Document Review Simulation Testing Tips

As the newest type of Task-Based Simulations (TBSs), there is still a bit of mystery surrounding CPA Exam Document Review Simulations (DRSs). On three of the four CPA Exam sections, TBSs comprise 50% of your exam score, and DRSs are some of the most complex TBSs on the exam. Therefore, a lack of information about them can thwart your chance of securing a CPA passing score. When you see a DRS on exam day, you don’t want any surprises to further complicate the process of answering it, so use these Document Review Simulation testing tips to prepare for completing a CPA Exam DRS.

Document Review Simulation Testing Tips

You could see a DRS on AUD, BEC, FAR, or REG, so you should review these tips before you sit for any exam section.

  1. Track your time
  2. Time management is crucial to exam success. Before you enter the testing center, you should have a plan for how you’ll divide your time between each testlet. If you’ve been able to develop and apply your CPA Exam time management system during your study sessions, you’ll start the exam off with an even greater advantage. Total testing time for each exam section is four hours, but the number of TBSs in each exam section varies. You should tailor your time management system to match the number of TBSs in the section you’re sitting for, but as a general rule based on testing time and question count, you should allocate approximately 18 minutes to each TBS, including the DRS. You can see how much time to spend on each TBS testlet per exam section in the following chart:

Task-Based Simulation Time Management

AUD

BEC

FAR

REG

Total TBSs

8

4

8

8

Testlet 3

2 TBSs / 36 min.

2 TBSs / 36 min.

2 TBSs / 36 min.

2 TBSs / 36 min.

Testlet 4

3 TBSs / 54 min.

2 TBSs / 36 min.

3 TBSs / 54 min.

3 TBSs / 54 min.

Testlet 5

3 TBSs / 54 min.

N/A

3 TBSs / 54 min.

3 TBSs / 54 min.

Total TBS Time

144 min.

72 min.

144 min.

144 min.

Total Time Allowed

240 min.

240 min.

240 min.

240 min.

Time for Other Exam Questions

90 min.

151 min.

82 min.

94 min.

Extra Time

6 min.

17 min.

14 min.

2 min.

    The fact that each exam section also has a different number of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) explains the discrepancy between the time for other exam questions in each section. BEC requires more time for other exam questions because BEC is the only section to contain Written Communications rather than more TBSs.
  1. Review your resources
  2. The DRS is a particularly involved TBS because it has many moving parts. Each DRS has two standard tabs:

    • Document Review Tab: houses the document you’re reviewing
    • Help Tab: reveals how to use the document review and perform revisions

    You may also find one or more of the following tabs in a DRS:

    • The Exhibits Tab: contains relevant documents such as a letter of attorney, a valuation report, an announcement to shareholders about acquisition, and an invoice containing stock prices
    • The Resources Tab: features helpful items such as emails, memoranda, balance sheets, or minutes from meetings
    • The Authoritative Literature Tab: links to the FASB Codification Table of Contents where candidates can conduct any necessary research
    • The Financial Statements Tab: links to the related financial data

    Some DRSs also have other tabs named for the useful documents they hold.

    To start the process of answering a DRS, explore each included tab so you know what information is available to you.

  1. Read carefully

    Once you’ve learned the layout of the DRS, read through the question, the underlined sections, and the answer choices very carefully. The underlined portions of text are the parts of the document that require your review, and clicking these sections reveals the five to seven answer choices with which you must respond. If you misunderstand something in the beginning of your research, you’ll come to the wrong conclusion and answer incorrectly. Once you understand the underlined text and answer choices completely, survey the items provided, then analyze the most relevant facts to narrow down the possible answer choices. The information in the exhibits may be presented or worded differently than it is in the document you’re revising, so check for any shared meaning between the answer choices and the provided documents to determine your answer.

  2. Respond successfully

    To earn the maximum number of points for the DRS, you must select a response for every underlined section because each one counts as a separate question. Even if you don’t think the underlined text needs to be changed, you must still choose the option to retain the original text from the answer choices so you can get credit for that section. To make your answer selection, you must click the bubble next to your desired answer choice and click “Accept”. If you’d like to change your answer, you can click “Reset” to clear the bubble you selected. Each underlined portion of text is succeeded by a blue box with a white outline inside. You’ll know you’ve successfully responded to an underlined portion of text when the white outline changes to a white check mark inside the blue box. Go back through the DRS before you submit the testlet to confirm that a white check mark is inside of every blue box.

CPA Review Tips

You can put these Document Review Simulation testing tips (and these Document Review Simulation CPA study tips) into action before you sit for the CPA Exam by studying with a CPA review course that contains plenty of CPA test questions. Gleim CPA Review offers the largest bank of unique practice questions on the market, so you won’t run out of DRSs during your studies. The innovative SmartAdaptTM technology that guides you through the course pulls from our expansive test bank to target your weak areas and ensure mastery of every topic. See how our test bank and SmartAdapt work together to get you ready for the DRS by accessing our free CPA course demo today.