Passing The CPA Exam: What You Need To Know To Succeed

We were right where you were once, preparing for the CPA Exam! Hall & Company loves working with up and coming young accounting professionals. If you visit our Irvine CPA office, you might meet one of our intern staff, all future CPAs in the making!

The CPA Exam at first seems like a daunting mountain to climb. This is very true! We’ve been there, and we know how it is when you’re looking up from the bottom! And while the AICPA reports that the 2017 CPA exam pass rate averaged around 50%, you should not panic.


Because that means that 50% of the CPA exam takers succeed! It’s a challenge, but it’s possible.

What you need to know…

Know Exam Sections

The exam comes in four sections that you can take in the order of your preference:

AUD – Auditing and attestation

FAR – Financial accounting and reporting

REG – Regulation

BEC – Business environment concepts

You Have To Schedule Your Exams

There are different time windows when applying to schedule your CPA exam. You will first have to submit a CPA exam application. Sometimes, testing facilities fill up fast, so you might get a little extra time to study while waiting for your spot. Exam windows traditionally become available within the first 2 months of each quarter in the calendar year.

Take It All At Once…Or Space It Out!

You can take any number of the exam sections in the same time window, or you can space them out! It actually might be best to space out your exam times. This way you won’t give yourself exam fatigue and have more time to prepare for each section. It’s important to set a CPA exam schedule that works best for you.

Can You Retake Sections?

Have no fear; If you don’t pass a certain section, you can take it again, but you will have to wait for the next open testing window.

Review Courses Are Worth It!

Absolutely invest in a Review Course; the CPA exam is slightly rigorous. There is a ton of information and knowledge to retain! It’s a more than a worthwhile idea to get yourself the study support materials you’ll need to boost your chance of excelling on the exam.

Once You Pass One Section… the Clock Starts Ticking!

Once you’ve passed any exam section, keep in mind that the countdown has officially started. You have an 18-month window from the moment you pass your first section to get to that exam finish line. And while 18 months might sound like an ample amount of time to knock out those remaining 3 sections, it can sneak up on you. Be proactive in planning your exam times!

But Above All: Remember To Breathe!

Taking the CPA exam can be stressful, so it’s important to remember to take the time to remember to relax! Make sure to pencil in breaks, spend some time with friends and family, and exercise. Your mind and body will thank you, and you might actually perform better on your exam!

Passing the CPA exam is tough, but once you’re through the woods, you’ll feel a weight fall off your shoulders.

At Hall & Company, we believe in giving our team the best tools to become expert accountants. If you recently passed your exams and are seeking valuable experience, our firm is always ready to take on new interns and CPAs. We want to hear from you!