March 30, 2020 at 1:19 pm #2970827
I find this forum to be very useful and thanks for sharing your experience. This is a long post but I thought my experience may be useful for other candidates.
Just wanted to share with you that I passed the BEC section with a 95 score on the March 9 exam. I was very pleased with the outcome. I wanted to write a detailed note that may help other prospective CPA candidates. My personal background may be a little bit unusual compared to most other CPA candidates and my goals are little different too.
I attempted CPA without the help of any review course back in 2004 and failed miserably with embarrassing scores. Life happened through the years and I had all but forgotten about it. Finally by spring of 2019 I got my foreign credentials evaluated and got the NTS from my state board. I had looked at Wiley, Becker and finally decided to go with GLEIM. I did not know what to expect so I signed up for only FAR and BEC Premium. I got around to studying seriously in early January 20 and started going through the study units for the BEC section. The study planner helped. A few notes on based just on my personal experience with GLEIM for BEC section only.
• The study units are very thorough and even feltl dull and painstaking at times
• I did not finish several of the Adaptive quizzes within the 25 mins allotted. I would continue past the time and manage to get through them.
• I did not really do optional question bank MCQs – I did not have time
• I struggled with COSO and Governance study units and had to force-complete it
• I had to repeat at least 6 study units before GLEIM would let me move on to the next study unit
• I was scoring in the 60s and 70s on the Adaptive Simulations
• There was one study unit I cannot even remember which where I took 70 minutes to complete vs the allotted 25-30 minutes
• I did manage to hit all 20 study units
• I did get a decent score on the 4-hour Exam rehearsal, but I did not know if I was lulled into a false sense of comfort
• Some study units I would go back and watch the video or re-read the text.
• I decided on BEC because there were a lot of overlap of material with what I had learnt in my recently finished MBA from Virginia Tech and what I do at work to support cost accounting.
• Was afraid to take on FAR first. I needed a boost from a pass core to keep going.
On exam day, I was quite nervous about making silly mistakes, messing up with the Excel tool etc.
I met one other candidate who said this was his last. Just before walking in, he said I will be fine if I managed to get through the material and not to worry about the Written Communication section.
The exam started and I got through the first 3 testlets and 1 simulation before I took a break. I felt I did okay with the MCQ s except 1 or 2 questions that I was not sure about. 1 was so long I just guessed and moved on. I managed to stick with the self-imposed time limit of roughly 30-38 min per testlet.
The SIM felt a bit harder and I am sure I bombed about 50% of one of the SIMs but I probably got lucky, I am guessing that one was a pre-test or there is no way I ended up with a high score like this.
It seems like WC is free marks on the BEC if you do not manage to screw it up. Glad I did not know it before, so I did not take it lightly and wrote it quite seriously following the WC guidelines.
I know FAR is likelyto be much harder based on all the forum posts and I feel like I beginning to understand what it takes to pass – Hoping to get there before long..March 30, 2020 at 10:11 pm #2971010CPAHOPEParticipant
Congrats by the way! Pretty amazing how you received 95 after failing the first time miserably. 95 is an amazing score, i assume you shouted out with joy once you received that score. What score were you expecting or did you feel great about the exam afterwards? How in the hell do you get in the 90s? Any tricks?March 31, 2020 at 12:04 am #2971079
I was indeed quite happy. I had just finished MBA from VTech 12 months back so there was a lot of overlap with BEC . Also in my day job supporting my company's ERP system, I do a lot of costing related work with our plant controllers. So the costing part was fairly easy to understand and remember. Micro and Macro Economics , I remembered from fairly recent MBA coursework. So my weakest areas were the COSO , governance and I guess I got lucky with those section. If there were say 6-8 questions on COSO, Governance, COBIT and topics I would have been in trouble because I struggled to remember those those topics even after reviewing 2-3 times.
I did follow the study plan religiously, I ended up having to repeat a couple of study units to get the score about GLEIM's threshold. I did not really do a ton of MCQs,
I was worried about my speed and accuracy. Also was worried about written communication
I was nervous going into the exam hall but another candidate kind of boosted my spirits saying , this was his very last and encouraged me saying if I had scored well on the Rehearsal Exam I will be fine. On the full length practice exam I cheated on the WC section self-evaluation so my score of 81 was neither here nor there.
I did feel I bombed at least 2 MCQs and one TBS which I felt was hard. I did not waste time, I wrote it off to a loss and moved on. I am only guessing that could have been a practice testlet. Only trick I could think of is, I think I managed time well. I stuck to the general rule of thumb 38 mins or something for each testlet and did take a break. I did have about 12 minutes to spare in the end after the WC written section.
I was still worried after the exam -but felt I could be borderline- I was honestly thinking somewhere between 75-80 and I would have taken that gladly.
There are 3 more mountains (FAR,AUD, REG) to climb and I am kind of slogging through FAR right now. The twists and the turns and the exception. I just want to sustain or actually increase the level of effort for FAR being that a lot of the topics I am not really dealing with in a practical sense.
Most people say- you have to do a lot of MCQs, but if they are repetitivein their content, it only serves to increase speed and accuracy and at least in BEC , I did not feel to overload with MCQs.
I did take my own notes in the Notepad application and scanned through it the morning of the exam. I was still worried about silly mistakes, forgetting things but no that day it came together.
Sorry about the long-winded reply.
FARApril 1, 2020 at 9:36 am #2972045bigstakkParticipant
I basically had the same experience for BEC using GLEIM in terms of study plan only I didn’t watch any of the videos. On the actual exam I mismanaged my timing slightly and didn’t leave myself adequate timing for the writing section and I think I gambled wrong on which 2 of the 3 were actually tested vs pretest and I scored comparable for that section. But, I was still pleased with my results and it showed me if you actually go through each adaptive learning prompt with GLEIM you will score highly on the actual exam. I didn’t do this for any of the other sections I took and scored much lower, but I kind of winged it on FAR and AUD. For REG I neglected doing enough practice SIMs and ended up scoring less than comparable on the SIMs but crushed the MCQs since I focused on those. For FAR I would do the same plan you did for BEC and follow all of the prompts. I have a masters in accountancy and been working as an accountant for several years with GAAP and IFRS experience so I could afford to skip a few chapters, but obviously I didn’t score highly. Although, I always personally aimed to study enough to get in the mid 80s to give myself a chance to pass each exam with a little cushion. BEC is the hardest exam to study for but the easiest of the exams if you ask me. AUD is fairly easy as well especially if you have audit experience, but FAR is a beast and REG is really tough too if you are not a tax accountant. Def feels good to get on the board before taking FAR, which is the hardest of the exams. That’s what I did too only I went AUD first since I used to be an auditor and felt I’d have the best chance to pass that exam first. Followed that up with FAR then REG then BEC. I would probably take AUD after you take FAR since there is some overlap, but REG is more difficult so you may think about saving AUD for last since you can get a little fatigued when you get to your last exam section. Good luck with FAR and the rest of your exams.April 1, 2020 at 8:18 pm #2972417
Bigstakk- thanks for sharing your experience and valuable feedback on the other 3 sections. I will bear that in mind as I go through FAR and for the other sections later
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