Frequently Asked Questions About The CPA Exam
Why should I become a CPA?
The benefits of being a CPA can be tangible and intangible. With the designation next to your name, you get a better career trajectory, a higher salary, respect from similarly accredited peers, and even the potential to secure corner office positions. Over the course of their careers, CPAs make $1 million more than their non-certified counterparts. The C-Suite is more likely to be made up of people who are CPAs than those who lack the title—executive search firm Spencer Stuart noted roughly 45 percent of CFOs have a CPA.
What are the CPA Exam Requirements by State?
The requirements to sit for the CPA exam aren’t especially varied from state to state, but there are definitely some outliers. Understanding these CPA exam requirements is important, however, as the first step to becoming a CPA is being able to sit for the exam. For the most part, you’re going to need 150 credit hours of accounting education, along with some work experience. There’s definitely more to the requirements than just 150 credit hours, but you’re going to have that as a basic educational foundation to sit for the exam.
How do people stay motivated after failing a CPA exam section?
Finding the motivation to carry on with studying after a failed test is absolutely heartbreaking for many people. However, if you can make the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel a tangible goal or event, it will alleviate the pains that come with the process of starting over. Many people fail at least one section, so it’s certainly possible to keep studying if you know WHY you’re taking the test. Failing a section also doesn’t mean you’re not meant to become a CPA—many people who occupy corner offices of Fortune 500 companies have failed one section of their exams. The important thing with regard to failing is to make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.
How do I recognize my “learning style”?
Knowing your learning style is the secret to cutting hours and hours off of your studying time. Once you know what works with regard to specific types of prep tools—videos, audio content, or practicing by doing CPA test banks or books—the whole process becomes easier and each minute of studying becomes more valuable. If you’re wondering what your learning style is, I recommend you check out the above post and determine exactly how you process and consume information. Not knowing how you learn the most efficiently before you invest in a CPA review course is basically burning money!
Does Becker offer live classes?
Yes! For students who prefer working with an instructor who lectures in real time, Becker’s LiveOnline courses are the perfect choice. Students can ask questions and receive responses from their teachers in real time: something that isn’t provided in any of their other courses.
Can I access Surgent CPA Review on a mobile device?
Yes! Surgent has designed all of their coursework to be compatible with a variety of mobile devices, whether they run Android or iOS. Furthermore, they have a companion mobile app with over 2,000 flashcards available on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Unfortunately, these features are not compatible with E-Reader devices such as Nooks or Kindles.
What are the different testing windows for the CPA exam?
The test is broken down into the quarterly fiscal schedule, like all businesses CPAs work for. So, for the first quarter, you get to take the test within the first two months and an additional ten days into the second month. Once this testing window is over, the schedule simply repeats that pattern. Basically, there’s a 20-ish day period per quarter in which you are not able to take the test. If you’re able to plan your studying and schedule your exams correctly, you’ll be able to knock out the CPA in about a year!
How do I create a study schedule?
In order to create a successful CPA exam study schedule, you need to make an honest assessment of how many hours you can devote per week. If you’re working full-time, you’re going to want to study a certain amount per day, with your longer sessions on the weekend. If you’re not working, you can devote larger chunks of time per day—the key is to keep a consistent level of studying, as you don’t want to do too much on one day and none on another. Knowing how to study for the CPA exam will be the difference between passing and failing each individual section.
Which section of the CPA exam should I take first?
Your first CPA exam section should be the one that you feel most confident about passing. You got to hit the ground running!
Which CPA Review course is best?
Although there are really 3-4 different factors to consider here (see our full review), our top-rated course is Becker CPA Review. They offer an extremely dense library of study materials that include 9,000+ multiple choice questions, hundreds of instructional videos, and two mobile apps.
How long should you study for the CPA exam?
In general, it’s recommended that CPA candidates study for 300-400 hours for the CPA exam in total in order to ensure they pass. Essentially, this equates to about 80-100 hours of CPA study hours for each exam section.
Which CPA exam is the hardest?
Strictly by the passing results, FAR is the most difficult. The combined passing percentage in the first three quarters of 2018 for the Financial Accounting and Reporting section was 46.79%. Comparatively, the other three sections have a higher pass percentage. But you can’t say which CPA exam is the hardest based only on the pass rate. In reality, the most difficult section is the one that you haven’t prepared for adequately.