BEC Exam Taken, Moving to REG Right Away

06 Mar 2013


Patrick is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

I took BEC today, but I first wanted to talk about the final days leading up to today.

This is the fourth section that I've sat for. Without fail, when it's all said and done, my mind always ends up feeling like a big jumble of useless facts and I tell myself “Next time will be different. I'm going to do X, Y, and Z so that I feel more prepared on exam day.”

It always seems there are dozens of “Fact Nuggets”, as Jeff puts it, that jump out of each page, a painful reminder of how poorly I have prepared for this exam. “Oh, if I just had one more week.”

It's tempting at these times to try and take in every last fact. However, I decided to focus on just a few key areas that I knew would be on the exam, areas that I knew I would bomb. Instead of focusing on everything (impossible) I felt that learning these areas had the best chance of getting me a couple more points.

Did you know that the components of internal control and ERM have monitoring, Information & Communication, Control Activities, and Risk Assessment in common?

About the exam. I know that I got the first question right, but the second one was computational and it ate up a lot of time, to the point where I had to venture a guess. This put me behind, which is how I felt for the first two sections.

My worst fear was not having enough time to complete the written communication. So I hurried and as a result, I did poorly on many computational problems. I also felt that the first two sections were medium/hard, and the third was probably medium/easy.

I finished module 3 with about 80 minutes left and I felt like I did quite well on the written communication. I regret rushing through some of the computational problems though. I knew the material but it's hard to problem solve when you're being rushed.

The testing center provided me with two double-sided laminated sheets and……. two non-erasable markers. Instead of re-using a sheet, you have to ask for new ones. I decided to request a clean sheet after I filled the first one, instead of waiting until both were filled. I didn't want to risk running out of space, which I otherwise would have.

It can take up to five minutes for staff to change out these sheets. The clicker on my mouse was also working poorly and I had to re-do many calculations over, because a number or decimal was omitted.

I tried to sell Girl Scout cookies to the staff on my way out. Their jaws dropped. Evidently, they had just been confided their inner craving to one another. Unfortunately, they didn't have cash or checks. I considered making a joke, something about passing the exam. But then I thought better of it.

I always feel melancholy after an exam and in my head, the Chicago song “If you leave me now” plays in the background as I exit the building. It's always raining outside.

Did I pass? I certainly put a lot of time into it and I've scored in the mid 80's on the last two. While I'm not satisfied with my performance today, I can't imagine it being ten points worse than the last two.

But I'm not waiting to find out and I'm not taking a break. I'm starting REG tonight.

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