Be sure to check out Part 1 of this series.

In this installment of How to Master CPA Simulations, we cover some key strategies for using tabs, where to start first, and how practice makes perfect when it comes to the CPA Exam’s task-based simulations.

Step 5: Use the “Research” Tabs

To master CPA simulations, you need to use all the resources that are available to you. Each simulation comes with a series of tabs and operations you’re asked to complete.

Here’s a great trick we’ve heard from many a CPA candidate: When you’re faced with a tricky task-based simulation, especially in the AUD section, you can often find the answers or operations spelled out for you within the research.

Don’t depend or bet on it, but do use the Research tab to scan for helpful hints and answers on the simulations.

You can use the Table of Contents to the left of the screen and then do a “search within” using keywords (a la Google) to find the help you need to master CPA simulations.

Step 6. Know Which CPA Simulations to Tackle First/Last

When you enter the task-based simulations testlet on exam day, you’ll see different operations outlined on separate tabs. So, which simulation/s do you tackle first?

Here is a great system for logically attacking the CPA simulations:

  • First, go through each tab and read what’s being asked of you.
  • Rank the simulations based on your comfort with the material. Highlight which ones are most difficult and will require research and more time.
  • Then systematically go through the simulations from easiest to hardest. The goal is for you to quickly plow through what you know so you’ll more time to devote to the tougher simulations.
  • Do the research simulation last. Why? Because it is worth the fewest points so will be of the least harm to your score if you don’t finish the simulations in the time you have.

Step 7. Practice Makes Perfect

While the CPA Exam’s task-based simulations may be seen as lower stakes than the multiple-choice sections, you should still devote some of your study time to familiarizing yourself with how they are structured.

The best way to do this is to take the tutorial on the AICPA website. Because it is the AICPA, you can rest assured that the simulations are 100% accurate and exactly like you’ll see on the CPA Exam.

CPA simulations are a great way to actually learn the material overall. Practicing simulations regularly as part of your study plan will help you avoid memorizing answers to multiple-choice questions and improve your CPA Exam score.

Wiley CPAexcel includes over 450 practice CPA simulations as part of its review course. We also offer a popular CPA Test Bank that features 148 simulations as welly as more than 4,400 multiple-choice practice questions.

Follow the steps outlined here (and in Part 1) and you’ll be well on your way to mastering CPA simulations.

Good luck!