Certified: Halfway done

Written on May 03, 2018

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

Certified follows a group of aspiring CPAs while they prepare for and take the various sections of the CPA exam. We started following our candidates in May 2016, and this is part four of Janeen Smith-Hughes’ story. Read the first three parts here.

Two done, two to go.

Janeen Smith-Hughes took Business Environment and Concepts exam (BEC), and her experience this time was slightly different from Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR).

janeen-smith-hughes“I did really well or I did so bad that I think I did well,” she said with a laugh. “So, I either did really well or I got a zero.”

BEC is three hours long with three testlets, and is meant to test the understanding of business concepts and the significance of a CPA’s professional duties and responsibilities within the larger context of the business environment. Out of all the sections, BEC has the highest percentage of multiple-choice questions making up the entirety of the test.

Smith-Hughes passed FAR with a score of 81, better than she expected. The AICPA said 45.55% of 2016 exam takers passed FAR. Because she expected to either narrowly pass or narrowly fail, she was nervous checking her score. She said people from her MAcc class are beginning to announce the various sections they’ve passed on social media, and everyone so far has passed FAR.

Now that she has passed one section, per board regulations, Smith-Hughes now has 18 months left to pass the remaining three sections. Now she is focusing on Regulation, which she will take in August.

“REG is a little more complicated. It’s a lot more content,” she said. “The law stuff is so conceptually foreign. So, it’s a lot of memorization, which I’ve told you before I’m not good at.”

She said she’s not sure what the task-based simulations are going to look like because she hasn’t gotten that far yet in her studying.

“If they ask a bunch of law questions on task-based simulations, it’s going to be tough,” she said.

Next time: Janeen’s philosophy on surviving the CPA exam

Sponsored by MDS CPA Review and Yaeger CPA Review.

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