Taking the CPA exam is a huge undertaking. It is a gruelling test to pass, as the nearly 50 percent of candidates who pass every year will attest. The good news is that there are many resources available to help any candidate be successful. Working in the test taker’s favor also are these 10 evergreen tips for passing the CPA exam.
A test taker should take the exam as soon as they feel they are ready.
It’s a common feeling to have butterflies when it’s time to take the CPA exam, but there are CPA exam prep classes and other resources that will help. A candidate should study hard and take it when they feel they are ready.
Set up a schedule and follow it.
It doesn’t matter whether a candidate is studying for the exam or actually taking it. Time is of the essence. For this reason a candidate should determine how much time they have to study or take the exam and stick to that schedule.
Take a review course.
Most experts agree that taking the CPA exam without a review course is much like being blindfolded, being turned around several times, then expecting to hit a target with a dart. It could be done, but chances are much better that the target will be missed.
Keep it under wraps.
Try to tell as few people as possible about preparations to take the CPA exam. Otherwise, there will be countless people offering their advice, with most of it inaccurate and useless.
Study using all the materials.
There are several different types of questions on the CPA exam. The ones that most people spend most of their time on are the multiple-choice questions because they are easier since the test taker knows the answer is there somewhere. This is a mistake and a waste of time.
Determine the best times and places to study.
Try to study at a time that is conducive to your body’s natural rhythm. Determining what time of day you will get the most out of the materials is a good idea.
A candidate should take the CPA exam when they think they will be ready.
Going down the path to whenever you think you will be most prepared is a mistake.
Reward yourself along the way.
Studying for and taking the CPA exam is a long haul. It’s made much more pleasant if milestones are picked along the way (completing studies of individual legs, scheduling the exam, etc.) and rewards are obtained when appropriate. Eat a nice dinner. Have a Dove bar. The form of the reward is up to the individual.
Once a candidate gets into the examination hall there is a chance they will feel unprepared. This is a serious mistake. Once a candidate reaches the exam stage, the chances are good that they have prepared extensively. A candidate should tell themselves that and adopt that mental state.
Remember that the clock is ticking.
No matter what stage a candidate is at in the preparation phase, they should remember that the clock is ticking. That moment will never come back again. Make the most of each minute. The clock can be the best friend or the worst enemy you will have. The choice is up to you.