What Section Should You Take First?

10 Sep 2009

CPA Exam Strategy

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.

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magic_8_ball_did_i_pass 14 years ago

I agree with I thnk FAR is best to get out of the way. Then the motherload of stress is over with. I took that one last month and now I am studying for BEC. Maybe I will make the 1st wave, if not, I can wait until Mid March. No biggie.

Bee 14 years ago

I agree - take FAR first and then take REG. Once those two are under your belt it should all be a bit easier...

ACC517 13 years ago

According to the 18-month Rule, after taking the first session of CPA exam, you have 18 months to pass the rest of exam. My question focus on the phrase "PASS" - if I take whole exams within 18 months, while when I received the score (assume I passed) my first session credit already expires, do I comply with the 18-month Rule? Thanks!a