Be a Better Test Taker

This week’s Forum focuses on answering questions you have never seen and the value of learning from your mistakes.

Throughout your exam preparation, it is important to practice answering questions that you are not confident of the answers.

The CPA exam is very different and very difficult compared to other exams you have taken. Because of the large volume of tested topics, you have to adjust to answering questions that appear very difficult or that you have never seen before. These questions often require you to exercise an important question answering technique: educated guessing. Since you will see questions you have never seen before on the exam, it is imperative you do not memorize questions during your review. You need to pick the best answer choice and learn from your mistakes.

Learning from questions you answer incorrectly is very important. This process will help you identify the areas on which you should focus, as well as make you a better test taker. You must analyze and understand why you chose the wrong answer, as well as why the correct answer indicated is correct. This will help you learn how to avoid the same types of errors in the future. This study technique will prove to be the difference between passing and failing for many CPA candidates and is an essential step in the Gleim system.

We believe you learn more from each question you answer incorrectly, than questions you answer correctly.

Reasons for missing questions include:

1. Misreading the requirements
2. Failing to understand what is required
3. Making a math error
4. Applying the wrong rule or concept
5. Being distracted by one or more of the answers
6. Incorrectly eliminating answers from consideration
7. Lacking any knowledge of the topic tested
8. Employing bad intuition when guessing