We have a lot of "I took __ today threads" so to consolidate, here is the official thread.
Please - Not even a hint of exam disclosure per AICPA rules.
Links to other Exam Experience Threads:
We have a lot of "I took __ today threads" so to consolidate, here is the official thread.
Please - Not even a hint of exam disclosure per AICPA rules.
Links to other Exam Experience Threads:
Took FAR last Friday for the 2nd time. What frustrates me the most is the time limit. I can take 90 MC questions that are paragraphs(5-6 sentences) and 6 sims that require a deeper understanding than what your review material discusses, but give me 6 hours to do it. And let me at least bring a bottle of water into the test with me! Sorry, just venting here......
Compared to the first test, I think I did better on the MC. But, the sims this time around were twice as hard. I can't remember exactly, but I think I left 1 hour 40 minutes for the sims and still left one comletely blank. I am still clueless as how to study for them if your review material doesn't touch upon the detail. Do you just look at a topic in the material and start asking yourself what if questions and then research a possible answer?
I haven't experienced the "I can't believe I passed" moment yet, so here is hoping I will. I have been pretty spot on in knowing when I passed/failed.
Ugh where to begin. This will probably result in a long thread but I just got back from Prometric and of course you guys are the first people to talk to. Earlier this morning I was fairly calm, but I started getting really anxious in the car. I arrived at Prometric about an hour early and attempted to review my cards but I just knew I wasn't capable of absorbing anything last minute so I opted to take it earlier than my 11:30 time.
So Testlet #1 was totally doable, if fact even "easy" compared to what I expected. I thought that the material covered a broader ranger of topics than the rest of the exam did and I think I did well which was validated by the onset of Testlet #2. Right from the start of the second testlet, I was hit with two one paragrapher computation questions so I knew right away what people meant about it getting wordier. I don't know how to describe how I felt during this testlet, certain questions I felt really comfortable with and others I just really hated. I began to get bogged down with calculations and seeing any theory related questions was a huge relief. There were also reoccuring themes of questions and less variety. I consciously kept track of time and still felt stressed about staying on top of my timing. Testlet #3 returned to being ok, much like many of you guys had spoken about. I don't know how I did on this one since it was easier than #2 but I also felt the time pressure to leave myself 90 minutes for the simulations so I was much more rushed than I would like to be. Managing time was really hard for me because although I was basically on schedule I felt like my performance wasn't as optimal.
The simulations... god the simulations. As I began flipping through the tabs, my initial reaction was that I was comfortable with about 4 of the topics and the other 3 were from hell. I began with the research tab, and luckily I'm pretty sure I got it right within the first 4 minutes. Next I moved onto my next most comfortable topic, I think I nailed this one too and I hopeeeeee it wasn't a pretest. The next one I felt like 70% on. The rest of them were just ridiculous. The other topic that was presented that I initially felt comfortable on was so convoluted that I had no idea what the hell was going on. The amount of time it took for me to even read them and try to comprehend how to move forward was just unsettling. Each of the rest of the simulations had a full one page and half a scroll downwards of the actual simulation and then an additional page of extra information. I think I just got slaughtered on these, literally massacred. I started getting frazzled and flipping between tabs hoping to find another one I was ok with but nope. All in all, I left nothing blank but a lot of these were uneducated guesses but I worked until the time ran out.
Overall, the MCQ were better than I thought. The simulations were worse than I thought. And I think I failed. However, that being said, part of me isn't as scared of FAR anymore because half of my fear was the anticipation of "What is it going to be like?" Now I know, even though I really don't know how I will prepare to tackle the SIMs.
@mgoloubenko I'm sure you did fine!!!! I'm still super scared, can't believe i'll be taking it this week already! Thanks for the inputs, and I guess I'll go back to studying again! ;(
@mgoloubenko... thanks for sharing, now I have 3 days to look forward to those awesome sims you described
i took it today too...your explanation is pretty much my experience too.
the 2nd mc part was the hardest and half the sims were so completely hellish that i was literally about to laugh deliriously with 20 minutes left until 5PM when i could just get out.
after i signed out and went to my car i didnt even know what i was doing. i think i wouldve rammed into the prometric building (accidentally of course) if my dad hadnt sent me a text then and there.
an hour into driving i was just completely numb....until i hit a traffic jam on my way home on the interstate (which like never happens).......i saw 2 ambulance trucks and i just kind of went crazy.
i think i screamed for about 2 minutes about why people are so completely stupid that traffic cant even move.
and then when i got home i just started bawling...and now after a shower i guess i feel better.
its just FAR is so frustrating as a test i dont know how i can ever face all that material again....
i think for the majority i have levelled with myself that i most likely failed. i guess all i can do is pray now.
@cpa_someday- Yeah I just sat there and flipped through tabs for a good 5 minutes and then just basically began making things up about the ones I didn't know. I made up my own accounting rules, I believe. When I walked back to my car, I just felt numb as well I wasn't tired, or upset. I just sat in my car not thinking a single thing for about 10 minutes and finally called my dad and finally broke down. Now I just feel nothing. I have no idea how to study for the SIMS though...
@mg Don't worry... I am sure you did just fine... if it makes you feel better, I left one SIM completely blank and still passed FAR! :D I honestly think FAR is the most curved out of the 4 exams.
I took FAR for the first time today as well. This was my first section of the CPA exam. I was extremely pessimistic about the test because I could not pass a full length simulated exam on CPA Excel to save my life. It was very frustrating as I have not had a full night's sleep in three months studying for this test. I have a very demanding job that doesn't leave me much time to study until late at night. It is not so much the problem questions that were giving me trouble but the theory. Out of about ten attempts, I only passed one with a 76. I think because I had already accepted defeat, I was very calm during my exam today.
After reading all of the horror stories about FAR on this forum, I think today was my lucky day. My first testlet was borderline easy. My second testlet stepped up the difficulty and I was pretty sure that I missed quite a few. My third testlet was moderately difficult but nothing too bad. I was very surprised that there wasn't a question where I was like "What is this!!??"
The simulations were very long but were all on topics that I was familiar with. Hopefully I got enough partial credit on them to pass. I finished with about five minutes to spare. I am praying very hard that I passed this exam. I know that I will not be so lucky if I have to take it again. Now on to AUD.
@ Bcrawley! It sounds like you did great. :)
@mgolo, regardless whether you passed or failed (although i am sure you passed), just be thamkful to be moving on to bec. That will be a breeze for you after FAR. I started with bec and am studying far now and would trade anything to go back to bec! Although i should watch what i wish for because my 18 month clock is ticking away. One tip, dont stress the written AT ALL!
Unfortunately I think I'm changing my study plan because I have a friend coming into town next week, finals and graduation in May with my parents coming for 10 days so I won't be able to devote the time I'd like to BEC so if anything I'll restudy for FAR in June. At least you have one down, that's more than I can say!
Hey, everyone, I'm a newbie here. Take my FAR next week which I've spent a glorious 200+ hours studying for & AUD a few weeks after. Reading your posts makes me want to prep even more for FAR but I'm not sure how helpful that will be since the SIMs sound nothing like what is in the prep courses. I started out w/ CPA Excel then switched to Wiley.
I'm sure you guys have heard this but it is supposed to be a good sign if your 2nd testlet is harder. They only do that when you've done pretty well on the first. And I know it's a big IF but provided you do very well on your MCQs you can miss more than 1/2 your SIMs and still pass. Also, I've heard from various people that they were sure they bombed a section but ended up passing. So, best of luck to you all! Hopefully I can learn from your testing experiences to be more prepared for mine. Fingers crossed for everyone :)
@wmalvino, I hope you're right! My best advice is something that everyone says but just try to manage your time as well as possible because it was something I didn't have problems with when using Becker but the questions on the exam will be new to you and will just take a little longer to work out. That having been said, I though that they were easier than my practice materials- except for the second testlet which was just like ehhhhhhh lol
@mgoloubenko your post echos the way things went for me yesterday. Ever since I came out of FAR, the sims have clouded my mind. How do one even ever prepare for those things? I also felt the time crunch doing them. I had about 1hr20m to do SIMs but considering that SIMs are the most verbose and tricky, that time was not enough to think clearly.
I am still numb with the FAR experience. :-(
It really was a disaster, I sat in class this morning just thinking about it. I feel confident on the MCQ's and like garbage about the SIMs, how many do you think you got right/finished?
@mg: i posted this in the other thread, but i think it got lost in the shuffle...
I had a very similar experience like you did but in AUD. It's been a few days now (took the test on Saturday) and i am finally in full BEC mode. The best advice i recieved from everyone after this last dissapointing exam was to put it behind me, not think about it anymore because we cant change and it put all your focus into the next exam.
How are you preparing for BEC?
Hey Journey to Fate, I'm actually changing my study plan because I have a lot coming up this month like finals and graduation and by May I'll already know how I did on FAR so I'll begin the restudying then.
yeah i felt i did really well on my first testlet..a real confidence booster but the second and third testlets were alot more difficult. I ended up flagging almost half of them and spent way too much time working them out. I only had an hour left to do the sims. The sims were really long and i felt like i was rushing and didnt fully analyze the questions. i feel really dissapointed to say the least.
I hope you passed FAR! Thanks for providing us with your feedback.
Once you get past FAR, why are you planning to do BEC next? I've heard that it's best to do AUD right after FAR because there is some overlap in those topics. Take advantage of FAR being fresh in your mind.
This is only from other feedback that I've gotten from other sources. I'm not there yet, myself..
Just wanted to mention that to you.
Let us know your results when you get them, and congrats on your graduation!! Very exciting time.
My first post on here...I took FAR Monday as well. And the same thing happened to me as many of you mentioned already. Multiple choice was not bad. It got more difficult, but I only marked 6-10 per booklet. However, I only left myself an hour for the SIMS. They were extremely difficult. I did not get the last Sim at all. Hope my MC will pull me through but I doubt it.
so I wish I was under the same circumstances as now I feel like I Definitely failed.... I too took the exam on Wednesday last week and boy was it nerve wracking. although I must admit, as soon as I sat down and put those noise canceling headphones I was in another world. I totally zoned in and went to work. I believe the first booklet was the easiest however I feel like I could not notice them getting any harder. I mean, They were scattered questions and one might say that they were more difficult as they were questions over materials that aren't as simple such as bonds, leases, pensions etc. but having studied upwards of 200 hrs for this beast I felt very comfortable. I would answer and look it over quick but not look too much into changing answers. (i know when I think to much about it, I always end up with my first answer anyway.) that said, questions seemed challenging, guessed on roughly 4-5 per booklet but other than that I was pretty comfortable. Now on to the Sims....Either I was out of my mind and fantasizing that the Sims were extremely easy or I really got all of them wrong thinking I did great. I was left with 2 hrs to tackle them and finished every one of them with 4 minutes to spare. The SIMS were on subjects that I had covered or that I could reasonably work through with little to no problem. I would say that out of all of them, two were difficult but very workable, the others were medium to easy. I walked out of the exam with the biggest headache of my life (weird I hadn't noticed it during the exam). Now I am trying to focus on AUD and it seems impossible thinking that I could have badly failed FAR and am only adding information to my brain taking away necessary room for my potential retake of the BEAST.... I am praying that I at least get a 75.... I don't care about the bragging rights... I just hope I don't have to sit for this exam again.....
So, I took FAR today and it was just a relief getting the exam over with. Since it was my first exam, I was nervous because I didn't know what to expect.
I don't think I did very well. My 1st testlet was okay. I had a few questions where I didn't quite know and had to make an educated guess. The 2nd testlet was kind of the same difficulty but slightly harder. This really threw me off because that means I didn't do very well in the 1st testlet. I had more concept questions than I expected I would have so it seems like my 2nd testlet was medium-difficulty. Throughout the whole 2nd testlet, I was just thinking I must've done horrible in the 1st one. I tried to get it out of my mind, but I just kept thinking about it. The 3rd testlet got harder, but still manageable. There were more questions where I had the narrow down the answer to 2 possible choices and make an educated guess.
Then came the sims. I had 2 research sims and I'm kind of sure I nailed those. There were two sims I know that I did well, at least 75% on those. I butchered 1 sim. Becker did not go over this topic a lot (only 2 pages). So I'm pretty upset about that. I did okay on the 6th one and I can't remember what the last sim was. I even wrote them down on my scratch paper hoping that I would remember them all, but I can't remember.......
I would say that I have a 35% chance of passing and a 65% chance of failing. I really don't know how well I did for the MC. There were a lot of easy questions I feel I should've remembered. After that test I was pretty drained. As I was paying the parking attendant (btw, $12 is robbery), the person behind me hits the back of my car. There was no damage, but it's been that kind of week for me. I was so tired, I couldn't even get mad at her if I wanted to. But I did go to the mall and get myself some nice t-shirts for cheap lol
Overall, I'm glad I got my 1st test out of the way. I know what to expect now and if I have to take FAR again, it won't be too bad studying for it. Waiting a month for my score will be hell, but I have AUD at the end of May. I'll have that to occupy my mind. Good luck for those who are taking FAR this window. Know your gov't/nfp and know your JE for sims!
Yeah it seems like a lot of people had similar experiences. Today I spent a lot of the day thinking back on my exam and just drifting off in class thinking about it, I still don't know how to feel but I think people change their opinion on a lot of things based on how they score. For example, people who end up passing will say they thought the test was totally manageable even if they were sweating during it lol and people who will fail will still feel like FAR is the virtual equivalent of Everest. Guess it's all a matter of time.
@ Tux, there isn't much reason to my madness but I've heard AUD isn't that difficult to study for even when you're working so I'm leaving it for last. I want to get BEC done because nothing about the topic excites me and Reg I want to get done when I have nothing to do but study. But that being said, I am pushing back my study schedule and will focus on retaking FAR if that's what it comes to. If that's the case then I'll take FAR again July 1st, and BEC in early August. I don't start work until January so hopefully that gives me plenty of time to work towards the CPA but FAR is my absolute priority because I cannot imagine working and studying for it.
I agree with dualmatrix.
Just took mine on 7th of April.
I studied like hell and kept on scoring above 80~85% on Wiley CPA test.
Then on the actual exam, I've encountered way more concept questions that calculations...which kind of threw me off.
The theory questions were very specific and wording was very tricky, so I had a lot of question which I had to take a guess between 2 possible answers.
When it reached 3rd testlet, i was already tired and kind of just wanted to get this thing over with.
Sim...i also had 2 research, and there were some J/E questions which was never covered with Wiley although i did solve every single one of them during the practice.....so i was a bit upset about it as well. (SIM was harder than Wiley in my opinion)
I might have to take a round 2 with FAR, but i have REG scheduled so i'll have to shift my focus elsewhere.
To be honest, I am not sure how to re-study for FAR as when I got back home and re-took Wiley & other CPA software, I again scored in high 80's...i just can't find the theory questions from the actual test... should i just re-read & memorize the whole thing?
I just hope i passed somehow lol.
I feel like it's really the luck of the draw, because I had a lot more calculations than theory and I had hoped otherwise! And two research SIMs, ughhh I wish! So lucky haha :)
i can't seem to find the PM/Chat option in this forum.
Sometimes I want to chat with fellow test-takers to ask for their study tactics without bombarding the thread.
mgoloubenko, we should have gotten others' testlets!!!!
I feel like for the SIMs, there are those who have an inherent strength in them meaning that more likely than not they would not even have to look at the study material to know how to handle them on test day. I have friends like that who just KNOW what to do without studying for them and I feel like that's the hardest thing with the simulations because in reality how do you study them when they could be virtually on any topic. It's either something I feel that you're background has made you strong in, or you're just not. The studying part comes in with the MCQ's because that isn't knowledge that everyone knows from doing well in Accounting courses so I'm not sure how to handle it from this point forward.
For me, i was well prepared for calculations (although I had to guess on some hard ones during the MCQ), so my experience was better with simulation than bunch of theory questions on MCQ. Well, let's all wait for the official score!
It truly is the luck of the draw which makes me curious as to how they grade the exam. I got a lot of calculations. The first testlet had only a few calculations but nothing major. I'm praying for a miracle :) If I fail I have one last chance to try and pass before I lose Audit. I am really hoping it doesn't come to that....we will see!
It's gonna be a looooong month waiting for our scores.
Hi everyone- I’m new to this blog, and here is my story: I took the FAR exam on Monday. I studied diligently because I wanted to make sure I passed this time. I went over every nook and cranny, and every sim in Wiley, and for this test I had to learn all the new updates and IFRS material. I first took the exam in May 2008 when I was totally unprepared and didn’t realize that I needed more prep. I got a 56 on that one. The next time I took it was February 2009 and I got a 63. My next one was October 2009 and I bumped it up to 71. The last time prior to Monday’s was in November 2010 and I got a whopping 72. I really thought I’d nail it this time, but I don’t think I did.
Every time I’ve taken the exam it has seemed more difficult. I was kind of stunned by how hard the one on Monday was. My first question in the testlet was a really difficult calculation. That first testlet was so hard- usually there aren’t so many calcs in the first testlet. I pulled myself together and marked the questions that were difficult to come back to. Still I went over an hour on the first testlet. I was so glad to be done with it.
I always take a break, but only for about 3 minutes. I gulped water, went to the bathroom, got a new set of blank paper and hit testlets 2 and 3. I was really ticked off that I got some questions that were practically identical to questions I’d studied, but I could not calculate the right answer. Fortunately I remembered these questions and I’m going to figure them out on my own. You just don’t have time to really think in the exam- that is always the challenge. There are some topics I always score well on and I was so happy to see those questions. I’ve always heard that you should not select “A” unless you are really sure. There were many questions that I was dead sure about and they were letter A. I thought that was interesting.
The sims weren’t too bad- they were pretty short, but they were tough. I did the research first and I think I nailed it. The other sims I had to really sit and think about, and often guess. On many of the multis I had to guess. All in all I don’t think I passed, but miracles do sometimes happen. A coworker told me that she didn’t even finish one sim (back when they just had 2 long sims) and she passed the exam and got a decent score.
I know what I need to do- I need to take the topics I’m weakest in (calculations) and do speed drills. I wish I could mention the topic, but these calculation problems were all in the same module. They tested very heavily in this one module, which I thought was strange. They emphasized a lot of the same topics and didn’t cover some topics at all. I think the exam should touch on nearly everything. It seems kind of unfair to not do that.
My biggest gripe were the loud, sick people near me. There were about 4 people who coughed through the entire exam. Another guy sitting next to me moaned all the time. I think he was taking the CPA exam, too- and he didn’t realize it would be so hard. He was moaning and groaning all the time. I wanted to shout SHUT UP, but I couldn’t. I also wish they would issue us a big bottle of water. I get so thirsty. I HATE the calculator. Mine would not display commas for thousands. I had calculations in the millions with 9 zeros and I had to squint at the screen to read the figure. Geez- the exam is hard enough- why do they have to make it more so due to a crappy calculator?
On the drive home I was screaming out loud in my car with the windows rolled up. It didn’t help me feel better. I am not kidding- I went home and listened to a Joel Osteen show I taped on my DVR and his topic was not giving up- and that made me feel better. I am planning to take the exam again in July. In the past I wait so long in-between. This blog has been a HUGE help to me. Thank you all for your honesty and your sense of humor. I hope you all keep trying- don’t give up. We can all do this!
@ Lisa_Jane, I'm really glad that you keep working towards your goal! :) It's actually really funny that you mention the calculator function because I just had a conversation with my father about it, I was like they can't even give you a simple $3 calculator to work with, instead they have you counting 0's on the screen. And he just thought that was so ridiculous because what CPA doesn't have access to a normal calculator? I really think certain parts of the exam are meant to make everything more complicated.
@mgoloubenko Thanks so much for your comments about the calculator. I'm always bitching about it and no one really cares but me it seems. Yeah- why can't they just issue us a calculator?
The other thing that was weird at the exam was the metal detector. They scanned me at first and every time I went into the exam room after a break. I asked if it was due to guns and they said it was due to people sneaking electronic devices in. Honestly, I don't know how the heck you would even have time to cheat on the exam!
I think a lot of the process just messes with your head because going into Prometric just takes everything too seriously, "Empty your pockets". Finger print scans, picture taking. I'm pretty sure I couldn't pay someone to take the CPA all over again hahaha
I always truncate the numbers to cut out all the extra zeros...They like to throw numbers in the millions and billions, which is ridiculous... save yourself some time and truncate...you'll get the same answer without having to count the zeros on the screen.
I used to truncate in Cost Acct but I was nervous about doing it on the exam. I don't remember the calculator not having the commas before, but maybe I just didn't get numbers with 9 zeroes before either. I'm going to practice truncating for sure. Thanks!
I agree it can get a little confusing! Just keep in mind that if you truncate, you have to truncate EVERY number involved in your calculation, otherwise it won't work.
Wow, these stories are scaring me! I'm almost done my first run through the Becker review. I generally get about 60-65% of the questions right on the first try, immediately after listening to the lectures, with no other studying. I plan on spending the last 2 weeks leading up to my exam (5/5/12) doing nothing but 1000s of MCQ and re-writing my Ninja notes. I REALLY hope I can pass this thing on the first try. I feel like it will boost my confidence, and make me want to go pass AUD/REG sooner than I'm currently thinking.
Don't let our war stories scare you- if you study hard you should do OK. It is a tiring experience though- try to simulate an actual exam if you can with a timer running 4 hours, and just blow through the practice exam. You have to know the answers like at gun point. Best of luck to you and I hope you pass on the first try. I know lots of people who have.
I agree with @Lisa....The truth is... There will always be a biased opinion. I know @mgolou mentioned that it all depends on whether the person passed or not...and its almost always horror stories before you find out what you got on the exam...The one thing that I can tell you is that becker does en extremely good job of mimicking the real life exam... so when you sit for it... it will definitely feel like you had done it before.... and about the 60's-65's.... I was getting the exact same scores. I feel I did okay on the exam...but who knows....
Well tomorrow is the day I tackle the beast... Hopefully the sims don't kill me! I will post my experience sometime tomorrow afternoon... Good luck to everyone!
Good luck Texas27 I'm sure you'll do great, half of my anxiety was FAR being the first CPA test I've taken so don't worry, you'll dominate it!
my experience mirrored bcrawley job, lack of sleep, what sounds like same test, and 7 minutes remaining. My tip for dealing with all the zer000000000's - use mouse to highlight second to last set of 000's.
My FARe experience was similar to some of yours. This was my first section exam on April 5th and I didn't know what to expect. I studied over 200 hourse using Yaeger and Wiley, exclusively and I felt prepared going in. I took 3 practice tests through Wiley and scored mid 80s on all of them. On test day, I felt confident about my answers to the MCQs, even though the 2nd and 3rd testlets were moderately more difficult (really just seemed to take longer to calculate an answer). I left myself 90 minutes to complete the SIMs. 5 of the 7 were easy, though much longer than Wiley's samples. I feel confident that I found the research. One of the SIMs was very difficult, but I answered the best I could, and one of the SIMs was just ridiculous! I didn't even know where to begin. Let's just say that Yaeger or Wiley didn't ever show how to solve or give an example of this SIM. I ran out of time and left it blank. I am REALLY hoping it was pretest! I guess I'll have to wait and see. No time to fret; I need to study for AUD test on May 23rd!
Well based on these comments my experience was somewhat different.
My 1st testlet was hard, my 2nd testlet was hard, my 3rd testlest was stupidly EASY...
Which was almost a good thing because I was running out of time to do sims because of the 1st two testlets.
The sims sucked as usual.... I'm not even going to try to guess anymore if I passed or not. It's pointless.
@dtomasello..I agree...I've been thinking that if I ever get to go to hell, it won't be that bad thanks to the CPA Exam experience.
Took FAR today... Here's how it went
First testlet was of course pretty easy, I didn't have a problem with it at all. The second testlet was considerably harder and the third was even worse than the second. This is a lot different from my previous test experiences when I have felt I have gone from medium to hard and back to medium. I spend too much time on the third testlet because it was ridiculous.
The sims were not what I expected. Since it took me forever to complete my last MC testlet, I was stuck with a little over an hour to do the sims and it was not nearly enough time. I would say that all the sims were definitely doable given you have the time except for one of them which I might as well have left blank because Becker does not really cover what they were asking. One of the sims was extremely long and I left about a third of this one blank because I just did not have time to finish it. It wasn't that it was hard it was just a ton of information and calculations to sort through but I know I got at least 2/3rds of it right. Other than that the sims were manageable and some took longer than others but I still don't think I messed up too bad on any of them. The research question was a joke, I found it in about 30 seconds.
I really have no idea how I did on this and I think the sims might have really screwed me. Oh well... it is going to be a long three weeks. Time to start studying for REG tomorrow! Good luck to everyone!
@Texas - That doesnt sound too bad. It sounds like you gave yourself a fighting chance.
I still dont understand why candidate after candidate goes into the SIMS with less than 90 minutes. Almost everyone agrees that you need a full 90 minutes for the SIMS, yet every day someone new posts that they went into the sims with an hour or just over an hour. You have 240 minutes for the exam. Sims are worth 40%. 240 x 40% = 96 minutes for SIMs. Its not that hard, people.
My plan was to go into the sims with 90 minutes and I did it on all of the Becker test but because of my second and third testlet, I simply could not finish them with time to leave me 90 minutes. I have never had a time management problem on these tests before I took this one today. BEC, I was perfect and AUD I left plenty of time. I had so many calculation problems on my second and third testlet that it was just not possible for me to do them fast enough.
how did everyone nail the research part? I mean i get most of them right, but sometimes get the last digit wrong
My research question was ridiculous. I found what I thought was the answer and it was almost verbatim a rewrite of the question…. You’d think that was a homerun? No, because in the answer it had links to multiple other paragraphs to elaborate further. So I was left with the choice of picking the paragraph that was basically a rewrite of the question (not really answering it) or picking one of the other links that had sections of greater detail but not really specific to my question. Annoyed is an understatement...
@ Texas27, I agree that the SIMS alone are not impossible, but they're pretty damn hard in the time constraints. I never had timing problems until test day and you just end up getting bogged down, I left an hour 20 for the SIMs and it still wasn't enough.
FAR EXAM is tomorrow :D God blesses me
@dtomasello....sounds like you got the same reserach question I got back in Feb..lol...I spent like 30 mins on that thing....hahahhaa
@CPA88888 Good luck tomorrow! Keep us updated and let us know how it went for you!
I am so excited..... I going to the prometric centre in a couple hours... CA here
Good Luck CPA88888!
I hope everything is going well...
I just took FAR at the beginning of April and although I feel pretty confident in the MCQ, I did not have time to finish all of the simulations. I ran out of time and I only answered 3. I m just wondering if I should start studying for FAR again since I did not finish them all. Is there a minimum number of sims that we need to answer in order to pass the test? I have to say that I feel very dissapointed.
Did my post get deleted here or did I have an error in sending it?
Nvm. @moniq is just asking in multiple threads.
Hi, I am new to this site so I am not sure what asking in multiple threads mean?? :(
He just meant you asked the question twice, in different conversations. Each conversation is called a "thread". He thought his answer to you had been erased, but then realized he had answered you in a different "thread".
No big deal, don't worry!
i am planning on using my time like this:
testlet 1: 45 min
testlet 2: 45 min
testlet 3: 50 min
is that realistic? also, if there is a question i have no idea how to do i usually just guess and flag it and move on. then if i have time i go back to review it.
@Zero that is a very doable schedule
I just got back from FAR and am about halfway through my first PBR. My exam;
1. Testlet 1- Wow, I felt like a king. I maybe had trouble with one or 2 questions. I finished it in under half an hour.
2. Testlet 2- The MCQs definitely picked up in difficulty and got more wordy/calc heavy. There were about 6 qs that I was confused on and made educated guesses on (Pretest hopefully :P). I think- 45-50 minutes
3. Testlet 3- Was very similar to testlet 2. The questions were rough, but manageable. 45-50 minutes
I got to the sims with an hour and 40 on the clock. All I have to say is hopefully the partial credit gods are with me on this. I felt good on 2 of them. I felt I put up a valiant effort on 3 of them. One was messed up and I didn't really understand and I don't think I got my research qs right.
Overall, I don't feel completely defeated, but I wouldn't be surprised if I failed. (Tallboy update, through 1.5 now)
Got done this evening. First testlet was pretty easy. Second was more difficult. Third was back to easier. Sims were pretty long. I only had 1 hour and 20 minutes for sims which wasn't enough for me. Feel decent about a couple of them. One I barely got any info before time was up. My research questions were from left field but feel good about one. I wouldn't have known the second if it hole in the ground and I fell in it. Need a miracle to pass I think but overall feel better about the exam experience since it was my first one.
Leave lots of time for sims!!!
Took mine today; here is my report.
A complete joke, I don't think I got one question wrong.
Difficult, had lots of problems and felt like I was making a ton of educated guesses.
Same difficulty as 2, but I had less problems.
Sims: I murdered all but one. The one was very unclear and made it more difficult than it should have been. The concepts were very easy but they were unclear if certain values were included in their total.
I think this is a pass.
@bcc624 How prepared did you feel going into it? About how much did you study and what program? I don't feel like I will ever be ready.
@MChro have one for me!
I prepped with Becker.. But I had a different routine this time around. I took it last window with 2 weeks between tests since my NTS expired. That time I only watched the videos before the exam. Didn't do any mcqs and and some how got a 71. When I took it that time I felt like I knew like 2/3 of first Testlet and testlets werent getting harder, and I simply wasn't prepared. The sims I def was mixing things up and confusing myself.
After I got my score I started with 8+9 on Becker since I felt like it was heavily tested my first time taking exam. All I did was rewrite the Becker notes and then do the questions. Things that weren't clear for me, I skimmed the lecture videos. Skimming the lecture videos on big topics like acqusition and pensions really made the topics clear to me. I also did the Becker final review a week before the exam, and finished it in 3 days. I then did Wiley mcqs. I always do 20 mcqs and 1 sim in tests in study mode. I NEVER have done practice sims other than research. Usually do the one in Wiley to get a weighted score, and it is always a research so it helps knowing how the codification is structured.
Saturday I made a list of last minute things I wanted to refresh, and I skimmed through all of 8-9 videos and did the supplemental questions I usually skim. I also skimmed through the ninja notes.
Thanks for the info. I'm using Becker too. I just went through 8 & 9 lectures again because I did horribly the first two times through the questions and heard it was pretty heavily tested. I'm not quite sure how to prep for the sims so it's nice to know you didn't do any and seem to have handled it well enough. My goal is to take the exam on 4/30, I've been through Becker twice now and I'm not sure if taking it on 4/30 will leave me wishing I had scheduled sooner or wanting more time.
It looks like you were well prepared this time around, I'm sure you will pass!
I'll say that wasn't until 2 days ago that I was actually feeling comfortable with material and didn't feel overwhelmed.
Took FAR yesterday, here's how it went:
I felt that these questions were actually fairly easy. I only marked one question, and finished the testlet in about 35 minutes.
This testlet was definitely harder than the first one. I probably marked 5 or 6 questions the first time through. I still was able to gather most of the information quickly for calculations however, and I was somewhat pleased at being able to finish the testlet in about 45 minutes.
I wasn't sure if this testlet moved back to medium or was still hard. There were several questions that had long calculations and took some time, but there were some easier questions mixed in. I wasn't as confident with this testlet as the first one, but was more confident than the second one, so I don't know. Took about 40 minutes.
I was prepared for the worst with the sims, which had me the most nervous (I was practically more nervous about the sims while I was taking the MC questions than I was about the MC questions themselves lol). I wanted to budget a good chunk of time for the sims, and all in all I had about 2 hours worth of time, which was plenty. Two of the seven sims took a good portion of my time because I wasn't sure about either of them. I'm hopeful that I got some partial credit on both, but I was not confident in my answers for about half of each. On three of the sims, I was fairly confident with my answers. There may have been one or two single answers within these three that I wasn't sure about, but in the aggregate I was pleased with my answers. The last two I was dead sure about, there was no way I got these wrong. I finished the sims with about 10 minutes left, as I used a good portion of my time reviewing the two I wasn't sure about.
Since people often feel confident and end up not passing, or feel like they failed and end up passing, I am going to refrain from answering whether or not I think I passed, because I have no idea.
For the record I used Becker (along with Wiley test bank), and was close to reaching the 200 hour mark in study hours for the exam. I feel that Becker more than prepared me for the exam, as I was expecting a lot of similar questions to what Becker had to offer. I was not surpirsed with any of the content on the exam, as Becker and Wiley touched on everything that I saw. Now let the waiting game begin.
Went through Round 2 with FAR this past week. The first time I took it, I tried to cram 70 hours of studying into one week and nearly fell asleep halfway through the exam. I don't recommend that approach. This time, I didn't necessarily increase the volume of studying, but spread it over a few weeks instead. I took my time with the topics, and invested in some Ninja notes as well. I never did practice MCQs or Sims for FAR or any of the other exams, but might have to start if this one goes into Round 3.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from my first FAR exam was you have to leave a lot of time for the Sims. I left about 1.5 hours the first time, and probably got through 4 Sims. This time I left a little over 2 hours and was able to finish and re-check some of my work.
But what I was surprised most with this second FAR exam was how different the experience was from the first exam. On my first exam, both the MCQs and the Sims were incredibly wordy and involved a large quantity of complex calculations (eventhough I wasn't necessarily lighting up the MCQs to deserve harder 2nd and 3rd testlets). This second exam reminded me a lot of my REG exam, where I did have calculations, but they required only a basic understanding and the questions themselves were to the point. This gives me hope, as I thought I failed my Reg exam due to the "easy" questions in the MCQ section, but ended up passing. And thankfully, my Sims on this second FAR exam followed the same pattern. I was able to nail the research question in about 5 minutes, and had 2 hours to finish up the other 6. The questions were still difficult, as most Sims are, but they were once again straight forward and I didn't feel as if I was just throwing out wild guesses.
Even with these facts, I never feel as if I am going to pass these exams. I'd give myself about a 30-40% chance of passing, which probably means I will end up with a score of somewhere between 50 and 60.
Took FAR this morning.
Easy, took about 30 minutes. Didn't feel the need to double-check anything.
Moderately difficult. There were some mind-bending theory questions and some calculations that were like 3 problems in one. I took the full 45 minutes that I budgeted per testlet, some of which involved going back and double-checking what I did.
Obscenely complex. The questions were doable, but they were very time consuming. I took the full 45 minutes that I budgeted per testlet. I had 2 questions left, so I made educated guesses on them without too much analysis. No time to double-check anything.
Two were research, not bad. One was a monster, very wordy and had 3 tabs you had to reference just to complete it. I did all 7 sims straight without jumping around. Once I did all 7, I went back to the first and took my time double-checking what I did for each one of them.
I finished with 16 minutes left.
Best advice I read on the forum before I took FAR:
1. Time management
2. Do MCQs until you puke
3. If you don't understand something in a MCQ, do NOT skip it and move on...spend as long as it takes until you know it
@latenight, it seems that you nailed it. I will be taking FAR on Saturday, any advice?
@latenight... I had almost the exact experience as you but I spend more time than I wanted on the last testlet because it was some complex which screwed me in the sims. Most of the MC were not hard per say but they were very time consuming in the third teslet. I ended up completely guessing on two... One I just didn't have time to deal with it even though I probably could have got the answer if I had time and the second I had no idea. The sims were very time consuming as well and if I would have had another 15 minutes I would feel a lot better about them.
Ugh. Well, that could have gone better.
Testlet 1 - Easy. Mostly straight forward. Took me about 35 minutes.
Testlet 2 - Hard hard hard. Like...super detailed obscure topics and wordy questions and answers. Took me an hour to get through this one. Brutal.
Testlet 3 - Medium? Must not have done that well on Testlet 2. Definitely had some MUCH easier questions than Testlet 2, but overall this testlet was not as easy as Testlet 1. LOTS of computations, though most of them doable. A few computations I could not figure out for beans even though I'm pretty sure they should have been super straight forward. One of them is still frustrating the crap out of me...Took about 50 minutes. UGH. Like I said, could have gone better.
SIMs - Ranged from "OMG, I might actually get [most of] this one right!" to "WTF is this shit..." leaning more towards the latter. Nothing was too far out in left field, but they were definitely on topics that I had less practice with. I'm pretty sure I got the same research as dtomasello. Tricky tricky. I don't feel very good about the SIMs overall. Ended the exam with a minute to go.
Time to bite my fingers for three weeks.
Time management for sure. I thank god that people on this forum said to budget your time during the exam. I could have seen it going badly had I not been aware of this. I would have just gotten carried away with reading and re-reading questions and spending a lot of time on the MCQ computations. It would have been a nightmare to reach the simulations with little time left.
I could have easily spent a lot of time on the 3rd testlet. It was tough to force myself to keep moving when I wasn't 100% on some of the answers.
Haha, I thought WTF too on one of the sims I had. I was like, omg, really? It's going to take forever to read this thing, let alone answer it.
Hey guys, Just read this thread and wishing you guys well.
I took FAR last testing window. I really deserved to fail as I was on the verge of giving up on the CPA exam, but I received my AUD score with 10 days left till the exam, and I had to take the exam anyways because my nts expired.
I finished FAR with 30 minutes to spare and got a 73. Must have been some crazy guessing but I honestly guessed on many MCQ's and scored a weaker and the sims were also wtf and somehow scored a comparable. so for those of you that are freaking out about bombing the sims, there is hope!
Anyways, if anyone has any recommendation of how to handle the sims, I would appreciate it . I don't want to leave anything to chance this time.
@bkkguru - SIMs are tough to prepare for because you never know what you'll get. So just know the material as well as possible and cross your fingers. If you find yourself in a predicament like your last exam, use the 30 minutes you had left to search the authoritative literature to check some answers you were less confident about (or look up some that you couldn't figure out).
first post on this website. I just join a few days ago and notice all the helpful hints that people put on here. I just took the FAR exam and it was pretty tough. Here's how it went.
testlet 1: not bad, exactly like how everyone described it. there was 2-3 i wasnt too sure about. I finish this test in 35 mins approx.
testlet 2: was not hard either....I started getting a bit worried here because I heard from others that the test should of pick up its difficulties here. mine did not >.< (question were not long as other ppl described) . spent about 50 min on this testlet to try and get the harder one.
testlet 3: harder than the other 2 but still not as bad as I would expect it to be. spent about 50 min on this one too.
left myself with about 1hr and 30 min for sims. they were not too bad. I prep using cpaexcel and the sims are similar. but there was 1 that was pretty darn crazy and very long...
all in all im not sure if i pass or not.
Took FAR yesterday......
First Testlet- Medium difficulty. Although I was freaking out at first, I settled in and was able to get through this one with only a few hiccups. Right off the bat I knew the examiners had a 6th sense of knowing exactly what my weaknesses were and planned to exploit them. 45 mins spent here.
Second Testlet- Questions were def. more lengthy, difficulty was a bit more than the first testlet. Overall the plot to exploit my 2 weaknesses (areas I slacked on during review, for lack mental storage space of course!) continued to be a constant theme. Through the second testlet I just kept thinking to myself " How the F do they know? How!!!!!!!" Spent roughly 40 mins here.
Third Testlet- Couldnt notice a real difficulty level increase from the first two testlets. Some questions were cake, others were borderline insane. Took some narrowed down guesses and moved on. Time spent 40 mins.
SIMS- I wanted to give myself as much time as possible for these beasts, wound up with 2 hours alotted here. Started with the research and am confident that I was able to get that down within 10 mins. 1 sim was from left field, hopefully a pretest, pretty sure I got that one completely wrong. 3 were doable with the information given, although the way the information is presented made absolutley no sense at all, so I can't be confident at all on any of them. The 1 other sim was on something I had studied extensivly, so I was happy to see it at first. After reading through the sim however, my sentiment changed, had no clue how do go about performing what they were asking for. It's like they decided to take a topic I enjoyed and felt confident in and tell me " Ohhh soo you think you know whats up, think again buddy. " Continued to fill in what I could with some guesses and put my head down for a few minutes. With 40 mins to spare bits and peices of all of the sims had been filled in, therefore I used the research tab for the rest of time trying to pull together any information that I could. Overall not confident at all with any of the sims.
Advice- If you feel you are weak in a few areas, study them until you have them down. The examiners have a sixth sense for sensing your weaknesses and on test day 90% of the questions will be on those few topics. Work computation MCQ's until you can no longer function. I was waiting for conceptual questions so that I could take a "mental break" during the exam, but they never came. Each question was a battle in itself. Time mangament is underrated, I keep hearing people talk about and am like "okay we get it", but on test day it is key. Having a little extra time on the SIMS could be the difference, so don't get bogged down by unfamiliar MCQ's.
Overall I don't think there is a chance in hell that I passed, we will see I guess.
@Whyme, I'm praying for my concept based questions on May 3rd! Crap, guess I should really practice some computations then. What were your weak areas? I think a lot of people feel like they bombed FAR and then end up with a passing score, there's really no way of knowing so just keep your head up and try to move on to REG! :)
@EELCPA - The concept questions were few and far between. I envy the people who don't get a computational heavy exam. I had 2 weak areas, but I don't think I can disclose that information due to my previous post. I can say make sure you have a basic understanding of all of the major topics, don't skim over or tell yourself " I can slack on this because I may only get one question on it", chances are you will get 20 lol. The sad part is I went in depth on a few topics of which I didn't get a single question. You really never know what you are going to get with this exam.
Good Luck on May 3rd!
@ whyme did you use cpaexcel to prep for the exam? also what were you getting on the simulated cpa test using cpaexcel?
im also worried hearing everyone having a harder 2nd testlet. mine was relatively straightforward, started freaking out for a bit because this probably meant i didnt do as well on the 1st testlet. did anyone pass having all relatively simple testlet? my 3rd testlet pick up the pace a bit in terms of difficulty question, the question were very similar to the one in the free cpa review website. but overall the testlet imo never went insanely harder. (hard for me is doing a 2-3 computation to get the answer.)
Hey, everyone, took Far Monday. Figured I'd throw in my 2 cents.
I used the Wiley Books primarily. The majority of the Wiley questions are math-based versus conceptual (maybe 70% versus 30%).So, a big uncertainty was how much of the exam would be math-based. It wasn't as much as Wiley. I'd say it was more of a 50-50 split. (The exam knows how to exploit your weaknesses though possibly I got a lot of conceptuals because of that).
I left myself the 1.5 hrs to do the TBS' since it is 40% of the score. For me, this was way too much time. I finished in about 45 min. It's possible that because the Wiley prep was very math/problems-based it was easier for me to do a bunch of TBS type scenarios.
However, this meant I didn't get to review the MCQs at all. I definitely could have spent that extra time better working on those. Another possibility for why the TBS' seemed easier than I expected (from reading on here) is that I didn't do too well on the MCQs because didn't have time to review them. Thus, I didn't get harder TBS' because I hadn't answered enough prior hard qs correctly.
The TBS' are certainly hard. Probably more comparable to the hardest ones in whatever review materials you have. The testlets do seem to have the harder qs at the beginning (again just my 2 cents). So, definitely just mark anything tough and come back to it. Don't freak yourself out that you've just launched into an impossible testlet.
I don't think I passed but probably came in a few points under. I'd rack this up to not having enough time to review the MCQs. Good luck everyone taking it soon & hope this helps...
wmalvino, the difficulty of the sims has absolutely nothing to do with how you did on the MCQ. The SIMS are selected before you even start the exam.
Entourage - that's awesome & gives me hope!
I just assumed because they were less difficult than I was expecting that I must've really bombed the mcqs. Coolness - maybe I won't be resitting!
@ ddtspir06 - I used Becker 2012 and Wiley 2012 test bank. I can tell you that the actual exam sims are much more in depth than any of the sims in the review material. If I do not pass this time around, I am going to supplement my review with an intermediate accounting textbook. (More than I utilized it this time)
ah ic sorry i got u confused with someone else. Been reading a lot of forums lately and cant remember who is who.
Took FAR today. I used Wiley, Ninja Notes and cpareviewforfree.
Testlet 1 : Medium difficulty. I am expecting it's gonna be easy due to some post here, but I have a lot of computations. I was freaking out.
Testlet 2 : Harder than testlet 1. Wordy and requires long computation but I tried my best to finish it faster so I will have more time for SIMS.
Testlet 3: Easier than testlet 2: I have flag 4-5 questions. It has more computation still.
I wasn't able to review the testlets. I started SIMS with 2 hours left as planned. Problems are long but doable as long as you have enough time. I spent 30 minutes in research and then skipped it. I was able to go through each questions and throw in the numbers. I might not be able to get 100% on those but at least I know what they are asking for. Overall, I can say that SIMS are not as hard as I expected as long as you know the concepts, know the Journal Entries............JE............JE and more journal entries. Do not skipped the topics if you are using the Wiley because this exam has a lot of surprises. And take a moment to go over cpareviewforfree, it helps me with the wordy and lengthy questions. And budget your time. Goodluck!
Well, I think I bombed the MCQs. lol
Hey, Whyme, hope didn't lead you astray few days ago re: TBS'. Never seen Becker materials so hard to compare. Sounds like Becker not such good prep for SIMs. I can say the SIMs were pretty similar to CPA Excel & the Wiley books - certainly the harder SIMs in each of those...
@wmalvino- Your advice was great. I actually flagged all of the tougher calc questions and came back to them. As for the SIMs, the exam SIMS are just way too confusing. The information is not clear at and if you don't know the topics inside and out I feel like you are screwed.
How heavily graded is the research question does anyone know?
Each of the questions in the SIMs ( except for the pre-test) has the same point value, about 6.66% of the test.
I just finished FAR. Seemed to test my weak areas only. All the testlets seemed the same, medium hard I guess. I thought I would redeem myself on the SIMS, but I don't think that is what happened. I really should have studied more for this.
@Ashley: At least it's done:) Any tips? Don't get discouraged, your score may surprise you:!)
Just make sure you focus on areas you don't know well, or don't like. Make sure you study enough before the exam. I think the test on the wiley testbank was pretty similar to the MCQ, just the SIMS seemed a lot crazier.
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