Almost every accountant aspires to become a certified public accountant at some point in their career. As a CPA, you open yourself to many new and exciting opportunities. For example, there will be an immediate increase in salary of nearly 10 to 15 per cent in your current job. Besides, you will qualify for jobs that previously fell out of your reach. But you must undergo the CPA exam for this.
Getting your CPA license may take some time for some accountants. However, if you prepare well for the exam, you will have no trouble passing the CPA test the first time. To make your life easier, we have put together some key strategies that can help you ace the CPA exam in the first go:
1. Cover Everything In Your Study Materials
When studying for tests, it’s customary to skim through a few sections of the study materials here and there. It is the most serious blunder you could commit. Study everything in the proper order, paying equal priority to each section and allocating the appropriate amount of time to get to know it better.
2. Choose A CPA Review Program
Choosing a CPA Exam review course is another consideration. Unlike the common assumption, selecting a CPA review course is more than just going with the cheapest. Every course has its advantages, and which one you choose is entirely up to your personal preferences. Many well-reputed course providers such as Wiley CPA offer free trials as well. You can explore them to see which presentation style and format best suits your needs.
3. Lay Down A Realistic Study Plan
Set a reasonable time for yourself to pass the CPA Exam. Remember that being overly ambitious can lead to failure and demotivation. Instead, leave some wiggle room in your study schedule to account for unforeseen life events. Or something as simple as needing an extra day to assimilate material you have not previously studied fully.
It bears worth mentioning that everyone learns and studies differently. So the sooner you discover out what works best for you, the better. Figure out the best time for you to study and how long you can be fully productive before information starts to blur.
4. Be Clear About The Exam Date
When preparing for the CPA, one of the first things to consider is when to take the exam. This factor is crucial to your performance because the amount of time you devote to studying will significantly impact how much material you can cover in a given length of time. For example, if you are currently employed, do not attempt the exam during your busiest seasons. It is because you may not have sufficient time for preparation. Remember to include personal availability, family obligations, and other circumstances that will affect your study time.
5. Create A Support System
As a final bit of advice, make sure you have fellow accountants who understand what you are going through. While being accompanied by loved ones is comforting, those who have not taken the CPA Exam will be unable to come to terms with your challenges. On the other hand, having a CPA friend you can relate to relieves tension and aids in the review process. Suppose you do not know anybody else preparing for the CPA. In that case, there are numerous online forums where CPA applicants can exchange information and study advice.
6. Reward Yourself For Small Victories
You will have less time for everything and everyone else in your life if you spend more time studying for the CPA Exam. Therefore, it is important to give yourself some time to relax and let go of the stress. Utilize this time as an incentive for reaching certain milestones in your study material, especially when you pass a specific section of the CPA Exam.
7. Refrain From Dwelling On Your Blunders
Mistakes help us to improve. When things go wrong, take a step back and think about what you may have done differently. Use your blunders as a compass to help you find your way. When you prepare for the CPA exam, you do not want to be haunted by a past setback that will sap your motivation. Keep marching forward, and do not waste any time obsessing over blunders.
8. Eliminate Distractions While Studying
Repeated text messages and notifications are the arch-enemies of every CPA applicant. Take a moment to put your phone on mute or “do not disturb” mode, and dismiss any extra browser tabs. Keep one tab open if you require Internet access. You can combat online distractions by limiting or concealing time-wasting websites and programs.
Your decision to take the CPA Exam to advance your accounting profession is a great one, so congrats! While preparing for the CPA exam can be difficult, the advantages of becoming a CPA are enormous. In case you feel overwhelmed about passing the CPA exam in the first go, the above-listed tips will assist you in accomplishing this lofty objective.