I know plenty of accountants that have failed the CPA Exam by just a few points. This is the worst feeling because you know you almost passed. But almost only counts in horseshoes or hand grenades: not with NASBA or the AICPA! Therefore, if you’re pretty close to a passing score, you only need a little nudge to move the needle from failure to success. These are four easy ways to increase your CPA Exam score: take a look at them below if you want to become a successful Certified Public Accountant!
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CPA Exam Review Courses
Whether you’re a recent graduate or have been working in the field for years, you most definitely need to use a review course if you want to earn a passing score. Many recent grads find much of the content familiar. However, there are tons of materials covered on each exam section; consequently, without a review course to focus study efforts, it’s easy for many CPA candidates to become lost. If you’ve been living, breathing and doing everything else tax related for ten years, then AUD shouldn’t be too difficult; however, you’re really going to need some help preparing for BEC, REG, and the other exam sections.
This is why it is crucial to pony up for a CPA Exam review course. There are plenty available and I used a couple in my own journey to having high enough CPA Exam Scores to pass. I’ve also personally reviewed and compared the top seven CPA courses to help you out. You can learn more here.
This can really trip people up. The CPA Exam is timed, so knowing the right answers isn’t enough; you have to be able to recall and record them quickly. When answering multiple choice questions, you can’t spend too much time on questions that you don’t know immediately. At the absolute maximum, you can have a time allotment of approximately two minutes per question. Simulations will need around an hour and a half for FAR and AUD, while REG sims will take a little over an hour. BEC can take anywhere from a half hour to 45 minutes.
Practice exams are excellent at helping you become familiar with the format of the CPA Exam. To really help with your timing, final review exams from prep courses such as Wiley CPAexcel can help by simulating the conditions of the actual CPA Exam. The bottom line is that to succeed, you have to stay cognizant of how long it takes you to complete each portion of each section. Knowing the material is not enough.
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It’s easy to put things off. Busy days at work, traffic delays, arguments with significant others, and a thousand minor emergencies or life events can be excuses to not studying for the CPA Exam. However, adherence to a study schedule is mandatory if you want to increase your CPA exam scores. You can’t let everyday life derail you from accomplishing your goals. There’s always going to be something that you could easily use as justification to not study, which can lead to failing CPA Exam scores.
So what’s the easiest way to maintain accountability? Get a study partner. By now, I’m sure you know plenty of accountants either through work or through school. Find someone else studying for the CPA Exam or even the CFA Exam. Jump on a forum if you can’t find someone. Because having someone to help keep you accountable takes much of the pressure off your shoulders. We all have off days, so having someone there to keep you going when this happens is a huge boon. And you can reciprocate that for them.
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Make Cheat Sheets
The quantity of formulas you have to know for the uniform CPA examination can be daunting. Consequently, when your exam testing window comes around, it’s easy to draw blanks in the middle of a question. This can snowball into a momentary panic attack. Therefore, the best way to combat this is to cram as much data into your memory as you can right before the exam. Priming your short-term memory works! When you’re given your double-sided “noteboards”, dump all those formulas and mnemonic devices onto them.
Do this and you’ll be free from worry about forgetting them when it’s time to use them. This will further eliminate some of the stress of taking the exam and also increase the speed with which you answer questions. It was one of the best things I did to help me pass the CPA Exam.
Preparation is the key to success, especially with the CPA Exam. Utilize these four tips and you’ll definitely help increase your CPA Exam scores. Stay positive during your study journey and stick to your study plan. Get a good review course, find a study buddy or someone to keep you accountable, manage your time and practice, practice, practice; this way, your score release day will be positive instead of negative. And most of all, Good Luck!