How to prepare for your CPA Exam

As an aspiring licensed certified public accountant (CPA) one of the most important hurdles you must face is the Uniform CPA Examination. The CPA Exam is comprised of four, four-hour sections including Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Regulation (REG). You must pass all four sections within an 18-month period and earn a minimum score of 75 on each part.

Although everyone prepares for exams in their own unique way, there are some tried and tested methods that can help you to feel ready for your CPA exam. Let’s discover some simple preparation tips that can ensure you give the CPA exam your best shot.

Start revising for your CPA Exam as soon as possible

The adage of not putting off until tomorrow what you should do today rings especially true where revising for your CPA exam is concerned. Although there is no ideal time to take the CPA exam, the longer you wait to book your exam and start revision, the harder it will be to pass. Assuming you meet your state specific education, residency, age and citizenship requirements, you might even want to start studying right after reading this post.

A professional accounting license is an excellent foot in the door for careers in private or governmental accounting positions, business management or even becoming a professor, so remind yourself of exactly why you are pursuing this qualification in the first place to motivate your progress. Starting preparations early allows you to take your time, work at your own pace and avoid any infamous all-nighters in the run up to your exam.

Complete a CPA Exam Review Course

It is no secret that sourcing the best CPA study materials could be the difference between passing and failing your exams. Consequently, completing a CPA review course is an excellent way to guide your studies. Not sure where to begin? If you are contemplating utilising a CPA Exam Review Course, your study materials will be a constant resource and companion throughout your learning journey, so it is important that you make the right choice.

Although there is no one size fits all course, it is important to find a program that matches your individual learning style and preferences. Surgent and Roger are two of the big names when it comes to CPA Review courses. Depending on how much time you want to devote to studying and your own learning efficiencies, there are a number of benefits of both the Surgent and Roger CPA Review courses, so it is important to do some research before you commit to either option.

Commitment is Key

Passing the CPA exam requires an incredible amount of preparation, dedication and focus. As with any exam, being mentally prepared is essential here. You must be willing to sacrifice free time, time with family and friends as well as hobbies while in the depths of your studies. Furthermore, accepting that there will be instances when you will fail to find a correct answer can also be difficult to come to terms with at first, but it is crucial to remember that learning from your mistakes brings you one step closer to passing and getting your license.

If possible, rely on your family and friends to hold you accountable to a strict study schedule. A grand total of 350-800 hours study time depending on your own abilities and any CPA Exam Review courses is to be expected, so some drastic lifestyle changes might have to take place in order for you to have ample time to cover the material and feel ready to take the final tests. Remember however to make regular check ins with your mental health. Preparing for exams can be draining, but if you experience trouble eating and sleeping or difficulty focusing it might be helpful to take a night off or a weekend away from your studies to recenter and recharge.

Ultimately, implementing study tactics that work for you and your unique learning style is the only way to get ahead with your studies and pass the CPA Exam. The CPA Exam is notoriously challenging, but do not feel disheartened if you feel overwhelmed during your revision process. Focusing on your final goal and eventual career progression can help you to put things into perspective. Accounting is just one example of a job that busy parents can do from home. For more ideas on getting your own side hustle, check out this blog post filled with ways to boost your income.

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