We recently hosted a free webinar covering Tips to Pass BEC or REG Before the Exam Changes . More than 750 people (wow!) took part in the live session and asked a ton of great questions. Here are some of their frequently asked questions–and the expert answers provided by Wiley’s Director of Curriculum, Denise Probert, CPA, CGMA.
What’s your advice for the part of the REG exam that covers the tax process?
You need to find a way to remember dates, such as due dates and related extensions of time, recall specific tax forms, and recall details like statute of limitations. I like to use visualizations, for example, for each process and tax form I associate it with an entity or a person. For Form 1040, I instantly relate this to a person.
Should I take BEC or REG before April?
I recommend taking BEC because it will undergo the most changes come April.
How are they scoring MCQ questions, manual or automatic?
A computer will score your MCQs. If you are close to a passing score on BEC, your Written Communication section will be human-graded. Be sure to be well-prepared for the written communications testlet.
Do you know why it will take NASBA three months to grade FAR and AUD after the April change?
When the new exam launches in April, there is going to be a delay in score releases. The most dramatic will be for the April-May testing window. The AICPA needs to do a full psychometric study of those who take the new exam. The AICPA expects that it will take 10 weeks to receive your score after the close of the testing window.
How many study hours do you recommend for REG?
Expect to study on average 100 hours for REG and 100 hours for BEC.
How do you recommend getting caught up if you fall behind the personalized study schedule?
It does require you to set aside a significant part of your life. If you get to a point where you are struggling to catch up and it may not even be possible, you need to recognize and address this immediately so that you can either change your test date or devote more time by cutting time from other commitments.
In what order should you take the exams?
Ordinarily, I would say 1) FAR, 2) AUD, 3) REG and lastly 4) BEC as FAR is usually touched on in other sections. However, right now, you should consider getting at least BEC done in the Q1 2017 testing window (or REG depending on your situation and testing availability).
Is the task-based simulations grading based on cumulative answering?
Each answer is graded independently and scored independently.
How will AUD and FAR change?
The AICPA is reducing the number of MCQs and adding two TBSs while changing the weighting to 50/50 between MCQ and TBS. So, very little is changing in comparison to REG and BEC.
What’s your advice for the Written Communication portion of BEC?
The AICPA examiners are going to check that you use keywords. You will need to structure your argument clearly with an introduction and a closing. The examiners want to see that you back up your statements with reasoning. We will be hosting a webinar on this topic in the near future.
What simulation questions are most likely to be tested?
Common topics are operations management, including cost accounting and information systems. Also financial management is highly likely to be one of the focuses. I could also see a capital pricing model or a capital budgeting project.
Is there a Document Review Simulation in REG?
Yes, now and after April 1. DRSs are currently in FAR, AUD, and REG and will be in all four sections come April.
How you can find out rules of the testing center beforehand?
NASBA has an online Candidate Bulletin that you can check but also please check your Prometric testing center once you have determined where you will be testing.
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These are only a few of the great questions (and answers) from our recent webinar.
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