One of the most popular questions we hear from CPA candidates is, “which CPA-examen sectie should I take first?” That’s a great question. If you don’t already know what the four parts of the CPA exam are, you should read my post about the secties van de CPA-examen; it will give you more information about each all four sections. bijgevolg, this post will make a little more sense and help you decide which to choose.

Dat gezegd hebbende, picking the right CPA exam part to take first is a big decision. It could also mean the difference between passing the exam on time or having to pass parts multiple times. Let’s talk about some of the popular theories out there then I will give you my opinion.

Take the Hardest Section of the CPA Exam First

You’ve probably heard this from your professors, co-workers, or even your CPA exam review course. Tons of people give this advice. On the surface it sounds good, right? Get the hardest CPA exam part out of the way first. Then you won’t have to deal with it later. That makes sense, except it doesn’t consider how the Certified Public Accountant exam works as a whole.

All four sections of the exam have to be passed in an 18-maand testen venster. daarom, if you don’t pass all of them in 18 months, the first section that you studied so hard for will drop off and expire.

Dus laten we zeggen dat je een moeilijke tijd met de Verordeningen. Je besluit dat je gaat dat een knock-out eerste. Je studeert je best voor enkele maanden en neem het voor de eerste keer. helaas, Je krijgt de gevreesde 74 en je moet het weder te nemen. This time you get serious and double down on your CPA review. Je bestudeert twee keer zo hard en je pas met een score van 80.

Nu snel vooruit 17 months. You are getting ready to take your last section of the CPA examination. Je denkt dat het makkelijk zal zijn, dus je nauwelijks te studeren voor het en je faalt. Now there is no time to retake it and your REG credit gets dropped. Now you have to retake your most difficult section. Does that make sense? Wouldn’t you rather retake your easiest section instead?

Your First Section of the CPA Exam Should Be Your Most Confident Subject

Your first exam section should be the subject that you feel the most confident with. This is different for everyone. Bijvoorbeeld, if the last two classes you took in college were business law and federal taxation, REG would be a pretty obvious first choice. The material is still fresh in your mind and it shouldn’t take too much effort to study. You’d basically be reviewing all the financial management information you just learned during the last semester.

If you are fresh out of school, you should focus on the subject that comes most easily to you. Bijvoorbeeld, some people are just really good at memorizing legal information and weird tax codes. If you are one of these anomalies, REG would also be a good first choice for you. alternatief, experts in economic concepts will want to prioritize the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section as their first.

If you aren’t fresh out of school and you don’t have an innate ability to memorize financial accounting information, you could look to your work. Bijvoorbeeld, if you are an auditor, Auditing en Attest (AUD) would be a wise first choice.

The point is that your first CPA exam should be something that you feel confident with and will be somewhat easier for you to prepare for and pass.

Why Should You Take This Section First?

Zo, why am I right and all of the other people are wrong? There are a number of reasons why this is the best CPA strategy.

Eerste, if you take your strongest section first, you will most likely pass it. Je hebt geen idee wat dat doet met je motivatie en het zelfvertrouwen. When your score releases and you get that NASBA letter saying that you passed, alles wat je wilt doen is springen op en neer. It’s exciting and gives you the energy to walk into that Prometric center and take on the next set of multiple-choice questions.

Omgekeerd, als je nam de moeilijkste gedeelte eerste en mislukte deze, je zelfvertrouwen en motivatie zal worden verbrijzeld. Na het doorbrengen van al die tijd het bestuderen van dit moeilijke onderwerp terwijl je nog steeds niet. Je zal waarschijnlijk niet zo gemotiveerd om door te gaan worden.

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Tweede, we already talked about losing the credit from a passed exam. If you take your strongest section first and lose it, it won’t be fun, but it also won’t be devastating. You will have to retake a subject that you are familiar with. It should be pretty easy to retake it.

I hope this helps make up your mind. Believe me. It makes way more sense to start strong subjects. Once you pass the first section, you’ll be ready to take on the whole exam.

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, revisor, Voorbereider van de Belasting en Professor van de Universiteit. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.