Think about it. You can either start training to be a ski jumper (one of the top hardest events) for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, somehow qualify last minute, or sneak in (and good luck pronouncing “Pyeongchang” to prove you belong there). Or, you can be a true stunner and become a CPA, which entails just about the same amount of diligent preparation and perseverance.
“The 2014 CPA Exam Pass rate statistics tells us that on average, the pass rate is just under 50%, according to the AICPA. But that also means that there are 50% of people who are passing the exam,” the Roger CPA Review intimidatingly points out. Don’t go running to the nearest indoor ski slope, hoping for a face plant to avoid future challenges. There’s hope! Here are some ways to avoid virtually biting it on the CPA exam.
Stick to a Black Diamond Review Course
It’s common for candidates to negate the importance of a review course, relying instead on free online courses or past textbooks for support. These fallbacks can negate the consistent, all-inclusive preparation that actual review courses provide.
“Often times, candidates will go through an entire testing window before they realize this and will have wasted a month’s worth or more of their time before purchasing a course. So find a course that’s right for you and follow through with it,” RCR points out.
It will be worth the time it takes to research, and any monetary investments. The last thing you want is to go into the exam without having done some test runs.
“To familiarize yourself with the Examination, you should review the CPA Examination tutorial, which explains test navigate and what tools and resources will be available at the test center. After reviewing the tutorial, take the sample tests for each section to get a preview of content and to observe the Examination’s functions in action,” according to the experts at AICPA.
Keep A Steady Speed
Since the CPA exam is timed, make sure you’re heading into the test of your life with the precision of a fake snow, bunny hill creator (yes, that’s serious profession). It’s crucial you’re cognizant of how to quickly understand each question, and accurately respond.
“For multiple-choice questions, allow 1.5 to 2 minutes per question. Task-based simulations will require about 70-80 minutes on REG and 90-110 minutes on FAR and AUD. Allow 30-40 minutes for the BEC written communication task depending on your writing ability,” advises Becker Professional Education.
Like any other stress-inducing skill test in life, the gravity of the CPA exam calls for a levelheaded, confident approach. Sure it’s a paradox, but you got this! Of course there will be jitters, but try and channel them into excitement for your impending career rather than fueling anxiety that could throw you off at test time.
Meditate, drink water, allow yourself breaks, eliminate distractions, get rest, review and relax too. Take deep breaths and then, take the plunge (death-defying jumps while wearing second skin spandex not required).