Adopt the Correct Mindset for the CPA Exam
CPA exam preparation is essential to performing well on the test. It is not a secret that the CPA exam is one that is hard to pass. In order to pass it, you will need to be very persistent and to study for it. Of those who have taken the exam, many have failed one or more of its sections before finally getting a passing grade.
While it is a difficult undertaking, you should feel proud of yourself for taking on the challenge. Be aware of the fact that you have had many other challenges before and you were able to get through them.
This will make you feel more confident overall. Keep in mind that even if the exam is difficult, there are plenty of others who have passed it too and if you are dedicated enough, so will you.
Get a CPA Exam Review Course and Make Sure it Is Good
There are a lot of CPA review courses that you can find these days. Some of them also include lectures that are in video format, which explain certain hard concepts a lot better than a guide or textbook would.
You will find that the best CPA exam courses are those that include questions that appear more frequently on the actual CPA exam and will allow you to focus your efforts and energy on the questions that are much more likely to be on the exam.
If you believe that you will need to ask questions to the instructors, be sure to opt for a CPA review course which lets you interact live with instructors to clarify certain course materials.
Don’t go cheap on the CPA exam review course, as you will need a good one to help you pass the exam. You can read in-depth reviews of some of the best CPA review courses here.
Create a Study Schedule and Make Sure to Adhere to It
You obviously have plenty of material that you need to go through before you will be ready to take the CPA exam, so simply studying for a few days before the actual exam will definitely not be enough. In general, you will need to study for at least 3 months on a regular basis for each section of the CPA exam.
When you are planning a schedule for your studies, make sure that it is one which is realistic. If you put in too much studying time each day in your schedule, you will soon become tired of it and not stick to it as well as you should.
Let Others Know About Your Studies
Passing the CPA exam is definitely not an easy undertaking, however you do not have to be alone. Make sure that you tell your friends and family members that you are trying to pass the CPA exam and that it is a task which is quite difficult and time consuming.
You may get to help them with certain tasks around the house like cooking, etc. You will also need to make them understand that you might not be able to be there for every social gathering.
Be Mindful of Your Health
Being in poor health will affect your overall level of concentration, which will have an impact on your studies. You will therefore need to take care of your health by eating well and getting adequate amounts of exercise, preferably each day.
The most important part of this is to sleep enough. Get a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. You can also take a short nap in the afternoon if you need it. Make sure that you plan your studies in a realistic way and take a break when necessary.
While certain people are able to stay concentrated while studying for several hours in a row, not everyone can pull off such a feat.
Find a Study Partner
You can seek to find other people who are also studying to pass the CPA exam in your area and then invite them to study together with you. If you take a look through online forums dealing with accounting and CPA, you will find that there are places to locate a study partner.
When you do so, be sure to set up a strict but realistic schedule. By studying with others, you will be able to feel more motivated and disciplined, plus you will be able to put your knowledge and brain power together to figure out any concepts that are difficult.
If you are having trouble, your study partners might be able to support you and keep you going, because after all, they are doing the same thing than you. It is not a competition, as all of you have the same goal in mind: to pass the CPA exam with success.
Focus on One Section of the Exam at a Time
There are plenty of people that find studying for all of the four sections of the CPA exam at the same time quite difficult to do. The thing about the CPA exam is that there is really a lot of material and you just cannot familiarize yourself with all of it at the same time.
It is a much better strategy if you would focus your studying efforts on each section at a time, pass the exam for the relevant section, take a short break and then begin studying for the next section.
Another trick would be for you to first attack the hardest section of the exam (this varies from person to person), as once you have passed the exam for the first section you will only have 18 months to pass the others.
Focus on Areas That You Have Trouble With
Going through material that you already know well and understand completely may make you feel confident about yourself, but it will not be of much help during the exam. To make a more efficient use of your studying time, you will need to spend more of it on the parts that you are having more difficulties with.
Go through all your materials, find out what are you weak spots and then focus on studying them until you finally feel confident enough that you know them well.
Take a Lot of Notes
It is very important that while you study, you take an adequate amount of notes. This is going to help you keep everything in mind when the exam day comes. Remember that your brain will better remember material that you have seen recently but may forget things that you have done some time ago. Taking notes will help you refresh your memory when necessary.
Be Sure to Time Yourself
When you are doing the practice questions, be sure to keep track of the time as if you were doing the actual CPA exam. This will help you manage your time well and help you be better prepared for when you get to take the actual exam.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
The more practice you get, the better prepared you will be for the actual exam. Therefore, you should do as many practice questions as possible, as this will give you more confidence for the exam and will also better prepare you for it.