When it comes to studying for the CPA exam, nearly every candidate begins the process by promising themselves they will schedule their time and stick with that schedule to avoid having to cram at the last minute. Unfortunately, procrastination often kicks in along with other bad study habits and many people are left with lots to do before the exam date.
It’s no secret that cramming before any exam isn’t a good idea. It’s been tried and tested countless times, and it doesn’t work. As a CPA candidate, however, you have plenty of opportunities to avoid cramming, including cpa review courses that offer individualized help. What follows are a few ideas to help prevent the last-minute cram sessions.
Increase Your Motivation to Study
You would think that as prestigious as adding a designation like “CPA” to the end of your name almost anyone would have ample motivation to study hard, but it often doesn’t. In fact, after several years of college study and months more of exam study, sometimes basic motivation isn’t enough.
It’s kind of like the old saying, “When you have enough reasons, you can do incredible things.” When you find yourself flailing in your desire to study, think of something more like the prestige, money, and so many other benefits to eating your license.
Another common cause of last-minute cramming is the lack of time before the exam. Many people wait until they have an actual exam date to start, but this is a mistake. Instead, start studying just as soon as you can.
Of all the causes of cramming, procrastination probably ranks at or near the top. Many candidates swear they will study as soon as possible, but getting started is probably the hardest part. If you make it a point to get started, the chances are good the rest will be much easier.
Work on it Every Day
Many candidates believe that working hard on their exam preparations entitles them to a day off from time to time. This isn’t a very good approach. Instead, try to study every day. This approach not only will keep you studying but will make starting every day more natural.
Plan Everything Around Exam Day
Taking the CPA exam is a major event in any candidate’s life. What could be more natural than to schedule your time to reflect that fact? Instead, many candidates study on anything but a regular schedule. It’s little wonder they have to cram as the exam date gets closer.
A lack of planning and organization can leave a candidate very vulnerable to last-minute cramming. Instead, buy a calendar and a planner to schedule your study time, then stick with it like it was the most important thing in your life, because it is.
Don’t Be Busy, Be Productive
A lot of candidates make the mistake of believing that, if they are busy, they are being productive. Unfortunately, busy does not always mean particularly productive. There’s a difference. Anybody can be busy, but productive means you are learning the lessons well and seeing results for yourself.
Ditch the Cram Session
There are many great study techniques that will help anyone pass the CPA exam. The secret is to learn for yourself what works for you and to incorporate those techniques into a regular study schedule. Remember that all of these techniques are intertwined, so try to practice all of them together to get the best results.
Effective study habits will not only pay great results but will help you avoid the last-minute cram sessions. Yes, it is actually possible to pass the CPA exam without cramming.
Image credit: Kaboompics