Best Review for CPA Exams

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    I’m new to this forum and I still have about two years left of school, one to get my bachelors degree and the other my masters. I have seen below in people’s signatures that they used all sorts of different reviews for the exams. How many questions make up each CPA exam and what are the questions set up as? Also, which review do you think is the best to use, both helpful and affordable?

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    Hi dmb5810, welcome to the forum!

    The CPA is made up of four separate exams – 1) Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) 2) Auditing & Attestation (AUD) 3) Regulation (REG) and 4) Business Environment & Concepts (BEC). Each exam is a little bit different.

    FAR is a four hour exam consisting of four total “testlets” (think of them as little separate tests within your FAR test). The first 3 “testlets” consist of 30 multiple choice questions each (for a total of 90 multiple choice questions) and the last “testlet” is simulations. The simulations are usually tasks given to you that you have to complete in a spreadsheet software set-up.

    AUD is set up the exact same way as FAR (3 sets of 30 MCQ's and one task-based simulation) except it is over auditing and attestation.

    BEC is a three hour exam. There are 4 total testlets in it as well, but they are a little different. The first three are sets of 24 multiple choice questions (total of 72 MCQ's). The last testlet is a writing portion where you must construct memos over different subjects.

    REG is also a three hour exam. There are 4 total testlets – 3 sets of 24 multiple choice questions and one task-based simulation testlet similar (in format) to FAR and AUD.

    As far as review courses go, there are going to be a lot of different opinions. I used Becker and it worked great for me. It is very thorough and very in depth, and I am a firm believer that if you truly do everything that they ask you to do then you'll pass. I believe it is the best and most comprehensive course. It is the most expensive, however. I believe the full course is ~$3,000 and flashcards are another couple hundred dollars. I was fortunate to sign an contract with a big four firm (EY) who paid for the course, so the cost was not an issue for me. All of the big four firms will pay for Becker. Of course it is not the only option, despite what Becker might lead you to believe. There are certainly more economical ways to pass (I'm sure Jeff might have a couple of suggestions for you ;). It all depends on how much you are willing and able to spend and how diligent you are with your studying.

    Good luck!


    I would'nt worry so much about the CPA exam as of now. Enjoy your undergrad for a bit.

    As for review course- there are many to choose from. Becker, Roger CPA , Yaeger just to name a few.

    All of these websites have demos that you can view before purchasing.

    It depends on your learning style and pick the one that meets your needs.


    dmb, welcome to the A71 forum!

    1) Regarding your first question, the CPA exam is made up of four sections that you are allowed to take separately, provided that you pass all four sections within 18 months of passing your first one (otherwise you start losing credit). The breakdown of each section is as follows:

    a) Business Environment and Concepts: Deals with Cost Accounting, Internal Controls, IT, Economics, Financial Modeling and Risk Assessment, and other general business areas. This section has sixty multiple choice questions (worth 85% of your score), and three “Written Communications” questions, which basically require you to write Business Memos based on the information they provide you (worth 15% of your score).

    b) Auditing: Deals with everything about Auditing and Attestation services, as well as professional standards. This section has ninety multiple choice questions (60% of your score) and 7 Task-Based Simulations, which are basically mini case-studies that require you to answer questions on spreadsheets, research databases, and that sort of thing (40% of your score).

    c) Regulation: Deals with Taxation and Business Law. This section has 48 multiple choice questions (60%) and six simulations (40%).

    d) Financial: Generally considered the hardest section. Deals with financial statements format and transactions for companies, as well as government and nonprofits. This section has 90 MC (60%) and Seven Simulations (40%).

    2) In regard to your second question, there is no real “best” review course… it really depends on your learning style. I use Becker, which uses a textbook, and lecture videos that tell you what areas in the textbook to highlight and make notes on, and provides a number of practice test / questions. I've had good experiences with Becker because it utilizes my learning style, but it's not for everyone. Lots of CPA review courses utiluze videos (e.g., Yaegar or Roger) or notes (e.g., Ninja), combined with the Wiley Test Bank. One of the big considerations is whether your employer will pay for the review course or not… courses like Becker are much more expensive than some of the other options. Right now, I wouldn't worry about picking a review course; just focus on doing well in college.

    BEC - 90 PASSED
    FAR - 84 PASSED
    AUD - 93 PASSED
    REG - 84 PASSED

    I DID IT!!!!

    Using Becker Self-Study

    "If we were put here to carry a great weight, then the very things we hate are here to build those muscles."



    Thanks a lot for all that information. It sounds difficult but I hope I will be able to do alright. I would like to get into a company that would pay for me to take it and the review like you did, but I am not sure that will happen because I am attending just a state school, not very prestigious.


    Yeah I agree. I just have an internship right now though and I am just doing A/R clerk and it is a very stagnant and stale job. I just want to make sure I can get my CPA so I have a lot more opportunities. I really want to go into forensic accounting. Which one did you use?


    @ dmb

    Accounting firms recruit at state schools all the time, you will definitely have the opportunity to work at one as long as you keep your grades up. I attended a state school and it probably would not be considered “prestigious” either. I'm not sure what state you're in, but almost every state has a couple of big accounting offices. If your school has a career services center, definitely ask them about it. Can't hurt, right?


    Becker is the golden standard. But don't sleep on the Wiley Online Test Bank. It is a great supplement if for some reason Becker isn't getting the job done.

    Texas-licensed CPA


    – dmb5810 –

    I will start my CPA review this Fall . I'm going to purchase Roger CPA.


    How much is Roger CPA?


    Created with Compare Ninja

    AUD - 79
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 76
    REG - 92
    Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)

    Thanks Jeff!

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