My Successful FAR Strategy

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  • #847866

    Hey all,

    Just passed FAR and ended my CPA journey finally on September 20th! This particular section for me was an absolute nightmare (took 3 attempts) and in my opinion, is a monster on a completely different level of difficulty compared to the other three sections.

    Here's my study strategy after many months of trial and error. Hope this helps some of you so you pass this beast in one shot:

    Materials: I used Becker and NINJA MCQs. I highly credit NINJA MCQs for my ultimate passing score.

    This is what I did:
    -First, I went and watched the lecture per topic and did the Becker MCs right after watching the lecture.
    -After watching the lecture and doing the homework, I printed out the outlines in the Becker software and read through the subsection I did. I wrote down key formulas, journal entries and topics I saw consistently in the HW if it wasn't already on their along with all pnemonics. I made sure to avoid exceeding the page number provided front and back in terms of my own notes on the outline to avoid getting overwhelmed later and being more condense
    -If I did worse that 50% on the homework, I rewatched the section and redid the homework
    -I wrote every single formula and pnemonic I saw while watching the lectures onto index cards. I included also a few of the major JEs like CARINBIG and the expenditures/expenditures ones (I made my own- didn't care for Becker ones)
    -After continuing this for Ch. 1 – 10, I went back and reread all of my outlines/notes twice
    -Then, I memorized all formulas and pnemonics by utilizing my index cards. This step was a giant reason why I also think I passed successfully my last attempt. Knew every calculation question on the test based on knowing the formulas like back of my hand.
    -After, I got the NINJA MCQs. The NINJA MCQs I felt were much better to use solely for review because they were much less wordy and more similar to what was on the actual exam all times I sat for it.
    -I made an Excel spreadsheet and broke it out into the 5 sections of the NINJA FAR MCQs questions to track my average score per section. I did nonstop MCs in 10 question intervals for section 1, then section 2, etc. I forced myself to do a minimum of 1000 MCQs before even considering sitting for the test. I aimed to get an average score of minimum 70% per section
    -For every CPA section I sat for and used NINJA MCQs for like BEC and REG, my actual exam score was exactly ten points higher than the final trending score. I aimed therefore, for a min 70% trending overall before sitting.
    -While doing this, I continued every night to review all my flashcards for at least an hour to keep all formulas and pnemonicssi
    -I did go through a few Becker and NINJA sims. However, on all tests I took the SIMs were totally different. Arguably is a waste of time in my opinion but if you have time wouldn't hurt to go through some SIMs I guess.

    Hope this helps!! So glad FAR is finally over


    Great post! Thanks for sharing what worked for you. Can you share how many hours (approximately) you studied and how many hours you reviewed??


    Great post CPAnCoffee !! Thanks for sharing successful strategy.Do you mind sharing your REG exp too.


    cpaandcoffee – what were your AVERAGE scores for FAR?

    i'm taking Far for the 3rd time, didn't use Ninja MCQ for 1st 2 attempts but just started using Ninja 1 week ago. I have seen 600 questions into Ninja and am averaging and trending 68%. I still have 3 weeks til my exam though…

    BEC 65, 71, 75
    AUD 62, 70, 78
    REG 67, 66, 65, 66, 64
    FAR 68, 64, 73
    Valar Dohaeris

    Nice job. Congrats on being done.

    I only used Becker, and what I did was I started with govt/NFP material (Ch. 8 and Ch. 9), and then worked my way back through the text starting with Ch. 1. It took me two days to finish each chapter, a little over 3 weeks in total.

    Every morning and night, I did cumulative Progress Test of 30-50 questions of just the material I've already studied. Before I started a new chapter, I would complete individual chapter Progress Tests of 20 questions. This was my approach to seeing the material over and over and over again. I didn't want to get to Ch. 7 and forget what I learned in Ch. 2. FAR was just so much material; 10 solid chapters in Becker.

    I spent 2 days on a final review, and in addition to cumulative Progress Tests, I flipped through the book scanning for pass keys, hand written notes, highlighted information, etc.

    AUD - 81
    BEC - 83
    FAR - 83
    REG - 84

    Finance Manager

    Experienced in Big 4 audit, regional audit, and technical accounting consulting


    @cpaandcoffee…what financial ratios did you memorize? Just trying to see if I've missed any, here is my list…quick ratio, current ratio, working capital, a/r turnover, inventory turnover, days sales in inventory, days to collect a/r, Roa and Roe. Thanks.

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