bec-cpa-exam-sectionThe BEC CPA exam section stands for Business Environment and Concepts. Out of the four sections that comprise the Certified Public Accountant certification exam, it’s the one that evaluates a candidates’ comprehension of responsibility and professional duty. Noho izany, understanding management, principle economic concepts, corporate governance, and Informational Technology (IT) is crucial to mastery.

It examines the test-takers’ ability to identify and analyze situations that call upon his knowledge of ethics and the underlying implications/reasoning behind transactions. Let’s look at the details of the BEC section of the CPA exam and what you need to know in order to pass it!

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What’s on the BEC CPA Exam Section?

How Long is the BEC CPA Exam Section?

BEC is a 4-hour exam.

BEC Topic Areas & Concepts Tested

Corporate Governance: 17% – 27% – these topics include how an entity or enterprise is controlled and how the management framework operates, how various management role differ from one another, knowing what an audit committee is and understand the influence of stakeholders. You should also be familiar with general provisions an entity is expected to follow.

Economic Concepts and Analysis: 17% – 27% – topics like inflation, interest, deflation, and foreign exchange rates. Fanampin'izany, you should also know how these topics affect businesses.

Financial Modeling and Management: 11% – 21% – materials covered in this section may include financing, creating models, loans, and calculating statements of value.

Information Technology: 15% – 25% – including communications and the role of IT in recovery and maintaining consistency/continuity.

Operations Management: 15% – 25% – which covers things like cost accounting and variance analysis.


BEC CPA Exam Format and Structure

BEC starts with 2 MCQ testlets. Each testlet has 31 exam questions. Next, the third testlet includes two asa mifototra amin'ny simulations. After you’ve made it through the first three testlets, you will be given a 15-minute break. Utilizing the break is recommended but not mandatory and it will not count against the candidates’ time. After the break, another 2-question testlet is given followed by a testlet with 3 tasks involving work communication.

BEC Exam Section Structure

BEC Exam Section2016 CPA Exam2017 CPA Exam
Multiple-Choice Questions7262
Task miorina Simulations04
Written Communication33

BEC Exam Section Format

TestletsQuestion Sets
Testlet #131 Multiple-Choice Questions
Testlet #231 Multiple-Choice Questions
Testlet #32 Task miorina Simulations
Testlet #42 Task miorina Simulations
Testlet #53 Written Communication

Like the AUD section, the first MCQ testlet will be of moderate or medium difficulty with the next MCQ testlet being of equal or higher intensity. Na izany aza, it should be noted that submitted testlets can’t be reviewed.

BEC CPA Tip: A good strategy is to review all your answers in each testlet before you submit them. After that, there’s no going back.

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Multiple-Choice Questions

How many BEC Multiple-choice Questions are There? The multiple choice questions are divided into 2 testlets. Each testlet is comprised of 31 questions, making a total of 62. Multiple-voafantina fanontaniana ireo ihany no nomena bola raha marina, soatoavin'ny marina valiny isan-karazany avy any ambony ny ambany, amin'ny maha ambany dia izay kely indrindra sarobidy, arakaraka ny havany sarotra ny fanontaniana nanontany. 50 ny 62 fanontaniana no miasa raha ny sisa tavela 12 dia pretest.

BEC CPA Tip: Rehefa avy manaiky ny MCQ testlet, Tsy mino ny momba azy ireo intsony. Tsy manao zavatra tsara ho anao Vina faharoa valiny izay efa nanaiky, ary tsy afaka hanova.

Task miorina Simulations

Firy Task Bec-Miorina Simulations misy? Misy 4 asa-monina simulations amin'ny 3 asa fifandraisana (WCS) mifototra asa. 3 ny asa ara-simulations dia miasa sy 1 dia pretest. Fa ny WCS, 2 dia miasa ary 1 dia pretest.

Testlet sy Simulation Time Length

Kandidà dia afaka zarao ny fotoana ny fomba hitany fa mety, nefa dia milaza fa ny 30-40 minitra azo omena isaky ny MCQ testlet sy ny manodidina 2 ora ny simulations. A simulation Matetika mitaky kandidà vao vita hatramin'ny 7 tasks using information provided while a written communication simulation has a candidate compose a message using compliant language, words and grammar correctly and professionally.

Gauge your skill set and appropriate your time accordingly.

How is the BEC CPA Exam Section Weighted and Graded?

The MCQs count for half of a test-takers grade. The TBSs and the work communication portion each make up the other half of the grade. Most simulations and Work Communications are graded via computer by special software on the basis of structure or how ideas are arranged, development or how the candidate uses evidence and examples, and expression or how well English in a business context is used like capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.


MCQ and Simulation Grading Percentage

What Percentage of the Grade is Given to MCQ and Simulations? In short, 50% of the grade comes from the MCQs, 35% comes from the TBSs, ary ny 15% remaining belongs to the WCs.

Exam Section2016 CPA Exam2017 CPA Exam
40% TBS
50% MCQ
50% TBS
bec85% MCQ
15% WC
50% MCQ
35% TBS
15% WC
40% TBS
50% MCQ
50% TBS
40% TBS
50% MCQ
50% TBS

BEC Exam Pass Rates


Historically, the BEC CPA exam section has been one of the parts that CPA candidates perform the lowest on. In 2005, the pass rate was only 43 percent. It has consistently risen since then to a peak of 50 isan-jato 2015.

Izany dia midika hoe fironana na ity fizarana ity dia mahazo mora kokoa na kandidà dia voaomana tsara kokoa noho ny soratra anjara noho izy ireo no nitoetra teo amin'ny lasa. Io Info dia navoakan'ny AICPA.

BEC CPA Exam Study Tips

Aza hamaivanina Bec: Too many candidates go into their BEC exam and hear that it’s easy, mba tsy hitondra azy amin'ny fanajana. Aza manao fahadisoana ity. Bec dia mbola biby, ary mbola tsy maintsy miomana araky ny tokony ho izy. Ataovy ny fotoana ao amin'ny!

Miasa amin'ny Writing Skills: The written communication section on BEC isn’t difficult, you just have to be a competent writer. Practice your writing skills by writing professional business letters, emails, and memos. Mandehana amin'ny alalan'ny fianarana ny mpitari-dalana, ary mijery ny fanadinana lohahevitra Hoy izy ireo mianatra. Soraty santionan'ny lahatsoratra momba ireo lohahevitra. Tsarovy, fizarana ny voasoratra dia tsy natao kilasy anao eo amin'ny fahalalana ny foto-kevitra. Izany dia midika hoe natao mba kilasy anao eo amin'ny fahaiza-manao sy ny fahaizana mifampiresaka mba hanoratra hevitra mifanaraka tsara. Afaka mahazo ny foto-kevitra diso tanteraka, ary mbola manao tsara izany raha afaka manoratra.

Practice Financial Modeling and Economics: Both of these topics play a big role in BEC and don’t really show up on other exams. Learn the financial ratios, what they mean, and how to use them. koa, brush up on your Econ 101 ary 102. You will need to know the basics fluently.

Practice MCQs to Death: Keep working through your MCQs in your CPA review course. This is the best practice you can get. Do as many as possible.

Should I Take BEC First?

Generally, I would recommend not taking BEC first. Although this is the shortest exam, you are better off taking a different exam first. Here’s a full article about which CPA exam to take first.

Should I Take BEC Last?

Since BEC is not closely related to the other exams, this would be a good exam to take last. Although it’s not an easy exam by any means, many candidates say that it is the easiest out of the four. Noho izany, this would be a good way to wrap up your CPA exam journey. Finish out strong with BEC. 🙂

Who is BEC Easiest For?

The BEC section tends to be easier for individuals who have experience working with others and are familiar with economic formulas/ratios. It’s recommended to study for about 50-70 hours to pass this exam.

If you are experienced in business writing, you will probably have an easier time with this section. Ohatra, if you’ve written many professional emails, memos, and audit papers, you should be fine of the writing section.

Who is BEC Hardest For?

The BEC has a reputation of being the easier section of the exam, but don’t underestimate it. It’s a BEAST. Candidates who blow BEC off tend to have the hardest time with it. Put some Respek on BEC!

This section is most difficult for people who don’t have a firm grasp on economic concepts and managerial accounting fundamentals. It’s also difficult for people who are good writers and have horrible grammar. Practice up!

Other CPA Exam Sections

Do You have the Right CPA Review Course?

Have you started studying yet or did you fail BEC once? Na izany na tsia, you’ll need a review course that actually works for you and matches your learning style. I compared all of the top courses side-by-side, so you can see which one is right for you. Zahao hahitanao azy.

Kenneth W. Boyd

Kenneth W. Boyd is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the author of several of the popular "For Dummies" books published by John Wiley & Sons including 'CPA Exam for Dummies' and 'Cost Accounting for Dummies'.

Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer sy College Profesora. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.