CPA Hot Topics – 20 Question Quizzes

Garrett Gleim sends CPA candidates bimonthly emails concerning different aspects of the CPA exam. Candidates can see the most recent email and all the archives here on the CPA Candidate Forum.

I have received some questions from candidates wondering why we use 20-question quizzes instead of 30-question quizzes, which is the number of multiple-choice questions in a Financial, BEC, or Auditing CPA testlet (Regulation testlets have 24 questions). Using the Gleim Study System for multiple-choice, we want you to live by and thrive on 20-question practice tests. We use 20-question tests because they are of sufficient length to challenge you but are not too long. Based on four decades of experience helping over a million CPA candidates, we are very confident in recommending and using 20-question tests. You will have no trouble doing 30-question (or 24-question) testlets in the recommended time on each section of the CPA exam after extensive practice with the Gleim 20-question quizzes.

On the CBT CPA exam, your largest potential problem–and your greatest potential advantage–is time management. The CPA exam requires you to budget your time within exam testlets and between them by the use of a time remaining clock displaying hours and minutes. We recommend budgeting 1.5 minutes per multiple-choice question on each of the four exam sections. Therefore, each 20-question Gleim quiz should be completed in 30 minutes under exam conditions. Remember, practice “marking” questions you wish to return to, but select the best answer for each question on your first pass.

In my own experience of studying for the CPA exam, I primarily used 20-question quizzes to practice questions on what I learned throughout my review. When I went to take the actual exam, I had no difficulty taking the longer testlets. While some candidates are concerned that taking the leap from 20-question quizzes to longer testlets will be awkward and they may not have built up the attention span necessary, I did not find this to be an issue. In fact, due to my test adrenaline, I did not notice the time difference between the 20-question quizzes I took when studying versus the actual exam testlets, but was able to answer the 30-question CPA Exam testlet within the budgeted time of 45 minutes (or 1.5 minutes per question). In other words, when I answered the first 20 questions in a testlet, I wasn’t ready to stop; I had the energy to move on and answer all 30 questions without needing a quick mental break.

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-Garrett Gleim