Ask Jeff – Can You Leave Parts of a Simulation Blank and Still Pass?

Q: Jeff, I took Regulation this past week and did not complete my 2nd simulation. I didn't do the research tab and only completed two of the three main tabs. I completed my first simulation and felt pretty good about it, as well as all the MCQs.

Will I be heavily penalized for not completing that second simulation?

-Quentin on Facebook

A: Quentin – you should be fine. Of all the tabs to leave blank, you did the right thing in skipping research. I didn't finish my 2nd simulation on most of my passing CPA Exam sections.

For Financial Accounting and Reporting, I left 3 tabs plus the research blank for simulation #2 and I still passed.

Honestly, I couldn't figure out what they wanted me to do on the simulation. I sat there for 15 minutes puzzled because – let's just put it this way – the instructions on the questions left a lot to be desired.

I flat out knew the material, but the simulation was poorly written and I had no idea what they wanted me to enter into the blanks.

I botched Simulation #2 and I still passed.

You should be fine!

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Jeff Elliott is a Licensed CPA and Active Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, The Kansas Society of CPAs, and Founder of and Club 75.

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Hayley Glisson 13 years ago

That makes me feel so much better! I took FAR on Friday (it is my last one) and I ran out of time on my last simulation. I did the communication & research tabs and tried to fill in as much as I could on the others. This gives me a little more hope...although I think I passed REG without finishing a simulation, too. Anyhow, thanks for the encouragement!

Jason 13 years ago

Good Luck Hayley, and thanks for the CFE advice!

Lee 13 years ago

I took a class with AIS and they said something a little different. Each tab (besides the writing) is worth the same amount of points. 15pts per simulation; 5 is for the writing, then the last 10 points are whacked up per the rest of the tabs. So, the best strategy would be to do the writing first, then do research (which is the easiest points to get) Then if you are running out of time, just guess the other tabs. With just the writing and research you should be at close to a 7 or 8 our of 15.

steve gates 13 years ago

Just rcvd a score of 74 on FAR. Is it worthwhile to appeal. I have passed the other three but time is running out for me.

kp 12 years ago

I scored stronger by at least 10 points higher than the passing candidate performance for the FAR in concepts, presentation, and govermental and 2 points higher in transactions and events and not-for-profit and still managed to fail because they graded my second simulation which I completed only 1 1/2 tabs in 8 min.. It depends on luck because if they would have graded my first simulation I would of had at least a 98% but instead recieved a 74%. I feel it is a very unfair grading process on how some people get their first simulation graded. My family and friends where so shocked I failed because I never received anything lower than an A- in my life.