- AUD is a theoretical subject. So, reading the modules or watching lectures is extremely important. I was more comfortable watching lectures, so I watched all the lectures twice during my studies. I watched lectures for topics like Sampling, Fraud, Audit Risk, SSAE, & SSARS engagements more than twice.
- SSAE, SSARS and CPA Independence rules- You need to read these chapters and understand the concepts thoroughly. These parts are completely different from what you study in your CA (ICAI) course (if you are studying/ have studied CA course).
- Understand all Audit, Review, Preparation and Compilation reports. If possible, write down para headings of each report and the required modifications for that particular report. But the understanding of the differences in the reports is a MUST. They test this conceptual understanding in the actual exam.
- Many people find it difficult to grasp concepts like Revenue, Expenditures, Cash and Inventory Cycles. It was not difficult for me, as I have worked on both sides. (In a company and as an auditor). But if you want to master these cycles, you will have to place yourself (in your mind) in the position of an auditor/Company personnel and ask yourself what you would have done in that particular situation and what general practice is. Practicing MCQs can give you a better understanding of these cycles. Also, read explanations of wrong answers.
- Once you finish a particular unit (e.g. A1, A2) take unlimited practice tests to understand what you have retained. Work on that. Once you finish all units, then start with daily unlimited practice tests with all chapters. Becker has a unique feature, i.e. Personalized practice tests which focus on your weak areas. Use this feature and work on your weak areas.
- FAR is a voluminous subject. Patience and consistent efforts are the keys to this subject. And every module is important to study. Don’t leave any module.
- Apply the same strategy as suggested in AUD. Take unlimited practice tests after completion of each unit (e.g. F1, F2…) and work on weak areas. After completion of all units start with unlimited practice tests/personalized practice tests.
- Many people (including me) find units F4, F5, F6, F7 challenging. There is so much to understand and remember. But consistent practice is the key to this. I applied the same strategy. I watched lectures for all these units at least 3 times. I worked on my weak areas. Once the concepts are clear, you can solve any MCQs related to that topic.
- Governmental and NFP are areas of concern for many. For NFP understanding revenue recognition concepts, contribution classifications (with restriction and without restriction), and reclassifications is the key. They test heavily on these concepts.
- For governmental chapters, you need to read the chapters in depth. Don’t just watch governmental lectures but read pre-annotated books because in some areas Gearty just runs through the lectures (in my honest opinion). And there is always an option of watching Sripal Sir’s lectures which will clarify concepts, as Sripal sir says that for better understanding you need to write down JVs. For the Government, it is a MUST because they tested me heavily on the journal entries.
GENERAL EXAM ADVICE
- SIMS in the course software and SIMS in the exam are different. One should not complain about this because this exam is framed to understand your conceptual knowledge and one should not just memorize the answers. They should work on their conceptual understanding which is what is tested in the SIMS. If you have understood the concepts, it will not be difficult to solve SIMS.
- DON’T memorize the MCQs. The MCQs in the exam are framed differently. You will end up being in trouble if you do so. I have seen people complaining in FB CPA groups that they had trouble answering questions because questions were different from those that were given in Becker. So, if you are clear with your concepts, you can easily answer exam MCQs. Some exam questions are really curveballs, but those can be pre-test questions. You need to keep your momentum in the exam even if you come across such questions.
- For Authoritative SIMS, you need to practice authoritative literature provided by AICPA for free after you get your NTS. It will give you a fair idea for searching for sections.
- Schedule your exam only when you are fully confident and mentally prepared for the exam. I am lucky that I got two extra months of preparation due to lockdown.
- If the exam centre is in your city, there is no issue. But if you are going there from a different location plan accordingly. I had many issues during my exam because Prometric is approx. 4.5 hours far from my place. It can affect your exam. I am sure I could have gotten more marks in each subject if I had the privilege of having Prometric in the same city where I live—travelling before the exam exhauss you. The lodging facilities are also not functional these days due to Covid-19.
HOPE IT IS HELPFUL TO OTHER CPA ASPIRANTS.
Simandhar Education is India’s No.1 training provider for US CPA, US CMA, Enrolled Agent IFRS and HRCI professional courses.