In my last blog post, “The Hardest Things About the CPA Exam", I talked about what I found to be the most challenging aspects about preparing for these 4 grueling tests. But, on the opposite end, I would also like to talk about some aspects of the CPA exam that have been much easier than I expected.
1. After all of the work that it took getting ready for my first exam, I was amazed at how easy it was to sign up for the location and date I wanted.
The questions were straightforward and just like the ones in the review material. I’ve also been surprised by the vast amount of information available online and the community behind it. There are many people sharing their experiences and answering questions. I’m hoping my experiences will help provide a little relief to exam takers that are feeling overwhelmed as you read my blog today.
2. Also, scheduling a time to take the exam is very easy.
Once you are qualified to take the exam, all you need to do is go to the Prometric website and pick your desired date, exam section, and location. Rescheduling is easy as well, because you can just pick another date. If you reschedule a month in advance, there is no fee and you can even reschedule up to the day before the exam date (this time with a required fee)! Another nice thing is that you can pick the amount of time between tests. This flexibility is really great, especially compared to the schedule in my home country of Japan where there are only two exam dates per year.
3. The questions on the CPA Exam are straightforward and a lot of them are multiple choice, which is very helpful for international candidates like me.
Practice questions are available at Roger CPA Review and I also buy the Ninja Multiple Choice Questions package. It always surprises me to see familiar questions on the exam after using these two study materials. I try to make sure that my score on Ninja MCQ is above 80% before taking the exam. While there are some tricky questions from time to time, they are not as much of a problem once you get used to them. I haven’t encountered any significant language problems so far either, which is fantastic.
4. There is so much accessible information about the CPA exam.
The review materials available are great and resources on the internet are extensive. Whenever I have technical questions or general questions about what to expect at the exam center, I can go to the forums and see what people have to say. It has been very helpful. Also, the information people provide seems to be accurate and clear. There is a surprising international community as well. The exam is open to anyone and there are now many international candidates. Since 2011, CPA Exams have been available at international locations such as Bahrain, Brazil, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. Taking the U.S. CPA Exam is very popular in Japan now because the Japanese CPA exam is considered to be insanely hard whereas the U.S. CPA exam is considered to be well balanced.
5. Lastly, I’m very thankful to the CPA community for the openness and support they provide.
I encourage anyone who hasn’t tried it yet to use the CPA forums for advice with technical questions and study tips. When things seem overwhelming, it always helps me know that I can easily change the test date if I need to, find more review material, or just read through the experiences of other candidates to help improve my own. The CPA exam is difficult, but at least these things all made the experience a little easier for me.
--J. Frazier, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review