CPA Exam Practice Tests

A crucial part of any CPA Review test prep is to take a CPA practice exam.  Being able to gain exposure to the tools and features of the exam will help alleviate exam anxiousness.  With Surgent CPA Review, candidates are able to “experience” the exam before exam day.  Set up just like the actual CPA Exam, Surgent’s CPA practice exam provide candidates with the experience to what it feels like to take a high-stakes exam, like the CPA Exam.

What’s Inside the CPA Exam?

The CPA Exam is comprised of four sections: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG), and Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). Each section is made up of multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations, except BEC which also includes three written communication tasks. CPA candidates have four hours to complete each section, for a total of 16 hours to complete the entire exam. Each section must be passed within an 18-month window beginning as soon as the candidate passes the first exam with a score of 75 or more.

Making the Most of CPA Exam Practice Tests

CPA practice tests are essential to comprehensive CPA review. Gaining exposure to the tools and features you can expect to see on exam day will help to alleviate anxiousness and eliminate questions about the exam interface. The practice test is timed to match the actual CPA Exam. By taking note of the timing during the practice test, you can prepare for the amount of time you’ll have during the actual exam. Plus, many of the questions in the practice tests are prior exam questions. Familiarize yourself with prior exam questions in exam-like conditions to ensure that you’re adequately prepared come exam day.

Get to Know the CPA Exam Testing Interface

If you want to avoid unwanted surprises on exam day, it’s important to know your way around the CPA Exam testing interface before setting foot in the Prometric test center. Knowing what resources are available to you and where to find them in the interface can help you focus more on solving questions rather than wasting time searching for the tools you need. Most of the tools you need will be in the toolbar at the top of your screen, like the calculator, Excel, overview, help, and Authoritative Literature buttons.


The CPA Exam includes Excel as a tool that you can use to help solve both multiple-choice questions and simulations. The integration of Excel into the CPA Exam goes along with the addition of data analytics components to the exam. To keep up with the changes in the accounting and finance industries, the AICPA began to add data analytics components to the CPA Exam to better reflect tasks information that CPAs may need to perform in their future careers. As companies amass larger and larger quantities of data every day, employing accountants that know how to synthesize this data and take away meaningful insights has become paramount.

Authoritative Literature

On simulation questions, you have access to Authoritative Literature resources, including AICPA Professional Standards, state auditing standards, Internal Revenue Code, and FASB Codification. These resources are available to you if you need guidance while answering a sim. For instance, if you forget exactly how land improvements are accounted for, you can search through Authoritative Literature to find guidance on land improvements. Authoritative Literature is not meant to be a substitute for studying, and it is recommended that you only use Authoritative Literature to complete the research portion of the sims and to check any questions you may have about specific regulations when answering sims.

Sample CPA Exam Questions and Answers

Auditing and Attestation

Which of the following characteristics most likely would heighten an auditor’s concern about the risk of material misstatements arising from fraudulent financial reporting?

  1. The entity’s industry is experiencing declining customer demand.
  2. Employees who handle cash receipts are not bonded.
  3. Bank reconciliations usually include in-transit deposits.
  4. Equipment is often sold at a loss before being fully depreciated.

A CPA has been requested by a former audit client to reissue the auditor’s report for the prior period. Before reissuing the report, the CPA should:

  1. Obtain a letter of representation from the former client’s management.
  2. Make inquiries of the former client’s attorney regarding pending litigation.
  3. Review the former client’s records to verify its compliance with debt and loan agreements.
  4. Consider whether there is substantial doubt about the former client’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Business Environment and Concepts

Which of the following decision-making techniques is most useful to a manager who is attempting to increase the profitability of an area, but who has a problem with limited capacity for operation of a critical machine?

  1. Theory of constraints.
  2. Economic order quantity.
  3. Balanced scorecard.
  4. Cost-variance analysis.

A project should be accepted if the present value of cash flows from the project is:

  1. Equal to the initial investment.
  2. Less than the initial investment.
  3. Greater than the initial investment.
  4. Equal to zero.

Financial Accounting and Reporting

Which of the following is considered part of the required supplementary information for general purpose external financial reporting of a local government?

  1. Fund financial statement.
  2. Combining nonmajor fund statement.
  3. Notes to the financial statements.
  4. Management discussion and analysis.

Which of the following methods should be used to account for research and development costs with no alternative future use?

  1. Charging all costs to expense when incurred.
  2. Capitalizing all costs when incurred.
  3. Capitalizing costs specified by management and charging all other costs to expense.
  4. Accumulating all costs in a separate component of stockholders’ equity until the existence of future benefits can be determined.


Greene is the sole shareholder of Seagull, a calendar-year S corporation. Greene’s basis at the beginning of the year is $15,000. Seagull reported an ordinary loss of $5,000 and $2,000 of municipal bond interest for the year. Seagull distributed cash of $6,000 to Greene on November 1. What is Greene’s basis in Seagull at the end of the year?

  1. $4,000
  2. $6,000
  3. $14,000
  4. $15,000

A spouse died on December 31, year 1. The couple had no dependents. What should be the filing status of the surviving spouse in year 2?

  1. Single.
  2. Married filing jointly.
  3. Qualifying widow(er).
  4. Head of household.

AICPA Practice Exam

The AICPA offers a sample test on their website so that you can familiarize yourself with the testing screens you’ll see at the Prometric test center. Each sample testlet has 10 multiple-choice practice questions and six task-based simulations, except for BEC which has three task-based simulations and two written communication tasks. While these sample testlets serve as a good metric for what to expect the CPA Exam to look like, the AICPA warns that you will not receive a final score and your performance does not indicate exam readiness.

If you’re looking for a metric of exam readiness, Surgent CPA Review provides you with your ReadySCORE. This diagnostic tool weighs your progress throughout the CPA review course against actual CPA Exam weightings and shows your performance by content area, topic, and question type. Plus, ReadySCORE is constantly recalibrating to reflect how close you are to exam-ready.

Practice On-The-Go

If you can’t find the time to sit down and try out the AICPA’s sample tests, try studying with flashcards on-the-go. Surgent CPA Review offers mobile-friendly flashcards with every CPA Exam review course. This makes it easy to study in downtime, like while waiting in line for coffee or during your lunch break, and it’s an easy way to accumulate study hours.

CPA Exam Practice Tests that Let You Know When You’re Ready

No matter how many times you get the correct answers on a practice test, it can still feel like you aren’t ready to sit for the CPA Exam. For that reason, Surgent CPA Review created ReadySCORE, a unique exam-readiness metric that tells you what you would score if you sat for the CPA Exam at your current knowledge level. ReadySCORE is part of a larger diagnostic report that tells you where you need to focus your studies to be successful on the CPA Exam.

Sick of feeling like you won’t pass the CPA Exam? Try Surgent CPA Review for free today!