Parts Of The CPA Exam – What Are They?

So you’ve decided to take the CPA exam — good on you! Now before we get down to the nitty gritty of each exam, let’s take a broad look at the beast that you are about to take on (and beat, obviously).

The exam is made up of four different sections: Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) and Auditing and Attestation (AUD). I would get used to the acronyms; you’re going to be using them A LOT.

Different exams cover specific topics and each exam is taken independently, but the magic number you’re looking for is a 75. That’s the score you need on every exam to pass.
 

A Brief Overview of the Content in Each Section

FAR deals with all things related to the financial statements. This includes the concepts and standards for financial statements, the types of financial statements, line items in financial statements, and specific transactions and events related to the statements. It also covers accounting and reporting for government, non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations.

REG is made up of two, distinct sections: law and taxation. Law covers ethics and business law. Taxation covers federal tax procedures and accounting, the taxation of property transactions, and taxation for individuals and entities.

BEC relates to business management. It consists of business structure, economic concepts, financial management, information technology, and planning and measurement (think budgets).

AUD involves everything related to auditing engagements. It covers planning the engagement, auditing internal controls, obtaining documents, how to interpret document information, evaluating the information, reviewing the engagement and preparing communications.
 

A Brief Overview of the Format of Each Section

The FAR section is allotted 4 hours. It consists of 90 multiple choice questions divided up into three testlets, and seven task-based simulations. 60% of your exam score is based on the multiple choice questions and 40% is based on the task-based simulations.

The REG section is allotted 3 hours. It consists of 72 multiple choice questions divided up into three testlets, and six task-based simulations. 60% of your exam score is based on the multiple choice questions and 40% is based on the task-based simulations.

The BEC section is allotted 3 hours. It consists of 72 multiple choice questions divided up into 3 testlets, and three written communication tasks. 85% of your exam score is based on multiple choice questions and 15% is based on the written communication tasks.

The AUD section is allotted 4 hours. It consists of 90 multiple choice questions divided up into three testlets, and seven task-based simulations. 60% of your exam score is based on the multiple choice questions and 40% is based on the task-based simulations.
 

Alright, It’s Time To Start Studying!

Now that you have a surface-level idea of the CPA exam parts, it’s time to really get down to it. Glean as much knowledge as you can about the exam and create a study schedule based on that knowledge. Knowing what you’re up against is going to help you reach (and probably beat) that 75.
 
 
 
 

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