You don’t need to look very hard for advice about studying for the CPA exam because you find almost as many tips about this test on the web as Amazon has books. Unfortunately, much of guidance is a list of general recommendations. Many resources highlight essentials without describing them in depth.
Helpful counsel for passing the CPA exam should present detailed action plans. For example, the customary top suggestion is taking a CPA review course. This is obviously a reasonable proposal since studying is a lot better than not studying. What’s more important is efficient utilization of the course for optimal use of your time.
The oldest existing providers of courses are not necessarily the most conducive to efficiency. Some systems started as traveling road show classes in the days before webcasts. They have been adapted for online CPA review but don’t have the finest features of a freshly designed system built from the beginning for online learning. You need tools that track your course progress as well as easy navigation between test bank questions and references, including offline books.
Most of the recommendations concerning study for CPA exam success relate to oft stated tips like studying on the go and pacing yourself. What these really mean is that you should embark on a study plan by considering when you genuinely have time for studying. If you wake up earlier each morning to study, you are not increasing the number of hours in a day beyond 24. Changing your daily pattern to sleep less is not a sustainable path for the long run.
Instead, you must search for time wasters. For instance, rather than going out of the office for lunch, bring a sandwich from home and use the hour each day for CPA exam study. Commuting is often the biggest area from which to take some study time. Studying on the bus or train is simple if you commute using one of these methods. If you commute by driving, get your employer to allow study at the office before and after working hours. You leave home earlier and arrive home later every day, but avoid the rush hours.
Pacing also means maintaining a steady routine of study. To keep studying regularly, you need to avoid large cram sessions. About three hours per study session is all your brain can handle. This justifies a model of on the go studying in small pieces.
The most common advice about sleep habits for CPA students is getting plenty of rest the night before the examination. Usually left out of this scenario is how to avoid tossing and turning over anticipation of the big day. You really need sound sleep habits throughout your weeks of exam study. The benefit of sound rest pays off on exam day, but this is a consequence of training to shut down on time each night. Don’t study right up until bedtime. Leave about 30 minutes between studying and sleeping to unwind. Take a shower or have a glass of milk. Yeah, that stuff really helps you relax. And, relaxation is a vital element for retaining all the information you study to pass the CPA exam.
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