Any aspiring accountant likely knows that the CPA exam can be challenging. However, they also know it’s entirely possible to pass the exam (even on the first try). Doing so is simply much easier when you practice strong study habits.
The following tips will help. To improve your chances of performing well on the CPA exam, keep them in mind:
Take a Prep Course
This may be a fairly obvious tip, but it can also be a valuable one. Taking a prep course for the CPA exam will dramatically boost your odds of getting a high score. Best of all, you don’t even need to inconvenience yourself by taking an in-person prep course. An online CPA exam prep course may be better-suited to your lifestyle and needs.
This is a piece of advice many CPA exam top-scorers share. Most find the CPA exam somewhat difficult because you’re expected to learn quite a lot about a range of subjects before taking it. Thus, it’s best to start preparing for the exam as soon as you believe you’re going to be taking it. That could mean beginning to prepare years before you even take the exam. This may be somewhat time-consuming, but if you’re committed to becoming an accountant, you’ll be doing your future self a big favor by beginning to study as soon as possible.
Devote Sufficient Time to All Subjects
The CPA exam covers many subjects. Some may be easier for you to understand and learn about than others.
What’s most important to remember is that every subject the exam covers will deserve an equal degree of attention. If you get stuck devoting all your time to one subject because you’re struggling with it, you might forget to set aside enough time to study other subjects that also require your attention and focus.
Experts recommend skipping over a subject you’re struggling with and moving on to the next one if focusing on a challenging subject is preventing you from focusing on others. That’s not to say you should disregard that subject entirely. You should simply return to it later after you’ve covered other subjects that may come more naturally to you.
However, experts also recommend not assuming you can skip reviewing the subjects with which you’re more comfortable. When reviewing each subject in preparation for the exam, review all of them thoroughly, including those that you consider “easy.”
Develop a Routine
This is another critically important tip that can optimize your overall CPA exam prep strategy. It’s very helpful to develop a CPA exam study routine that works for you. While the right routine for one person may not be ideal for another, most agree that all routines should involve some degree of taking breaks and devoting nearly equal amounts of study time to all subjects.
Developing the most effective routine may not be something that you’re able to do overnight. It can take some experimenting to determine which type of routine is most effective. However, once you have a routine in place, studying for the CPA exam will be a much more natural process.
None of this is meant to intimidate you! Remember, many people do pass the CPA exam on the first try. These tips will simply improve your odds of doing so.