To pass the CPA exam, you need to successfully complete 4 sections in 18 months.
You could try handling it the way Arnold Schwarzenegger handles that bar full of bikers at the start of Terminator 2: by completing all four sections in 16 hours over 2 days like an invincible half-human/half-robot, effortlessly crushing all in the way.
And if you're superhuman enough to manage that, why not? Realistically though, most of us don't have it in us.
Because of the difficulty of each section, we'd suggest you study for one section at a time, and pass them individually.
So which order should you do it in?
There are a number of different strategies that candidates adopt. We weigh up the pros and cons of each.
Graduated college recently?
Why not do the section with the material that's freshest in your mind from your most recent study?
If you've recently done a semester of accounting that's closely related to the material covered in one particular section, that's 6 months of preparation you can build on right away.
You have 18 months to pass all four sections of the CPA exam. With 3 sections left to go after you pass the first, your 18 months means you have about 6 months per section.
If you're worried about whether 6 months per section will be enough, doing the most difficult section first has an obvious appeal.
You can spend longer preparing for this first section, and it won't eat into your time for the other sections.
Once you've passed, you've got the most difficult topic out of the way with your full 18 months intact. That's some real momentum.
And if you fail? Well.. failing a section is nothing to celebrate. But at least you haven't failed with clock ticking on your previously passed sections.
This strategy lets you spend a little longer preparing for the exam. That's good if you need it. But remember, the longer you spend preparing, the longer it will take you to enjoy the reward.
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