The Uniform Certified Public Accountant is a 16-hour examination comprising of four sections, each four hours long.
Before we get to the exam structure and the test items, all of us already know that there are 4 sections of the US CPA Exam – Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), and Audit and Attestation (AUD).
Each Exam section is delivered in five smaller sections called testlets. These testlets feature multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and task-based simulations (TBSs). In the case of BEC, you also have to complete three written communication tasks (WCTs). The number of MCQs and TBSs tested varies depending upon the specific section taken. You will receive at least one research question (research-oriented TBS) in the AUD, FAR and REG sections. To complete them, you will have to search the related authoritative literature and find an appropriate reference.
During each Exam section, you will be offered a 15-minute break after the first TBS testlet. This is about midway through the section (two hours). You may accept this break and pause the Exam timer or you may continue testing. To accept the break, click the “Take a Break” button. During this break, you must leave the testing room and follow all Prometric security rules. The Exam timer will restart when the 15-minute break ends.
In addition to the 15-minute break, you may also take optional breaks after all other testlets but you cannot pause the Exam timer. The timer will continue to run.
You will be tested during the CPA Exam using three types of test items that appear within specific testlets in each section as explained above:
Multiple-choice questions (MCQ)
The multiple-choice portions are presented in the first two testlets of each Exam section.
Task-based simulations are condensed case studies that test accounting knowledge and skills using real-life, work-related situations. All task-based simulations are intended to assess knowledge and skills that are appropriate for an entry-level accountant. There are three TBS testlets in the AUD, FAR and REG sections, and two TBS testlets in the BEC section.
Written communication tasks
Written communication tasks appear only in the BEC section of the CPA Exam. For each of three written communication tasks, you must read a scenario and then write appropriate documentation relating to the scenario. The instructions state what form the document should take (such as a memo or letter) and its focus. Your response should provide the correct information in writing that is clear, complete, and professional.
The exam is designed by section, section time and question type as represented in the table below:
|Section||Section Time||Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)||Task-based simulations (TBSs)||Written Communication|
It is important to understand the scoring weight of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), task-based simulations (TBSs), and written communication for each Exam section as represented by:
|Section||Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)||Task-based simulations (TBSs)||Written Communication|
Varun Jain CPA, CMA has worked very hard in ensuring that the Miles videos and text are consistent with the skill levels defined by the AICPA. Mnemonics and repetitions in videos and live/ webinar classes are used to ensure the student’s capacity to remember and understand the concept. With over 8000 MCQs and 1000 TBSs Miles ensures that the concepts taught are applied and the student is able to analyze and evaluate the questions asked in the CPA Exam.