Most people spend all of their time studying the content for the CPA exam. However, when exam day comes they all seem to make the same CPA exam mistakes. Their CPA exam taking strategy is not in line with the modern exam.

Here are the common CPA exam mistakes I’ve noticed over the years:

  1. Can’t move on. Don’t linger on a question that you do not understand. Sometimes I think CPA exam participants are trying to impress their boss with a perfect score. It doesn’t exist. You have to develop the ability to move on from the difficult questions. It is a cardinal sin to not have enough time for the other questions because you lingered on one difficult CPA question.
  2. Simulations – are the exception. You do not “move on” from simulation questions. You must fill in something in the CPA exam simulation. It’s a cardinal sin to not answer these questions completely.
  3. Don’t be shocked when the AICPA questions are different than your CPA practice questions. Some CPA review providers have academics who write the questions. They have a totally different phrasing than what you see on exam day.
  4. You need some food energy. Your brain will be fried as you write the exam. You need food and water. However, you need the right type of food during the exam. You also need to eat at the right time before the exam. Do not eat a big breakfast or lunch and then feel tired. In addition, exam day is not a day to watch your carbs.

” For the best breakfast, include slow-release carbohydrates, such as whole rolled porridge oats, whole grain bread or low-sugar muesli, as they provide slow-release energy. Add a protein food, such as milk, yogurt or eggs, to keep you feeling full for longer. “

5. Drink water. A recent study found that test takers who drink water score 5% higher than their dehydrated competitors. You can be in the test room for 4 hours. You need some water. A lot of students are scared about drinking because they do not want to go to the bathroom during the exam. For most students, you are not that time constrained. You have room to take your breaks.

To pass the CPA exam you need to acquire the knowledge. However, 10% of the exam are smart test taking strategies and managing your own psychology and nerves. Follow these tips and don’t make the same CPA exam mistakes as the others.