How Many Hours Should I Study for the FAR CPA Exam?

How Many Hours Should I Study for the FAR CPA Exam: 160 Hours

Hey! Where are you going? Who me? Yes, you. Didn’t you ask, “How many hours should I study for the FAR CPA Exam?” I have the answer to the question that has caused you to twiddle your thumbs, tap your feet, and reinforce your extra strength deodorant 🙂 The short answer is quite simple. According to The CPA Journal, 160 hours is what you need to succeed. The contextual answer is not necessarily that simple. Since there’s no time like the present, let’s get this show on the road.

How Many Hours Should I Study for the FAR CPA Exam?

FAR is a beast. As seen before, it is considered the hardest section of the Uniform CPA Exam. To earn a passing score of 75 or above, you really need to be on your A game. You may be wondering, “Is 160 hours really necessary?” After all, that’s four full 40 hour work weeks. It is a lot of time. Approximately 160 hours will be appropriate for most candidates. The reason, in part, for FAR’s huge difference in study time as compared to AUD, BEC, and REG is the sheer amount of material that you are responsible for. FAR includes a wide array of material. In addition, the numerous potential nuances of FAR make it exceptionally difficult to prepare for.

However, if you wanted to try to minimize the 160 hour guestimate, I would highly recommend that you take the following courses: Financial Accounting I, Financial Accounting II, Advanced Financial Accounting, Corporate Tax, Governmental Accounting, and Not-for-Profit Accounting. These course will be a helpful stepping stone to maximize your understanding of testable material. Keep in mind that material may have changed since you last took a particular course. As a result, regardless of your performance in the aforementioned classes, you may want to give yourself an added cushion to work out any kinks in the system. In addition, if you took these classes and struggled, took these classes and had an easy professor, or did not take these classes at all, you may need more time than the recommended 160 hours. In the end, the important factors related to your game day performance include your ability, your understanding, your study habits, the time since you last took the course, the course rigor, and other potential omitted factors.

You want to be confident when it comes to taking FAR. In the end, your goal is to pass not only FAR but also the other sections of the CPA Exam. Having the confidence boost of knowing you passed the hardest section may carryover into your performance on other sections of the CPA Exam. At the minimum, you should avoid the risk of understudying. If you can, also try to mitigate the risk of over-studying (CPA Exam burnout). The CPA Exam is not a sprint. Keep a healthy study pace, and you will be on your way to becoming a CPA. As always, remember to breathe.


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