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Title: How to Pass the CPA Exam the First Time You Take It


If you wish to become a Certified Public Accountant, you already know you’ll need to pass the CPA exam to realize your career goals.

You may also know that the CPA exam has a reputation for being fairly demanding. Many people struggle to pass it on the first try.

However, there are many others who do pass the CPA exam the first time they attempt it. Perhaps you wish to join their ranks.

If so, keep the following tips in mind. While no blog entry or article can guarantee that you’ll pass the CPA exam with no difficulty on your first try, your chances of doing so will be much greater if you:

Consider How Your Classes Will Prepare You for the Exam

Along with passing the CPA exam, to become a CPA, you also typically need to study accounting in college or university.

If you’ve decided to major in accounting, you know that taking the CPA exam is in your future. While it may be years away, it’s a good idea to begin preparing right now.

Top-scorers state that preparing for the CPA exam in advance is critical for many reasons. One is the simple fact that the exam is quite extensive and covers a wide range of nuanced topics. Another is the fact that developing a study routine takes time.

Perhaps more importantly, top-scorers have also pointed out that when you decide to begin studying for the CPA exam early, you’ll be more inclined to consider the way what you’re learning in your college courses will help you pass the test.

Supplement Your Education

Your college courses will certainly prepare you for the CPA exam to a degree. However, it’s important to understand that the main purpose of your courses will be to provide you with skills and knowledge you will need in your future career. They won’t be devoted to equipping you with test-taking skills.

Thus, it’s a very good idea to consider supplementing your education by taking a course designed specifically to help you prepare for the CPA exam. This doesn’t need to be a time-consuming class that you must attend in person. An online CPA exam prep course can perfectly suit your needs.

Study in the Morning

Again, a study schedule that emphasizes the importance of routine can help you prepare for the CPA exam very effectively. You should study regularly on certain days of the week and at certain times of the day.

If you have the option, consider studying in the morning. Research consistently shows that a person’s mental agility and overall productivity tend to be at their peak during the earlier hours of the day. As the day drags on, your ability to study efficiently and retain what you’ve learned will diminish.

Read Each Question Very Carefully

You may feel pressure to work through the exam quickly to complete as much of it as possible within the time limit. This is understandable. However, it’s worth noting that questions on the CPA exam can be somewhat complex. If you overlook an important detail, you may choose the wrong answer to a question when you actually know the right answer.

Strike the right balance between efficiency and attention. You don’t want to devote more time than is necessary to a question, but you don’t want to work so quickly that you misread a question either.

Additionally, don’t worry if you don’t pass the CPA exam on the first try. Plenty of successful CPAs didn’t pass the notoriously challenging exam on their first attempts. 

That said, if you do wish to optimize your chances of passing the CPA exam the first time you take it, these tips will help.