Tips For Studying For the CPA Exam

Tips For Studying For the CPA Exam

Anyone who wants to become a Certified Public Accountant must take the CPA exam. It is important to know all the requirements that are associated with the CPA exam in your area, as the rules vary from state to state. That is why it is imperative to not only be aware of the general requirements that apply to each test taker, but to also be aware of any state specific CPA requirements that apply to each individual.

Each state has a separate license board that determines and governs specific requirements for qualifying to take the CPA exam. However, in general, applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree and complete a minimum number of credit hours in business and accounting.

When taking the exam, it is always wise to start with the right CPA review course. This is an basic tool for success as CPA exam review courses are the best way to acquire the most precise information to study for the certification exam.

Exam takers also need to be aware that the CPA exam is comprised of four parts: AUD, FARE, REG & BEC. These codes stand for Auditing & Attestation (4.5 hours – 3 multiple choice testlets, 2 simulations), Financial Accounting & Reporting (4 hours – 3 multiple choice testlets, 2 simulations), Regulation (3 hours – 3 multiple choice testlets, 2 simulations) and Business ecosystem and Concepts (2.5 hours – 3 multiple choice testlets). Candidates must pass each of the four sections of the CPA exam within an 18 month window.

Preparing for the exam also involves finding out when the CPA exam is offered (January/February; April/May; July/August; October/November), what kind of questions to expect on each part of the CPA exam (a combination of multiple choice and simulations) and what scores are needed to pass the exam (a 75 or higher). Some other study strategies and techniques include choosing one or two locations for studying and use them only for this purpose. Peoples’ minds are usually accustomed to studying in a few specific areas; studying in these areas will be more efficient.

Three study tips that have proven effective for past CPA Review candidates:

Take scheduled breaks. Taking a five-minute break every half-hour or at the end of every chapter is a good way to speed yourself while studying. Candidates may feel the need to study 24 hours a day to cram for the big exam, but this could be detrimental to absorbing information and maximizing study possible. Also, it creates the likelihood that study breaks (when you do take them) will be longer and that study time will overall be less efficient. Planning activities among cram sessions is also helpful. for example, plan some five-minute breaks for stretching or getting a snack. Plan in a half-hour break to go running, watch TV or call a friend.

Sleep. As simple as this seems, it is difficult for some people to do. Sleeping at the minimum six hours a night will help alertness, making it easier to focus during cram time. If the need for a nap is necessary during the day to catch-up, limit it to 20 minutes. This is enough time to feel revived, but not groggy.

Finally, stay organized. Develop a daily “to do” list and prioritize CPA review with work, school, family and friends on a weekly basis. This will help continue focus on reviewing for the exam when it is time to get down to business, but make sure to balance it with free time in addition to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Following these study tips will provide a sure fire advantage to passing the CPA Exam. Studying hard, eating right, taking breaks, and sleeping are just as important as the information itself. It is all about staying healthy and being diligent and patient as it is a quite a long course of action to pass all four exam sections. Those who are motivated by their dream of achieving their CPA certificates and going on to become very successful accountants will have nothing to worry about as long as they are focused.

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