CPA BEC Written Communication Answering Strategies

cpa bec written communications

The least common type of question on the CPA Exam is the Written Communication Task (WCs). WCs aren’t seen much because they only appear in the BEC CPA Exam section. However, WCs contribute 15% of your BEC score, so you shouldn’t blow them off. Instead, you should learn about WCs and apply these CPA BEC Written Communications answering strategies to give you every advantage on the BEC exam.

CPA BEC Written Communications Background Info

The fifth and final testlet of BEC includes three WCs, two of which will be graded and one of which will be a pre-test question. You should not try to guess which is the ungraded pre-test scenario. Instead, you should respond to each scenario as though it is a true exam question.

In a WC, you must write your response in the form of a business memo rather than choose your answer from a list of possible options. The business memo must address the needs and concerns raised in the scenario as if you were a licensed CPA in the field. The WCs ask you to respond to someone like an executive or an auditor with a recommendation or an explanation of given data.

The subject matter of a WC may include topics from the AUD, FAR, and REG sections, but don’t let that intimidate you. The main goal of the WCs is to evaluate your writing ability, not your knowledge of the topic presented. Graders may overlook technical mistakes and focus on egregious factual errors, off-topic information, or unlawful or unethical advice. Therefore, you should focus your effort on the presentation of your response, not necessarily the information you include. These BEC Written Communication tips for studying will help you effectively prepare for every aspect of the WCs.

CPA BEC Written Communications Answer Strategies

When you’re answering both practice and actual WCs, you should follow these tips for BEC success.

  1. Budget your time so you can finish before time expires.
    • Rely on a CPA Exam time management system to know what the clock should say when you start and finish each BEC testlet. We recommend that you give yourself 75 minutes to complete the fifth BEC testlet.
    • Allocate 60 of those 75 minutes to responding to the scenarios in the WC testlet in the BEC exam.
    • Complete each WC response in no more than 20 minutes.
    • Monitor your time and track your progress so that you have enough time to answer each of the three scenarios.
  1. Read the question requirements.
    • Do not spend more than two minutes reading the question.
    • Use the remaining 18 minutes for each WC to write your response. Use these CPA BEC Written Communication tips for testing to craft a well-written response.
    • You will be comfortable with the directions, format, and functionality of the WCs if you have been reviewing the Gleim WCs under exam conditions. With our exam-emulating CPA Exam review, you’ll be completely at ease on exam day.
  1. Review and edit your responses.
    • Now that you have spent 60 of your 75 minutes, spend the remaining 15 minutes perfecting your answers.
    • Edit your responses to ensure that they meet the writing criteria of the AICPA and that you have effectively communicated your thoughts.
    • Move from scenario to scenario systematically, reviewing and completing each one (do not get overly invested in just one).

CPA Exam Review for CPA BEC Written Communications

Only BEC contains WCs, and only Gleim CPA Review contains everything you need to master WCs. The Gleim CPA BEC Review System shares more helpful information about writing your WC responses and includes the AICPA’s criteria for writing skills. Our BEC course also contains the largest test bank of MCQs, TBSs, and WCs on the market, and you can even self-grade your WC responses within the test bank. With the most thorough coverage of CPA Exam content at your fingertips and our proprietary, powerful SmartAdaptTM technology constantly zeroing in on your weak areas, you’ll be able to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to not only excel at WCs but to also pass the CPA Exam the first time. Discover how well Gleim CPA Review prepares you for every part of the exam by accessing our free CPA course demo today.