That’s the burning question most CPA candidates seem to ask most often. I will explain the thought process I went through in making my decision to take Audit first.
Although I’ve been working in the tax field for over 4 years now, the area of the exam you work in is not necessarily going to be the easiest for you to pass. Each exam is tailored to knowing material the AICPA wants you to know, not necessarily the same material you do at your job. Knowing that, I decided to take my hardest section and the section I knew the least about, Auditing.
I hated Audit. Although I finally conquered the section in November of 2010, it took me 4 tries. To say it was my hardest section was an understatement because I took it so many times and each time I took it I put my all in to it.
My advice to CPA candidates on which section to take first would be the one that you think will give you the most difficulty and take you the longest to pass. Doing this allows you to not stress too much over the 18 month window rule in which you have to pass the other 3 exams before the score you took on the first passed section expires.
Once that window begins, you don’t want to feel the pressure of having to take a passed section again. I remember thinking that May 2012 was such a long time away when I found out the good news that I passed Audit. Now it is less than a year away and I still have the remaining 3 sections to pass. I must pass 2 sections this summer or my fall 2011 semester will be terribly stressful. However I’m up for the challenge because I know I’ve already passed my hardest section and the other 3 will hopefully be over soon!
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