5 common myths about the CPA Exam

By Jack Castonguay

If you’re preparing for the CPA Exam, you already know that you need to devote considerable study hours to pass the exam. You might have heard stories from friends or colleagues about how difficult certain parts of the exam are, or perhaps you’re concerned about the changes coming to the CPA Exam as part of the CPA Evolution.  But don’t fret. We are here to dispel some common CPA Exam myths about the CPA Exam and provide you with some tips and tricks to make sure you’re ready to conquer the exam and earn your CPA credential.  

Myth #1: I should choose a provider with the most multiple-choice questions (MCQs). 

That depends. Do you plan on answering every single multiple-choice question in a course? 

Let’s break down the volume. A passing exam pace is close to 1 minute per question. That means, for a provider that has 7,000 questions, you’ll spend more than 116 hours on the questions alone. That’s assuming you’re working at an optimal pace from the start and only seeing each question once. 

If you don’t have that sort of time on your hands, it might make sense to not prioritize the raw number of MCQs in your decision. At a certain point, the volume of questions could become overwhelming. 

Myth #2: All providers use the same technology. 

False. While most providers claim they use “adaptive technology” to prioritize which material you learn, you’ll still likely start at the beginning and review all material. 

To save you time and boost retention, Surgent finds your knowledge gaps. Instead of starting from square one regardless of your background and knowledge, A.S.A.P.® Technology works to serve you content that will close the loop. 

Better still, you’ll see small amounts of older material mixed in as you go. This ensures what you’ve already learned remains fresh through your studies 

Myth #3: The more hours I study for the CPA Exam, the better. 

False. Study smarter, not longer. The more time you take to study, the more likely you are to forget material or burn out. Studying smart and efficiently is the key to passing the CPA Exam on the first try. 

In addition to time-saving A.S.A.P. Technology, Surgent uses a ReadySCORE™ exam-readiness metric to predict your score. Since it updates in real time as you progress, you’ll know exactly when you’re ready to stop studying and schedule your exam. Prevent over-studying and feel confident you’ll pass the CPA Exam on your exam day. 

Myth #4: Most people fail due to poor understanding of material.  

False. Understanding exam material is only part of the battle. Many people fail the CPA Exam due to test-taking fatigue, lack of or inefficient strategy, or being overwhelmed by the amount of material they need to learn. 

You might consider a coach to develop your testing skills. Surgent’s exam coaches guide you through the study process and develop a personalized strategy to prepare you for exam day. Learn how to answer questions smarter, build your testing stamina and drastically increase your odds of passing the CPA Exam. 

Myth #5: If I fail one part of the CPA Exam now, I have to retake all sections of the exam once the CPA Evolution goes into effect in 2024. 

False. You do not lose sections of the CPA Exam that you passed prior to the CPA Evolution model taking effect. However, the 18-month window still applies so you still need to pass all four parts of the CPA Exam within 18 months of passing your first section – whether it occurred before or after the launch of the CPA Evolution. 

Find the right exam review partner 

Now that we have quelled your fears and anxieties about the CPA Exam, you should feel confident that you’re ready to prepare for the CPA Exam. Finding the right exam review provider to help you pass the CPA Exam will ensure that you’re on the path to success. 

Surgent CPA Review uses industry-leading adaptive learning technology to create a personalized study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses.  

Here’s what you get when you sign up for Surgent CPA Review: 

  • A.S.A.P.® Technology: Adaptive learning assesses what you know and need to know, so you spend your time shoring up weaknesses to help prepare you for the CPA Exam faster than other exam review providers.  
  • ReadySCORE™: No guesswork on when you’re ready to take the exam. ReadySCORE predicts your likely score if you were to sit for the test that day.  
  • Daily Surge: Your time matters. What should you study today? Daily Surge cards appear every time you log in, suggesting the topics you need to cover to stay on track.   
  • MyMCQ™: Surgent’s customized multiple-choice practice questions push you to learn more challenging concepts with each round and don’t waste your time making you study questions you have already mastered.    
  • Full access until you pass: Surgent CPA Review materials, including free content and software updates, are there for you every step of the way.  
  • Unlimited practice exams: Relieve that test anxiety by taking practice exams as often as you like — included in every package.  
  • 100% pass guarantee: Surgent’s pass guarantee means you don’t lose your prep course investment if something goes wrong.   

Ready to learn more? 

Surgent CPA Review provides the tools and resources you need to conquer the CPA Exam and realize your dream of becoming a CPA. Sign up for a free trial of Surgent CPA Review today!