What to study first-Exam updates 07/01/21

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    Which section should I start with? I've always heard your should start with FAR since it has the most material and it feeds into the AUD material. However, I read that the exams are about to update on July 1, 2021. I saw this advice from Becker.

    What is Becker’s guidance to CPA Exam students to help manage these new changes?

    Given the addition of newly testable content to the AUD and BEC exams, Becker recommends that candidates focus on passing these two exams as early as possible before July 1, 2021. The FAR and REG exams will both have less content after this date, so candidates should take those two exams in the second half of the year if possible.

    What do you think? Should I start with FAR or another section like AUD or BEC? Or does the advice from Becker only apply to people that have already started studying? I will be using Ninja only.


    I initially took BEC first because many people said it would be the easiest since it had the least amount of material, and that would get me motivated. I found myself struggling with it because the sections really didn't flow (in my mind). I honestly wish I would have gone with my gut and had taken AUD first since that was the area that I was most familiar with.

    I've also seen many people in various forums and social media groups suggest FAR first since it has the most material and your 18 month clock doesn't start until it's passed – which absolutely makes sense to me… but.. my unpopular opinion has been to take FAR last. My reasoning is that I've met a few people (and have seen many online posts) that did not meet the 18 month window. I know we all go into this process with the idea of meeting the window, but you never know what life will throw at you in 18 months that might cause you to miss that window… marriage, illness, children, major move/job change, or even a pandemic. I personally didn't want to risk not meeting the 18 month window and losing the FAR as my first exam… on the flip side of that, I saved FAR for last and I think I was mentally drained by the time I got to it, and failed my first try (thankfully, I passed with this most recent score release); so that's something to also keep in mind.

    I say all of that to say, I think you have to personally weigh your pros and cons while considering others' insight as well. If I could do it over again, I'd probably take AUD first and FAR second or third (because I personally would still be worried about not meeting the 18 month window and not want to lose a passing FAR score because of that).

    I'm interested to see what others suggest.

    Also, less content after July 2021 is also incentive to save FAR and REG for last 🙂

    AUD - 81
    BEC - 83
    FAR - 75
    REG - 75
    Great things never come from comfort zones - Roy T. Bennett
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