Becoming a Certified Public Accountant is a rewarding journey that assures 70% more pay than the professionals with no certifications. Records from the Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business reveal that 76% of their members agree that certifications guarantee additional job opportunities. However, this journey presents the challenge of passing the CPAs test. Our experts explain the four CPA tests learners must take to achieve their designations. Learners can also hire our top experts for professional help if they need someone to take their exams.
What is a CPAs Test
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam is a rigorous accounting exam for learners pursuing public accounting and finance designations. In the US, the test is administered by AICPA (institute of public accountants). This professional organization formulates and assesses the examination standards and rules. It also ensures that the rules set by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) are agreed upon and followed.
The Four CPAs Test
A complete CPA test comprises 276 multiple-choice questions and 28 task-based writings. Additionally, it comes with three writing portions. The test has four sections, each taking 4 hours to complete.
Sixteen hours for one sitting can be overwhelming. Therefore, the CPA test section is administered separately within 18 months. Applicants can choose the order in which to take the exam. They must also pass all the sections to qualify for certification. When to begin each section depends on the jurisdiction.
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
The FAR CPA section is the most challenging, recording the lowest historical pass grades of 45-50%. This content area assesses the student’s understanding of the financial accounting standards. Success in the FAR CPA requires learners to demonstrate the financial reporting and accounting frameworks businesses, organizations, and government entities use daily.
The FAR is considered the technical part of the CPA. It comprises 5 testlets of 66 Multiple Choice Questions and 8 Task-based Questions. AICP assigns two difficulty levels to the MCQs: Medium and Difficult. Point values depend on each question’s difficulty index.
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
The AUD section of CPA has 80 questions divided into 5 testlets a learner must complete within 4 hours. It assesses the applicant’s knowledge of CPA auditing and attestation. Three testlets are task-based, while two are multiple choice questions. The multiple-choice questions assess understanding of the CPA core principles, theories, and concepts of auditing and attestations. Conversely, the task-based simulations test the learner’s ability to apply those concepts to solve real-life accounting problems.
The Auditing and Attestation CPA section is the second-most challenging CPA test, recording a historical average pass score of 50%. Common problems students meet include assessing risk and developing a planned response, audit risk evaluation and control, and materiality assessment.
The REG CPAs Test is medium easy, having a pass rate of 60%. This CPA exam has 76 multiple-choice questions and 8 task-based questions divided into 5 testlets. The exam assesses the learner’s understanding of ethics, business procedures and laws, and federal taxation frameworks. 25-35% of the REG are theoretical concepts primarily on principles of regulations. 35-45% of the exam entails applying the reg principles in solving real-life accounting and financial problems. The REG exam is distinct for its operation and pretest questions. While the operational questions add to the total scores, the pretest questions do not. Thus, learners can skip the pretest questions to save time.
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
The BEC CPA test has the highest pass rate, approximately 62.84% cumulative average. This CPA test assesses the applicant’s understanding across three disciplines: Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Tax Compliance and Reporting (TCP,) and Information Systems and Controls (ISC). AICPA reports that BEC will no longer be available as a testable CPA test, effective January 2024. They will replace it with the individual disciplines.
The BEC format comprises 62 multiple-choice questions, 4 task-based questions, and 3 WCs. These questions are divided into 5 tests: 2 MCQs, 2 TBSs, and 1 WCs. The CPA BEC also comprises two levels of question difficulties: Medium and Difficult. The more challenging questions have the most point values.
How is the CPA test Scored?
Each CPA test is scored independently to get the cumulative learner’s performance average, which ranges between 0-99. Learners must get 75 or higher to pass the CPA. When assigning grades, scores from MCQs and TBSs are scaled to add 50% weight each toward the core and discipline section grades. Only the ISC section has 60% MCQ and 40% TBS weights. Individual questions have assigned scores depending on their relative difficulty. The examiner also considers whether the applicant answered the question correctly. The only exemption is with the MCQs, which use a multistage adaptive test delivery model to score questions.
CPAs Test Content and Coverage: The Bottomline
Success in the CPA test is a rigorous journey that requires weeks of reading and preparation. Let us walk you through becoming a certified public accountant with our timely and accurate CPA exam help. Contact us for free guides and consultations.