Sample CPA Exam Questions Can Improve Your Score

Almost every student will use Sample CPA Exam Questions as a study tool.  Most of the CPA Review courses offer some practice questions yet most students opt for supplemental multiple choice questions (MCQ’s) in order to better prepare for the CPA exam.

In this article we will delve in to the following five issues help you use CPA questions more effectively :

  1. Which company provides the best CPA exam questions?  We will rank and rate the top 3 providers of CPA practice tests.
  2. At what stage should a candidate start practicing CPA exam sample questions? We will give our opinion on whether you should start using practice questions at the start of your studies.
  3. How many CPA sample questions should each student use?  We will show you how to determine the optimal number of practice questions you need to complete before the CPA exam.
  4. Are there any disadvantages of using sample CPA questions? You need to be aware that there are some key differences between a practice test and what you will encounter at a Prometric test site.
  5. Are there any free CPA practice exams? The Web has some valuable free resources but you you need to filter through a lot of garbage CPA tests. We will steer you towards the best free CPA exams.

CPA Practice Questions Ranked and Rated:

There are three main companies that offer sample CPA exam questions. Here are our rankings and reviews of each option:

#1 CPAarmy.com

CPA Army offers a free CPA practice exam for each section (AUD, BEC, FAR, REG).   The company offers approximately 450 MCQ’s for each section of the exam. The cost is $27 and the company effectively offers a free trial since they have a money back guarantee.

The quality of CPA questions is on a par with a major CPA review course like Becker. Furthermore, the questions are updated regularly. For example, CPA Army had Auditing Clarity Standards questions before any other test prep provider. In addition, if you fail the exam you can always request an updated set of practice questions.

The main advantage of CPA Army’s test bank is that it is the most affordable high quality option at only $27. For students who have already shelled out $3,000 on a CPA review course, it is a significant discount to most CPA material. The CPA practice questions are slightly more difficult than what you would encounter on exam day. In addition, CPA Army offers four previously released AICPA exams for each section.

One of the disadvantages of the CPA Army sample exams is that they do not offer simulation questions. Most students complain that simulations are the hardest part of the CPA exam and some students feel it is crucial to practice simulations before the test day.

However, given the high quality of CPA questions and the low price point, CPA Army is the top supplemental MCQ provider.

 AUD Multiple Choice Questions                   BEC Multiple Choice Questions

FAR Multiple Choice Questions                    REG Multiple Choice Questions

#2 Wiley Test Bank

Wiley offers an online test bank that features about 4500 multiple choice questions and 164 Enhanced Simulations.  Wiley offers their product in the form of a subscription. Students can choose between 4 months for $85 or full year access for $105. Wiley offers a free 24 hour trial that let’s you test drive their subscription.

Wiley questions are of moderate difficulty and some students report that Wiley questions are actually harder than AICPA questions.

The Wiley test bank has done a good job of replicating the look and feel of a Prometric exam. If you take a sample test using the AICPA website you can see that Wiley has copied the exact same format of the MCQ’s.  However, don’t be fooled because Wiley and Prometric are different in one key respect; Wiley questions do not get easier or harder depending on your score. Wiley does not have an algorithm that can adjust the test in accordance with your proficiency meaning that all of your sample CPA questions will be of the same level of difficulty.

Another problem with the Wiley test bank is that you have to buy another subscription if you fail the exam. For example, if you bought a subscription for the AUD exam in 2012 and failed, you would have to buy another subscription in order to get access to the new Clarity Standards questions. Since 35% of test takers fail the exam, it can be quite costly to continually upgrade your Wiley subscription.

Unfortunately, since you are looking at least $420 for all four CPA sections and most likely even more money if you fail a section, Wiley is simply too expensive to be awarded the gold star of CPA exam questions.

#3 CPAreviewforfree.com

This useful website offers a free version of a CPA review course. In addition, they offer premium content including MCQ questions that are in PDF format. The CPA each section costs $29.95 and you can buy all four sections for a discount of 20%. This company also offers 10 Simulation questions for FAR, Auditing & Attestation, and Regulation. For the BEC section, they offer 29 Written Communication questions.

Despite the attractive price point, the quality of CPA questions leave something to be desired. First of all, the sample questions are generally harder than what you will encounter on the actual exam. Secondly, you will often find outdated questions that you will be forced to ignore. Their CPA questions also seem to be rather theoretical and you will often find that what they are testing was not even covered in your review course.

The main advantage of CPA Review For Free practice exams is the low cost. For less than $30 it is an attractive low cost option.

 How should you use sample CPA exam questions?

After you have chosen your CPA sample test provider, the next question is to how use all of these practice questions?

Some students do not try to simulate an actual exam but rather are only interested in working on trouble spots. For example, if you are studying for the FAR section and you feel that you are weakest in Business Combinations and Consolidations (BCC) you might only practice MCQ’s for that section. You could take 30 questions and test your score for BCC questions. If you continue to score under 75% you would do another 30 questions until you felt reasonably comfortable. Using this strategy you would mainly focus on your weak subjects rather than take MCQ’s for an entire section.

Other students like to recreate the actual CPA exam experience. Using this strategy you would block off the time that is required to write each section. For example, you would block off 4.5 hours to recreate the Auditing exam experience. You would allocate 2 minutes for each question and complete 90 MCQ’s in total. Afterwards, you would complete two simulations with only 45 minutes per simulation. Similarly, if you were recreating the BEC exam, you would allocate 2.5 hours for the total exam. Since the BEC does not have any simulations you would only practice the MCQ’s. Always remember that the CPA exam format is different for each section of the exam.

What is the optimal number of CPA exam questions?

One of the main questions we get asked is how many practice questions one should do prior to the CPA exam.

Of course the answer to this question depends on your current proficiency and how much time you have to study.

If you want to be totally prepared you should take one testlet (30 CPA practice questions) per day. If you do this in the last month of studying you will have taken 900 questions prior to exam day. Many candidates also take 2 practice exams on weekends which equates to an additional 240 CPA practice questions. Another strategy is to start taking the sample exams 6 weeks before the exam date and focus more on the SIMS in the last month of studying.

However, 80% of students only have time to use about 400-500 CPA practice questions before exam day. If you are pressed for time you should be able to assess your level of preparedness with 500 questions. One strategy is to take one testlet every second day. Another strategy is to create mock exam scenarios where you take a full exam (3 testlets) on both days of the weekend in the last month of studying. You might find that your scores drop by the time you take the last testlet of the day as fatique has set in.

In general you should see an upward trajectory in your practice scores. Most students start out scoring in the low 70′s and then gradually move up to the mid-80′s right before test day. You will also find that the CPA test bank questions are harder than what you will experience when taking the CPA exam.

 The Disadvantages of Using CPA Sample Questions

The main problem with using CPA sample questions is that you might fool yourself into thinking that you are more prepared than you really are. For example, someone who scores over 80 would probably take his foot off the accelerator and coast into exam day.  There is not a single CPA review course that can offer you test questions that will actually be on the actual exam. Thus, you may find that once you take a CPA Prometric exam, the content that is being tested is totally different than what you saw with practice CPA questions.

Another major problem with all sample CPA exams is that nobody uses a testing algorithm similar to the Prometric experience. The key feature of the Prometric exams is that the questions you are asked are totally dependent on how well or how poorly you are doing on the exam. There are countless stories of students bragging about how “easy” the MCQ’s were only to later find out that they failed miserably. If you use practice exams for the CPA you will be scored on a percentage basis which is totally different than the “real thing” that has offers a variable test.

All in all, practice CPA questions are a valuable resource but you should be careful to know that there are some huge differences between a practice CPA and an exam administered by Prometric. You never can be sure that your practice scores will translate into a high score once you step foot in the Prometric facility.

Are there any free CPA practice exams?

Most of the free CPA resources are outdated and not particularly valuable. However, if you are looking to save a little money, we have provided some free sample CPA tests that you can practice online. Each sample test covers one section of the CPA exam. The sample tests are 35 questions and can only be taken online (ie – they are not in PDF format).

You can find free CPA sample tests for the AUD, BEC, FAR and REG sections.

Here are the links to get started and don’t forget to check out our outstanding study materials to make sure you pass the test.

Auditing and Attestation Sample Test
Financial Accounting & Reporting Sample Test
Business Environment & Concepts Sample Test
Regulation Sample Test

Another free option is to use the Wiley free 24 hour trial of their MCQ test bank. If you are just looking to test one part of a section – eg – Cashflow for the FAR section, you can take 30 Cashflow practice questions and see how you score.

Finally, AICPA site also offers a free practice exam with simulations. Unfortunately, the software can be a little buggy  and you must use Internet Explorer.  You also must install the Microsoft .Net framework.

The AICPA Sample Test includes a multiple choice testlet and a simulation testlet for all four sections. Unfortunately, the multiple choice testlet is only five test questions which is not nearly enough for most people who are looking for 500-900 CPA practice questions. However, AICPA offers a simulation testlet for AUD, FAR and REG that includes four sample tasks which is helpful. For BEC there are two sample tasks even though BEC does not have a simulation.

Conclusion

Passing the CPA exam requires more than hard work; it requires a plan of attack and the discipline to execute your plan.

For most college tests, you can simply pass if you cram hard the night before the exam. However, the CPA exam covers a tremendous amount of content that cannot be absorbed in a short period of time. Subsequently, test takers must plan out their study schedule in order to be successful.

You must first choose the right CPA review material and then you must supplement your review course with summary notes and practice questions from a top provider.

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