FAR CPA Exam: Curriculum, Passing Rate and Study Tips

Hello, this is Stephanie from IPasstheCPAExam.com. I’d like to tell you about the FAR exam –
the syllabus, pass rates and tips. First of all, what does FAR cover? This section covers knowledge of generally
accepted accounting principles for business enterprises, not-for-profit organizations,
and governmental entities, and the skills needed to apply that knowledge. In other words, examiners expect candidates to compile financial statement, for example, from journal entries to how the data is presented
in a financial statement; Identify the different financial accounting
and reporting methods; Perform calculations such as bonds and leases; Understand and analyze
the information from financial statements; and form conclusion from financial statements and present findings. FAR Exam Topic Areas
First, Conceptual Framework, Standards, Standard Setting, and Presentation of Financial Statements,
representing 17% to 23%; Financial Statement Accountants involving
Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures, 27% to 33%;
Specific Transactions, Events and Disclosures, 27% to 33%;
Governmental accounting and reporting, 8% to 12%; and Not-for-profit accounting and reporting, 8% to 12%. Exam format
The CPA exam is fully computerized consisting of multiple choice and task-based simulation questions. Effective April 2017, there will be 5 testlets:
2 testlets with 33 multiple choice each and 3 testlets with TBS, with 2 to 4 questions
each. The score weighting of multiple choice and
TBS is 50/50. You will have 4 hours to take this exam, with
an optional 15-minute break in between. Historical pass rate
The FAR pass rate remains relatively stable with a very slight improvement towards 50%. You can expect the same trend going forward. We Recommend tackling FAR first. Why? People have different opinions, and it largely
depends on your own strength and personality. As a general rule, however, I do recommend you start with FAR. Here are the reasons. First, FAR takes the longest time to study
I don’t think FAR is the most difficult, but the coverage is the widest, and the sheer
volume of materials can be overwhelming. You’ll be glad to get rid of this biggest
beast. Second, the 18-month rule consideration
This is a major reason for anyone consider taking FAR first. Since you only have 18 months to take AND
pass all the 4 sections of the CPA exam, and that the clock starts to tick once you pass the first one, you might want to tackle the longest, or the hardest one first so in case you fail a few times your clock will still wait. Third, double benefits
The great thing about FAR is that while it is time consuming to study, it isn’t the
most difficult. If people have enough time to study (well,
that’s a big if, given the volume) they will likely pass. You get the double benefits of getting done with the biggest section and getting a quick win. FAR Exam Tips
First, and a very important point, schedule your study very carefully
Many candidates fail FAR because they do not have enough time to study. This is understandable given the huge amount
of materials. If you don’t want to repeat their mistakes,
plan ahead your study schedule so you won’t run out of time. Specifically, if you allow yourself 3 months
to study, try to schedule finish watching the video (or other materials) in the first
2 months, and set aside the last month for final revision. Chances are that things get delayed, and you’ll need 2 and a half months to finish everything off. Second, don’t skip the difficult concepts
and hope they won’t appear in the exam Many candidates find bond, pension and stock
holder equity the most difficult sections. For me, governmental accounting is also a
killer. Towards the end of my study, I took the time
to understand governmental accounting but running out of time in other topics. I almost wanted to give up but thankfully,
decided to set aside one afternoon to tackle bond and pension. It’s worth the effort — I did see a lot
of bonds and pensions in my exam. Everyone has their special “blind spots”,
which means — again — that leaving some buffer time for your study is very important. Another lesson learned: you never know which
part will be on your version of the exam. Unless you don’t mind a retake, don’t
risk skipping any part of study materials. Third, make sure you understand journal entries
The ability to perform journal entries is the foundation of financial accounting. If you are not an accounting major, or that
you haven’t touched journal entries for a long time, put in the extra effort and learn
the fundamentals. My Thoughts
First of all, rest assured that if you have enough time to study for FAR, you can pass. The questions and answers tend to be computational
and clear-cut: you either get it or not. If you are familiar with GAAP and the calculation, this is a section that you can pass with relative confidence. If you really worry about the risk of lagging
behind your study and not able to study the entire module on time, you might want to postone the scheduling of your exam at the prometric center. You may run the risk of the center
being full, but you don’t need to force yourself to take the exam when you are not
ready. The flexible scheduling is one of the best
thing about the computerized exams. Take good advantage of it! I hope this video shows what you need to know
about the FAR exam. If you have any questions, please drop a note
in the comment section below. Thanks for watching, and see you in the next

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