Although the CPA exam is clearly not an open-book test, the computer testing platform does provide authoritative literature tabs that some individuals find useful. Other test takers make limited use of the tabs. The different techniques possibly reflect personal study experience. Some people might prefer the tabs if they deployed a similar approach by constantly referring to source material during CPA exam review. Others learn by taking notes and later inspecting reference details after they finish reading an entire study section.
Study schedules affect the distinctive approaches to learning. Many students study in the mornings plus the evenings. But, some CPA candidates have family commitments in the evenings or on weekends. These differences impact whether periods scheduled to review sample CPA exam questions allow time for tracking back to references in the literature.
A common study routine when answering practice questions is flipping back to reference sources when encountering troubling questions. Visual learners like to read more detail right away in order to cement information in their memories. They are likely to pause for inspection of resource information when struggling with the concept in a question.
These individuals deploy a similar process with task-based simulations when they take the CPA exam and use the authoritative literature tab. This function allows a search of references by keyword. More specific word choices narrow the reference options.
After determining the correct literature section, a test taker clicks on it to reach that resource. A very selective keyword choice is then permitted, followed by clicking on “Search Within” to reach an exact source of information. Of course, this process takes time. Therefore, it is most often used during the CPA exams by students who discovered during study sessions how to rapidly flip between questions and references in their online CPA review material.
Some students devote only evenings or weekends of their exam study weeks to research authoritative literature covering problem areas written in their study notes. Writing notes is a particularly valuable exercise for students who learn best by acting on information. When taking the CPA exams, these individuals are likely to complete task-based simulation questions relying first on memory and then using the literature tab to check their work.
Test takers who struggle with time constraints during the CPA exam are inclined to mostly ignore the authoritative literature tab. However, one incidence is often cited as a valuable use of the literature tab for any test taker. This occurs when a simulation question describes a scenario not remembered from a CPA review course. When that situation arises, a quick check of the literature triggers a starting point for approaching the question. No one wants that awkward feeling of not having the slightest idea how to begin answering a simulation.
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