Using AICPA Sample Tests
Learn how to best utilize the AICPA's Sample Tests before sitting for the CPA Exam to test your readiness and provide a preview of the exam format and rules. This quick run-through of the AICPA’s practice tests will help guide you.
Roger Philipp, CPA presents:
USING AICPA SAMPLE TESTS
Passing the CPA exam is an important milestone in the career of countless accounting professionals worldwide. Tackling this challenge, you’ll spend up to 400 hours preparing with review lectures and practice software. Before heading into your exams, Roger CPA Review recommends setting aside time to run through the sample tests provided by the AICPA. Doing so will not only test your readiness for your exams but also provide a preview of the exam format and rules. To find the AICPA sample tests, you will need to use Internet Explorer, as that is the program’s only compatible browser. Easily jump to the AICPA’s CPA exam page by typing: www.cpa-exam.org. Here, you will see a link to the tutorial and sample tests. We encourage you to read through the material on the following page as it provides additional information about what to expect on your exams. To open the sample tests, click on this box here, review the important notice and system requirements on the next page, and follow the prompts to open the tests. Please note that once you start the exam, you will not be able to move around on your computer desktop without exiting the program. So, make sure you are ready to sit down and dedicate time to your practice exam. You will need to download the plugin for the sample tests. Follow the prompts to do so until you reach the exam screen. Our computer has the test already downloaded, so we will skip these steps here. In this example, we will enter the Auditing and Attestation sample test. Again, make sure to read through all of these instructional pages as they contain important information for you as you proceed through the sample test. Once you’re past the instructional pages, we can enter the sample test for the section we are studying. As you’ll see here, the timer on my exam has already begun, so the more you can learn about the exam now, the more time you will save on exam day. The first testlet in this case contains multiple choice questions. These are fairly straightforward, asking you to select once correct answer for each problem by clicking on the bubble to the left of your choice. At the bottom of each page of the testlet, you will see a list of all the problems within. Just like on the actual CPA exam, you may flag questions for review and return to them while still in this testlet. Make sure to return to any unfinished or flagged questions before exiting your testlet. While you may jump around within the testlet, once you exit the testlet, you cannot return at a later time. When you have completed this testlet, click exit to move on to the next part. When you are in your exam, you will see a variety of tabs which will vary depending on the testlet. In a task-based simulation testlet, you will find work tabs indicated by a pencil, an information tab and a help tab. The reference information for the task-based simulation research questions of your exam can be found on the information tab called “Authoritative Literature.” You will also see tools at the top of your page, such as a desktop calculator. In your TBS questions, you may encounter data tables such as this one here. If you click on the “Help” tab at the top, you will find an explanation about how to complete a table response. Study and practice this procedure as it will be a bit different than creating a standard Excel spreadsheet. To complete work tasks, you may need to reference the searchable database found within the “Authoritative Literature” tab. To practice using the Authoritative Literature Resources before your exams, please visit the displayed website to submit a free, professional literature request subscription from NASBA. The subscription is valid for six months and available to anyone with a valid notice to schedule. Using the Authoritative Literature tab, search for keywords associated with the question using the search box which will pull up all references within the literature to those keywords. From there, use the “Search Within” function to find specific instances of keywords within each subsection. Keywords will be highlighted in the text, and you can go through them to find the relevant text that answers the research problem. As I narrow my search, I am able to find parts of my answer. I can click back and forth between tabs or even split the viewing window so I can enter the information I find for my answer. After completing all the TBS questions in this testlet, review each problem, ensuring completion, and revisit any questions that you may have flagged. You’ll notice that questions in which you have entered any values will be shaded in blue; however, a blue shaded question does not ensure that the question is complete, so a quick review is important before moving on. Once you’ve completed the entire sample test, you can go see your results. Review your performance by clicking on the “How did I do?” button. This will take you back through your responses, putting a green checkmark next to the correct answer. TBS questions will have a feedback tab for explanation and to show you the correct response; in this case, a completed table. It’s important to review the results, carefully re-reading any correct and incorrect answers to best solidify your understanding of the concepts. We hope this quick run-through of the AICPA’s practice test has helped guide you in using this important study resource. By practicing in the format of the CPA exam, learning how to navigate the instructions, tools and question structure, you will be even better prepared for testing. Good luck and happy studying.
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