After you get through the multiple choice section in part one of the FP&A Exam, it’s time to take on the worksheet simulation section. The following is my take on that section.
Worksheet simulation section
Time was more of a factor for me on this section, I did feel a bit rushed, but I was able to do two full passes.
First off, be sure to review the exam functionality tutorial before you take the test. The exam spreadsheet does not function exactly like Excel. For example, there is no dragging of corners to pull formulas down either.
The problems were generally fair and also required synthesis of material, not just memorization/plugging and chugging of formulas. There were some stretch questions which I appreciated, but nothing totally unreasonable. I would say that some of the questions on my exam could have been multiple choice, since I didn’t think these were really testing your spreadsheet skills.
Overall, I think I did okay on this section. I think I had the right approach to some questions, but I may have messed up a calculation or two.
The post exam functionality in the learning system allows you to cross out the answers you eliminated. This is something that I hope will eventually be included in the test taking software; it helps with the review and narrowing down choices.
Overall I thought exam experience was positive and enjoyable. I felt challenged and I definitely feel those who pass will represent the industry niche well. I am curious now to compare my experience to others. I can see why some may have been caught off guard but I didn't think the exam was unfair.
So now you’ve made it through all of part one. We’ll cover part two in my next posts.
Jim Morales, FP&A, is Manager of Business Planning & Strategy for U.S. Gas & Electric Inc.