Candidates who are taking the revised CPA Exam have an advantage now that The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has replaced the old Content Specification Outlines with new AICPA blueprints. The new blueprints do a much more specific job telling candidates what will be on the CPA Exam.
Tips on how to pass the CPA Exam should start with advice to study the new blueprints and make sure you know 79every representative task. There are going to be a lot more Task-Based Simulations on the new test. The blueprints detail the types of TBSs that you will find on the exam. They also outline an extensive list of specific tasks you will face, and they tell you the skills that are tested by each task.
The old CSOs offered vague advice such as, “Learn about financial statements and receivables.” This kind of generalized advice has been replaced with exact guidance such as, “Identify the preconditions needed for accepting or continuing an audit or non-audit engagement.”
Time Management Will Make or Break You
Another major factor when thinking about how to pass the CPA Exam is time management. The overhaul of the CPA Exam made a significant change to the Task-Based Simulations testlets when it spread TBSs among three separate testlets. Candidates no longer will be able to skim over all the TBSs at once to decide how they should divide their time. They are required now to tackle the testlets in order, and they cannot go back and revise a testlet once it’s submitted. Planning ahead to devote limited time to each testlet without getting stuck on one would be wise time management.
Think about brainstorming before you sit for the exam. The exam’s essay questions give the highest points to answers that efficiently and cohesively address the subject area. Technical answers alone won’t earn the highest points. Remember that everything is interrelated when you think about the topic and how your information applies to the subject matter being tested.
Make it a point to seek out CPAs before the exam and ask about their work. Talking with CPAs will demystify some of the tasks you’ll find on the CPA Exam. Ask CPAs about the representative tasks they are doing and request examples about what these tasks involve.