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FAR CPA Exam Study Tips

The FAR section of the CPA exam can often feel like a slap in the face. It is easy to realize that getting a 75% on the FAR section of the CPA exam is not the same as getting a 75% in your financial reporting class in college. Whether you’re studying for a FAR CPA Exam retake or you’re in the thick of studying for your first try, Universal CPA Review has put together a few FAR CPA exam tips so that you are ready to go come exam day. 

Studying for Your First FAR CPA Exam

If you’re in the thick of studying for the FAR CPA exam, and you are struggling to get your FAR CPA Exam sample questions correct, you might just be trying to memorize your way through it. To put it bluntly, you can’t memorize your way through the FAR section. 

CPA FAR Exam Study Tip #1: Identify the Types of CPA Exam Questions 

There is simply too much information. So, our first FAR CPA Exam tip is that you ask yourself “what are the 2-3 questions that the exam likes to test related to this topic”? 

Once you have been able to interpret the types of questions being asked for a given topic, it will become a lot easier to navigate your way through a robust CPA exam practice question. Universal CPA Review does a great job interpreting for you what it is that you are likely to see. Another awesome feature that Universal CPA Review has that is unlike any other CPA review course, is that it extends video explanations for every single practice question, so it’s exactly like having a CPA exam tutor by your side. This is a great way to understand the intuition behind the topics, rather than memorizing text. 

Studying for a FAR CPA Exam Retake

So, you failed the FAR CPA Exam section, and now you’re thinking, “What should I do next”? Well, you’re in luck because the Universal CPA Review team has a couple of CPA exam tips that might just can get you back on track to retake your exam!

CPA FAR Exam Study Tip #2: Shift in Your Mindset

A shift in mindset can make a big difference, especially if your score was below a 70. With the FAR CPA exam, the AICPA wants to assess whether you can think like an accounting profession. Financial Accounting and Reporting standards is all about assessing how a particular event or transaction impacts the financial statements (financial schedules and disclosures). So, when you’re going through multiple-choice practice CPA Exam questions and task-based simulations, pretend that you are working at a Big 4 accounting firm, and think about the journal entry you would have your accounting team record. If you can do this, you have put this information into your own thoughts and words like a teacher would. The FAR section of the CPA Exam is hard, so it’s important that you can visualize what is happening and understand it conceptually.

CPA FAR Exam Study Tip #3: Create a Mental Map

Aside from mindset, for each CPA Exam topic, think about repeatable steps that you can perform. Universal CPA Review refers to this as your “mental map”. When you know a topic well, you inherently perform the same steps over and over (Step #1, Step #2, etc.) This is key to passing the CPA Exam because you will need to be able to identify the topic being tested and subsequently go through your routine. Similar to a golfer hitting a perfect shot, or a basketball player shooting a free throw. Knowing the steps to perform will allow you to efficiently (and effectively) work through multiple-choice CPA Exam questions and leave plenty of time for the task-based simulations when you get to the Prometric center.

Here are a few mental maps that you will see when studying with Universal CPA Review:

Reach out to us at [email protected] if you have any additional questions!


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