Well I never really post anything here but I’m always visiting this site. It has been somewhat of a comfort for me especially now that I have my first grade (FAR-70). I felt it might be helpful to share a major lesson I learned.
I naïvely applied for all four sections at one time and ended up quitting my job to study full time. I spent four intensive months studying and took AUD & REG in January and BEC & FAR in February.
I kind of knew I wasn’t going pass FAR because I had ran out of time in the simulations. I ended up only completing 3 ½ of them. However, I felt like I had completely kicked butt on the MCQ and thought that maybe I would get enough points to cover what I didn’t do in the simulations. Unfortunately, that was not the case and my Candidate Performance Report is proof.
According to my report, I was “Stronger” (comparing to people who scored 75-80) in three of areas and “Comparable” in two of the areas. I wasn’t “Weaker” in any of the content areas and I was “Stronger” in the MQC. My only designated “Weaker” area was the simulations. This is my first report but I read that as if to say had I finished my simulations, I probably would have passed.
I took AUD first and rushed through the MCQs and then was able to complete the sims in 45 minutes and still had another 45 minutes left. However, I barely had enough time to finish my REG sims. When I practiced the FAR simulations using the AICPA samples and my study samples, I was completing each within 5 or 10 minutes. The ones I received on the actually test were a lot more in-depth. I don’t know if those are adaptive based on your MCQ performance but they were nothing like what I was practicing. In the same regards, it was my last test and was getting pretty crossed by the time I got to the sims.
My advice to anyone taking this exam in the future is to pace yourself and make sure you leave yourself enough time for the sims. I believe this depends on the person but I think at least an hour, if not more. The sims are now weighted so heavily that you won’t pass without a somewhat decent performance. I hope this will help someone taking this test at a later time.
AUD: 1/24/11 - 85
REG: 1/31/11 - 87
BEC: 2/18/11 - 73; 5/9/11 - 77 (NTS 451)
FAR: 2/26/11 - 70; 4/28/11 -81 (NTS 451)