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Friday, March 6, 2009

The Hardest Part of the CPA Exam

"Which part of the CPA Exam is the hardest?"
Here at Roger CPA Review, this is one of the questions we hear the most frequently.
We usually try to avoid singling out any of the parts as being uniquely difficult. The exam really is different for each person. Because no two people have the same CPA Exam experience, it's difficult to generalize.
Unfortunately, this answer usually doesn't satisfy students who are hungry for a way to build their CPA Exam review strategy based around exam difficulty. Exam candidates want to know which part is the hardest so they can either study and sit for that part first, or avoid it until the bitter end.
After reviewing and tallying published comments and opinions of students and alumni, it appears that most CPA Exam candidates agree that FAR is the hardest part. In order of most to least difficult, the parts rank as follows:
  1. Financial Accounting & Reporting
  2. Regulation
  3. Auditing & Attestation
  4. Business Environment & Concepts
Why is FAR so difficult?
Most students cite the sheer amount and variety of information you need to learn.
FAR is really where you're being tested on your knowledge of general accounting principles, and much of this will be or has been covered in your intermediate and advanced accounting courses in college. Capital leases, bonds, balance sheets... The list of material you need to know seems to go on and on.

Focus, Learn, Succeed
The key to success is to stay focused on an effective study plan. Almost every student agrees that passing FAR requires the kind of structured study plan that only a good CPA Exam review course can provide.
Our online CPA Exam review course will give you 32 hours of lecture, which you'll need to compliment with 96 hours of studying on your own. That's a total of 128 hours of studying just for this section. It sounds like a lot of studying, and it is. But, you'll need to study that much in order to learn, and remember, the wide variety of topics likely to be tested on the CPA Exam.
One of the pitfalls that students often report as they study for FAR is the tendency to over-study or to review topics that simply won't be tested. To keep you from getting sidetracked by useless or infrequently tested information, Roger has stripped out all of the "fat" you won't be tested on and concentrates, instead, on helping you learn the most important points and vital formulas.

For more information on how to get through the FAR portion of the CPA Exam, review our recent Financial Accounting and Reporting blog post. You'll get a detailed profile of the section, which can help you form your own study strategy.

For those of you who haven't signed up for our course, take a look at the following YouTube videos for FAR and see what you're missing.





In summary, FAR is known as the hardest part of the CPA Exam, but it's not something to be afraid of. Your personal experience may be different. You might be among the many candidates who find FAR to be easier than they expected. Or, you could find out that you're up to the challenge, no matter how hard the exam may be. Either way, Roger CPA Review be here to help, guide and advise you through it.

7 comments:

Kelkel said...

I took it first because I thought it would be the hardest for all the reasons you cited.

However, now that I've passed that, I keep hearing people say "oh REG's the hardest, right?" or Audit.

Personally, I think FAR was easier than I expected because my 3 courses in Intermediate Accounting helped more than I initially thought they would while I was studying. I didn't really *remember* anything from those classes, but it was all familiar.

Studying for REG now feels much harder because fewer of my classes covered these topics, and I had the classes longer ago!

FAR may well be the hardest for most people, but I think your prior education and which topics you understand most easily determine which section is the most difficult for you.

Anonymous said...

I heard that many people also think BEC is the hardest section of CPA exam and AUD is the easiest one.

Anonymous said...

Will this be updated to include consideration of the changes that occured for 2011?

Roger CPA Review said...

Hi!

Please check out our most recent posts from 2011 :)

Thanks!

dawn said...

I graduated on 2001 and i felt like i want to get my license now.. Do i have a big chance of passing if i just go through review classes?

Roger CPA Review said...

Good for you! Yes, your chances of passing the CPA Exam using a Review Course are much higher than if you study on your own. http://www.rogercpareview.com/cpa-courses/

Anonymous said...

I'd say FAR is the hardest, then REG, and then Audit and BEC are very easy.