BEC essay advice

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    I noticed a lot of people worried about the BEC writing samples. I figured I would give my two cents on the matter. I know many people have said that it doesn't necessarily matter what you say in your essays but rather how you say it, and that you don't have to be “correct” with the material you put into your essays. I'm here to say that I………..ABSOLUTELY AGREE!

    Basically, when I got to my 3 writing samples, I basically used this method:

    If I knew the material underlying the question, of course I would include this information in my essay. After all, I know it is right and of course I would write correct information. However….

    If I had no clue about the material, or was hazy on the subject, I didn't waste any time trying to rack my brain about how to “correctly” answer the question. I basically just started writing. In fact, on one essay, I completely made up my own terms, rules etc… But I didn't care, because I felt confident in my writing skills and format.

    Now formatting is another topic all together, but I believe there is plenty material out there and on this message board to make that a non issue come test day.

    In summary, if you do not know the topic of the essay, pretend that you know it, make up some stuff, and write it confidently like the badass that you are!!


    On my BEC exam, there was one written communication question that I had no clue how to answer. I prayed that it was pretest and I wrote five paragraphs comparing different types of cheese. Somehow I passed.


    @ Tomato – That is hilarious!

    Almost always from my phone... please excuse my typos!

    All 4 passed - 2016

    CA CPA


    Tomato, are you serious??? You compared cheese? Dying!

    AUD - 76
    BEC - 86
    FAR - 76
    REG - 76
    Oklahoma CPA



    Obviously know one knows for sure how the CPA is graded but it is a computer grading the written section. I was told to have good sentence structure and mention the topics in the question a lot. Even if you aren't describing any details you have to assume mentioning the main phrases in the topic will trigger the computer to believe you are discussing the topic. On my exam I used the same closing on all three and the same form of the intro switching it slightly to mention the topic. I only knew in depth the topic in one and kind of talked around the subject on the other two.


    There was only one written assignment on my exam and I wrote everything I knew to get the best score.


    If you're stuck on an essay, drop keywords, make it sound believable, use good essay structure, and you'll likely get a pass from the computer grader.

    Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)
    NINJA CPA Review
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