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 sections of the CPA exam; it will give you more information about each all four sections. Kwa hiyo, this post will make a little more sense and help you decide which to choose.

That being said, 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, haki? 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. Kwa hiyo, 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.

So let’s say you have a difficult time with Regulations. You decide that you are going to knock that one out first. You study your hardest for several months and take it for the first time. Kwa bahati mbaya, you get the dreaded 74 and you have to take it again. This time you get serious and double down on your CPA review. Unasoma mara mbili kwa bidii na wewe kupita kwa alama ya 80.

Sasa kufunga-mbele 17 months. You are getting ready to take your last section of the CPA examination. Unafikiri ni kwenda kuwa rahisi, hivyo vigumu kujifunza kwa hilo na kushindwa. Sasa hakuna muda wa kujaza upya na REG yako ya mkopo anapata imeshuka. Sasa una kujaza upya sehemu yako mgumu sana. Je, hiyo mantiki? 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. For instance, 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. For instance, 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. Vinginevyo, 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. For instance, if you are an auditor, Ukaguzi na Uthibitishaji (AUD) would be a wise first choice.

uhakika ni kwamba CPA yako ya kwanza ya mtihani lazima kitu ambacho wewe kujisikia ujasiri na na itakuwa rahisi kwa kiasi fulani kwa ajili ya wewe kujiandaa kwa ajili ya na kupita.

Kwa nini You Chukua hii Sehemu ya Kwanza?

Hivyo, kwa nini niko sahihi na wote wa watu wengine ni sawa? Kuna idadi ya sababu kwa nini hii ni bora CPA mkakati.

kwanza, kama wewe kuchukua sehemu yako nguvu kwanza, utakuwa na uwezo mkubwa kupita. Unaweza kuwa na wazo nini kwamba hana motisha wako na kujiamini. Wakati alama yako releases na kupata kwamba NASBA barua akisema kuwa ulipitia, 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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Second, 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, Mkaguzi, Kodi preparer na Chuo Profesa. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.