FAR CPA Exam Duration – How Long is the Test?

This song is the epitome of all things youth summer camp (Lake of the Ozarks you always have a place in my heart) and is soon to have a special place in your heart as you have the time of your life studying for Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) 🙂 Before you can begin to reminisce about campfire the joys of the Uniform CPA Exam, let’s discuss how long is the FAR section.

Current Version: FAR CPA Exam Duration – How Long is the Test?

Today, FAR is a 4 hour, 240 minute, or 14,400 second monstrosity that you will overcome. During this time, you are responsible for taking on 90 multiple choice questions and 7 task-based simulations with a weight of 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively. You will see topics in the following areas: Conceptual Framework, Standards, Standard Setting, and Presentation of Financial Statements; Financial Statement Accounts: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures; Specific Transactions, Events and Disclosures: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures; Governmental Accounting and Reporting; and Not-for-Profit (Non-governmental) Accounting and Reporting. Looking for a test day timeline? Well, look no further. Consider using the following timeline:

Testlet 1: 45 minutes

Break: 5 minutes

Testlet 2: 45 minutes

Break: 5 minutes

Testlet 3: 45 minutes

Break: 5 minutes

Task-Based Simulations: 90 minutes

This timeline equates to 1 minute and 30 seconds per multiple choice question and 12 minutes and 51 seconds per task-based simulation. If you find you need more time on the multiple choice questions or prefer having fewer breaks, adjust away. You got this!

New Version: FAR CPA Exam Duration – How Long is the Test?

A little birdie told me a big secret, but you have to promise you will not tell anyone else what the birdie told me 🙂 Starting April 1, 2017, the AICPA is releasing “new” CPA Exam. In particular, the “new” FAR section will have 66 multiple choice questions and 8 to 9 task-based simulations. Let’s do some quick math:

66 MCQs – 90 MCQs = -24 MCQs

8 to 9 TBS – 7 TBS = 1 to 2 TBS

So what is the catch? I get to drop 24 multiple choice questions for 1 maybe 2 task-based simulations. There is no catch. The “new” FAR section is still four hours long; however, the “new” FAR section will include what is known as a “new standardized break,” which is a 15-minute break that will not count against your testing time. This is really, really exciting! If you want more information about the “new” FAR section, check out the Practice Analysis Final Report. As always, remember to breathe.


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