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Connecticut CPA
September/October 2017
Some questions on the Exam
are NOT graded.
In order to test the system and get preliminary
feedback on new questions, there are often
"pretest" questions put into the question banks.
You may find that you know absolutely nothing
about a certain question and get scared that you
missed something while studying. Chances are,
this question is one of the pretest questions that
will appear on later exams and is not graded.
Ashley Barnhart, Roger CPA Review
Prepare for the computer-based
Exam environment
The CPA Exam environment contains a unique
interface and tools that may be uncomfortable
to you without practice. You must be proficient
in using the provided four-function calculator,
spreadsheet, and research function. (The AICPA
offers a sample test at
Greg Cusson, Becker CPA Exam Review
Develop a schedule.
Plan to accomplish something every day. I used
to tape calendars up on my wall that had a
countdown to my Exam date.
Jessica Sandhu, Surgent CPA Exam Review
You are not "dinged" for
wrong answers.
When going through the multiple choice, you are
given credit for right answers only, not wrong
ones. If you have absolutely no idea how to
answer a question, take a guess because you
might just get it right and receive credit!
Ashley Barnhart, Roger CPA Review
Take a day off each week.
Studying seven days a week is rough, especially if
you're working or have other responsibilities. You
need to make sure you're not completely drained
when you get to the Exam. Hang with friends and
family and put the Exam away for a day.
Jessica Sandhu, Surgent CPA Exam Review
What was your experience like at the testing center?
It was very serious! You can't have anything on you. You have to
turn your pockets inside out, they check your socks and you have to
show there's nothing up your sleeves, and there's a metal detector.
You sign in and they also take a biometric scan of your finger that
they use when you leave and come back in the testing room. I had
taken the GMAT there, too, so I was familiar with the procedure.
You have to put your belongings in a locker. They give you a different
color-coded key for your locker (depending on what test you're there
for) that tells you what you're allowed to access when you're taking
a break. Your phone needs to be off and in your locker. You can't go
check it during breaks.
Once you start the test a timer starts running, and at certain points
the computer will ask you if you want to take a break. The breaks are
the only time you can leave, and you can skip the breaks if you want.
A new version of the Exam just launched in April. Did that change
your experience at all?
Because I took my first section of the Exam in the first testing win-
dow after the change, I don't have anything to compare it to. BEC
used to be one of the shorter sections, so that's why I chose to start
prepping for it first. Now each section of the Exam is four hours
and they added simulations to BEC, so it includes writing, multiple
choice, and the new task-based simulations. You get a real-world
problem you'll be provided with emails, board meeting minutes,
spreadsheets, and other documents. You have to use the material
they give you to solve the problem.
Have you received your results yet?
No. Exam results usually come through fairly quickly after the testing
window closes. Because I sat during the first testing window of the
new Exam, there is a significant delay about three months. This is so
that they can go through all of the results and complete a standard-
setting process. I sat for the Exam in May and I'm not scheduled to
get my results for several months. You have 18 months to complete
all four parts of the Exam, so I'm just moving forward with studying
for the next section so I don't waste time.
[Editor's Note: In response to this test result delay, the Connecti-
cut State Board of Accountancy will, upon request, approve exten-
sions to the 18-month testing window for some affected candidates.
Find a link to the request form on our website at
What advice would you give to other CPA Exam takers?
Don't freak out. The Exam itself wasn't as bad as I was picturing in
my head. I was really worried that it was going to feel like the timer
was running down really fast and I'd be racing the clock. That wasn't
the case at all. The questions moved in a very timely manner. I think
the time allotted was more than adequate.
Now that I've taken one section, it was a huge relief. I was very ner-
vous going into it because I didn't know what to expect. Just relax
and put the time in. When it comes to prepping for the Exam, what
you put into it is what you'll get out. As long as you study and put the
time in, you'll be fine.
5 Tips from
CPA Exam Experts
We asked representatives from
CPA Exam review course providers
share their top advice for Exam-takers: