Task Based Simulations on the CPA Exam

Task Based Simulations on the CPA Exam: Version 1.0

Alright folks. Class is in session. Today we are going to be talking about task based simulations on the CPA Exam.

Let’s discuss all things task based simulations. At this point, you may be aware that each section of the CPA Exam has a multiple choice portion and a non-multiple choice portion. Our area of interest today is the non-multiple choice portion, which is broken up into written communication tasks and task based simulations. Currently, AUD, FAR, and REG have task based simulations, whereas BEC has written communication tasks.

Why should you care about the task based simulations? Task based simulations make up 40 percent of the AUD, FAR, and REG sections of the CPA Exam. As a quick reminder, you need a passing score of 75 or higher. Regardless of how well you do on the multiple choice portion of AUD, FAR, and REG, it is impossible to pass these sections of the CPA Exam without attempting the task based simulations. At a high level, you should know that AUD and FAR have seven task based simulations, and REG has six task based simulations. In addition, according to AICPA’s Exposure Draft: Maintaining the Relevance of the Uniform CPA Exam, CPA candidates tend to spend approximately 10 to 20 minutes per task based simulation.

For an in depth discussion of what to expect on the task-based simulations, check out

 

Task Based Simulations on the CPA Exam: Version 1.5

Beginning July 2016, the CPA Exam will introduce a new type of task based simulation, known as the Document Review Simulation (DRS). According to AICPA’s Exposure Draft: Maintaining the Relevance of the Uniform CPA Examination, “the DRS presents a realistic document as well as related source documents (exhibits) requiring review. Highlighted words, phrases, sentences or paragraphs in the DRS document may or may not be correct, requiring the candidate to select appropriate edits based on the relevant source documents.” This newfound task based simulation appears to better reflect activities performed in the “real world.” For an opportunity try out the DRS, try out an official sample test.
 

Task Based Simulations on the CPA Exam: Version 2.0

On April 1, 2017, the new and improved CPA Exam will be released. How does the new and improved CPA Exam change the expectations of the task based simulations on the CPA Exam? First, it is important to note that every section of the CPA Exam will have task based simulations and the number of task based simulations is increasing. The following table shows how many non-multiple choice questions will be on each section of the CPA Exam.

Section Task Based Simulations Written Communication Tasks
AUD 8-9 N/A
BEC 4-5 3
FAR 8-9 N/A
REG 8-9 N/A

That’s right. Even BEC will have task based simulations. Second, under the new and improved CPA Exam, the AICPA’s Exposure Draft: Maintaining the Relevance of the Uniform CPA Examination indicates, “it is expected that candidates will spend 15 to 30 minutes to complete TBSs designed to assess analysis and evaluation skills.” Third, the weighting of the new and improved CPA Exam is going to change. Multiple choice will be worth 50 percent across all sections of the CPA Exam. Task based simulations will be worth 50 percent for AUD, FAR, and REG, whereas for BEC, task based simulations will be worth 35 percent and written communication tasks will be worth 15 percent.

For an in depth discussion of what to expect related to the new exam duration, check out

As always, remember to breathe.

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