7 CPA Exam Tips to Ace Your Way Into a Global Career: A Job Guide

CPA Exam Tips to Ace Your Way Into a Global Career

CPA USA or Certified Public Accountant USA is one of the prestigious certifications when it comes to working in the accounting field. Deciding to become a US CPA is the most crucial step in an aspiring or professional accountant's life. The accounting field seems lucrative both in terms of professional and personal benefits.
However, one needs to clear the CPA USA exam to reach that point. As a large number of individuals appear for this exam, increased competition makes it difficult to crack. 
Also, many professionals think that preparing for the exam is a tough job amid working full-time. Luckily, we at NorthStar Academy (NSA) have flexible courses which help to achieve your career goals. The top mentors at NSA give you the best CPA exam study tips and hacks while providing the full roadmap to clear the exam in one go.
We have mentioned some noteworthy CPA exam tips that will help working professionals manage their work and exam preparation simultaneously. Before diving deep into the CPA exam study, check out these tips to make the experience streamlined and smooth. 

How to Pass the CPA Exam in less than 12 months? 

Passing the CPA USA exam within 12 months or earlier sounds daunting right? But here we have got the 7 best preparation tips that will let accountants get ready to pass the exam within a short time. 

1.Find an Efficient Learning Platform

While working full-time, the toughest aspect of taking the CPA exam is ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of your studies. The objective is to get the right study material and perceive information to pass the exam. Finding a compatible and reliable training institute for the CPA USA exam. Our CPA certification course helps identify the student's weaknesses and strengths and takes care of their preparation through regular classes, tests, doubt sessions, etc. 

2.Try to Fetch Some Extra Time

Working full-time means investing at least 40 hours or more per week. This hardly leaves any time for studying. At this point, one has to fetch extra time through time management. There are a few ways to do this; get up early in the morning or study late at night, and take a break from social media. Once CPA aspirants have understood how to add extra time in the day, start incorporating it and get used to the routine. This is one of the most effective US CPA exam tips enabling students to manage their time. 

3.Make a Study Plan

Make a study plan to draft a schedule so that equal amounts of time can be devoted to each subject. This can be done through the old-fashioned pen-paper technique or using digital platforms like excel spreadsheets. Making a schedule will help when to do studies and other daily chores. This will allow people to take time for their job, exam preparation, and other commitments. 

4.Increase Study Time Steadily

Starting with 3 to 4 hours right after office on day 1 of preparation seems exhausting and impossible. Though, many people try to do this but are left burnt out after a week or so. Therefore, they must start by putting 1 or 2 hours into studying in the initial days and increase the duration as per their capacity. It is one of the essential US CPA exam tips that ensure they adapt to the routine while increasing their efficiency and motivation to study. 

5.Learn Easy Things First

Most people try to complete tough topics first without knowing the concepts. They directly jump into difficult chapters without having a base. It is wise to begin your studies with easy chapters and build a strong foundation, and then move to complex topics. 

6.Join CPA groups

Having a friend circle with similar interests is the key to preparing for the CPA USA exam. Connecting with people who are already in this field can help newbies get insights into the exam and study well for it. Such groups are active on social media handles like Telegram, where people can ask about their problems and get solutions. This is one of the helpful CPA exam study tips. 

8.Relax for some time

While preparing for the exam, it is also important to relax to freshen up the brain. A daily routine involving only office work and study can be boring and frustrating. Hence, spending some time chilling with friends or family on weekends can lighten the mood and give a fresh feeling throughout the week. 

How to Prepare for the CPA USA Exam?

It is significant to check out the section-wise CPA USA exam syllabus and pattern while preparing for the exam. Below are the CPA USA exam sections with the exam pattern and specific preparation tips. 

AUD/Audit CPA Exam Tips

The AUD or Audit and Attestation section of the CPA USA exam tests the knowledge and skills related to Audit & Attestation engagement, review service engagement, and accounting. Below are some audit CPA exam tips that help candidates to prepare well for the exam:
  • Exam Syllabus The syllabus will help candidates to know about the significant topics. The CPA AUD syllabus covers four areas.
  1. Area-I: General principles, Ethics, and Professional Responsibilities
  2. Area-II: Developing a planned response and Assessing Risks
  3. Area-III: Obtaining Evidence and Performing further Procedures
  4. Area-IV: Forming Conclusions and Reporting
  • Exam Pattern The exam pattern helps to know the marking scheme of the AUD section. In the AUD section, there are 72 multiple choice questions (MCQs) and 8 Task-Based Simulations (TBSs). The time allotted to complete this section is 4 hours.
  • AUD Classes Candidates can join online or offline AUD classes for a better understanding of the topics. By joining classes from NSA, they can remain in contact with experts and ask their doubts in the frequent doubt sessions.
  • Practice Question Papers After completing the syllabus, candidates should solve previous years' question papers or give mock tests to assess themselves. They can also get to know how questions are asked in the exam.

BEC CPA Exam Tips

The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section tests candidates' knowledge of attest, audit, accounting, financial reporting, review services, and tax preparation. 
Candidates must follow the BEC CPA exam tips to score well in this section:
  • Exam Pattern The BEC section contains 62 multiple choice questions (MCQs) and 3 written communication questions. Students have to answer these questions in 4 hours.
  • Exam Syllabus Knowing the exam syllabus will enable candidates to make a good study plan so that they can manage their time. The BEC syllabus consists of five areas:
  1. Area-I: Business processes, internal controls, enterprise risk management
  2. Area-II: Economics
  3. Area-III: Financial management
  4. Area-IV: Information technology
  5. Area-V: Operation management
  • BEC Classes The students can interact with the experienced mentor through the BEC classes. They can ask exam-related queries and doubts from expert mentors. These experts will help the candidates prepare well by resolving their doubts and giving some tips to study the topics in the BEC section.
  • Solve Previous Years BEC Questions Students should practice mock test papers and sample question papers to make a strong grip on the concepts and enhance writing speed.

FAR CPA Exam Tips

The FAR or Financial Accounting and Reporting tests the skill and knowledge of an accountant required in the financial accounting and reporting field. 
Some CPA exam study tips to prepare for the FAR section are by knowing all about it. 
  • Exam Pattern- The CPA USA FAR section is a four-hour duration exam. It carries 66 multiple choice questions (MCQs) and 8 task-based simulations (TBSs). Knowing the exam pattern will let students know the type and number of questions asked in the exam. 
  • Exam syllabus- This section covers four topics; 
  1. Area-I: Financial Reporting, Standard Setting, and Conceptual Framework. 
  2. Area-II: Select Financial Statement Accounts. 
  3. Area-III: Select Transactions.
  4. Area-IV: State & Local governments. 
  • FAR-oriented Classes - Take regular CPA FAR classes to stay up to date with the vital concepts and topics. These classes will help candidates understand the chapters and clear their doubts. 
  • Practice Question Papers - One of the best CPA exam study tips for the FAR section is to practice question papers as it aids aspirants to recognize their strong and weak points so they can improve accordingly. 

REG CPA Exam Tips

The Regulation (REG) section tests the candidates' skills in federal taxation, ethics, professional responsibilities, business law, and tax practice. The following REG CPA exam tips will assist candidates to grasp the concepts easily:
  • Exam Syllabus With the help of the REG syllabus, candidates can give priority to the most important topics. The syllabus includes five areas.
  1. Area-I: Federal Tax Procedures, Professional Responsibilities, and Ethics
  2. Area-II: Business Law
  3. Area-III: Federal Taxation of the Property Transaction
  4. Area-IV: Federal Taxation of Individuals
  5. Area-V: Federal Taxation of Entities
  • Exam Pattern The exam pattern help to understand the structure of the exam. The REG section consists of 76 multiple choice questions (MCQs) and 8 task-based simulations (TBSs). The time duration to complete this section is 4 hours, so attempt accordingly.
  • REG Classes Candidates should enroll in REG classes as teachers will help them to understand each topic easily. They will also provide the best study materials to prepare for the REG section.
  • Work out Sample Question Papers Practicing previous years' question papers will enable candidates to know about their weak topics. They will also learn how to imply their knowledge while solving questions.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How do I pass the CPA exam on the first attempt?

The following strategies will help the students to pass the CPA
exam on the first attempt:
  • It is very important to manage time while preparing for the exam. Hence, students should make a study plan so that they can focus on each topic and use their time wisely.
  • Practice previous years question papers to understand the exam pattern and know which topics are of high weightage.
  • Make revision notes of important topics. These notes will help the students to do last-minute revisions before the examination.

2. Are CPA exams easy to pass?

CPA USA exams are not easy to pass. The overall passing rate is slightly less than 50%. The US CPA exam is difficult because it covers a wide range of syllabus and test topics using multiple choice questions, and there is a limited time for preparation. But with the right plan and good study materials like that from NSA, students can pass this exam.

3. Which is the hardest part of the CPA exam?

The hardest part of the CPA USA exam depends on the student's accounting background. For some students, the FAR section is difficult to solve, while for some AUD section is tough. Ultimately, it isn't about any one topic, the whole exam is a little bit tough to crack. However, by enrolling in the right training program and following the right US CPA exam tips, one can readily crack this exam.

4. How many hours a week should I study for the CPA exam?

A student should study at least 6 hours a day to prepare for the CPA exam. He should dedicate 2 hours to studying each section of the CPA exam.

5. How can I pass the CPA exam in 3 months?

The following tips will help the students to pass the CPA USA exam in 3 months:
  • Make a timetable and strictly adhere to it.
  • Don't waste your time.
  • Use effective study materials and watch informative videos to understand the topics. Get enrolled in the reliable and most effective CPA certification course like that of NSA.
  • Practice sample papers and mock tests for self-assessment.
  • Take your teachers help to clear your doubts.
  • Take small breaks to refresh your mind.

6. Can I study for CPA by myself?

A student can do a self-study if he is knowledgeable in accounting, financial and audit procedures and is a disciplined person. He can self-prepare for the exam with the right study materials. But the students are advised to join the classes as they will be guided by the experts on how to prepare and pass the CPA exam.

7. How long does it take most people to pass the CPA exam?

An average CPA candidate may require 6 to 12 months to pass the CPA exam. This may vary depending on:
  • How familiar a student is with the study materials and syllabus?
  • How much time does a student use to study for the exam?
  • How many relevant skills does a candidate have to pass the exam?


By following the above CPA exam tips, candidates can ensure a smooth and simple preparation journey while working full-time simultaneously. These tips will let them enjoy their work without compromising their CPA exam preparation. 
Further, we at NorthStar Academy (NSA) provide the best training program for the CPA USA exam. We offer regular support from the best mentors in the field and the most preferred study material to help our students throughout their preparation time.
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