cpa-exam-time-management-tips
Youve gotten past the first four screens. Now, it all comes down to earning 75 points before the time runs out. No, its not a video game. Its the CPA Exam, and its a balancing act between knowledge and time management. Are you ready?

Each section of the CPA Exam is broken up into mini-tests, or testlets. There are three multiple choice testlets per exam, with each testlet containing 30 questions. Regulation is the only exception, with 24 questions per testlet.
The CPA Exam also features simulation style questions that will comprehensively test your abilities in a variety of circumstances or conditions. Simulations are multi-part questions that require skills such as written communications, research, and calculations. All sections of the CPA Exam include simulations, with the exception of the Business Environment & Concepts section, which consists exclusively of multiple choice questions.
Youre given a different amount of time to complete each section. Proper time management techniques will help you succeed, but you may still run out of time. With that in mind, remember: NEVER leave a question blank! You dont lose points for wrong answers, which means you should always try. When in doubt, guess!

AUD
The Auditing & Attestation (AUD) section of the CPA Exam is 4.5 hours long, and covers such topics as internal controls, planning and reviewing an engagement, and documentation. Each of the 3 multiple choice testlets consists of 30 questions, for a total of 90. Use 2 minutes per multiple choice question as a benchmark (60 minutes per testlet). The remainder of the section is comprised of 2 simulation style questions, giving you 45 minutes per simulation.

AUD Summary:
Time Limit: 4.5 hours
Multiple Choice Questions: 90 (2 minutes per question)
Simulations: 2 (45 minutes each)

BEC
Despite covering a variety of topics like IT (information technology), business structure, and economics, the BEC section is only 2.5 hours long. Dont be fooled by its shorter length many candidates are surprised by its difficulty. BEC is the only section consisting entirely of multiple choice questions. There are three testlets of 30 questions each, so you should allow yourself to average 1.5 minutes per multiple choice question (45 minutes per testlet.)

BEC Summary:
Time Limit: 2.5 hours
Multiple Choice Questions: 90 (1.5 minutes per question)
Simulations: 0

FAR
Because it covers a vast array of topics, FAR is widely regarded as the most difficult of the 4 CPA Exam sections. Youll need to know about bonds, pensions, intangible assets, and accounting for public, private, governmental and non-profit organizations, among many other topics. Adding to the perceived difficulty, the FAR section is only 4 hours long. Dont give in to stress, though. It has three multiple choice testlets, with 30 questions each, just like AUD and BEC. You should allow yourself 90 seconds per multiple choice question, and 45 minutes per simulation.

FAR Summary:
Time Limit: 4 hours
Multiple Choice Questions: 90 (90 seconds per question)
Simulations: 2 (45 minutes each)

REG
Regulation has 18 fewer multiple choice questions to answer, meaning that each question is worth more. Be careful, and dont leave blanks! Topics include individual tax, corporate tax, Federal Security regulations, and more. Youll have 3 hours to get through 3 testlets of 24 questions each, and two simulations. If you average 75 seconds per multiple choice question and 45 minutes per simulation, you should get through on time.

REG Summary:
Time Limit: 3 hours
Multiple Choice Questions: 72 (75 seconds per question)
Simulations: 2 (45 minutes each)

Remember, you dont need a perfect score. Just focus on getting those 75 points, and correctly managing your time. For many candidates, answering the questions is easier than beating the clock!

For more detailed information the content of the CPA Exam, please read our CPA Exam Spotlight articles for FAR, REG, AUD and BEC. You can also visit the CPA Exam Structure area in our website. Also, dont forget to watch Rogers exclusive tips and information about the Prometric testing center from our new CPA Exam PASSport video series.

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