[FAR] FAR exam experience 2010

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    It's a killer. The first testlet was medium difficulty and I guessed on a few. The second testlet was horrendous with tons of calculations and I guessed on a lot, especially since I was trying to stick to my 50-minute-per-testlet pace. The third testlet was easier than the first ~ perhaps a pity testlet since testlet 2 was weak on my part.

    OMG. The SIMS!!!! If I had 90 minutes to complete each sim, I probably could have done it. Not so many tabs or difficult topics, just unrelated, mini-monsters. I knocked the communcations out of the park first. They were not too bad. The first research tab was quick and easy, the second was nowhere! It was such an easy topic, but I could not find it. It drove me crazy and I wasted too much time there because I kept thinking I'd find it. Ended up guessing.

    The rest of my simulation tabs were complete guesses. I barely had enough time to pull down an answer in the cell and I just made up numbers where they were required. I just remember someone saying “put something” so that is what I did.

    Overall, I don't feel like crying like I did when I left REG. Maybe it's because I thought I failed then and I didn't so I have a false sense of security now. It's over so all I can do is wait. I gave it my best shot and I can't beat myself up for not studying.

    Good luck to all!


    I just took FAR! I am still decompressing… I agree with CPAWannabe, it was tough! The 1st MCQ testlet was easier than the 2nd or 3rd. I was familar with most of the concepts (from the Becker review), but the questions were worded very tricky. My stuggle was with the simulations! WHAT THE ???? The first one was bad, but the second one was a monster! I ran out of time and probably got no points for it. I am fairly confident with my MCQ answers, hopefully the sims won't impact my score too bad.


    Well as someone who took FAR and was completely sure I had failed (I didn't even notice that the testlets were getting harder), I can say you never know so keep your head up. I ended up coming out with a 77…just got the results today. And I guessed on SEVERAL multiple choice, as well as the research tab on one simulation, and I either guessed or left half of the first and second simulations blank. I still have no idea how I passed.


    Hey – you can breathe easy now…no more FAR to study, hopefully!

    Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)
    NINJA CPA Review


    That makes me feel better. I can't say I noticed the testlets getting harder on REG. It was such a blur. I felt like I had a chance at the simulations on REG, but today with FAR, I barely had time to read them and figure out what they wanted. I flunked the sims – no doubt.



    Don't waste any time in the research tab on any exam, it's only worth one point. Spend two or three minutes (or less), and if you don't find it by then, move on. There are more valuable areas in the SIMS where you can spend your time.



    I know. I know. I kept telling myself to MOVE ON, but I get all obsessive compulsive. It costs me points on other tabs.


    I think people generally do better than expected. I remember people asked me how I thought I did and I told everyone for the longest time that it was a 50% chance of me passing or not, I gave them a range of 70-80. Turns out that I did better than expected.


    I'd say out of all the exams FAR is the hardest to gauge your score. I walked out of this exam feeling less-than-stellar. It's worse too if you attempt to go through the questions in your head that you weren't sure if you got right or not. I explicitly remember messing up an EPS calculation on a simulation (miscounted months) and this caused agony for the 10+ weeks I waited for my score. Keep in mind though that FAR is the toughest exam for most candidates so there tends to be more leniency on grading it seems. I felt significantly worse for FAR (guessed on a higher percentage of questions, felt more uncomfortable with some of the answers, etc.) than I did for AUD and the scores turned out the same for all substantive purposes.


    I took far today after studying for it since Oct. I have never studied so much in my life! This is my last section….I pased the other 3 on my first try. The MC teslets weren't too bad. I noticed they got harder as I went along, but nothing was really surprising. Not many calcs at all…looked a lot like the Becker test I did on Saturday. There was a lot of stuff that I would've thought would be tested that never showed up once.

    Then I got to the SIMS. WOW!!! All unrelatd tabs and topics that came from no where. There may have been 2 tabs that I felt ok with and the research and written weren't too bad.

    Overall, about what I expected, and I hope this is it for me! I just want to be done!


    I just sat for FAR today and I'm just drained. I feel empty right now, like the life has been sucked out of me…I'm just happy it's over.

    I really was panicking throughout the test because a LOT of the MCQ were unfamiliar to me, I mean I knew the topic but the question was so specific and I only had a vague understanding of it..like I could narrow it down to two answers for most of them but if this rule applied it would be a and if this rule applied it would be b. What made me more nervous was that none of the testlets seemed THAT hard…like the questions didn't seem tricky like I'd expect them to get if you were doing well.

    I don't know, maybe it's psychological..for REG I felt the same way and got an 85, but I actually felt like I knew those MCQ…it was the simulations on REG that destroyed me.

    The Sims on FAR were ok, the first one was very easy, I finished research and written in 10 minutes tops and I think they were 100%, as for the tabs they weren't bad at all, I felt 80% or more confident on them. The second one wasn't as good, but it wasn't that bad either.

    I was surprised the MCQ were so much harder than the sims…the thing is that the MCQ weren't even hard questions, they just covered so much and in such detail, I don't have the time or capability to memorize every damn FASB and little bullet that goes under it to know that this shouldn't have been capitalized until another month, or this should have been recognized as THIS type of revenue not THIS type….sigh

    I'm just glad it's over, if I fail I will be severely disappointed, because I can't imagine doing this all over again let alone when I start working…good luck to all who have yet to take it.

    Oh and I finished with a minute and a half left.


    Mine was so so so bad….i just came back from the exam and i dont know what to do….maybe scream??? The first testlet was ok…second was difficult and third …i dont know….i was left with too little time for simulations so i dont know how it went….i left half the communication of the first sim and started the second only to discover those “mini monstrous” topics seemed unfamilier…i completely screwed the second sim…..completely left the communication…could not manage time at all………..which, to conclude….is a sign that i will have to do this all over AGAIN!!! i'm so completely drained out….and not at all relieved that its over….and yes, i have audit in 3 weeks for which i havent studied at all…maybe i should postpone it….

    Can anyone guide me through audit…how to study, what to study and all that….for me, audit is not as monstrous as FAR….do you think it can be done in 3 weeks? i've studied audit before…not for CPA, but am familier with the topics….

    And has anyone, in the history of CPA passed, by screwing up a simulation?? i'm so drained out i cant even cry!!


    Hi cmb2009

    You give me such hope…just read your comment…i have simply no hope to pass though….it went really bad…. 🙁


    if you have a hard testlet that is a good sign


    Dharana, lets get back on the horse. First, never leave the communication section blank. if you get to any part of the sim (time running out) get to the comm. section and try to finish it. AUD can be done in three weeks but you have to be committed. Make sure you have compilation, review, audit reports down. What review program are you using? Becker is 5 parts. Remember AUD questions are tricky. You can get down to two answers but you have to pick the best correct answer. Average passing candidate is 79/80 in AUD. But you have plenty of time in AUD exam to work. Now get back up and attack AUD.


    Taking FAR on Sunday…its my last one…got a 69 last time…any last advice???????????????????

    REG 69, 71, 76, BEC 75, AUD 83 FAR 59,69, ???


    best of luck skylar, hope you pass and finally get it all over with…my best advice to you is don't stress, start going over bits and pieces from all sections because really anything could appear…also don't make the mistake of skipping governmental/non profit stuff it really is 20% of the exam.

    The test isn't going to be that hard question wise, it's just the massive amount of material is what makes it so god damn difficult…if you know the basics of every section with a little more in depth knowledge of the more heavily tested sections you'll be golden.

    Oh and allocate your time…I finished with a minute left, as have many others I've read about…I gave myself 45 minutes per MCQ testlet (knowing I'd take less time on the first and more on the last two) and then the last hour and 45 minutes on the two simulations (giving myself 45 minutes for the first so I'd have a full hour of stress free time for the second simulation).

    Hope that helps…I just took mine last week and I really don't know how I did…it's always a mystery, best to just not stress


    Dharana I just saw your post! Glad I give you hope! If I can do it, anyone can!


    I just came out of FAR boys and girls and I must say it is beatable. I agree with CapitalGains, that FAR is hard to gauge your score, but I walked out with a feeling like I had a fighting chance. I couldn't really tell if the questions were getting harder, or if I was just getting more questions on the content in which I am weakest.

    The recently released AICPA questions were of help and also Becker prepared me well for it. I still forgot how to answer some of the questions during the exam, but it's like me to nail the hard questions and miss the really easy ones.

    My time management during FAR was the following:


    1 – 45 min

    2 – 50 min

    3 – 65 min


    1 – 46 min

    – 22 min research tab and written section

    – 24 min various tabs

    2 – 34 min

    – 20 min research tab and written section

    – 14 min various tabs (ran out of time)

    The first testlet was okay, but I felt like the questions were purposefully worded tricky. The third testlet was solvable, but the questions really made me think. None of the calculations took me too long to do, except for maybe one question, which took me 2-3 min in total.

    I needed about 5 more minutes to complete the second sim. In retrospect, I wasted too much time going back over questions I couldn't correctly answer in the MCQ section. Also, I should have gotten the easy points on the sim by filling out the tab I knew I could probably answer correctly, instead of trying to score some points with the tabs I probably could not correctly answer. In addition, the research tabs took me a couple minutes longer than I would have liked. The first communication I lucked out and did good. I used the research tab to help me figure out what to say. The second communication, I am not sure what I wrote, but I left about a paragraph in there and forgot to spell-check it.

    In short, my study technique was to look at every single Becker lecture in a row (1 through 9), then go back and do the multiple choice for each lecture. If I were to do things different, I would have gone back after doing the MCQ to do the supplemental questions as well (which I did not do). I spent absolutely no study time on the practice sims or writing/research sections.

    FAR is my final exam section, so after having taken the others, I'm betting my score will be around 76 to 78, as my performance was satisfactory. The stuff I knew, I knew pretty well. If I didn't pass FAR, the score is bound to be close.


    Jaywalk, where do I find the recently released AICPA questions? I will be taking FAR on 2/1 and am doing and intense review for the next two weeks.


    You can get the AICPA released questions with answers from the Becker website. Also you can Google it and find some other places, but Becker has explanations to the answers. The questions are retired but still very helpful to make sure you understand the concepts.

    Jaywalk, I left with a so-so feeling after FAR. The next week I really started to really doubt myself when I remembered some off-the-wall questions I guessed at.

    For exam prep, I did not do the supplemental questions either and very little sim practice. The sims I got were nothing like Beckers – more like difficult MCQs. We still have another month to see!


    Thanks CPAWannaBe.


    I have just returned from the battle of FAR—don't feel too victorious. I felt like I tanked the SIMS—and now I'm feeling even less confident—the posts mentioning “Communication & Writing” on the SIMS, uh oh, did I miss something huge????

    I had research lookup—but I don't remember seeing anything asking me to explain or write…there were JE's to populate, but oh my goodness did I do even worse that I thought?


    “Communication and writing” was on the old FAR secion, they removed that from FAR in 2011, and the SIMS were redone, instead of 2-3 really large SIMS, there were 7 smaller ones.

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