Simple Strategies to Conquer MCQs When Taking the CPA Exam


NASBA announced the latest round of CPA Exam scores this week. Congratulations to those of you who passed. If you are just embarking on this journey, be assured that Wiley CPAexcel is committed to aiding your successful completion of the CPA Exam.

Yes, you need to know the technical content to pass the CPA exam. But you know what? There are also strategies you can hone that will aid your success. These strategies are embedded throughout our lessons. Practicing these tips as you study will make you more efficient and effective on exam day and will boost your points.

  • Approach each MCQ deliberately. Read the question stem first. Why? Because not all information provided in a question is needed. By reading the questions stem first you can identify what information is necessary to answer the question and eliminate distractor information.

  • Read ALL of the choices before selecting the answer. If you’re not sure, eliminate the answers you know are wrong. If there are still one or two possibilities, go with your gut. Usually, your instinct is right.

  • Use the dry erase marker and whiteboard that have been provided by Prometric to draw out t-accounts, journal entries, lists, or anything that can help you solve the question or trigger the right answer.

  • Questions in the abstract form are hard to process. Make up simple numbers and use that information to make the information concrete. This will make solving the problem easier.

  • If you are stumped on a question, mark it for review and come back to it BEFORE you exit the testlet. Remember, once you submit a testlet, you cannot return to any question once you leave a testlet.

  • Answer every single question. There’s no penalty for taking an educated guess.

  • Watch the clock and balance your overall time. Some MCQs will take you 20 seconds and some will take you 2 minutes. Aim to stay under 2 minutes.

    Watch our free lesson on Time Management for the CPA Exam to get a detailed breakdown of how to allocate your time in each exam section and testlet.

  • Take full practice exams to practice and refine your time management skills for your exam day. Our Practice Exams mirror the actual exam all the way down to the number, type, and mix of questions, as well as time limits and break policies.

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