Studying for the CPA Exam

CPA Exam sections cover the subjects that candidates are expected to understand. Below is an overview of the subject matter each section contains.
Further content information is available via 2017 AICPA Uniform CPA Examination Blueprints.

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

4 HOURS
72 Multiple-choice questions, 8 Task-based simulations

Tests your knowledge and skills when performing audits and attestation engagements of issuer and nonissuer entities, and the preparation, compilation, and review of engagements.

Note: There are document review simulation (DRS) questions in this section. 

Auditing and Attestation covers the following content areas:

  • Ethics, professional responsibilities, and general principles
  • Assessing risk and developing a planned response
  • Performing further procedures and obtaining evidence
  • Forming conclusions and reporting

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

4 HOURS
62 Multiple-choice questions, 4 Task-based simulations. 3 Written Responses
Tests your knowledge and skills when performing audit, attest, accounting and review services, financial reporting, tax preparation, or other professional responsibilities in the role of a CPA. 

Business Environment and Concepts covers the following content areas:

  • Corporate governance
  • Economic concepts and analysis
  • Financial management
  • Information technology
  • Operations management

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

4 HOURS
66 Multiple-choice questions, 8 Task-based simulations
Tests your knowledge and skills relating to financial accounting and reporting frameworks used by business entities (public and nonpublic), not-for-profit entities, and state and local government entities.

Note: There are document review simulation (DRS) questions in this section. 

Financial Accounting and Reporting covers the following content areas:

  • Conceptual framework, standards, standard setting, and financial reporting
  • Select financial statement accounts
  • Select transactions
  • State and local governments 

Regulation (REG)

4 HOURS
76 Multiple-choice questions, 8 Task-based simulations
Tests your knowledge and skills related to federal taxation, ethics and professional responsibilities related to tax practice, and business law.

Note: There are document review simulation (DRS) questions in this section.

Regulation covers the following content areas:

  • Ethics, professional responsibilities, and federal tax procedures
  • Business law
  • Federal taxation of property transactions, individuals, and entities