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The CPA exam is no doubt one of the most difficult professional exams.
According to data from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, slightly over 50% of exam takers pass the CPA. That means nearly half of wannabe Certified Public Accountants fail this test.
Those numbers may not seem too promising, especially if you’re a pessimist. And this brings us to the question of the day: How do you tackle this “beast” of an exam?
Well, preparation is key.
Preparing for the CPA exam requires a killer study schedule, top-notch CPA study materials, and a positive attitude. To help you through this journey, we’ve come with steps that will help you design a winning CPA exam preparation strategy.
1. Book Your CPA Exam Date
Booking your CPA exam date is paramount and the first thing you should do if you want to follow a winning CPA exam preparation strategy.
But why would you need to book an exam date even before you start studying? This is simple. Setting an exam date will give you the timeframe within which you need to study, and ultimately help you set the rest of your CPA exam preparation schedule.
Many people plan to study but end up procrastinating or putting it off because they don’t have an exam booked. But when you have a deadline to beat, you’ll have a reason to study and to stick to your schedule.
2. Find the Perfect CPA Review Course
The most important step in passing the CPA exam is finding the perfect CPA exam review course that maximizes how you learn best.
Does your CPA review course provide materials that fit your preferred learning style? For example, if you’re a self-studier, find a review course that provides a solid textbook and multiple-choice questions.
If you’re a visual learner, focus on finding a review course that offers a ton of video lectures. Finding the right review course can also give you the motivation to study.
3. Set a Study Schedule
Now that you’ve booked the exam and obtained the right reading materials, it’s time to set your reading schedule.
The first thing to do is to set your goal, then break it into simple, manageable pieces. Of course, your goal is to pass the CPA exam. But what should your reading schedule look like? The best way to approach this is to set daily and weekly goals.
Here’s a typical daily goal: Read for 1 hour (min 15 – 20 minutes). Watch 30 minutes of video lectures. Answer 100 FAR quiz questions. If you stick to this schedule, you’ll have created around 15 hours per week out of your busy schedule.
4. Get Stuff Done
Once your reading schedule is up, it’s time to get things done. Start reading! Don’t wait for the last-minute rush.
Following the schedule will help you cover everything within the set timeframe. It will also help you get mentally prepared for the exam day. For more information on this, Beat the CPA have prepared a very insightful piece on how to get ready for the exam day. It should give you insights into how to prepare for the big day and some tips on how to escape the panic fever.
We hope this article will help you create a bulletproof exam preparation strategy that will help you pass the CPA exam. Feel free to comment and share.