What Does the Regulation Section of the CPA Exam Involve?

Successfully passing the CPA Exam can lead to a successful career as a CPA. Thousands of examinees take the exam each year, however only about half will pass on their first attempt. Therefore, it is extremely important to fully understand each section of the CPA Exam, what they consist of and how to approach them in 2015.

The CPA Exam consists of four sections:

  • Financial accounting and reporting (FAR)
  • Auditing and attestation (AUD)
  • Business environment and concepts (BEC)
  • Regulation (REG)

Each is taken separately. The Regulation (REG) section, the focus of this article, consists of business law, federal taxation, ethics and professional and legal responsibilities. You have three hours to complete the REG section.

The REG section of the CPA Exam is broken up into three “testlets” containing 24 multiple choice questions each, and one testlet containing 6 task-based simulations. The testlets get harder or easier based on how many correct answers you provided in the previous testlet. Harder questions will typically give the examinee more points for a correct answer. It’s important, however, that you don’t become stressed over whether the questions are getting harder or easier, just keep plugging away and answer the questions to the best of your ability.

The REG section can be tough with more than 60% of the exam focusing on taxation. If that is not your area of expertise, this will be a challenging section for you. It’s important to take as many practice or sample tests as you can. Identify those areas within tax or business law and ethics that you need help in. Study those concepts, but don’t forget to review the concepts you are already comfortable with.

The REG section of the CPA Exam has had a history of poor pass rates over the last several years, so it is not to be taken lightly. While passing rates have improved slightly, it remains an extremely tough section of the exam. As with each of the other sections of the CPA Exam, focus on the concepts, how to apply them and take as many practice exams and tests as possible.

CPA Exam review courses can be extremely helpful in ensuring you cover all the topics on each section. There are a lot of potential review courses available with many different study options, so finding the right CPA Exam review course for you is important. CPA Exam review courses offer plenty of review formats and include a tool to help you decide which areas of the exam you need the most help with.

As test time approaches, get plenty of rest and eat a good breakfast the day of the exam. Don’t walk into the exam distracted or stressed out. Tackle each question one at a time and be sure you understand the question fully before answering. With the right amount of study and determination, you can pass the REG section of the CPA Exam on your first try.