We’re frequently asked how long to study for each section of the CPA exam. And with good reason, it’s a great question! Here’s our expert answer…
Variables That Affect Your CPA Study Time
We’re going to recommend a robust study schedule, but you have to remember that your number of CPA exam study hours will be different than someone else with a different background.
CPA study hours depend on:
- Your education.
- How long you’ve been out of school and out of “student” mode.
- Your work experience (you auditors have a leg up).
All of these factors also affect your eligibility to sit for the CPA exam, so you’ll want to make sure you meet your state’s CPA exam and licensure requirements before devising your study plan.
Another big factor, of course, is your familiarity and comfort with the English language. If English is a second language for you, definitely plan on needing more CPA study time. And also plan on checking your eligibility to sit for the CPA exam if you are internationally educated.
Recommended Study Time for CPA Exam by Section
How Many Hours to Study for FAR CPA Exam Section
The FAR section consists of 66 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and eight task-based simulations. In Wiley CPA Exam Test Prep, if you took all the lessons and assignments related to FAR, you’d take roughly 190 hours to complete it.
How Many Hours to Study for REG CPA Exam Section
To prepare for the 76 MCQs and eight simulations in this section, you’d spend roughly 120 hours studying with Wiley CPA.
Historically, FAR and REG are the sections with the lowest pass rates (a.k.a. the “hardest”).
How Many Hours to Study for AUD CPA Exam Section
Count it up: 72 MCQs and eight simulations, same as FAR. If you did your work like a good student, using Wiley CPA you’d spend roughly 110 hours studying for this section.
How Many Hours to Study for BEC CPA Exam Section
BEC has 62 MCQs, four simulations, and it throws a curveball with two written communication tasks. When you use the best test prep, you can expect it to take roughly 130 hours to study for the CPA exam’s BEC section.
Notice how we said roughly a lot? Like we said earlier, that’s because actual CPA exam study hours will be a little different for everyone.
Pro Tip: Focus on Mastering the Material
Knowing how many hours you should expect to study for the CPA exam helps you build your study plan and reduce stress, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll pass the exam. Rather than worry about the amount of time you spend studying, you can instead focus on mastery of the material.
You should aim to achieve at least 95% correct/proficiency on practice questions and flashcards. Achieve this and you’re definitely on the right track.
How Many Hours should you Study For The CPA Exam?
So, finally, let’s address the main question: “How many hours should I study for the CPA exam?”
Wiley’s Expert Answer: Roughly 550 hours.
Wondering which section you should take first?
If you feel like you’re ready to take on the time commitment that is studying for the CPA exam and you want to learn more, download our Free CPA Exam Essentials Guide. Or, if you’re ready to see what it’s like to study for the CPA exam with Wiley, take advantage of our 14-Day FREE Trial Course. Let’s further your career and pass the CPA exam together!