taxes, contingent, liabilities, your brain. And that’s where the repetition comes in. That’s also where our smart path predictive technology software comes in because it really helps you to understand the concepts. Plus the way that we’ve written our solutions is awesome in that it gives you a diagram and we tell you not only why A is right, but why B, C and D are wrong, that’s how you learn the material. Because I like to tell my students that maybe this time the answer is X, but if I change one or two of the words in the question, it changes from answer A to answer C. So you need to understand, cause a lot of I have little kids and they’re like, just tell me the answer. You need to know not only why it’s this the correct answer but why the others are incorrect because next time you do the problem those may switch and become the correct ones. Now we’re looking at something called the AICPA blueprints and the blueprints those are the content framework for the CPA exam. And this is put out by the AICPA. Basically what this does is it maps out the skills and the tasks that are going to be tested on your exam. And this is something nice because that helps us to prepare materials but it also helps you to prepare for the exam because it’s based on something called that all your college professors use Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. And what that says is let’s look at all the different ways that people learn. So what it says here is we’re going to look at things like remembering and understanding. We’re going to have application we’re going to have something called the analysis and we’re also going to have something called the valuation. And what that means basically is that as we look at the questions, you’ll see here that it breaks it down and it says, okay, remembering and understanding application analysis, evaluation how is this particular area getting tested on the CPA exam? So what the AICPA blueprint here this is for audit, for example. And you’ll see, for example, under analysis that says, okay this one topic will be tested via analysis. You’ll see another one there under sampling that it’s marked under remembering and understanding. And how is this benefiting us? First of all, with remembering and understanding it tells us those kinds of questions will be multiple choice. It tells us if it’s an application, if it’s checked under application, it could be multiple choice or a form of a problem called the TBS, task based simulation which I’ll expand on momentarily. If it’s checked under analysis that says it’s gonna be a problem a task based simulation. And then finally for evaluation that only exists in audit not the other three parts because that tells you it’s going to be a TBS or a task-based simulation. And it says, you’re going to do this problem where you basically have to draw some sort of conclusion. So the beauty of these AICPA blueprints, which again the AICPA gives to us and then it helps us to show you how and the ways that different content will be tested. Again, remembering understanding tells you it’s multiple choice application, multiple choice or a problem analysis is a problem evaluation is a problem, but only for audit. Now, as I said what are the kinds of questions we’re gonna see? Well, you’ve got multiple choice type questions, task-based simulations, which includes something called the D R S, a document review simulation which I’ll show you momentarily. You’ll also have research type questions and then finally written communication, which are only in the BEC exam, not in any of the other three. So for example, here, you’ll see a multiple choice question. And with this multiple choice type question, basically what it has is there’s four different choices there you’ll see. Now maybe it’s ABCD or maybe there’s just four different choices but generally we set this up so it looks exactly like what you’re going to see at the CPA exam. You’ll see a countdown clock there, you’ll see information and so forth when you’re going through the question but here you’ll see the different choices. So that’s typically multiple choice. Now recalling earlier, we said about 50% of audit are multiple choice 50% of BEC is multiple choice. So that’s 50% tested this way which tests you on what remembering and understanding as well as application. Then you’ve got here something called a task based simulation. And in this particular type of problem you’ll see here where they’re going through and asking you to pick from lists. So when you click on it, it opens up a list and then you pick that item and it bubbles it in. So it’s a type of problem, it’s a more involved question than a multiple choice, for example, but they’re still giving you different options to choose from. You’ll also see here, a DRS or a document review simulation. This one’s a little bit more difficult. Basically, they give you a list of exhibits. And when you click on the exhibit it opens up like a spreadsheet or a board of directors meeting information or a letter from the president or something from the bank or a confirmation. So it opens up some kind of exhibit or resource document. And this here is kind of like in the real world it’s kind of a real world application. If you were to go out and do an audit and the client says here’s my shoe box full of receipts you need to be able to go through those exhibits and say this is relevant to the exam problem Therefore, we’re gonna need it, this is irrelevant. It’s just there to throw me off and ruin my career. But that’s the purpose of this DRS type problem. So it’s a more involved problem, a problem like this instead of a multiple choice, taking a minute and a quarter to a minute and a half you might have 10 to 15 minutes to work on a problem like this. So it’s important to kind of review these in advance. It’s a great way of learning the material but also getting comfortable with how the questions are going to be asked. Another type is written communication. And this is on BEC only, basically what they’re having you do is to write an essay. You need a beginning, a middle and an end. and it’s based on it says your organization. So they want to make sure you’re not like having bullet points, but it’s clearly organized. It’s clear, concise, complete, use of standard English appropriateness for the reader. All of those are the things they’re looking for. They want to make sure that you’ve got examples, definitions, right? Staying on topic. So all of those things are important. So I always tell my students and we’ll go through these in class is it’s important to see the key words and repeat those key words back to them in your solution. You also want to make sure that the grammar, the punctuation, word usage, all of those are correct and complete as well. All of that shows the examiners that you understand the material. So that’s the way that the exam structure is set up. Those are the kinds of problems and questions you can expect to see. Now, as far as more specifically, the exam structure you’ll see here for the four different parts on each exam there’s what we call five test-lets and the test lets are two of them are multiple choice and then you’ll have the other three for AUD, FAR and REG, the other three will be task-based simulations. And those task-based simulations, as I said could be a document review simulation or a bubble in the item, or pick it from a list that kind of problem you’ll see. For BEC as we said, 50% is multiple choice but then 35% was task-based simulations. Now in Audit, FAR and REG you can have about eight task-based simulations in BEC generally you’ll have about four of those task-based simulations and three essays or written communication. Now, one of the things that we like to work through is we would need to work on great time management. So you’ll see here, how we’ve broken it down. So for example in FAR, you’ll see test-let one has 33 multiple choice you’ve got about 45 minutes. Now you do the math you’ll see, you’ve got like a minute and a quarter per question, that’s not a lot of time So obviously in the multiple choice question where they’re testing, remembering and understanding or application what do you want to do there is you want to make sure that you’re comfortable with the material because you’ve got very little time to get through it. But again, that question can’t get into too much detail on the lease because you’ve only got a minute and a quarter we’re to get into the detail later on in the task based simulations. So you’ll see there test-let one, test-let two, test-let three has two task-based simulations. And we suggest about 30 minutes 30 minutes for two questions, that’s about 15 minutes of question so figure about 15. Now, remember I said, you have a countdown clock on the computer, cause you’re not allowed to bring a watch or anything like that. So it’s you against the clock, so part of the exam and passing the exam, is good time management. So we will work on that together in class. But the key is to realize how much time I’ve got for multiple choice, how much time I have per task based simulation. Then you’ll see halfway through. And the halfway through means you should be about two hours into the exam, you get a 15 minute break for free. Now, when I took the exam, when I was your age they didn’t give us a break. Right? We had took it in California, in Los Angeles, at USC at the Convention Center and there were about 6,000 people in the same room as I take an exam we were sitting in these desks facing straight forward and that was it. And you could take a break, but the clock kept running. Now what they said is they said, you know what? It’s not fair to the students. Let’s make it a little more balanced. Let’s give them a little bit of time. So they give you a free 15 minute break. That means that when you finish that test-let three with the two task-based simulations, at that point, it says do you want to take a break? Sure, say, yes, you’ve got 15 minutes to stretch. Get up, leave, if you leave the room you got to get back in line and check back in. You’ve got to be seated within 15 minutes. Cause in 15 minutes, your clock will start running again. Then you’ve got your test-lets four and five, for example and are far we’re looking at you’ve got three task-based simulations and then three more. Now notice here we say 60 minutes for three is about 20 minutes a question because these are generally more detailed. These are probably going to be more of that document review simulation where you’ve got a variety of exhibits that you’ve got to open, look at read and see if it’s something that’s relevant to the exam. But what I want you to understand is the flow of the exam. So you’ll notice each one has your five task-based simulations. You’ll also notice that for each one as well that each one has five test lets rather. And you’ll notice here as far as the timing it’s a little different because each exam has a different number of multiple choice. For example, FAR has 33 times 266, audit has 36 times 272 questions regulation has the most 38 times 276 and then BEC has the least, which is about 62. Now you’ll notice BEC as I’ll mention in a moment you’ll probably want to do last. And it’s probably the one you’ll have the least amount of issues with as far as timing, because it has fewer multiple choice and fewer task-based simulations. The other thing I want to mention is you are allowed to take a break after every test let. So after each test-let it says do you want to take a break? But remember if you say yes, you can get up and do whatever but the clock keeps running. After test-let three that’s your free break where you get, hey I’ve got 15 minutes free, I think I’ll take it. As far as the way the exam is set up. What they do is they want to make sure the exam is always up to date. That means they will go out there and they will talk to the practitioners and the professors with the different universities. And they wanna see what’s happening in the universities what’s happening in the real world. And they want to make sure the AICPA CPA exam is on topic. That means that they’re always updating it. Now, in this particular case we have huge updates that are coming right around the corner, July, 2021 there are several expected changes especially in two parts audit and BEC. Now what does that mean? It means that if you’re studying for the exam and you can sit for it before July 1st you may want to nail out audit and BEC. Why? Because then you don’t have to learn any of the new changes. Now I’ve listed here, what they’re adding. Cause there’s a few things they’re adding there’s a few things they’re taking away. So for example, in this case, they’re adding to the CPA exam and audit and BEC things like digital mindset. And what they’re looking at really here is technology. And the reason is because as we all know technology is becoming more and more important part of all of our individual lives as well as our business lives as well. So with technology approach produces a significant amount of data. Now the data needs to be what, needs to be controlled understood, and verified. So when we look at it that way, we say, okay what do we need to understand what digital mindset we need to understand how the data is structured how to extract the data and use the data, intellectual property rules and rights, data governance which is a new section itself as well and judgment. So that tells us, okay, that’s what they’re adding digital mindset. Data analytics is important as well because that is when we’re analyzing data to draw conclusions that will help us to reveal different trends. So we analyze the data, data analytics because we’re trying to see the trends where are our sales coming from, what are different costs how are they related and things like that. Finally, the technological impacts how does it impact the business processes? Internal control, the general application controls. And we’ll talk about that, especially in auditing. So those are some of the things that they’re going to be adding to the exam in July, 2021, those are the expected changes. So what does that mean again, standing here today if it’s before July 20, 21, maybe you can squeeze audit and BEC and take it in before. If it’s after July, 2021, don’t worry about it because now all that new information is already included in there and I’ll talk about, okay which order should I sit for the exam momentarily. Other changes things they’re deleting, right? They’re getting rid of, one of them is IFRS, now wait a sec. International financial reporting standards that was huge years ago and we thought it was going to take over the world. And guess what? People still like US gap more therefore, what does it mean? They’re taking IFRS off the exam. The other thing that they’re removing is the state taxation. Now in tax for years I’ve been teaching the state’s trust and all that. All of that’s going away except for gift tax. So gift tax, you can tell your parents, hey, you’re allowed to give me $15,000 each that’s $30,000 married and joined if mom and dad are still married, great. Just give me 30 grand a year, thank you very much. I would avoid the state tax and so on. Things and the reasons why they change and take stuff away and add stuff is they’re trying to test on what a second year CPA would do in public accounting. So if they’re trying to see what a second year CPA does maybe they’re not going to be working with the States and trusts as much, but your gift tax your client’s going to have a questions about gift tax. Things that they were considering eliminating but decided to keep would include state and local government and that’s in financial accounting reporting we’ll talk about that. Also the written communications because those are exclusively in BEC but there was a time where they said, you know what? I don’t know if we still need to have them write essays. They decided, you know what we do. So we’ll keep it in the BEC exam. So that’s kind of the way that it’s set up. Now, as far as the suggested order, generally speaking as far as the prep time, prep time, the most to the least what’s going to take the most amount of time FAR, financial accounting reporting because there’s so much material in there. The second one’s probably regulation which is tax law and ethics. Because again, a lot of information auditing will take a significant amount but probably a little less than regulation and then BEC even less. So if you were to put the books next to each other FAR is the biggest, then REG, then audit then BEC is really small. So our suggestion is to go in that order. However, let’s say you want to sit for the exam in the near future. And let’s say there’s changes coming up for example, in audit, or let’s say in audit and BEC maybe you wanna sit for audit and BEC first before those changes occur, if you’re indifferent then we suggest do FAR then do REG or audit then you REG or audit finish up with BEC. However, let’s say you just finished, you just graduated school and you had an amazing auditing teacher. Oh my gosh, he or she was wonderful and I understood it and it’s clear, concise. You know what? Before I forget everything, I just learned let me do that one first, which is fine too. So maybe there’s a part you feel better about tax or audit or FAR, start with that one first then because part of passing the exam is just feeling confident, right? It’s just having self confidence. So getting that first part knocked out getting 75 or above and saying, woo, I passed that part. Then you go, you know what? This is doable, I can do this. And as I said, if you study you will pass our job is to motivate you to want to keep studying in order to pass the exam. So that would be the suggestion as far as the order. Now, once you pass apart you have 18 months to pass the rest. What does that mean? It means I take apart, I passed that part. That means that I passed the part boom, your 18 month clock starts running. That Clock starts running from the date that you sat for the exam. So if I sat for the exam July 5th and whatever, 2028, that means boom. I passed far, I have 18 months from that date to pass the rest. Now that’s also why we suggest you start with FAR because FAR will probably take you longer to prepare for. So the date of the timing of the 18 months doesn’t start until you sit for the exam. So your study, study, study, take FAR pass FAR take FAR the clock starts running. Now I just have those other three parts to pass within 18 months. What if I don’t pass within 18 months? The good news is you don’t lose everything, you just lose that first part. So it’s an 18 month window. So I pass apart, pass apart, don’t pass, don’t pass and then 18 months goes by you just lose that first one. So as long as it’s an 18 month window so you’ll see here, I passed July 5th. I’ve got until January, 2030, for example to pass the last part. If you don’t, you don’t lose everything. In my day if you didn’t pass it, you lost everything. You’d to start all over. Now, you don’t have to. So that’s what the 18 month rolling window talks about. Now, as far as making sure you’re exam ready what do I need to do? Because I can feel the energy and enthusiasm. I can feel it through the screen you’re saying, Rod, I’m motivated this is my time, I’m gonna become a CPA. How do I do it? First enroll in your CPA review course which hopefully is the UWorld Roger CPA Review course. Apply for the exam with the board of accountancy in your state, so you’ll apply for the exam. You fill out the application, send them the information have your transcripts sent over and so on. Once they approve all that, then you receive your NTS which is a notice to schedule. That means now I can sign up and pay for the parts I want to sit for. Every state’s a little bit different, some States say, whatever part you pay for you have to sit for within six months. Some are nine months, some are 12 months. Let’s say you’re in a state where it’s six months. Maybe I’m not gonna sit for all four in six months then only pay for the two or three parts you want to sit for in the next six months cause you can always add more parts later. Then you receive this thing called a notice to schedule. That means then I’m going to contact someone called Prometrics, which I’ll talk about in a minute and I’m going to book my CPA exam itself. So that’s called your NTS, your notice to schedule. Now we have a three months, six months, nine months 12 months study plan. And we’ll set up a study schedule with you. Now let’s say, I said I want to pass all three parts in three months. So what does that look like? Or in other words, how much of my life do I have to give up? Well, first of all, you’ll see here for FAR we’re saying, okay, you’ve got about four weeks, those are the green color. Then you go to audit about three weeks. Then you go to REG about three weeks. Then you go to BEC about two weeks. So that means that I’m going to be putting in many hours every day. If I’m working full-time that’s great. But when I get home at night I’m going to have to study, on the weekends I’m going to have to study because I’m trying to squeeze it into three months. But you don’t have to, you can do, you know, some people graduate college and go I want to get it done before I start working. Some people go, I’m already working, let me not went out every two months, so that’s fine too. But again, we will work with you on that three, six nine or 12 months study schedule whatever works best for you in your life. Now get your life in order, what does that mean? It means first of all, build a support system. That means sit down with your family, your friends your coworkers, let them know, hey, I’m going to be going through a lot in the next three, six, nine, 12 months. So I need you to be understanding, you know, honey I can’t do dishes anymore. I’m not going to be taking you out. The point is build a support system because you want people on your side. Because as I said, part of passing, this exam is just confidence, is having the support that you need. Put it in your calendar, that means make sure that you’ve marked down when you’re gonna study I’m doing that three month plan, every night I’m going to study, on the weekends I’m going to study. I’ll take a day off every so often and so on but you want to clear yourself of any of these distractions. They’ve also done studies and they found out that if you start studying at the same time every day it takes you less time to get into that great study mode. And I found the same thing. If you say, okay, I’m going to get home from work eat a quick dinner and start studying at seven o’clock the first day it’ll take you until 7:20 to get going and then 7:15 and then eventually it’s seven I start at 7:02 I’m into it. So they always say set up a study schedule and start a study at the same time each day. And then maybe, you know, the weekends start even earlier that’s a great way to get that. Then schedule your exams. And then again customize your study planner and they’re fully customizable, so you can adjust it accordingly for your individual study needs. Now, when you’re ready to take the exam you go to a testing center called Prometrics and Prometrics is located all over the country all over the world. That’s why the CPA exam has gone global. So if you were working overseas for a client you could actually sit for the exam in that country as well. Now with pro metrics this is where they give all kinds of exams right? GMATs, GRE exam, all these exams are given here at Prometrics. One of them also being the CPA exam. So you show up, you have to bring a valid ID. You’ve got to bring your notice to schedule. You’ve got to bring like a credit card with your name on it. You want to make sure everything matches. Let’s say you did something crazy. Like you fell in love, got married and changed your name. Well, I applied for the exam under one name. So my notice to schedule has one name but my driver’s license and credit card has a different name, you got to fix that. Everything has to match so you need to bring that with you. Then you get in line, you put everything in a locker and then you get in line. You check in fingerprints, you and you sit down and then you start the exam. Now it mentions here, sign up for scheduled or unscheduled breaks. Your scheduled break is after that third test let you’ve got a 15 minute break. Unscheduled means in between test-lets. I want to take a break, you can, but remember the clock keeps riding. Now what’s prohibited, you can’t bring notes with the you, you can’t bring your cell phone with you. Every time they catch people doing this they kick you out and your exam is basically you failed. You can’t talk to others we know that, if you bring a jacket in with you to the room you have to wear it the entire time. I had one student was stuck underneath an air conditioning fan. First of all, I would go and ask if I could be moved. If not, you’re stuck there for four hours with the wind blowing on you. So I tell students, dress comfortably, maybe wear a t-shirt and then put a sweatshirt over it that you can zip shut if it’s cold or leave open, but you cannot take it off and hang it over the chair that is forbidden. It says here soft earplugs, right? No wires or cords cause you’re going to go, hey Roger, what’s the answer? No, but you can bring those because it helps because you’re sitting in a room, looking in your cubicle at your screen and the person next to you might be reading out loud.
– And you’re like ooh, so I would do that. The other thing is sometimes when you go to the CPA exam at Prometrics, you’re not supposed to have a calculator, we have an onscreen calculator but they don’t remember what exam you’re taking. So a lot of times they’ll say, would you like a calculator? Yes, I would take it with you. Okay, if they offer it, great, take it with you. But that’s called pro metrics. You can also sign up to do a walkthrough before your exam. If you want to go a couple of days or weeks ahead of time go through there and kind of see what it looks like, so you get a feel for it. You know, we found in life, the more comfortable you are the less stressed you’re going to be. So if it makes you more comfortable to go take the public transportation there in advance you know how much time it takes cause you don’t want to be late. You need to get there early to check in, sign in, and then sit down and take your exam. So again, these are things that you can work through in order to help make this experience a little less stressful. As far as that we talked about, okay you need certain educational to sit. Here’s what the exam is like. Here’s the application process. How do I get certified? And that’s kind of like your national licensure requirements. And as I said to sit for the exam maybe in some States I need 120 units, but to get certified that’s where I need 150. So in order to get certified you need the Bachelor’s degree, which I needed to sit. You need 150 semester or 225 quarter. And it talks about at least 24 in certain classes like accounting and business classes. And then you generally need work experience. Most States you need one year of work experience some are different. When I took the exam years ago we only needed 120 units, but two years of experience then they changed it and said, okay, 120 to sit 150 to get certified, but one year of experience. So again, every state’s different. I encourage you to check out our website where we have an, a huge, complete list of all the States, all the requirements and so forth. But you want to know the requirements to sit as well as the requirements to get certified. There’s also something called the ethics exam, right? How ethical and the ethics exam is basically a take-home exam. And in the olden days I had a book and you would go through the book and all the questions and the solutions are in the book. Nowadays it’s an online exam but basically it’s about 40 questions, its self study, it’s an open book. You need to get at least a 90% or above in order to pass which means 90% of 49 is 46. You would only miss four questions, but all the solutions all the answers are in the book. You just have to do a little bit of research. If you don’t pass it, you can retake it again. But the point is, that’s called the ethics exam. And I always joke, it’s the one exam, everybody cheats on, right? How ethical, right? Hey Rod, which ethics exam did you get? What’s the answer, but they’re basically very specific questions. Like let’s say about independence. Your brother’s wife’s father is the CEO of this company. Can you do the audit? Well, I don’t remember. That’s what you’ll have to look up to see. So it’s kind of like stuff that’s on part of the audit exam as well, but these are more specific more detailed questions just to make sure you understand independence, objectivity and so forth. Now, as I said earlier, the road from A to CPA includes those four E’s, which we talked about, education, the exam itself, the ethics exam the work experience you need. The last thing is, okay, I’ve got the experience now let’s submit my paperwork and become a CPA. Now, as far as the CPA exam and as far as your life in general the time to invest in yourself is what is now. That means is the time to put in the hours. That means become a CPA putting in the hours, improving upon your career. Don’t put your future on hold. Don’t keep putting it off. Now is the time, especially if you’re working from home or you have a little bit more flexibility less travel time and so forth. Now is the time to make that next step. The next level, as I said, the average CPA makes about a million dollars a year over their lifetime. Than a non CPA. Use that as motivation to say now’s the time, now I’m going to get through it. Invest in yourself, the beautiful thing about this too is because we give you an unlimited repeat mode, you can take it forever. That means that you may as well start studying sooner than later because your materials are constantly updated. So what I suggest is while you’re in college that’s the best time to sign up for our course use our wonderful materials and lectures to help you in school. And I found that students in their senior year, for example that are using our course and using our materials it helps them to get a better grade in school because they have a better understanding because university professors have a difficult job. They’ve got to distinguish between an A and a C student. Our job is to help you pass a standardized exam. And that’s why it’s so important that we can set up and teach you the material in a way that’s understandable, that flows from step A to Z and it’ll help you not only in school but it will help you on the CPA exam itself. You’ll see, we have these wonderful, proven results. As I said about our 91% pass rate. Whereas the national average is about 48% and here you’ll see a testimonial and we’ve got hundreds of these on our site from students or thousands of them, of students who’ve said, you know, I love your course, I love your product. I love the way that it’s set up. I love how it’s fully featured. And so on that I can study anywhere anytime. So again, you be the judge watch some free demos to compare because the courses are all different. The highest quality and CPA exam prep what does that mean? Fully featured mobile app. And I just got a great testimonial from someone who said he loved our app because he could study anywhere, anytime he could do sample exams anywhere, anytime he could take notes he could write flashcards and so on. So fully featured mobile app, time-saving technology that’s our smart path. Smart path is when you’re doing the questions it keeps track of where you’re strong and where you’re weak. So let’s say, it’ll say, you know what? You’ve got a 90% in this section move on go to the section where you’ve got a 42%. So it will push you. So you, because a lot of us tend to say, oh, I love accounts receivable, extended credit sales agent or I’ll just study this and we know it backwards and forwards but then this stuff, governmental accounting I’m a little foggy on. This will tell you where you’re strong, where you’re weak and it’s based on how many questions you’ve done what percent correct you’re getting, how much time you’re spending. All of those data analytics will be kept. And you can do research and see where you’re strong, where you’re weak, where you need to do the work industry’s best materials. We have a huge, huge staff that works on the content of the materials. We hire college professors, PhDs, practitioners, and so all the questions, the solutions the materials are well-written thoroughly reviewed and so on in order to make sure that it’s exactly what you need and it’s summarized, it’s simplified. it focuses you in on the key information. That’s why students like to use our materials in college because you know, the books, your intermediate books this thick, and it spends 50 pages explaining leases that we can do in seven to 10 pages. So we cut out the fact focus you in what you need. As I said, you have free updates and lifetime access. So if you start setting in college you have access to our course forever. And any time things are updated those updates are automatically put onto the online course and we get you the updates as well. So you can see those updates, whether they’re in a materials or whether they’re in the book itself. As far as the financing discounts all of those things are available. You can bill it to your firm as well. So there’s all these different things that are available. The key is for you to decide that this is the time for me. I need to enroll today. I need to prepare for the next chapter of my life, the next chapter of my career. And you too, if you study you will pass, you too will become a CPA. Thank you for your time and study hard.
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