Thinking about anything else is difficult with the everyday stress of work, personal commitments, and college. Many people want to start a side hustle, whereas others want to pursue higher education. You can always enroll yourself into an MBA program, but isn’t it too common now? It is one of the reasons why people are looking for different certifications.
Finance experts opt for a career in financial analytics, whereas accountants prefer CPA certification. It sets a pathway for them to become a certified public accountant, but it’s not as straightforward as it may seem. After all, pushing yourself to study isn’t a cakewalk. However, you are not alone in this. Even the highest CPA test scorers struggled with finding time to study. Some had part-time jobs, whereas others were buried in extracurriculars.
Despite all the distractions, they could score the highest marks in the exam. Do you want to know how? Keep reading. Here we are highlighting five CPA exam tips from top scorers.
Prepare a Study Plan
Truthfully, preparing for the CPA exam isn’t like studying for college tests. You have to create a proper plan, organize your notes, and gather all the study material. Most people believe in self-study, but you must take advantage of the available resources. You can download notes from the official website or get yourself the Wiley CPA prep kit. It would have study material, past papers, and video tutorials, helping you prep for the exam.
Moreover, assign days to every topic. For two days, you can study auditing and attestation. Likewise, you can cover the business environment, financial accounting, and regulation the other days. Sticking to one subject the entire week can drain your energy. Often, students also lose interest. Therefore, be sure your study plan is interesting and keeps you motivated.
Map a Routine
Every top scorer had a unique strategy for studying and preparing for the exam. Some used to learn a topic and practice it repeatedly. Likewise, some top scorers waited before jumping to past papers to finish the entire course. All in all, you have to pick a strategy that best fits your interests. For starters, mark the topics you have to cover every day. After that, go through the exam format and preparation courses that provide a comprehensive exam guide. Creating a plan for several days ensures you have a routine aligned.
Similarly, you have to map out how many hours to study each day. All the material allocated for that should get completed in the hours you have for studying. It will keep you on a schedule, reduce stress and ensure you are well-prepared for the exam.
Track your Daily Progress
Have you been following the study schedule? Top scorers always stay glued to their plans to ensure they aren’t lagging. Therefore, you should track your progress and make daily notes on your preparation. At the end of every day, you can write how much time you spent preparing for the exam. In addition, you can grade yourself on your daily performance. When you approach your study with a grade, you are more likely to strive to do better.
Another reason measuring progress is crucial is that you will see trends in your progress. In turn, you can adjust the schedule. If completing two topics in a day becomes challenging, you can divide them further. Likewise, you can repeat test practice if your current exam score isn’t up to the mark. In short, having a daily log of progress will ensure you are holding yourself accountable and making efforts to study properly.
Aim for 85
In the CPA exam, the passing score is 75. However, top scorers aim for an 85. After all, it is crucial to have some margin of error. Let’s face it; different things come up. Some students experience exam jitters while others haven’t slept enough the night before. These things lead to silly mistakes that cost you marks. While aiming for 85, you have a margin to lose ten marks because of human error. But the question is how to score 85?
Practice a lot of past papers so you are aware of the format and topics. It will also help you manage time, ensuring you complete the paper without any rush.
Some students think it’s a good idea to push themselves beyond their limits, but it makes them burn out. Believe it or not, overstudying is as bad as understudying. It exhausts your brain and drains your energy level, resulting in poor performance on exam day. Therefore, be sure you aren’t exhausting yourself with all the preparation. If you see yourself struggling to stay on schedule, make a few amendments and give yourself enough time to go through the material.
Even though you have to shuffle your priorities, putting CPA at the top of the list, don’t lose yourself. Try to take out time for your friends and family. If going out doesn’t seem possible, talk to them over the phone. All top scorers balanced their studies with their routine life. It kept them motivated to do better and ace the exams without exhausting themselves.
Appearing for a CPA exam can be pretty challenging, but things are different when you go prepared. Therefore, create a proper study plan, give yourself enough time to practice old tests, and avoid taking a lot of stress. Remember, giving an exam doesn’t mean you have to cut yourself from the world. Instead, you have to use all the extra hours in the day for exam preparation.