With the next version of the CPA Exam containing so many changes and coming up soon, many candidates are probably feeling overwhelmed. If this is you, you’re probably also wondering what you should be doing differently in order to pass this seemingly more difficult exam.
To help you out, we chatted with our CPA experts who are also our course content developers. Here are the top three tips they say every candidate should live by in order to pass the 2017 CPA Exam.
1. Study the new blueprints.
For a long time, the AICPA has been using Content Specification Outlines (CSOs) to let candidates what topics will be covered on the CPA Exam. However, candidates never really looked at CSOs in the past because the information was too generalized. They would see things like, “Learn about financial statements and receivables.”
The new blueprints that will be replacing the CSOs are much more specific. The blueprints will be telling candidates what types of Task-Based Simulations (TBSs) they can expect to see on the exam and provide a much more exhaustive list of all the specific tasks they will be asked to know and do, such as “Identify the preconditions needed for accepting or continuing an audit or non-audit engagement.”
In addition, the new blueprints delineate what skill each task will be testing and breaks down the topics into subtopics. If you study the blueprints and make sure you know every representative task, this will help you tremendously on the 2017 CPA Exam. You can find a PDF version of the blueprints available here.
2. Do independent research for TBSs.
There will be an increase in the amount of TBSs on the 2017 exam. In addition to doing their general practice and studying, something that will be equally, if not more helpful, is doing independent research on TBSs. Candidates should get out there and talk to CPAs, utilizing them as a resource. They should ask CPAs about the representative tasks they’ll be doing and see if they can give them some examples or more insight into what these tasks entail. The more CPAs candidates talk to, the better off they’ll be since some will have specialized in areas others haven’t. This way, candidates will get a broader array to make sure all their bases are covered.
Talking to CPAs is also a great way to network. People love talking about what they do and are usually more than happy to help others by drawing on their own experience and expertise. It will demystify some of the tasks that candidates may have questions about and will show their true investment in becoming CPAs, which could help land their next position with some of the people they talk to.
3. Time management for TBS testlets.
The current exam contains all the TBSs in one testlet. Candidates can currently can skim through the entire testlet to check out all the TBSs they have to answer. can pick and choose which ones they will need to spend more time on, which ones will be relatively easier for them to answer, and can decide which ones they want to do first. They can also revise their answers and jump back and forth among all the TBSs since they’re all located in one testlet.
However, with the new exam, TBSs are now being divided into three separate testlets. Time management for this is going to be extremely crucial because candidates cannot go back and forth between testlets; once they submit a testlet, they cannot go back to revise it, and they must take the teslets in order. This also means that they will not get to see all the TBSs at once to evaluate which ones they should spend more or less time on.
For example, if candidates get stuck on the first testlet and spend all of their time trying to answer the TBSs there, they will not have enough time for the second testlet, or the third, vice versa. It’s important to remember to not get bogged down and to spread time between the three testlets accordingly. This will give candidates more efficiency to answer all the TBSs as thoroughly and time effectively as possible.
Last, but not least, make sure your CPA Review course is up-to-date with all the changes.
Here at Roger CPA Review we strive to provide our students with the most up-to-date study materials to prepare for and pass the CPA Exam--no matter when they take it. Our content development team has already utilized the blueprints to create task-based simulations based on the representative tasks candidates can expect to see on the new exam and our course automatically updates with the latest course changes to reflect the changes on the exam.
We're wishing you all the best of luck on your CPA Exam journey!