What Section Should You Take First?


Different people have their own opinions on which section of the CPA Exam they should take first. Some say to take the ?easiest? section (i.e. whatever section best fits your background best) first so that you have a ?quick win? under your belt.

I have a friend who is a Certified Management Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor and he took Business Environment and Concepts first because it fit his background better than the other sections. He sat for BEC, then Auditing, Regulation, and finished with Financial Accounting and Reporting.

My personal advice is to take the ?hardest? section first, which is generally regarded as Financial Accounting and Reporting. The reason behind this is the ?18 month rule?. You want your 18 month clock to start after you have passed the hardest exam.

If you put FAR off until the end, and struggle with a few sections along the way, you could potentially be putting yourself in a position where the 18 month clock is going to expire and you have one shot at passing FAR before you lose Auditing or whatever section it may be.

It?s best to get FAR out of the way first, in my opinion.