The CPA exam requires hundreds of hours of preparation and study. To pass the exam, it’s important to have a plan of attack. That plan includes registering with your state board, as well as deciding on a study plan for each of the four tests. Here are some points to consider:
State boards of accountancy: Each state has a state board of accountancy. The board in your state is responsible for gathering all your registration information so you can take the exam. Check your state board’s website for their CPA requirements. All CPA candidates must register with their state board.
The four tests: The CPA exam consists for four separate tests: Business environment and concepts (BEC), financial accounting and reporting (FAR), auditing and attestation (AUD), and regulation (REG). You must pass each of these four tests to obtain your CPA designation. As you review each area of these tests, make some decisions about those topics that will require the most study time.
Managing the amount of exam information: The CPA can require 400 hours (or more) of total study time. Some students find the sheer amount of test information overwhelming. One way to address that concern is to create a detailed study plan. Consider which test you will take first and how many hours of study time that test will require. Use your personal calendar to plan study time each week. If you take the exam preparation just one week at a time, you’ll be able to manage the large amount of study material. Pull out a blank calendar and start to create your plan to pass each test of the exam.