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How to study for CPA PEP Challenge exams?

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  • Aug 7th, 2017 11:50 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 3, 2017
2 posts

How to study for CPA PEP Challenge exams?

So I've already enrolled for 1st module, upon taking a second look at the CPA paths I realised I could actually just challenge the exams, but that option left me wondering how the hell I'm supposed to study for them. I've seen various options to study for the final exams, but nothing yet for the CPA PEP one's.

Given the option to find the relevant study materials I'll still be able to reimburse my enrolment fee which would be nice.
23 replies
Deal Addict
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May 23, 2010
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Most people typically challenge exams using university notes and/or materials from PASS, Densmore and PrepFormula. HTK Consulting is a nice resource for free notes on Tax, Assurance and Financial Reporting. Note that the tax stuff is a bit dated there.

Competency map is the key here. The A ranked topics tend to require most attention. E.g. revenue recognition, PPE, intangibles, etc.

Reddit Accounting has a lot of valuable posts on tips and past exam topics as reference.
Deal Addict
Jan 3, 2012
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Hello everyone,

I didn't want to create a new thread for my questions so thought I could use this one.

Basically my question is how difficult CPA PEP core module 1 is? And is it possible to take another course with it? I am planning to take core module 1 and 1 course from laurentian university for my degree together. Is it possible? Has anyone ever done it? How much studying would it require?

I have a full time job btw that gets really busy during month end
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Jun 11, 2008
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Did you already confer a degree? I believe one of the requirements to get into the program is to have a degree altogether.

Core 1 is not difficult as long as you are familiar with your prerequisite knowledge from the 51 credits required for the PEP program. You are looking at around 15 hrs of assignments/quizzes/studying per week.
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Jan 3, 2012
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windforcexx28 wrote: Did you already confer a degree? I believe one of the requirements to get into the program is to have a degree altogether.

Core 1 is not difficult as long as you are familiar with your prerequisite knowledge from the 51 credits required for the PEP program. You are looking at around 15 hrs of assignments/quizzes/studying per week.
Entry requirement is not a degree, its the exit requirement where degree is required. So I'm doing degree and CPA courses together. I was wondering if I could take an extra course with Core module 1 next year. Not sure how much difficult it will be if i take another course with core module 1.

Hmm 15 hours for core module 1 per week. Another 15 hours for the other course. That would add up to 30 hours per week with full time job. Normally i reach home around 8 pm.....so does it make sense to do two courses together?

thanks!
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May 23, 2010
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saadt1988 wrote: Entry requirement is not a degree, its the exit requirement where degree is required. So I'm doing degree and CPA courses together. I was wondering if I could take an extra course with Core module 1 next year. Not sure how much difficult it will be if i take another course with core module 1.

Hmm 15 hours for core module 1 per week. Another 15 hours for the other course. That would add up to 30 hours per week with full time job. Normally i reach home around 8 pm.....so does it make sense to do two courses together?

thanks!
I will say that Core 1 will be heavier in workload and I think it may be better for you to focus on the Laurentian course first imo. As windforce said, it will help if you have a good grasp on financial reporting, tax, assurance and finance. The biggest time drain is the weekly Immersive cases.

The MCQ quiz, practice cases and technical refreshers are key to studying for the exam. And studying for Core 1 will be quite different and heavier compared to university due to the breadth of knowledge required. You'll notice a difficulty jump too.

They can toss anything at you as long as it's mentioned in the competency map. Make sure you hit the A and B rank topics with a few C minor topics. E.g. Revenue recognition, PPE, intangibles, audit planning, CCA, residency, valuation, etc.
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saadt1988 wrote: Entry requirement is not a degree, its the exit requirement where degree is required. So I'm doing degree and CPA courses together. I was wondering if I could take an extra course with Core module 1 next year. Not sure how much difficult it will be if i take another course with core module 1.
Are you sure about this? I have been having issues with CPA over the last couple of years because of missing academic credits.
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Jan 3, 2012
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windforcexx28 wrote: Are you sure about this? I have been having issues with CPA over the last couple of years because of missing academic credits.
Sorry what kind of issues? Give me an example please

thanks
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Mar 22, 2012
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Yea I'd study the uni course like what others have said.
Last edited by johanscott on Jul 11th, 2017 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mar 22, 2012
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The hard part about Core 1 is the vast amount of topics you will have to cover. You have 75 MC questions (and 1 case worth 25%) and I just did the exam and felt like you are being asked a different topic each question. If you need to refresh on a ton of stuff, then you will have a hard time on the MC. Even if you don't have to refresh a lot, they can go to the smallest detail in a topic so skimming over a topic and learning the basic calculation may not work if you overlook a certain line in the Oracle documents.
Member
Jan 10, 2017
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dontevenknowwutimdoin wrote: So I've already enrolled for 1st module, upon taking a second look at the CPA paths I realised I could actually just challenge the exams, but that option left me wondering how the hell I'm supposed to study for them. I've seen various options to study for the final exams, but nothing yet for the CPA PEP one's.

Given the option to find the relevant study materials I'll still be able to reimburse my enrolment fee which would be nice.
CPA Canada... what the **** are you doing?
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May 23, 2010
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Sociology1 wrote: CPA Canada... what the **** are you doing?
Maybe OP realized he has the 51 hour legacy CA credits (assuming he is in Ontario)? Or CPA Ontario misled the OP?
Member
Jan 10, 2017
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~SauFung wrote: Maybe OP realized he has the 51 hour legacy CA credits (assuming he is in Ontario)? Or CPA Ontario misled the OP?
I just looked into this - you can 'challenge' exams; what in the hell is this.

That's the definition of fast track; fast track has one purpose: hyper-turnaround.
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Sociology1 wrote: I just looked into this - you can 'challenge' exams; what in the hell is this.

That's the definition of fast track; fast track has one purpose: hyper-turnaround.
Then what is your opinion of those post grad diploma and masters programs granting exemptions to PEP modules (which varies)?

Challenge option is exclusive to Ontario candidates who have the legacy CA credits. They are exempt from the module assignments and can just sit for the exams. Eligible courses include Core 1 and 2, Assurance and tax electives. Students would typically use university notes and/or supplementary materials from third party providers like Densmore, Prepformula and PASS for practice cases, MCQ and mock exams.

The option to exercise challenge option is gonna be phased out in Ontario sometime late next year, with the last challenge exam offering being held in Winter 2019.
Member
Jan 10, 2017
235 posts
111 upvotes
~SauFung wrote: Then what is your opinion of those post grad diploma and masters programs granting exemptions to PEP modules (which varies)?

Challenge option is exclusive to Ontario candidates who have the legacy CA credits. They are exempt from the module assignments and can just sit for the exams. Eligible courses include Core 1 and 2, Assurance and tax electives. Students would typically use university notes and/or supplementary materials from third party providers like Densmore, Prepformula and PASS for practice cases, MCQ and mock exams.

The option to exercise challenge option is gonna be phased out in Ontario sometime late next year, with the last challenge exam offering being held in Winter 2019.
The problem is this designation should not be some 'fast track to letters' standard. CGA, CMA, and CA did not have some 'gold standard for success' or 'pay to win' bullshit. We endured 2 years of additional schooling; challenging an exam completely discredits the fundamentals of the designation. There are skills you acquire that cannot be tested; these skills are what make a designation credible. Just because you pass an exam does not mean you're more intelligent than the other 85% of students that passed. It means you got through it by cutting corners and that (cutting corners) is how CPAs will be perceived as in the workforce. I already see it and it's only going to get worse as automation takes over.

I wish I went into med-school; I'm beyond frustrated with this designation. It's turning into a cereal-box certification.
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Oct 20, 2015
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Toronto, ON
johanscott wrote: The hard part about Core 1 is the vast amount of topics you will have to cover. You have 75 MC questions (and 1 case worth 25%) and I just did the exam and felt like you are being asked a different topic each question. If you need to refresh on a ton of stuff, then you will have a hard time on the MC. Even if you don't have to refresh a lot, they can go to the smallest detail in a topic so skimming over a topic and learning the basic calculation may not work if you overlook a certain line in the Oracle documents.
What do you mean by "the Oracle documents"?
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Mar 22, 2012
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dangdwn wrote: What do you mean by "the Oracle documents"?
The notes for the subjects to study. If you do the module, it basically tells you what topics to read each week.
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Aug 12, 2016
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Would someone be able to recommend which Prep provider has the best technical notes ie Densmore, PASS or Prep Formula?

Is studying the Oracle documents sufficient?
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2012
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I thought the Oracle was sufficient and explained it very well and concisely for Fin Acct and Audit. Tax was a little messier because there are so many rules that it's broken down to multiple documents but it was fine for the most part.

The group of people I was with for the cohort also studied from the Oracle and also thought it was fine.
Member
Aug 12, 2016
257 posts
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johanscott wrote: I thought the Oracle was sufficient and explained it very well and concisely for Fin Acct and Audit. Tax was a little messier because there are so many rules that it's broken down to multiple documents but it was fine for the most part.

The group of people I was with for the cohort also studied from the Oracle and also thought it was fine.
If the Oracle documents are sufficient, then why do people go and buy material from PASS, Densmore and PrepFormula then?

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