I'll say that wasn't until 2 days ago that I was actually feeling comfortable with material and didn't feel overwhelmed.
REG - 84
BEC - 85
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.
Thanks, Ashley! Hope we both pass!
hey~could you guys tell us which sections were heavily tesed? my friends told me that the most heavily tesed are bonds, pension, governmental and NFP. it is true for you? Thanks!
williamcwlee - We are not suppose to disclose anything about the exam topics. So I can't tell you. Good luck!
I think leases is also heavily tested....from what I've read! Studying for FAR, currently!
I can say that although I had some reoccurring topics, there were areas that I studied really heavily and only got one-two questions on while some pretty random topics that reminded me a bit of F2 ( the 90 question bit) appeared. What I also find pretty annoying was some of the topics that I studied very hard for had these pretty ridiculous twists on them that were never covered in Becker so you're kind of left to guess how to go about it. Best advice is to prepare as much as you can and don't freak out when you see something you're unfamiliar with because it WILL happen lol
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