This week we feature another article from Bryce of Crush The CPA Exam. Read below and discover four great techniques to immediately begin applying to your personalized CPA Exam study routine.

The simulations section of the CPA exam is one of the most difficult and important parts and can hurt your score if not approached correctly. Below are 4 tips to help you prepare for them better and increase your scores.

Tip 1 – Budget Your Time by Weight

Be sure you leave enough time for the simulations. If the SIMS are worth 40% of your score, then you should budget 40% of your available time. Below is a good estimate for how much time you should plan on setting aside for the SIMS:

Audit Simulations: 40% x 4 hour test = 1 hour 36 minutes

FAR Simulations: 40% x 4 hour test = 1 hour 36 minutes

REG Simulations: 40% x 3 hour test = 1 hour 12 minutes

BEC Simulations: 15% x 3 hour test = 27 minutes (Written portion only for BEC)

Tip 2 – Play To Your Strengths

Answer the SIMS in order from “most comfortable with the subject matter” to “least comfortable with the subject matter” so you maximize your points if you run out of time. This will also prevent you from getting stuck on one ridiculously hard SIM for 30 minutes (like I did!).

Tip 3 – Expect a Curveball

You are most likely going to get a simulation that is completely out of left field and was never even touched on by your CPA review course. Expect this! There is one “fake” simulation for each exam that doesn’t even count towards your score. Assume it’s the fake pretest question and move on.

Tip 4 – Keep Your Head In The Game

Never let yourself get discouraged when taking your CPA exam. This applies not only to the SIMS section, but for the entire duration of your CPA journey! You’ve worked your butt off, sacrificed much of your social life, and studied like an animal to get to this point right? Be proud of yourself and walk out of that testing center like a champ. Keep a positive attitude throughout the exam and you will have a much higher chance of recalling all the info you’ve crammed into your memory bank.


To read more from Bryce about how to study and pass the CPA exam please check out his website at or drop by and say hi to him on his Crush The CPA Exam Facebook page.