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What is the CPA Exam?

CPA ExamIf you plan to work in accounting, you will need to become a CPA exam expert before you sit for the test and try to earn your credential. CPAs are highly distinguished accounting professionals who have taken the time to gain experience in the field and then prove that they are competent and ethical by taking a uniform examination. The computer-based test that is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is comprised of multiple-choice questions and task based simulations that are designed to give students a platform to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in accounting. Read on, to find out about the content covered in the test and its structure.

What Content is Covered?

The test is a uniform one that is given to all prospective CPAs. This means that all test takers will need the same knowledge to successfully pass no matter what state they are residing in. The exam itself consists of four different sections which include: Financial (FAR), Auditing (AUD), Regulation (REG), and Business (BEC).

The FAR section of the exam is the largest section and will test you on the US GAAP. the IFRS, and financial statements. You will also need to know the different standards of accounting for organizations, government agencies and non-profit agencies. The AUD portion of the test encompasses the process of an audit, the AICPA code and more about the audit practice. You should study the reviews and attestation engagements to prepare for this section.

The REG section of the exam focuses on business law and corporate, personal and partnership taxation. You should know the regulations and be familiar with business law to pass this portion of the test. The BEC section is challenging because there is a diverse base of material covered. Some of the subject matter includes financial management, economics, strategic management, and IT.

What is the Structure of the CPA Exam?

You must take each of the four sections of the test on different dates. You have the option to decide which section of the test you would like to begin with. You will have 4 hours to complete the AUD section, 3 hours to complete the BEC section, 4 hours to complete the FAR section, and 3 hours to complete the REG section. Each section has between 72 questions and 90 questions, which will either be multiple choice, task-based or a written communications task. All four parts of the test must be passed within 18 months.

How to Pass the CPA Exam

To pass the exam, you must pass all four sections. To pass any section of the exam, you must score a 75 on a grading scale of 0 to 99. You cannot sit for the exam unless you meet the CPA requirements, which includes an educational requirement and a professional experience requirement.

Related Resource: Director of Taxation

There are several different advantages for accounting professionals who have their CPA credential. If you want to show that you are a distinguished professional who is highly competent and dedicated to the discipline, earning your CPA is a must. Be sure to choose an accredited Finance or Accounting program, review the requirements, and when you have successfully met the requirements you should become a CPA exam expert by starting to study the content you will be tested on.