CPA Exam Mistakes
CPA Exam Mistakes
The CPA Exam is a stressful experience for the CPA exam review candidate, and sometimes that stress can cause students to make mistakes on the CPA Exam, costing them valuable points. The most common mistake we see is due to reading comprehension, which generally shows its face in two distinct ways:
1. Premature MCQ Answer Choice Selection
Quite often a student will attempt a multiple-choice question that has several numbers, dates, and other facts included in the question. After the student has read the question they will then see answer choice A, then B, and see an answer that they feel is correct and then not bother to read answer choices C and D. The AICPA commonly has answers that are ALMOST identical, but still different as answer choices C and D, and candidates quite often select the wrong answer (A or B) not knowing that C or D were actually better choices.
2. Missed Words Due to Speeding up of Reading
About the time students are in that 3rd MCQ testlet they may soon experience what we call “The Bear”. The Bear occurs when exam fatigue begins to kick in, and a natural reaction by the student is to “speed up” the pace of their reading in order to get this miserable experience over with sooner. The problem with speeding up the reading is that comprehension can suffer, and one missed word, number, or date can completely change the meaning of a question. We always advise students when taking our practice exams to view the session’s results report afterwards and see if their pace per question begins to speed up as they progress deeper into the exam. They can also see which questions were answered incorrectly. If they start to see more questions answered incorrectly the deeper they are into the exam, it could be an indication that they began to speed up their reading and as a result had more errors. One thing a student can do to combat this is to take a 30-60 second break, close their eyes, and simply do a quick “mental recharge of their batteries” to keep “The Bear” at bay.
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