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2017 BEC: How hard is it now?

For anyone who has taken the new (2017) BEC section of the CPA exam or has any helpful information about it:

  • BEC used to be the “easiest” section of the CPA exam… How/Why is it much more difficult now? Or is it still the “easiest” section?
  • What are some topics/formatting aspects that stood out to you?

Thank you in advance for settling some of my nerves!

Preparing for and taking the CPA Exam is a mental marathon. You must have a clear strategy for making the most of your available study time before and during the actual exam.

I was also wondering the same thing! I do recall hearing that this is one of the sections in the test with the least changes but I am not sure of the specifics beyond that.  I can let you know though once I take it in a couple of months :)

Hey everyone,

I’m currently studying for the BEC exam and plan on taking it in the next few months. The main changes include the added simulations and a longer exam. :) BEC used to be 3 hours long but now there is an hour added in order to have sufficient time for additional content on the test. There is an emphasis on topics pertaining to Corporate Governance and Information Technology. More questions on the COSO framework will be added in Q2 of this year (April 2018). 

Thank you for sharing in brief the changes to this specific section of the exam!

If anyone knows more about the changes or have further suggestions to add to my previous comment, please comment below and let us know! 

hi! I have given my BEC section and scored only 69… any tips for improvement.

Hello again, ashishshahcs! smiley  You’re so close to passing BEC!  There’s a valuable (and free!) guide from Gleim that I linked to in response to your post in the AUD Discussion forum.  I’ve linked it here, as well, for your benefit and that of other forum members with the same question.  The advice below is divided based on the score a candidate received:

When Your Score Is Close To 75

Per Gleim’s guide, when your score is only a few points away from passing—as your BEC score is, ashishshahcs—you’ll want to take the section again as soon as possible, before you begin to forget the content you’ve recently learned.

When you only need a few extra points to pass, reviewing your Candidate Performance Report for areas of weakness may be all that you need to help you return to your CPA review materials with the appropriate focus before your next attempt.  Still, I do recommend following the steps outline in the Gleim guide linked above to help pinpoint what went wrong and why.

Also, candidates in this score range may want to consider investing in a resource for the section they missed, such as Yaeger’s cram courses, which they claim will add 5 to 15 points to your score.

When You Score 65 Or Below

For candidates who receive a score of 65 or below, Gleim suggests that whether you retake the failed section immediately is up to you.  The logic they offer is that a score at this level suggests you’ll need to repeat your entire review, so that whether you do so right away or later on isn’t as relevant as it is when a score is close to passing.

Casia Burgos, MSA | CPA Candidate

Have questions? Need help? Feel free to send me a private message!