One of the most unique parts of the CPA exams are how they can change from year to year. The ever-changing landscape of the accounting business (and the educational requirements to become a CPA in the first place) require that the CPA exams constantly revise and change themselves to keep up with the times.

Some of these changes are pretty major and wide-ranging, but every change has an impact on how the tests proceed, even something as insignificant as the amount of time you get to read the introductory screens.

When you sit down for a CPA exam, you start by reading a series of introductory screens. They’re nothing too exciting, and they’re more like the agreements you have to click through when installing something like computer software, containing information like non-disclosure agreements and general information about the exam you’re about to take.

In previous editions of the test, you had a countdown timer with 10 minutes to read through these screens and get ready to go. Sounds like plenty of time, but there’s a lot of information in those screens and you need to be careful – if you don’t complete those screens and begin within the provided time limit, the exam will shut down and can’t be restarted.

Kind of scary, right? But lucky for you there’s ways to prevent this being a problem.

You didn’t hear it from us, but a lot of students used to use this time to try and do some last-minute preparations for the CPA exams. This isn’t really a feasible option anymore, considering the shortened time you have to get through the introductory screens.

Instead of cramming during that last ten minutes by going over your notes (or, worse, making all new ones) the best solution is just to prepare a little more leading up to it. Go into your tests assuming you need to start taking them immediately and study appropriately beforehand. Don’t rely on the test day to give you any time to study or brush up on anything, and study like you know you have to get started on it as soon as you get there. (Of course, the studying is going to be its own issue, but if you need to get started on that you should start by checking out some CPA course reviews first.)

So when the time comes for you to slide up to your desk and take that CPA exam, just remember to use your time wisely – you don’t want to get locked out because it took you too long to read the opening slides, right?

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