Getting It Right The First Time

As with any pivotal life-altering moment, passing the CPA exam makes all the difference in the world to someone who wishes to work at the corporate level rather than at some franchised tax shop where you’re trained for 20 hours to file 1040EZ’s. It is quite the accomplishment and folks recognize such an achievement both professionally and personally. What most don’t realize is the cost to the person involved in the test taking; the time studying, discipline, energy, commitment, and courage to obtain, understand, and use the knowledge needed to pass the CPA exam and become a successful professional. recognizes the need for assistance to all the folks out there at the launch of their career. The CPA exam is the “make or break” point that will stop any further advancement if you are not successful in passing it. We wish to extend some helpful tips and/or techniques that may help you achieve that 75 or better.

1. Some basic things to consider when preparing for the CPA exam are a study schedule, test scheduling, and juggling your current employment. To begin with, a study schedule which allows for ample time that is focused on areas of need is of great importance. You need to be aware of your knowledge strengths and weaknesses, and place your attention where it is needed the most. As for test scheduling, many times you will find there to be limitations or black-out periods when you can and cannot take certain sections of the test. Be aware of those parameters and schedule your tests accordingly. The final area to consider when prepping for the CPA exam is to know your limitations with your current employment. Try not to spread yourself too thin and wear yourself out from too much work and study. What’s more important; your job making less than $10 an hour, or the steps towards your career where your salary is worth your skill level?

2. Use a study buddy when cramming. Bounce information between each other and quiz one another orally as well as in written form. Many times, your study partner will be stronger in areas where you are not and vice versa. This partnership is very beneficial to all parties involved when preparing for the CPA exam.

3. Allow for some down-time. Your brain will turn to mush if you stay in “study mode” all the time. It’s not uncommon to feel unmotivated or unfocused- this is when you allow yourself some freedoms from the books and engage in things that will help you refocus your attentions. It’s okay to give yourself this time, just remember not to go over board and never forget that you have to once again crack the books.

4. Use the practice test materials that are available. Often times the questions that are posed in those practice books are derived directly from the CPA exam itself.

5. Understand that while your goal is to pass on the first go, you may become one of the majority who do not succeed the first time. Believe it or not, many candidates fail several sections when they take the CPA exam. It’s best to prepare yourself for the possibility and then take what you’ve learned from that failure and prepare to take that section again- and by no means let your self dwell in the failure itself.