There are two question types in the CPA exam: multiple choices and task-based simulations. Within the simulation questions, you are asked to do an online search of professional literature databases to answer questions.
How do you do it? Can you get some practice before the actual exam?
The questions on CPA Exam Authoritative Literature are meant to test your ability to look up certain information in the Accounting Regulations and Standards, a very practical skill that you need throughout your career as an accountant.
Some candidates have no problem using the search function, while others take too long to find the answer. To play safe, it’s always important to test your ability in a simulated exam environment.
1. Free Database from AICPA
As an exam candidate, you are given free access to the AICPA Authoritative Literature for 6 months. You can then practice searching through the AICPA Professional Standards and FASB Pronouncements with keywords.
Make sure you have your NTS. You will need the exam section ID to register and get access.
2. Common Standards
You can easily search the correct section in professional standard based on the beginning letters.
3. Use the “Search Within” Function
Remember to use “search within” functionality to narrow down the paragraph within a topic. This is a great tool especially when you already know the particular topic or section that covers the simulation questions.
4. Make Full Use of the CPA Exam Authoritative Literature Database
You can even use the Authoritative Literature to double check the answers for the non-research portion of simulation questions. This is especially useful in the FAR and AUD exams.
Many online review courses provide excellent practice questions in simulated testing environment, but for some of them, the search function doesn’t work. If you prefer one that works within the practice questions, check out Gleim CPA Review System.
The more familiar you are with the exam content, the easier and faster for you to find the corresponding section in the Authoritative Literature. It makes a big difference in exam sections such as REG when candidates generally don’t have much time for simulations. Good luck!
Feel free to comment below if you have specific questions on your CPA exam preparation. Good luck to your exam!
I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley), and I also passed all 4 sections of the CPA Exam on my first try. Additionally, I have led webinars, such as for the Institute of Management Accountants, authored featured articles on websites like Going Concern and AccountingWeb, and I'm also the CFO for the charity New Sight. Finally, I have created other accounting certification websites to help mentor non-CPA candidates. I have already mentored thousands of CPA, CMA, CIA, EA, and CFA candidates, and I can help you too!