When it comes to CPA Exam scoring, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) gives equal weight to Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Task-Based Simulations. While task-based simulations or sims are a significant part of the CPA exam section, mastering sims is crucial to passing the exam.

Many candidates overlook the importance of task-based simulations and make some common mistakes. Simandhar Education, in this article, listed 5 mistakes CPA exam candidates make in the simulations section and strategies to avoid them.

1. Not practicing simulations

Solving simulations take longer than answering MCQs, which can be overwhelming while preparing for the CPA exam. In addition, when candidates study for simulations, they often depend on shortcuts, making them less prepared for the actual CPA examination. Therefore, you should practice several simulations and complete CPA Exam Review Courses to prepare well.

2. Not following the directions.

Each simulation direction will clearly explain what needs to be done in that specific sim. Unfortunately, most candidates unfollow the directions and miss crucial steps. For example, if you are doing certain journal entries and there is a blank where no entry is needed, the instructions will state whether to enter “0” or leave the entry completely blank. 

You may lose points by not following specific directions and putting a blank where a “0” should be. So, take time to read the directions of every CPA Exam question to achieve a good score.

3. Not preparing for research simulations.

CPA exam candidates should research questions, but they do not spend much time on research questions in preparation. However, if candidates are good at finding the answers in the literature, they can knock out this simulation in five-ten minutes. So, if your research question is in testlet five, wait till last as it won’t take long as the other sims.

4. Spending more time on a single question

During the CPA examination, it’s common for candidates to get stuck with the questions. However, they may run out of time if they spend too much time on a single question. If you are unsure of one or more answers and it’s time to move on to the next testlet, guess the answer. Start answering from easiest to hardest, so you can have more time for the difficult questions. 

5. Stressing over simulations

The CPA exam is challenging for everyone, and the simulations are especially tough and stressful than MCQs. However, candidates can earn partial credit on simulations, so don’t panic if you don’t know every single answer in a specific sim. Just answer the questions you know, use the literature for ones you don’t, and guess where you don’t have time to look it up. 

When you get to the task-based simulations portion of your CPA exam, remember these strategies.

Have any queries on how to crack simulations easily? Reach us at [email protected]

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