One of the things that can cause CPA test takers some stress is time remaining on the clock. A lot of CPA exam candidates breeze through a section and have almost an hour left on the clock. This is especially true for AUD and REG because these sections do not involve a lot of calculations.

My strategy for tackling the MCQ’s is to answer the easiest questions first. Those are the questions where the answer just pops out at you. It seems like the answer is something that you have already read in the study text. I next move on to simple MCQ’s that have a little bit of calculation. These questions usually involve one calculation that can be done in less than 30 seconds. As soon as you get stuck even a little bit, you move on to the next question. The purpose of moving through the easy questions first is to up your confidence level. I have heard of many students that get bogged down in questions early on and start to panic.

Finally, I leave the hard questions until last. This tactic ensures that I never run out of time for the test. This is really only something that you have to worry about for the BEC exam. Generally, most CPA students do not struggle with time on the exam.

Should you just submit your testlet if you’re finished early?

You should always go back to double check the testlet if you have time. I’d estimate that 1% of questions are answered incorrectly due to careless test taking. It doesn’t sound like much but it could be the difference between a pass and a fail.

For the BEC exam, test takers usually time out. This is the exam that seems to cause the most time stress. This is the exam where you need to be most tactical with your approach. You don’t want to get down to five minutes where you need to start guessing.