Writing for the CPA Exam

Pass the CPA ExamNot that long ago we got an email from a professional exam instructor and author. More specifically, she actually writes questions and essay problems for the CPA examination for the certified public accountant license test. She said she also was hired by a company that makes one of the best cpa review courses. She had an interesting question about how to improve her writing and thought process to create more difficult exam questions. Here is her actual question.

“Hi, Gotta Write Network. I am a writer and author for the certified public accountant exam and I have a few questions about what can make my writing more pointed. I write questions that need to be purposely confusing but ultimately arrive at a single point. What I mean by that is, the question should give the candidate no extra information and allow them to think about their knowledge of the subject without giving away the answer. In this respect, the question can often be applied to two or three of the multiple-choice answers, but if the candidate understands the question, it will only arrive at one, correct answer. What type of thought process can I practice to get into this type of writing?”

Obviously, this question kind of threw us through a loop. We are typically used to questions about how to make your writing more clear and precise – not less clear and vague. I think the main thing to understand with a topic like this is the actual topic you are writing about. In order to make the questions understandable but ultimately convoluted, you have to understand the subject matter extremely well. Now I don’t doubt that you do understand most of the accounting information, you might not understand the actual topics being asked. Get a good foundation for this information and you will be able to twist your questions in many different ways. Here is some more information about the exam and a review course called Wiley CPAexcel review course.

CPA Examination Process

You might also be interested in some type of thought process exercises. For example, you might want to practice thinking of scenarios that have two different outcomes depending on how you think of the phrasing. An example of this would be a car accident. Depending on how you frame the driver in the question, you could assume it was or was not his fault. This way it’s left up the reader to actually determine how the accident happened and who caused it. There are tons of other examples, but I think it’s important to understand how people think during the exam. Here’s a resource about how people pass the CPA exam using CPAexcel by Wiley.

Once you understand the subject matter and understand how the average exam takers thinking during the test, you can properly formulate the questions to evoke the right answers. I’m not sure if they explanation helped, but we’d love to have a dialog about it in future articles. We love to talk about the writer’s mindset and what makes a successful writer no matter what they are writing.

Kindle or Physical Copy: Which Do You Prefer?

Which of these two mediums do you prefer? Obviously that is a personal preference, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind when you are thinking about publishing on these two formats. Today I want to talk about the major differences between publishing on a Kindle or other e-book platform and the traditional print platform.

E-books clearly aren’t for everyone. I personally still like reading on a physical copy book and I enjoy the satisfaction I get from physically turning each page and seeing the progress I am making through a book. And I will say, subconsciously, there is a part of me that still holds print publishing as the gold standard.

This, of course, is a completely false notion and Kindle publishing has many many distinct advantages to print publishing.

Advantages to Kindle Publishing

The first and most obvious advantage to Kindle publishing is that it is much cheaper. You can usually do it for a few hundred dollars and there is no need to get an expensive publishing house in the mix. This alone can save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of headache.

Another great advantage to Kindle publishing is that your revenue is not cut as much. Publishing houses are notorious for taking huge percentages of book sales and leaving authors with very little as a total percentage of revenue. This can cost you a lot of money down the road, especially if your book turns out to be a success.

Kindle publishing also puts you in touch with a large online audience that is in tune with other Kindle publishers. If you can tap into this community of authors, you can be successful right off the bat.

Advantages to Traditional Publishing

Of course, traditional publishing has its own advantages too. The first of which is the publishing house outsources much of the tedious work. So they will be in charge of editing and copyediting the work and their professional team will be in charge of layout and text flow. This can take a very long time and it is tedious work, but publishing houses usually flip it relatively quickly.

The second major advantage to traditional publishing is that they have connections with distributors. They can get your book places. If you book is selling well, they can place you in large retail markets that just being online cannot do. This is how your book becomes a household name.

A Blended Release

In all reality, however, there is usually a combination of both of these publishing sources that happens. People will oftentimes run limited editions of their printed work and then have a wider e-release. They will then expand their printed release as their budget allows.

So while both of these two publishing methods are equally valid, they each have their own advantages and disadvantages and when you are writing your own book, you need to weigh all of the options before making a decision on what is right for you. Some books are meant for a Kindle audience, while others are meant for the traditionalists in the publishing houses. You need to go case by case.