How bad is BEC really?

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    Alright you guys,

    This is it. My last one. I basically have 5 attempts to pass it (with the new retesting rules starting in July). So I started studying for BEC around September 16 and got through the material by October 7. I had taken FAR at the ending of the Q3 testing window and was absolutely exhausted when studying for BEC. I had my NTS for both FAR and BEC and it expires on Dec. 10, which is the day that I have scheduled to take BEC. However, I have not studied between Oct. 7 and this past Sunday (11/24), since I started work in Oct and I've literally been getting back home around 8 or 9pm and I leave my house around 6:50am. I'm honestly in an ok spot but I just want to pass this damn exam and catch up on some good o'le Netflix/youtube. One of my friends passed BEC only studying for 10 days and most of my other friends have told me that while the material is bad and the exam is bad, the curve is strong and helps boost your score dramatically. I've started to get back into it and little by little am relearning everything. I absolutely killed economics averaging around 93% on MCQs first try and I'm ok with internal controls (70% first try) and IT (71% first try). Cost accounting and financial management is going along slow but I understand. It's just a matter of remembering the flow of calculations. I'm just so mentally drained from work and studying that I just need to hear what its like. If I don't pass this first time around, I'm not that upset since I slacked off and I have 2 weeks off for Christmas to just sit in my house studying. Let me know your thoughts on how to prepare/study efficiently. My current plan is to refresh on the material and just crank out MCQs starting next monday (12/2) till my exam (12/10).


    Highest pass rate – most under-rated exam.

    People walk in and stumble out because they think it's going to be like a college exam.

    Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)
    NINJA CPA Review

    It’s a crapshoot. I took it back in 2016 without studying and got an 85. Took it last week after using all the Becker material and felt dominated. I’ve scored 85+ on all the others with studying maybe 50 hours each, so I’m a good test taker. It’s my last so I hope I passed, but will be using Ninja if I didn’t. Good luck OP

    Jimmy Dugan

    It's as hard as the other ones. Study the same amount.

    AUD - 95
    BEC - 87
    FAR - 84
    REG - 90
    You're killing me Smalls



    I found this exam the hardest to study for since the material is all over the place and not much of it is accounting. However, the exam itself was not as hard as FAR or REG. I would say it’s on the same level as AUD. Timing is very key with this exam to make sure you have enough time for the writing sections. Overall, this exam should not be taken lightly, but once you take the exam you will find that the questions are more straightforward and less tricky than the others. I could totally see how some people crush this exam and completely understand how this exam has crushed others on the flip side. If you are a good test taker you should be fine since some of the exam can be logically figured out even if you don’t know the material. GL!

    AUD - 81
    BEC - 87
    FAR - 80
    REG - 82

    Ethics Exam - 90%
    Licensed CPA in CA


    BEC in my opinion is harder than FAR, as is AUD.

    You often hear how hard FAR is but that's really only because of the volume of information. The material, however, is very linear and the math is very simple. BEC on the other hand can have more complex math involved, it's material is a complete jumble, and AUD is incredibly subjective. I definitely miss FAR.


    @Amimalwithin I excel in complex Finance/Econ and there were maybe 3-5 questions max regarding those areas on my exam this week.


    @1skibum The econ stuff is okay. It's the cost accounting that I'm struggling with. Beyond that it's just a ridiculous amount of equations to have memorized.


    @Amimalwithin Barely had any cost accounting on my exam either. I’m good at that too. Honestly walked out wondering wtf just went on because it was all Corp governance and foreign transactions/hedges.


    I passed all my other exams on the first try and failed BEC. I made the mistake of believing that only two topics would be majorly tested on BEC. I also made the mistake of only practicing MCQs and the written portion. My advice would be to cover and master everything in BEC; including simulations.

    The great thing about BEC is that it is the smallest section and easiest to grasp. Once you understand BEC you will walk into that exam and straight kill it. It's a fair exam with very few curve balls.

    Gotta play to win!

    B- 74,86 (8/19, rematch 11/19)

    A- 78 (2/19)

    R- 89 (5/19)

    F- 83 (9/18)


    BEC has been the worst for me so far. I would say it's far less material than FAR but it was hard for me to grasp it at first. Hands down audit has been and probably will be the easiest for me.

    FAR - 76

    AUD - 89

    BEC - 84

    REG - 86


    I am praying for a 75 for FAR but working towards a 99 – these exams have been so random for me I prefer not to underestimate certain topics, for me all other sections are doable – but maybe that's because I've done everything else BUT FAR. BEC is totally random, so I get that – best thing you can do is follow the blueprint and focus on concepts.


    Sneaky tip: Work all of the IT MCQ the afternoon before your exam so they'll be in your short term memory. They're not really conceptual, so it's easier to cram into your head.

    Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)
    NINJA CPA Review
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