To be a certified public accountant is a noble career prospect to ponder upon, especially if you hail from an accounting background. CPAs are responsible for upholding honest accountability for governmental and private organizations equally. To upgrade your basic accounting degree to a CPA level can prove to be a game-changing decision for your otherwise run-of-the-mill career.
CPAs are in huge demand, as most recruiters prefer to hire people with an upgraded degree instead of a basic Bachelor’s in Finance or Accounting. Adding the credentials of a CPA to your name can set you apart from the accounting crowd and potentially raise the bar of your earnings.
Passing the CPA exam may sound and feel intimidating, and rightfully so. It is hard to pass, but you can ace it first with the right mindset and CPA study material.
Consider the following study tips to slide smoothly through your CPA preparation phase to come out as a future CPA out of your exam hall.
1- Do Not Dilly Dally
Once you decide to appear for the exam, do not waste time making excuses. Procrastination will get you nowhere. Rather, it will affect your ability to perform in the exam.
The CPA exam can be lengthy, including applications and fulfilling the prerequisites. You’ll want to pay close attention to the essentials required beforehand as they vary from state to state. Starting the processing time will give you ample time to prepare and plan for everything down to detail.
Different sections of the exam have varying levels of difficulty. As an individual, you must pass sections within eighteen months after starting. Being proactive will allow you to retake a section if you may have to.
2- Craft A Productive Study Schedule
You might have been studying using the conventional highlight and make notes approach throughout college. And it might be working for you too. But the CPA exam is a mammoth of an exam and, hence, requires methods that can be at par with it.
You may feel like you can achieve the same great results you achieved back in college using your older study methods. But the sooner you switch to newer methods, the more chances you have of doing well in your exam.
The ideal way to go forward is first to take a practice test to accustom yourself to the pattern and content of the CPA exam. After this attempt, you can focus on the aspects you feel you lack. Using this strategy, you are less likely to waste time and lose direction during your study sessions.
3- Get Help from A CPA Mentor
Using the appropriate study guides for the CPA examination is great, but you cannot go through this daunting journey depending on this material only. Interacting with someone who has had a first-hand experience of this journey can be a big help.
Find someone in your circle of peers or colleagues who have already cleared out the exam. Someone with experience in clearing out only some sections can also be a good option. These people can teach you what CPA review courses alone can’t.
The support, guidance, and experience they dispense can be invaluable. You can also have a heart to heart about the challenges you face while on this journey. Something that books and course material do not have the power to do.
4- Focus on Your Health
It is key to maintaining good physical and mental health to do well in just about any exam. If you want to keep your chances of clearing the CPA exam high, invest in your well-being. Most students ignore their health while gearing up for exams, no matter their age.
Be mindful not to skip meals or workout sessions while studying. Make up your timetable to incorporate the gym and other healthy activities. Break up your day-to-day schedule into smaller chunks so that you don’t exhaust your mind and body. And always get a good night’s sleep regardless of the extent of course material you need to cover.
5- Figure Out Which Method Works for You
Different routines work for different individuals. If you are a morning person, it is best to cover up the major chunk of your workload during the morning hours. On the other hand, if you are a night owl and can concentrate best late at night with minimum distractions, then go ahead and plan your schedule accordingly.
Also, focus on the modes of study that are most productive for you. Join a CPA study group to gain more from studying with your peers. If you are alone tiger and prefer to work at your own pace, studying alone is the way.
6- Mix It Up
Following the same routine and methods repeatedly can be monotonous and boring. It is a good idea to teach variation within your modes of study. It is not necessary to stick to just written CPA study material; you can also switch to visual modes or, better yet, listen to related podcasts.
This way, you can be studying even while commuting or busy with other everyday chores.
7- Make Revision A Habit
Cramming a lot of courses in one day can make you lose all of that information the very next day. To keep this problem at bay, try to cover manageable chunks of various sections each day.
Reinforce the covered material before moving on to your next target. An excellent strategy for this is to make flashcards and revise them daily.
8- Keep Friends and Family Informed
To limit distractions while preparing for this incredibly challenging exam, inform your friends and family well before time. By doing this, you will not have to make up last-minute excuses for not showing up at events and parties.
You can also enjoy the perks of being offered help with meals and other chores if your loved ones know your busy routine.
Like all professional exams, CPA is a tough examination to pass before you can start enjoying its perks. There is no rule of thumb when preparing for your exam.
All individuals are different, and what works for your colleague may not work for you. To clear out all exam sections successfully, you must be mentally prepared to take on the challenges of embarking on this journey.
You can undoubtedly achieve this feat by keeping your eyes on the goal and adopting the practices that work for you.