Ask the NINJAs: Freezing up on CPA Exam Simulations

14 Oct 2013

Ask the NINJAs

Dear NINJAs,

I am having problems with the simulations. I soar through the multiple choice, but freeze up when I get to a simulation. Do you have tips for answering these? – Tiffany



Dear Tiffany,

If we NINJAs had a Shuriken for every time someone said “hey NINJAs, my score report says I'm weaker in simulations…”, we would be … um …well-Shurikened, let's just put it that way.

The NINJAs' CPA Exam Simulation Tips:

1. When working through the MCQs – don't become MCQ-OCD. If you're on question 3 of the first testlet and can't for the life of you get an answer to work out, you should continue to spend 8 more minutes on it, right? Come on, now. Such a ridiculous notion – but that's what us MCQ-OCD people do. We freak out and then camp out on one question to the detriment to the rest of the exam.

Take away some clock stress on exam day by not being MCQ-OCD.

2. Don't go down the Sim Practice Rabbit Hole. Practicing Simulations is a never-ending exercise in insanity. So many topics, so many curveballs they could throw at you. We've heard rumors of candidates who went into a spare bedroom to work simulations and were never heard from again. They're still out there somewhere practicing a Dollar-Value LIFO Simulation just in case. You can practice sims until the cows come home (Jeff is from Kansas…wanted to use a metaphor he would understand), but guess what – you will only see a few of those topics on your actual exam simulations.

You know where you will see those curveballs? The MCQs.

Should you work a few practice simulations? Yes.

Want to do better on the simulations on exam day? Work more MCQs.

Sim are simply an extension of the concepts tested in the MCQs.

3. Work the AICPA Sample Tests so that you're familiar with the Research component of simulations.


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