How to Solve Document Review Simulations (DRS)

April 21, 2021

Helping You Master Document Review Simulations On The CPA Exam

Document review simulations are one of the five types of task-based simulations (TBSs) you will encounter on the CPA exam. Together with the written communication questions (for BEC only), these in-depth, multi-step word problems are worth 50% of the total score for the CPA exam. MDS CPA Review has prepared guidance documents for each type of TBS and for the BEC written communication testlet to help you gain proficiency with these questions and score higher on the CPA exam.

DRS Prep: What You Need To Know

Document review TBSs contain a document with underlined sections that may or may not need to be changed along with exhibits that provide the details needed to evaluate the document.

  • When you click on each underlined section, a drop-down list will provide possible corrections for that section of the document.
  • The exhibits may contain documents such as the client’s trial balance, receipts, and email correspondence.

The Document Review TBS Guidance Document Provides Detailed Instructions Such As:

How to simulate the CPA exam experience (not just the exam content) during your studies

Use a split screen to view the document on one side of the screen and the related exhibit on the other side of the screen. You can also use an online calculator to check the calculations under question.

Test tip to prevent losing points

The first answer option for each question is the original text from the document. If the underlined section of the document is okay as it is, you must select “Original Text,” or the question will be scored as if you didn’t answer it.

Practical study tips

In your homework, take the time to work through the TBSs slowly, referring to your book, flashcards, related MCQs and to the video lectures. Read the worked-out solutions in detail, take notes, and reach out for help when needed (Use either the “Help” button on the TBS or send an email to

Quick access to authoritative resources that explain how to excel with TBSs

The practice tests and tutorial videos from the AICPA are excellent resources, especially the “Help” button within the practice tests.

How to make and implement a time allocation plan for the TBSs on the exam

The document review TBSs vary in length and difficulty, but, in general, they are some of the most time-consuming TBSs on the CPA exam, due to the time involved to search the supporting documents for necessary information. It is therefore recommended that you allocate 25-35 minutes for these TBSs.

Ways to check your exam answers for accuracy before clicking “submit”

When you have selected a document review response on the CPA exam, a checkmark is placed beside the underlined text. After you complete each question, the drop-down box will close. Use the checkmarks to verify that you have answered all questions before you move on to the next TBS.

Need Additional Help With Document Review Simulations?

Sign up for a free trial with MDS CPA Review to access the TBS guidance series and the BEC Written Communication document (in Bulletins in the drop-down list under your name), or reach out to us at: We look forward to helping you succeed!

The MDS CPA Review “How To Solve Task-Based Simulations” Series

CPA Exam Review Course

The 17-page “How to Solve Document Review Simulations” document is part of the “How to Solve Task-Based Simulations” series of documents. The other simulation documents are:

  • How to Solve Research Simulations
  • How to Solve Option List Simulations
  • How to Solve Free Response Numeric Entry Simulations
  • How to Solve Journal Entry Simulations
  • How to Solve Task-Based Simulations: General Guidance