A certified public accountant (CPA) has a different focus than normal ones in this industry. The 670,000 CPAs in the U.S. work with large and small businesses to balance and review their financial records, ensure projects are on a budget, and file their quarterly and annual taxes.
This requires an extra level of training to obtain a state-approved license. To do this, accountants need to receive passing marks in an industry-related exam. Here are 7 tips that will help you pass the CPA Exam.
1. Find A Study Method Right For You
There’s not one proven study method. Some people highlight textbooks while others verbally record their notes. Then there are those who attempt to cram a lot of accounting information in a short period.
The first thing you need to do is find a study method that’s right for you. This could take a little time if you haven’t had to do this for a while. Nevertheless, try different styles until you find one that puts you in a study groove.
2. Select Review Courses
CPA exams are scored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). TO put it another way, while a majority of test questions are standard, some could be related directly to local financial regulations and standards. Hence, you need to select the right CPA review courses to help you pass the exam.
Companies like CPA Exam Guide should help you find the right study tools. On top of this, you want to reach out to the NASBA to determine your state’s regulating authority. Once you have all of this information you can select the right courses.
3. Set And Keep A Study Schedule
The CPA exam isn’t simple. Thus, you need to retain as much information as possible. To do this, you need to set and keep a regular schedule.
The best time to study is early in the morning. It’s when your mind is the clearest. However, you may work better after your get off of work. Or you could study in one-hour sprints throughout the day. Whatever method you choose make sure you religiously stick to it until the exam.
4. Take Sample Exams
To get an idea of the CPA exam’s structure you need to take some sample tests. These are regularly available from the company where you get your study tools. On top of this, you need to emulate the environment of the testing center.
Don’t open a new browser tab to search for answers you don’t know. Instead, find a quiet space to take the sample test and shut down all other internet sites. Additionally, use a 10-digit calculator instead of the computer one. It’s what you’ll be given at the testing site.
5. Don’t Cram
It’s mentioned above that some people like to cram everything about CPAs into one study session. Though it could be good at a point well before the exam it doesn’t work the night before a test. This method increases stress, reduces retention, and could lower your test score.
6. Review The Night Before
Focus on your intense study sessions during the weeks and days before the CPA exam. Use the night before to review your notes. This is a good time to take a sample test to determine if there are topics you’re still not sure about.
7. Don’t Second Guess Yourself
One of the issues people have when they take a test is second-guessing themselves. They answer a question with confidence then start to wonder if it truly is the right response. As their mind continues to play tricks, they decide to change their answer.
In the end, go with the first response you put down as it’s probably the right one. To confirm this, make sure you read each question and answer carefully. Eliminate the known incorrect ones to narrow your decision. It might take a reread to ensure you’re on the right path.
The overall theme of these 7 tips that will help you pass the CPA exam is don’t panic. Though the test is tough it isn’t designed to cause everyone to fail. It’s just tough enough to make you think. So, take a breath on each question, focus, and answer to the best of your ability.