man-writing-in-journalWell, last Wednesday, I took the BEC exam for the first time and it was a much different experience and exam than FAR and AUD. I was preparing myself the same way I had for FAR and I learned now that this was not the right approach. While I do feel I did prepare myself very well for the exam, there are a few changes I will be making if I need to take the exam again:

1. Spend less time studying Formulas.

I knew going into the exam that knowing the numerous formulas inside and out would be imperative in order to pass the exam. While it is absolutely necessary to know these formulas, you need to know how to rework and apply them.

2. Study by working more Written Communication Problems.

By working these questions, you’ll have a better idea if you really understand the topic at the level you should. It is one thing to read answers to MCQs and know which answer to pick rather than writing the answer out. The main difference is that you’ll be required to recall the information without any help. Normally when you read the answers to an MCQ, the answers can help you pull information out of your head, rather than having nothing to go on. But with Written Communication, it's obviously different. You have to pull that information directly from your pool of knowledge since there are no multiple choice answers to jog your memory. So if you cannot recall everything you need to know about that topic to answer the question and beyond, you should go back and look over that topic again if you have the time to do so. Roger's How to Conquer the Written Communications Section video is an especially helpful resource.

3. Lastly, Work THOUSANDS of questions.

I made the mistake of spending too much time memorizing formulas and reading the book that I ended up only being able to work half the amount of questions I had for all the other sections of the exam. Being a veteran at these exams, I cannot believe I made that rookie mistake.

Leaving the exam I felt 50/50 in whether I passed or failed. I'm praying for a 75+ but I will not dawn on that now as I will have to wait until the end of July or beginning of August for my results. Now it’s on to FAR for my retake at the end of August.

Happy Studies, everyone! Thanks for continuing to stay tuned and being a part of my CPA journey. 

-Chris Boate, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review