BEC is considered the least difficult of the 4 CPA exam sections. It has the highest passing rate for 2015 at 57% compared to FAR (48%), AUD (47%), and REG (50%). It's also one of the shorter exams: 3 hours long, with 3 MCQ testlets (24 question each) and 3 written communication questions.
BEC is the only exam that has the written communication questions. The exam covers topics like economics, corporate governance, cost accounting, financial management, and information technology. I think I mentioned this before, but BEC has been called the "junk drawer" of the CPA exam, because it covers broad topics. The questions usually require quick thinking application skills. Here are some of the areas in BEC that I felt were the easiest to comprehend.
When I was in college, I never understood economics and barely got passing grades.
The first time I took the CPA exam 10 years ago, I felt the same about this topic. I didn’t understand it and really didn’t care for it. However, I was surprised at how my feelings changed toward the concept this time around. The way Roger explains it in the lectures made it click for me. It was logical and made sense. I found that using the graphs helped me a lot for the supply, demand, and elasticity questions. I would draw the graph while answering the MCQs and my answer would be correct! I highly recommend this technique for all candidates both as a way to study and also when you’re taking the actual exam.
There are also a bunch of Macroeconomics theories that you have to be familiar with.
I found this area to also be relatively straightforward since you just have to memorize the theory’s name and a brief definition of what it is about. As to the rest of the topics, like market structure, business cycles, interest rates, and global trade, I believe they are easy to comprehend and need minimal memorization. What I normally do is use common sense and try to apply the concepts to real life and to what I hear on the news. Try this technique as well if you haven’t already!
Last is Information Technology.
In this day and age, we are all very familiar with systems and network types and setups, including electronic commerce risks and issues, hardware, and software and data structures. If you have already taken the Audit exam, then the IT auditing issues will be very easy for you.
While these topics were understandable for me, I know that every CPA Exam candidate is different, so some topics may be more readily absorbed by some than others. This also depends on how much exposure and familiarity you have with them, but I thought these were topics that everyone could relate to. Let me know what you think were easy topics to comprehend on BEC in the comments below or on social!
“There is no substitute for hard work” – Thomas Edison
--Margo Pacific, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review