Adam Greene CPA's Blog

Certified Public Account in Melville, NY

Questions CPA candidates have before taking the exam

Everybody gets nervous before taking any type of exam. Even for your driving test you get very nervous, even though you already have been driving your parent´s car for almost 2 or 3 years. Taking exams is scientifically proven to cause feelings that make you feel anxious and stressed.

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In the case of the CPA exam, things get worse. The CPA exam is a test that will give you certification in order to be a certified accountant in the United States. The whole test can be taken in 12- 18 months and it is taken by sections. It is long and expensive and it is hard to pass.

So, what questions do CPA candidates have before they take the test? More importantly, what are the doubts that everybody could have before even thinking about becoming a CPA accountant?

Adam Green will try to address some of those questions that are more common among CPA candidates that are seriously thinking about taking the next step towards their future.

Question #1:
Should I wait to get my exam score before I schedule my next exam?

People tend to think that if you pass the first test the rest of them will be easy. Each section has its own difficulty so that argument is not valid. You should make a plan to take all four CPA Exam sections within 12 to 18 months. Maybe the money issues could affect your plan, but if it is possible you should schedule everything in advance. Plus, scheduling your exam sections in advance is a great way to commit yourself to studying.

Question #2:
Is it a good idea to take the exam if I work full time?

We have seen this topic in previous posts and the answer is yes. Even if you work full time, you should still be able to find time to prepare for and pass the exam over 18 months. You really have to commit and design a plan where everybody, even your dog, helps you out passing the test. For example, you can commit to studying two hours a night after work. If you miss one day, you can make up for it another day. Use lunch hours and transportation hours, in a bus or in your car with audios. It will take some scheduling and effort but it is quite easy to study more or less between 10 to 15 hours every week if your really are organized.

Question #3:
What are the techniques for the last week before the test?

The idea is to focus on everything until the last day. If your study plan allows some day of rest before the test, use them to review and to read things that will keep your mind active on the topic. Don’t focus solely on MCQ. Instead, do a high-level overview of everything you’ll be tested on, including SIMs. Identify the areas where you are weakest and do your best to focus on sharpening those skills in the last days of studying.

Question #4:
Will a past bankruptcy (Chapter 7) or a DUI prevent me from getting the CPA license?

As for the first part of the question: that would be a decision for the licensing agency in the state in which you intend to license and or sit for the exam. As for the other part of the question, does a DUI fine affect my CPA license application?: The CPA test has a part where they want to know if the candidate is morally competent. In other words, the state board requires candidates for a licensee to have “good moral character”.  This good moral character is demonstrated by the lack of a history of dishonest or felonious acts. I can bet that many people pass this test with DUIs or other minor traffic offenses. Applicant’s moral character and DUIs are not considered misdemeanor driving offenses.

Question #5:
I did not get my degree in the US. How do I know if my coursework fits the educational requirements?

For the CPA exam, a bachelor degree in a 4-year university is the minimum requirement to sit for the exam. If you are in the United States and studied here, there is no problem whatsoever. But for international students, this can be tricky as they aren’t sure whether the degree from their local countries is qualified. Foreign candidates will need to select the state in which to register for the exam because each state has its own list of approved evaluation agencies and it is important to pay for a recognized report; and because each state board has slightly different qualifying rules so the agency needs to know which rules to apply to when reviewing the transcripts.

Take a look at this amazing article on tips to pass the CPA test


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