Welcome to our comprehensive AICPA CPA Practice Exam guide.
This guide will provide everything you need to know about the AICPA CPA Practice Exam, including the exam formatting, question types, and overall content.
In this guide, we’ll discuss:
After reading this guide, you’ll gain a better understanding of what the AICPA Practice Exam entails and how to use it effectively.
So let’s dive straight into it!
The AICPA free Practice Exam details
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) offers CPA practice exams, otherwise known as Sample Tests, to help CPA Exam Candidates become familiar with exam-type questions and terminology before the actual exam.
Furthermore, AICPA offers students the opportunity to take the practice exams on software that mimics that used at the real test center, so you get comfortable with its format and functionality.
With that being said, let’s explore other vital details of the AICPA CPA practice exam that we think are noteworthy.
AICPA offers four practice exams for CPA candidates to try out.
Each of the practice exams consists of five Testlets.
The Testlets comprise three types of question formatting, including Multiple-Choice questions, Task-Based simulations, and Written communication tasks – as laid out on the actual CPA Exam.
Each practice exam focuses on one of the four CPA exam sections, which we’ll go into greater detail in the next section.
The AICPA Practice test format mimics that seen in the Prometric test center.
What we mean by this is that, firstly, you’ll be exposed to the same resources that you can expect to see during the task-based simulation questions in the actual exam.
This includes authoritative literature such as the AICPA Professional standards (accessible in the AUD section), Tax Code (accessible in the REG section), and FASB Codification (accessible in the FAR section).
Also, while taking the practice exam, you’ll get limited access to Microsoft excel and word, just as programmed in the actual CPA exam.
Finally, The AICPA practice exams also provide answers to model responses, which are beneficial when correcting your mistakes.
Unfortunately, you won’t get any scoring after attempting a test, so assessing your exam readiness may be a little challenging.
Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)
The AICPA multiple-choice questions follow a structure similar to the actual CPA exam: one question with four possible answers.
Throughout each of the four practice exams or as referred by AICPA, Sample Tests, multiple-choice questions carry about a 50% weighting.
Exam candidates should expect the multiple questions on both the practice exam and actual CPA exam to test their thinking ability as answers are not as straightforward as they seem.
Task-based simulations in the AICPA practice exam are formulated quite similarly to the actual CPA exam.
Like the actual CPA Exam, the questions will provide you with scenarios in which you’ll need to find solutions.
The AICPA practice exams will require you to complete anywhere between three to as many as six tasks using the information AICPA provides.
Written communications tasks
Based on a scenario, or a particular question, the AICPA Practice exam will test your ability to answer long-form questions that usually require a response as an essay or memo.
Fortunately, if you are not a fan of writing essays, Written communications are only tested in the Business environment and concepts sample tests.
The next section reviews the four different sample tests in great detail.
Content of Sample Tests for each CPA Exam Section
With AICPA acknowledging the importance of exam practice tests in preparing for the actual CPA Exam, they ensured to provide CPA exam candidates with shorter versions of each exam section to obtain various benefits, such as better memorization and greater confidence.
The sample tests are often modified to ensure their content aligns with new laws and regulations or changes to accounting and auditing standards.
Below we’ve provided you with a brief overview of what to expect in the AICPA CPA Exam Sample tests currently.
AUD Sample Test
The Auditing and Attestation sample test will help you familiarize yourself with the actual exam software úsed in a Prometric test center.
The question’s formulation stems from the content tested in the real exam.
If you are familiar with the AICPA Blueprints, you might be aware that you will get assessed in Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Response or Ethics, Professional Responsibilities, and General Principles in the sample test.
The AUD Test consists of ten multiple-choice questions, six task-based simulations, and no written communications tasks.
BEC Sample Test
The Business Environments and Concepts Sample test will most likely test you in topics such as Financial Management, Corporate Governance, Information Technology, Operations Management, and Economics Concepts and Analysis.
Unlike the AUD Sample test, the BEC Sample test comprises ten multiple-choice questions, three task-based simulations, and two written communications tasks.
The BEC Sample test should take about two hours to complete; that’s almost half the time to complete this section in the actual CPA Exam.
FAR Sample Test
As we’ve already established, taking any sample test will help you become more familiar with the actual test screen flow.
However, taking the Financial Accounting and Reporting Sample Test will also help you become comfortable with the content tested in the FAR section of the CPA Exam.
The content assessed in the FAR Sample test includes state and local governments, select transactions, Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting, and Financial Reporting, and Select Financial Statement Accounts, probably the bulk of the content tested.
This test consists of five Testlets that should take you about 2 hours to complete.
REG Sample Test
Finally, the REG Sample test helps CPA Exam Candidates become confident with the content tested in the Regulations part of the CPA Exam.
The content includes critical federal taxation aspects outlined by the AICPA Blueprint, Business law, ethics, and professional responsibilities.
The REG Sample test comprises ten multiple-choice sample questions and six task-based simulations, which should also take about 2 hours to complete.
Now that you are familiar with the content under the four exam sections in the AICPA CPA practice exams, let’s take a look at how to prepare yourself to take the AICPA Practice Exam to ensure you get the most out of it.
What to do before attempting the AICPA practice exam?
Accessing the AICPA practice exam, and thinking of attempting it without any prior preparation, is setting yourself for failure.
You’d first want to review AICPA’s regulations and recommendations regarding using their various tools and exam software so that you have a seamless experience.
Also, you’d want to first go over the magnitudes of content in the CPA Exam Blueprints before attempting a CPA prep exam.
So, from reviewing study content first to familiarizing yourself with the AICPA, regulations, and recommendations, below, we list everything you need to do before attempting the AICPA practice exam.
Consider your study options
The most common way to study for any CPA Exam is to undergo a CPA review course that is expertly created to cover the concepts and topics tested in the actual CPA Exam.
However, this is not the only way to prepare for the exam.
You could also enroll yourself in a CPA study workshop program, which would typically go over the CPA Exam format, sample questions and answers, and other CPA Exam-related information.
Finally, you could opt to study for the test on your own by purchasing a relevant study guide and other self-study tools like flashcards to prepare for the exam.
Just make sure that AICPA accredits all the self-study resources you acquire.
Create a Study Plan
Once you decide on a study method, it’s time to create a study plan.
You’ll need to determine the day you’re scheduled to write the actual CPA Exam and then work around that to schedule study sessions.
Also, make sure that you allocate time at least two weeks before the exam to go over AICPA’S practice exams, familiarizing yourself with each section of the CPA exam.
As discussed earlier in this section, attempting CPA practice questions before you’ve gotten into the rhythm of studying the CPA content, and familiarizing yourself with some of it, will waste a lot of your valuable time.
Some past students may endorse pre-assessments as a way of testing how much you know before you begin with any of the studying processes.
However, many experts recommend that you study the CPA content first and then take some practice exams to deduce what parts of the CPA knowledge you need to focus on.
Watch the AICPA tutorial videos
After studying, and when you feel ready to take the AICPA Practice Exams, you need to head on to the AICPA website and watch their Practice tests tutorial videos first.
There are four tutorial videos, each focused on teaching a different function or tool that you will use in the sample exam software and the real deal exam.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the content in the videos, you should be ready to take the AICPA sample tests.
With obtaining a certification as a Public Accountant being a costly process, it’s great to know that AICPA offers their exam candidates free study materials like the practice exam to ensure they pass the actual exam without the added costs.
In addition to being free, the AICPA practice exams are pretty similar to the actual exam, so there’s no better way to prepare for the big exam day.
By reading this guide, we hope that you’ll be inclined to use the AICPA practice exams as a resource, ensuring you pass your exam on your first attempt.