Becker CPA Exam Challenges and Solutions

February 16, 2012 in KNOWHOW

Challenge 1: Lack of Complete Preparation

Comprehensive and rigorous preparation is the key to passing all four parts of the CPA Exam.

Recent graduates of accounting programs may find that much of the exam content is familiar from their past academic coursework. However, familiarity is rarely enough to pass the exam. A comprehensive review is necessary to anchor your knowledge in a broad set of topics. Working professionals will realize that their recall and knowledge of other areas may have eroded. A comprehensive review will be necessary to cover the subject areas to pass the exam, as well as develop required mental endurance and speed.

Solution 1: A comprehensive review program

Successful CPA candidates must have a thorough academic understanding of exam material, but equally critical is the ability to apply their knowledge instinctively. Becker’s CPA Exam Review course is both comprehensive and highly focused on what candidates need to know and how to pass. No other CPA review provides Becker’s level of instructional excellence and content quality.

Challenge 2: Time Management

Time management during the CPA Exam is critical and a candidate must be able to respond instinctively.

Candidates must learn to budget the total exam time appropriately amongst the testlets within each part of the exam and should reserve 15 minutes of “oops and breathe” time. Candidates must ensure they stay “on schedule” from testlet to testlet to devote adequate time to each.

Simulations can take from 30 to 50 minutes each to complete. Candidates have less than two minutes to answer each question.

Solution 2: Practice and planning

Gaining practical experience in managing time is an invaluable advantage on exam day. Becker’s PassMasterTM Software administers timed drills that assess the strongest and weakest areas. Becker’s Final Exam software includes a countdown clock to assist in practicing time management.

Becker’s expert instructors will show how to structure time for each exam part and provide valuable time-saving tips. Flashcards are also an excellent tool to increase speed.

Challenge 3: The Unique Computer-based Exam

The CPA Exam environment contains unique tools that candidates will want to be very comfortable with before taking the exam.
CPA candidates must demonstrate the ability to perform beyond basic computer skills. The exam interface is unique and candidates must know the exam tools.
Candidates must also be skilled in using the provided four-function calculator, spreadsheet, and research function. Using research, candidates will access authoritative literature to answer auditing, accounting, and taxation questions; to support judgments; and to create formal audit communications. The AICPA offers a tutorial and sample test on the computer-based exam at www.cpa-exam.org.

Solution 3: Simulation of exam conditions

The tools and materials contained within Becker’s CPA Exam Review course are specially designed to mirror the CPA Exam interface. Becker candidates master:

  • The subject material
  • Navigating the computer-based exam environment
  • Using the computer tools provided in the exam interface

Becker’s PassMaster™ Software contains over 5,000 multiple-choice questions and nearly 50 simulations designed to mirror those on the exam.

Challenge 4: Lack of Self-discipline

For many candidates, procrastination is the biggest enemy.

Candidates have been known to put off their actual testing date after having begun preparation. This can result in lower scores as well as incremental fees, missing testing windows, or even losing credit for previously passed parts of the exam.

Candidates should maximize their chance of success and commit to a date of completion and map out a plan to:
•    Complete preparation for each exam part
•    Take the exam parts on schedule
•    Provide for retaking one or more parts of the exam

Solution 4: Structured methodology and flexible schedule

An exam strategy is imperative to achieving success. Becker has laid out a strategy that can lead to success within eight months. The Becker plan provides students with a head start in staying on track.

Exam Part

Schedule Exam

Start CPA Exam Review & Final Review

Sit for the Exam

Financial

May

June

July

Auditing

June

July

Aug.

Regulation

Aug.

Sept.

Otc.

Business

Sept.

Otc.

Nov.

Becker also provides an interactive Study Planner with its software that helps students develop an optimum study plan for the CPA exam tailored to individual study preference