Have you taken a section of the CPA Exam yet? If so, you’ve started to develop your history with the exam. Depending on how you felt when you left Prometric or when you received your CPA score, you may prefer to not repeat that history.
Maybe you failed. Maybe you barely passed. Maybe you were simply expecting to do better. These and other reasons may incite your desire to put up a higher CPA score next time around so you have more peace of mind about your exam performance. A few different factors can affect your score, and there are steps you can take to address these factors. To learn how to improve your CPA score for your remaining exam sections, please keep reading.
- Tips for Increasing Your CPA Score
- Focus on Your Weak Areas
- Learn from Your Mistakes
- Extend Your Study Time
- Take a Practice Exam
- Become a Better Test-taker
- Outsource for Exam Advice
- Tips for Increasing Your Exam Confidence
Tips for Increasing Your CPA Score
The CPA passing score is 75, and to secure that 75, you must demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and skill with the topics tested. You also need to be comfortable enough in the exam environment that nothing distracts you from answering the exam questions to the best of your ability. To get your CPA score as high above a 75 as possible, follow these 6 tips for enhancing your understanding of the exam.
- Focus on your weak areas
If your CPA score wasn’t a 75 or was just above it, there are clearly some areas of the exam content with which you struggled. If you want to pass your next exam section with flying colors, you need to pinpoint your weak areas and strengthen them. You can determine your weak areas by reviewing the CPA Exam blueprints and highlighting the sections that look bothersome to you. If you have to take one exam section again, you can probably remember some of the questions that gave you trouble, so be sure to note the topics those questions discussed and be ready to tackle them head on. You can also rely on practice CPA test questions to reveal your weaknesses. Complete a couple practice quizzes and assess your results to discover the content themes of the questions you missed. Then, use what you learn from the blueprints and practice quizzes to direct your studies until you’ve mastered these topics. Or, let an adaptive CPA review course target your weak areas for you.
- Learn from your mistakes
The most efficient way to overcome your weaknesses with the exam content is to learn from your mistakes. The process of regularly answering practice questions (known as practice testing) lets you see what you don’t yet understand about particular content areas. Practice questions that include detailed answer explanations also show you how to get your train of thought on the right track. You should always read the explanations for the questions you got wrong as well as those you got right. That way, you can see where your reasoning derailed and where it stayed the course. Learning from your mistakes is fast and effective because the experience of getting the question wrong and finding the right answer will sink into your mind and help deepen your comprehension.
- Extend your study time
When you don’t score as well on the CPA Exam as you desired, then perhaps you weren’t as ready for it as you needed to be. Increasing your CPA score usually requires you to pump up your preparations, and you can do this either by studying more every day or by studying for a longer period of time before your exam date. Candidates usually need to study for about 140-150 hours for each exam section, so if your total study time didn’t reach that mark before you sat, you need to adjust your CPA Exam study plan to put ample study time in your schedule. If you still want to sit for the CPA Exam as soon as possible, you could study for 20 hours a week to complete your review for 1 section in 7 ½ weeks. Just remember: to improve your CPA score, you must be willing to study for as long it takes to be prepared and make whatever sacrifices are necessary along the way.
- Take a practice exam
A lack of familiarity with the exam environment can negatively influence your CPA score by inhibiting your concentration on the exam questions. The CPA Exam is very unique and contains question types and tools you won’t see on any other exam. However, you can see these exam features prior to your testing appointment when you take a practice CPA Exam. Several organizations offer an imitation of the CPA Exam experience, and utilizing these resources allows you to not only view the exam layout but also interact with the exam functionality. The AICPA Sample Tests let you explore every aspect of the CPA Exam with a tutorial and sample tests for each exam section, while the Prometric Test Drive walks you through a 30-minute, real-world practice run of your time at the test center. For a comprehensive and acutely accurate recreation of the entire CPA Exam, you should complete a Gleim Exam Rehearsal. When you use these means to get acquainted with the CPA Exam before you sit for it, you’ll have less to worry about on exam day.
- Become a better test-taker
If forging through a test has never been your forte, you may need to develop your test-taking abilities further in order to boost your CPA score. Taking a test, especially one as difficult as the CPA Exam, is always a challenge, but you can handle the process better with behaviors like the following:
- Taking a deep breath
- Thinking positively
- Doing your best
- Using a CPA Exam time management system
- Choosing the best answer
- Making an educated guess
- Reviewing your answers
- When you turn these actions into study habits, you’ll add to your advantages over the CPA Exam and improve your exam performance overall.
- Outsource for exam advice
It can be hard to objectively consider your past experiences with the exam and see where you went wrong. You may want to increase your CPA score, but figuring out how to do that on your own can get confusing. When you need an outside source to evaluate your exam preparation process and help you modify it when needed, you should consult a CPA Exam mentor. A CPA Exam mentor will apply his or her years of experience working with candidates as well as his or her expertise on effective study techniques to your situation to help you boost your score to your satisfaction. When you discuss what you’ve been doing with your exam mentor, he or she can categorize what is working and what isn’t and then suggest the learning and testing methods that should work better for you. If you don’t have this kind of CPA Exam support, you can gain access to an exam mentor by studying with Gleim CPA Review.
Tips for Increasing Your Exam Confidence
Passing the CPA Exam involves two ingredients: knowledge and confidence. These six tips will help you raise your CPA score by expanding your exam knowledge, but there is one more step you should take to grow your exam confidence: use exam-emulating CPA Exam review. Studying with a CPA review course that utilizes every opportunity to replicate the CPA Exam is the best way to build your CPA Exam confidence. Gleim CPA Review not only gives you an extremely realistic encounter with the CPA Exam in our Exam Rehearsal, but our course also provides plenty of practice quizzes that emulate the exam as well. See how much exam emulation we’ve packed into Gleim CPA Review by accessing our free CPA course demo today.