I took my exam yesterday on January 7th. Before I digress into what my thoughts were on the most recent exam, I had taken FAR twice before. The first time I only completed 2 out of the 7 sims and scored a 62%, and the second time I completed 3.5 out of the 7 sims and scored a 67%. If that doesn't scream curve, I don't know what does.
Anyway, I was able to allocate about 50-55 minutes towards the first three testlets, which I thought were reasonable. All the questions were really balanced (material and calculation v. conceptual) I had used the Becker software and book, had reread 85% of the book, worked all multiple choice questions, and then reworked about another 50% of the MCQ's between December 26th and January 7th. I work for a Big 4 and they shut down for the holiday, so it gave me time to really hit the books.
I found the first testlet tricky, flagged 12, flagged 4 in the second, and 9 in the final testlet. Though I would have some easier questions, most questions were pretty long and required a decent amount of concentration. Of those questions I had flagged, I was pretty much able to level the answers down to 2 potential answers. I wish this board wasn't monitored because I had five MCQ on a pretty small portion of the exam, which was surprising. I realistically think I completed at least 75% of the MCQ correctly.
Anyway, this time I completed all 7 sims. Two were pretty tricky and 4 were reasonable. Of the tricky ones, I probably bombed 1 of them, which was the first one. This specific question was covered pretty minimally in Becker materials, and after 4 years of work experience, I would have found it very difficult to see a recent college graduate nailing the question. I'm almost positive I nailed the research as well. Of all the exams I have taken, I think I had "quality" answers for most of the Sims, but wasn't always 100% sure. I agree with the previous post, and can't emphasize enough that understanding JE's was a present theme throughout the exam. I also found this interesting as the PCAOB and our firm has been heavily focused on substantively testing JE's, so it makes sense that these are a focus of the exam. I don't believe I violate any laws/AICPA rules by suggesting people who take the exam should understand their JE's as it is part of the foundation of accounting.
Anyway, this was my final exam, so if I don't pass I will probably be super disappointed. It took 3 times to pass reg (55, 73, & 78), and I passed BEC (82) and Audit (75) the first time this summer. I also have Level 1 of the CFA done 3 years ago, which I think is a very fair and reasonable test. I find that FAR, while fair on the MCQ, is rather unreasonable and highly subjective when it comes to the Sims as demonstrated by my previous scores. I am baffled that I could get a 62% and leave 5 sims blank. Anyway, I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. I believe the results come 11 days after the 20th day of the month....should be right around January 31st.
Best of luck to people taking the exam. This is my first post on here, but I do read the forum pretty regularly.
AUD - 75
BEC - 82
REG - 55, 73, 78
FAR - 62, 67, (1/7/13)....waiting