bec-cpa-exam-sectionle BEC suʻega CPA 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. O lea la, 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, tului, deflation, and foreign exchange rates. E le gata i, 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 galuega-faavae 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
Simulations galuega-faavae04
Written Communication33

BEC Exam Section Format

TestletsQuestion Sets
Testlet #131 Multiple-Choice Questions
Testlet #231 Multiple-Choice Questions
Testlet #32 Simulations galuega-faavae
Testlet #42 Simulations galuega-faavae
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. Ae peitai, 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. Pe 'a uma lena, 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. fesili tele-filifiliga ua na tuuina aitalafu pe saʻo, tulaga faatauaina o le saʻo ituaiga tali mai maualuga e maualalo, ma maualalo tagata o le taua itiiti, e faalagolago i luga o le faigata o le aiga o le fesili fesili. 50 o le 62 fesili o le galuega faatino ao totoe 12 ua muai suega.

BEC CPA Tip: Ina ua uma ona gauai atu o outou MCQ testlet, te le manatu e uiga i se isi. E le faia e se lelei e tali lona lua mate lea ua uma ona e tuuina atu ma e le mafai ona suia.

Simulations galuega-faavae

E toafia Simulations faavae-Komiti BEC o loo i ai? There are 4 task-based simulations with 3 work communication (WCs) based tasks. 3 of the task-based simulations are operational and 1 is pretest. For the WCs, 2 are operational and 1 is pretest.

Testlet and Simulation Time Length

Candidates can allocate their time the way they see fit, but it is suggested that about 30-40 minutes be allocated per MCQ testlet and around 2 hours for the simulations. A simulation commonly calls for candidates to complete up to 7 galuega e faaaoga ai faamatalaga ua tuuina atu ao a tusia fesootaiga faatupu ua fatuina ai se savali o se sui tauva faaaogaina o le gagana tausisia, upu ma le kalama saʻo ma faapolofesa.

Fuaina faatulaga ma talafeagai lou tomai lou taimi e tusa.

E faapefea e le fuaiupu suʻega BEC CPA Weighted ma togiina?

O le faitauina MCQs mo le afa o se togi suega-takers. O le TBSs ma le vaega o fesootaiga galuega faia taitasi i luga o le isi afa o le vasega. ua togiina sili ona simulations ma le Galuega Fesootaiga e ala i le komepiuta i le polokalama faapitoa i luga o le faavae o fausaga po o le ala o loo faatulagaina manatu, atinae po o le faaaogaina e le tagata ma faamatalaga molimau ma faataitaiga, ma faaupuga po o le lelei o le gagana Peretania i se mataupu pisinisi e faaaoga e pei o mataitusi, punituasia, ma sipelaga.

bec-fuaiupu-cpa-suʻega-ata faataatia

MCQ ma faatupu Pasene Togiina

O le a Pasene o le Vasega o loo Tuuina e MCQ ma Simulations? i le faapuupuuga, 50% o le vasega e sau mai le MCQs, 35% e sau mai le TBSs, ma le 15% remaining belongs to the WCs.

Exam Section2016 CPA Exam2017 CPA Exam
40% TBS
50% MCQ
50% TBS
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 pasene. It has consistently risen since then to a peak of 50 percent in 2015.

This trend either means this section is getting easier or candidates are better prepared for the writing portion than they have been in the past. This info is published by the AICPA.

BEC CPA Exam Study Tips

Don’t Underestimate BEC: Too many candidates go into their BEC exam and hear that it’s easy, so they don’t treat it with respect. Don’t make this mistake. BEC is still a beast and you still have to properly prepare for it. Put the time in!

Work On Your 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. Alu e ala i au suesuega taiala ma vaai i le autu suʻega latou pepa faataga o le suesueina. Tusi mataupu faataitaiga e uiga i nei autu. manatua, e lei fuafuaina le vaega tusia oe e le vasega i luga o lou malamalama i le mataupu. E le fuafuaina e le vasega ia te oe i lou fesootaiga tomai ma le agavaa e tusi manatu coherently. E mafai ona e maua ai le manatu e matuai sese lava ma e faia pea foi i ai pe afai e mafai ona e tusia.

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. foʻi, brush up on your Econ 101 ma 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. O iinei se mataupu atoa e uiga i lea suʻega CPA e muamua.

E tatau ona ou ave BEC Mulimuli?

Talu BEC e le fesootaʻi vavalalata i le isi suega, o le a avea lenei mea o se suʻega lelei e mulimuli. E ui lava e le o se suega faigofie e ala i so o se auala, le tele o sui tauva te fai atu ua le faigofie ai o le fa. O lea la,, o le a avea lenei mea o se auala lelei e afifi i luga o outou malaga suʻega CPA. Faauma mai malosi ma BEC. 🙂

O BEC aupito faigofie mo?

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. O lesi foi mea, 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? Po o auala, 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. Siaki atu.

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, suetusi, Lafoga Preparer ma Polofesa College. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.