One of the most popular questions we hear from CPA candidates is, “which CPA exam section 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 dikarolo tsa tlhatlhobo CPA; it will give you more information about each all four sections. Ka lebaka leo, this post will make a little more sense and help you decide which to choose.
Hore buuoang, 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, le letona? 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-month testing window. Ka lebaka leo,, 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.
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Kahoo, a re re u na le nako e thata ka Melawana. U etsa qeto ea hore u tla ho kokota hore a le mong ho ba pele. U ithuta thata ka ho fetisisa ya hao bakeng sa likhoeli tse 'maloa' me a nka e ka lekhetlo la pele. Ka bomalimabe, o fumana ho tšaba 74 'me u lokela ho nka hape. This time you get serious and double down on your CPA review. U ithuta habeli ka thata 'me u feta e ka lintlha tsa 80.
Hona joale ho itima lijo-pele 17 months. You are getting ready to take your last section of the CPA examination. U nahana hore lintho li tla ba bonolo, so you barely study for it and you fail. 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. Mohlala, 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. Mohlala, 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. Ho seng jwalo, 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. Mohlala, if you are an auditor, Ho boloka libuka le Attestation (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?
kahoo, 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.
Pele, if you take your strongest section first, you will most likely pass it. You have no idea what that does to your motivation and confidence. When your score releases and you get that NASBA letter saying that you passed, all you will want to do is jump up and down. It’s exciting and gives you the energy to walk into that Prometric center and take on the next set of multiple-choice questions.
Conversely, if you took the most difficult section first and failed it, your confidence and motivation will be shattered. After spending all that time studying this difficult topic and you still fail. You most likely won’t be that motivated to continue.
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ea bobeli, 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.