CPA candidate taking the new CPA sample exam

Learn about the new AICPA sample exam and why it is important

The creator of the CPA Exam, the AICPA, has updated their sample exam. The Sample Exam helps candidates better understand what the actual CPA Exam is like. In addition to the sample exam, the AICPA provides a series of video tutorials.

These tools provide a fresh look at how the AICPA is updating the CPA Exam. Whether you’re a new candidate just getting your first look at the CPA Exam or a veteran who is gearing up to pass your fourth section, checking out these free resources will help you on exam day.

Gleim offers a selection of free resources to help you prepare for the CPA Exam. Look through our free CPA questions and see why Gleim has the best on the market.

Sample CPA Exam

While the video tutorials are valuable, they have nothing on the sample exams. The AICPA has produced four sample exams, one for each exam section (AUD, BEC, FAR, and REG). These sample exams even include individual launch codes to match the real exam experience, so be sure to follow all of the instructions.

Each section contains 5 testlets, just like the actual CPA Exam, but with a reduced number of questions per testlet.

  • The AUD, FAR, and REG exams have 10 multiple-choice questions and 6 task-based simulations.
  • The BEC exam has 10 multiple-choice questions, 4 task-based simulations, and 2 written communications.

 
These sample exams have always offered valuable insight into the format of the CPA Exam, but the AICPA increased their value tremendously in 2019. New questions and simulations are always useful, and along with the new, more difficult simulations, came answer explanations and blueprint references.

Answer explanations

Gleim loves answer explanations—we are firm believers that you learn more from mistakes than successes. So when the AICPA announced that they’d be, for the first time, providing answer explanations, we were pretty excited.

Just like before, the correct answers to the task-based simulations are listed as exhibits in each simulation. Starting in 2019, this window contains an explanation for each answer in addition to the correct answer to the task.

These answer explanations offer two main benefits:

  1. Most obviously, they explain why an answer is correct. This could be citing a particular law or rule or even just pointing out common calculation errors.
  2. More importantly, knowing the reason why the AICPA is testing a topic, and what aspects of that topic they consider difficult, gives additional insight into how they write their questions. There are countless ways to get a question wrong, but the AICPA doesn’t list all of them—just the things they consider the most important mistakes to avoid.

 

Blueprint reference

The blueprint reference that now comes with each task-based simulation is another tool that helps candidates and review providers get into the thought process of the AICPA.

The blueprint reference is listed just above the answer explanation in the task-based simulations.

The references tell us two things:

  1. The topic that the question is testing. Sometimes this is intuitive, but with many similar topics on the CPA Exam, having this clearly defined is fantastic. If you’ve looked at the AICPA’s CPA Exam Blueprint, you know they contain a ton of information. “Everything a CPA needs to know” isn’t easy to fit into a box.
  2. The difficulty of the question. The AICPA has four testing levels for all of the exam content. These range from “remembering and understanding” (the lowest level) to “evaluation” (the highest). By knowing exactly how the AICPA tests at each level, candidates will be able to better prepare for the CPA Exam.

 

CPA Exam tutorials

The AICPA has developed six tutorial videos that cover the key features of the CPA Exam. Each video is about one minute and gives a high-level view of a different tool or feature of the exam. These videos include:

  • Your CPA Exam experience
  • Using Microsoft Excel
  • Authoritative Literature
  • Reviewing exhibits
  • Highlight function
  • Cut, copy, and paste

 

The best task-based simulations on the market

Once you’ve finished taking the CPA Sample Exam, be sure to check out the Gleim CPA Review demo.

Each year, the AICPA places more emphasis on the task-based simulations, which already make up 50% of your exam score. Not only does Gleim CPA Review have more simulations than any other review provider, but each of our 1,300 simulations is designed to test material just like you will see on the CPA Exam. As always, each one includes our detailed answer explanations.

Our CPA Demo includes one free study unit for each section of the CPA Exam, so you’ll have the opportunity to see our simulations first hand.