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How To Pass The CPA Exam: The IPassTheCPAExam.com Guide for International Candidates by Stephanie Ng

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CHAPTER 9

How to Ace the Written Communication Tasks

For each of three written communication tasks, candidates must read a scenario and then write an appropriate document relating to the scenario. The instructions state what form the document should take (such as a memo or letter) and its focus. The candidate’s response should provide the correct information in writing that is clear, complete, and professional.

—CPA Exam Candidate Bulletin

The Written Communication task is part of the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) exam representing 15 percent of the total score. Unless you aim for a perfect score in the multiple-choice questions, how you gain points in these three pieces of writing can make or break your passing success. For international candidates whose English is not their first language, this poses additional challenges.

Now, let us look at what the CPA exam graders are looking for, and how you can score points accordingly.

What Are the Examiners Looking For?

The examiners want to test the candidates’ ability to produce business writing that is commonly performed by a junior accountant. To earn points for this section, candidates should demonstrate:

  • Understanding and accurate interpretation of the task
  • Writing a document that relates or responds to the objective
  • Writing in a clear and professional manner

In other words, the examiners look for:

  • Complete sentences
  • Use of standard English
  • Relevance
  • Clarity
  • Conciseness
  • Good organization
  • Proper formatting with introduction ...

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