- 1 The Best Order to Take the CPA Exam Sections
- 2 Other CPA Scheduling Approaches
- 3 Best Time to Take the CPA Exams
- 4 18-Months Exams Window
You may be looking to pursue a career as a CPA, and you have to make a few decisions to become successful in your CPA exams.
An accountant would first need to decide and apply for the preferred CPA State Board of Accountancy.
After application, you can decide on the specific order you can use to take your CPA examination section.
This guide will also help you in prepping for the CMA exam.
There are usually four sections in the CPA exams, which include:
Business Environments and Concepts (BEC)
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
Financial Accounting and Reporting. (FAR)
The Best Order to Take the CPA Exam Sections
Recommended Scheduling Approach
When scheduling, you have to decide which section appeals to you the most.
Your class experience would assist in determining this section.
Also, you can decide to begin with the part which you are currently taking in class or which section you already have a CPA prep plan for.
For individuals who have been out of school for some time, you can choose the section which matters more to your career path.
If you choose this path to decide the section you take first, you may enjoy a lot of benefits.
For example, you can quickly develop studying habits, and most likely, the first section’s experience will help give you a better idea of what else you will face.
If you pass the first section, your confidence would most definitely be higher.
Scheduling for Specific Examination Sections
If you have more than one section which appeals to you, having extra information will make it easier for you to narrow down to the specific choice.
This is one of the hardest CPA sections, and the previous performances can prove it.
If you are an auditor or you have studied auditing in college, you are more than equipped to take the AUD section first.
This is one of the most straightforward sections in CPA, and the consistently high rates are valid proof.
You can begin with this section if you need the confidence to push you through.
You can also choose to take it at the end after considering all the other parts to enjoy a smooth finish.
This section also shows a record of poor performance.
FAR has some information which overlaps content in the other three parts.
You can choose to take it as the first paper or the last paper once you are done with the rest.
However, if you take FAR first, you will get information that would be useful in the other three sections.
This one has impressive pass rates, and its content is pretty straightforward.
Once you are done with your accounting internship, you can begin with this section.
Also, accountants who have practiced in public tax practice may want to start with this section.
Other CPA Scheduling Approaches
Other approaches can still be used by an individual to get the best from their CPA exams.
Beginning with the most challenging section.
A candidate can pick the hardest section, to begin with, to get it off their way.
This approach makes it easy for a candidate to handle the remaining exams.
You can check the pass rates or CPA’s examination blueprint.
You can also pick out the section which poses a challenge to you personally and do it first.
However, if you fail this section, it may discourage you from taking the remaining CPA sections, so be careful.
Beginning with the most straightforward section.
Finishing one section of your CPA with no trouble would play a significant role in boosting your confidence.
For some candidates, it would be a great idea to kick off your CPA exams with the most straightforward section.
The confidence they gain would push them to the next paper, and chances of success are higher.
For other candidates, this approach may make them overly confident and lazy in their CPA prep for the remaining sections.
Begin with sections; you are less likely to experience changes.
All CPA sections would likely face changes to take into account any new changes in the accounting field.
Candidates are informed in advance before these changes take place.
You can rely on the news and decide whether to do that section, or you will push it to be among the last CPA sections.
Best Time to Take the CPA Exams
Taking your CPA exams at the appropriate time would also influence how well you can perform.
You can always do your CPA exams immediately after graduation.
After school, your mind is still fresh, and it will be easier for you.
You can also take your CPA in your last semester in college.
However, some state boards don’t allow students to take their CPA exams while in college, so you should double-check with your local CPA prep tutor if you have any questions.
18-Months Exams Window
When scheduling for your CPA exams, you need to keep the time frame in mind.
Once you do your first section’s examination, you are required to do the rest within the 18-month window.
If you fail to do the remaining CPA sections in this window, you will lose the credibility of the first section and will have to start over.