Focusing on Simulations for FAR Retake

22 Jul 2013


Brent is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

Up early on a gorgeous Saturday morning and hitting the books with every ounce of effort in me. I am feeling very good about the knowledge I have absorbed during my review as I prepare for my third and last time sitting for the FAR exam. Notice I said “last attempt” because I WILL be passing it this time around!

I feel much more comfortable with the material and concepts than I did my first time sitting. As many have said on the Another71 Forum, there is simply no way to master all of the concepts that the FAR exam covers. However, I am starting to understand and apply the concepts in greater depth which will lead me to success.

If you have read my previous blogs then you would know that my downfall on my last two attempts were the simulations. I was able to fly through the mcq’s which provided me with an hour and half to complete the simulations. I answered each question the best I could and then moved on, leaving fields I did not know how to answer correctly blank, and then flagging the question to return to later.

By the time I had completed each simulation the best I could, I had 4 of the 7 flagged and only thirty minutes left to complete the exam. After I went back and read the question over to complete the fields I left blank, I ultimately used up the remaining time left and was forced to input random answers because I did not have enough time to think each one through.

In addition, I did not take advantage of the literature to assist with researching and verifying my answers.

Since my biggest struggle is the area of the simulations, they have been my primary focus during my preparation for the retake. I have been working the simulations provided with my review materials over and over until the concepts finally stick.

Also I have been changing the simulations to cover certain topics that have alternative treatments. For example, working a simulation for treasury stock acquisition and reissue, I will cover the cost and par value methods even if the question only asks for the cost method.

I also plan to change my strategy when I sit for the exam and reach the simulations. I plan to answer the question in its entirety before moving on to the next one. I will flag it if I am certain about an answer in order to return if time permits. I will then make quick note of where I became stuck as a starting point to avoiding wasting crucial minutes.

As I continue to study and learn, the exam starts to reveal its weaknesses indicating to me that I can and will defeat it. Enough talk for now, its time for me to get back into study mode and take in as much as possible during these last couple of days before the exam. Good luck to everyone testing in the July window. We can do it!

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