Which CPA Exam section should I take first?
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December 27, 2009 at 2:03 am #157037
Hello everyone, I’ve been procrastinating in taking the CPA exam although I was approved to sit for the exam. But now I have so much motivation of becoming a CPA. I find it very helpful in reading the posts on this site that’s why I would like to know your opinions on how do u think should I take the exam. I plan of taking it on 2-sittings, I just have to figure out which subjects to take first, should I do FAR and BEC first, and then AUD and REG later or FAR®, then BEC&AUD? Btw, I decided to use Yaeger, I am skeptic but I know that no matter what materials you use it will still all depend on how your study habits are. Thanks so much and appreciate it!December 27, 2009 at 4:38 am #216803
Jeff – another71.comKeymaster
It depends…FAR/BEC in January/Feb is good, but only if you started FAR in mid-December…where are you in your studies?December 27, 2009 at 12:56 pm #216804
My strategy was to to take REG first and then FAR, AUD and BEC. I work in taxation so I thought REG would be a good way to get a feel for the exam. I knew FAR would be the most difficult for me so I wanted to get that out of the way. It may take me 18 months just to pass it.
In SC, if you pass REG and FAR you can become a state licensed Accounting Practitioner. My goal is of course to pass all 4 parts and become a CPA, but that is my back-up plan.
If I pass FAR I’m not sure if I should take BEC or AUD next. I’m trying not to think about it too much until I see how FAR goes. FAR is horrid and I can’t imagine having passed three parts with this monster left for last.December 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm #216805
I did it differently, but if I had to do it again – I’d take the most difficult parts first.
You get really tired after you take first two parts and it’s difficult to stay motivated for the last two. At least it was the case for me.
I would do FAR, REG, BEC, and AUD.
Plus, knowledge from FAR might help in all other parts in my opinion.December 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm #216806
I am in the process of applying for my first NTS and would also like advice in crafting my strategy. I know there are changes coming to the exam 1/1/2011. I do not know if it is realistic to complete all 4 sections in 2010 (I work full time, but do not have family responsibilities other than as a girlfriend, sister, daughter, aunt)…
Is there any benefit to taking the exam in 2011 vs 2010? It seems every one wants to be completed before the new changes, but if IFRS will be used in practice, wouldn’t it be beneficial to learn it for the exam?
I believe it would be wise to take the hardest first, but I would then risk studying for two different exams if I fail in 2010 and am not able to sit again until 2011.
Thoughts?December 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm #216807
Jeff – another71.comKeymasterDecember 28, 2009 at 3:20 am #216808
My ideal plan would be to take FAR, REG, AUD, and then BEC. The idea being get the hard ones out of the way first, whichever you think that will be for you. However, make sure to keep in mind any busy seasons that you will have coming up and or personal commitments/vacations/etc that might throw off your study habits. If you have some free time, get a hard one out of the way, and then if you only have a month or so to study before your busy season starts, try to slip in an easier one.
Of course, this is just my theory, but it’s working well so far!December 28, 2009 at 5:01 am #216809
If you plan on doing two sittings, then try to put FAR & AUD together. These two mesh better than any other combination out there. I don’t necessarily recommend doing FAR & REG back-to-back (especially as your first two) because of the sheer amount of material and conflicting nature of some of the information. FAR & AUD go hand-in-hand and you’ll find that the logical nature of AUD and the mathematical nature of FAR compliment each other to give you a better feel for the subjects in each. That’s what I did and smashed both of the exams within two weeks of each other while studying for both simultaneously.December 28, 2009 at 5:44 am #216810
hey guys, thanks for all the inputs. I think I will be a daily visitor on this site, as I go forward and conquer this CPA exam. So I’m just wondering, I already am decided for Yaeger as my partner for success, but we all know times are tough and even Yaeger offers a very reasonable price for his review course I’m still thinking if it is worth it to get the whole package 1 time. I mean, we all know that the future is uncertain right? I don’t want to be as negative as possible (if u know what I mean), but you think it would be a smart move to get the whole package or get just 2 subjects first?December 28, 2009 at 7:26 pm #216811
I took BEC first and it was definitely a mistake. I think AUD – which most would agree is the easiest – should go first because it will really bring your confidence up if you pass it on the first shot. With this confidence you will have your best chance to tackle FAR. Then on to REG, and then BEC. The only reason I leave BEC last is because it is the part I am having the most trouble with. So I guess take that advice with a grain of salt….January 1, 2010 at 7:23 pm #216812
Peace to everyone! I have passed both FAR-78 /AUD-83 2009. I am also taking BEC on Feb 16,2010. I believe taking both helped me a lot because as one brother said it; he is right. I can see from his results too. However, this is possible if you have time. I have a lot of struggle in finding enough time. Thus, I would say depending on your condition and if you have time( 1.5 months for one CPA exam or not 1 tight month) would be enough to pass. I used several combinations Yaeger audio,Becker CPA Video ( wonderful nimonics),Gleim online multiple choice,T/F,simulations, and wiley books for reference or upgrades. It is good to explore but choose the best for your style of study.
I strongly recommend to stick to one “Preparatory school ” I wasted money by buying all these materials. So, I hope every one learns from me not to repeat the same mistake. Stick with one is my motto for those of you starters!!! Most of the times the schools are covering mostly same materials.January 2, 2010 at 3:07 am #216813
I liked taking BEC first because there were no Sims but then I took Aud and I think I had some false confidence so I didn’t study as much as I should have. Far and Reg weren’t as bad to me as I thought they would be. I would definately split up Far and Reg and take either Aud/Far and Bec/Reg because Far and Aud are related. I have been told people think Far is supposed to help with Aud.
And I used Gleim chapter outlines and m/c disk for all 4 sections and did well as you can see. Whether this type of studying is sufficient will depend on how you learn best. I am one of those people that rarely studied in school because I picked stuff up and remembered it.January 15, 2010 at 12:10 am #216814
I thnk you should take what ever test you think will be the hardest for you. Remember you time start ticking when you pass the first test. Therefore if you take your hardest and fail and have to retake – your clock will not start until you pass. There are many people on here that have a lost a pass because they failed one section and by the time the were able to retake – the first test was over the 18 months.
Remember you have to pass all 4 in 18 months which seems like a lot of time until you actually start studying and taking the test – time flies.January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm #216815
My two cents: take either FAR or REG first since they take the most time to study for. Between the two, I would take the one you feel more comfortable with so that your first exam experience gives you a little boost of confidence for the next one. After those two, I feel like it is downhill since the study materials are cut in half.
Between AUD and BEC, aave the one that you are the most comfortable with for last because by the end, it is hard to focus on studying.January 16, 2010 at 10:41 pm #216816
Always take FAR before AUD. I took FAR first because FAR just seems to never end. The FAR book is larger than any of the other books.
If you are going to take these exams in two quarters, pair FAR with BEC in the first quarter, and pair REG with AUD in the second quarter. I would not pair FAR with AUD in the same quarter.January 17, 2010 at 1:59 am #216817
I agree with a combination of what Anna and CPA2B said.
After passing the first couple it gets difficult to stay motivated. After all, you passed the first two parts, so the last two should a breeze right? That couldn’t be more wrong! You will find yourself wearing down over time. Between work, family, and study, at the end of it, you’ll be exhausted.
I think taking what YOU feel is your hardest area first is important. The clock starts ticking one you pass that first section.
Its the old debate….
1. Take YOUR hardest part first, with the thoughts to pass the 3 remaining sections before your 18 months passes.
2. Take YOUR easiest part first, with the thoughts that if you do go over your 18 months, you have to retake the easier section again.
I think most people, myself included lean towards option 1.January 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm #216818
I like the idea of getting momentum going, so I decided to shy away from FAR and REG to begin my journey. Since I’m in the assurance department of my firm, I decided to gain as much experience as possible before taking AUD, which in turn would help me to end on what I had hoped would be an easier note.
BEC –> FAR –> REG –> AUD
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