Hello Future CPAs,
I was at the NJSCPA scholarship ceremony last Thursday, and I must confess the CPA title is very sweet and honorable to have. I also had the pleasure of meeting my fellow blogger (Wendy), who gave a very inspiring speech that night.
Ok, back to business. My strategy has not been proven yet, as I have not seen my scores, but it worked for me in college, and enabled me to graduate with honors....I use Becker as my own review resource, and since I have a hectic schedule the online option is the best for me.
- Try to set short to long term goals
I study one chapter in three days, and since Becker breaks them up into lectures, I listen to 1-2 lectures a day, and do the homework associated with it. This is minimal, but trust me if you have a lot of time on your hands you can do more. The more you do the less effective you get. What do I mean? Small chunks or bites are easier to digest, and for the sake of the CPA Exam, easier to understand. Keep to your schedule (that is I why I have a minimum of 3 days). You can increase your time depending on your work schedule. Over time you will hit your long term goal, and understand the material effectively.
2. Understand the exam question format
The style of questioning is a little different from college style questions. A friend once told me that the CPA exam river is very shallow, but very long. The questions are not hard, but tricky. Most people would pass if they had a lot of time. Practice questions help you get familiar with the style of questioning. Sometimes they give you too much information to confuse you.
3. Time Management
I cannot stress this point hard enough. I had 4 hours for the FARE exam, and finished 3 minutes to the end. Trust me, time will fly when taking the exam. My strategy was to do each testlet in 45 minutes. I used the first 10-15 minutes to run through the testlet, and answer questions that were either easy or had no calculations. If I thought about it for more than a minute, I skipped it for later. After that, I used the remaining 30 minutes to solve those questions, and if at the end I still had questions, I just made an educated guess and moved on.
Finally, it's not how many times you failed the exam that counts, but passing it at the end. For those in my shoes that have family commitments....trust me I understand.. its hard, but giving up is worse. I was not 100% prepared for my first exam -- my 8 month old daughter was in the hospital for surgery at that time -- but I gave the exam my best shot. Now that's what really counts.
It's 80 degrees out there today, and I am blogging and studying...hey, there are many more summers to come.