Top 8 Tips for Passing the CPA Exam
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam is widely considered to be one of the most challenging professional exams out there. So much so that many professionals will tell you it’s practically impossible to pass on your first try. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our tips for passing the CPA exam so you can get through those difficult moments with flying colors! If you’re currently in the process of becoming a CPA, or are thinking about becoming one, you may have heard that the test is really hard. In fact, most people who take it fail on their first try. Are you nervous? Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. Keep reading to learn more about the CPA exam and some helpful tips on how to succeed when taking it and you’ll be 100% ready to receive a passing score come CPA exam score release night.
Don’t Be Scared – Be Prepared
The first thing you need to do before taking your CPA exam is to set yourself up for success. How? By accepting the fact that this exam is really hard and that you’re going to have to be prepared for a challenging time. If you go into the exam expecting it to be a walk in the park, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Instead, go into it knowing that it’s going to be a difficult exam and that you’re going to have to be at the top of your game in order to be successful. Knowing what to expect ahead of time will help you to better prepare mentally, and will make the process easier on you as a whole.
Learn the Basics Beforehand
Before you even start studying, you should make sure you’re familiar with the basics of auditing and accounting. This will help you to understand the concepts that you learn in your study materials much more easily. You can read up on the basics online, or even at your local library. You can also ask your friends who have already taken the exam, or your professors at school if you feel like you need a little extra help.
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Don’t Rely Solely on Your Study Guide
While it’s important to study your textbooks and understand your CPA exam study guide, you also need to actively practice problem solving. If you just study from your textbooks, you’re not going to be prepared for the actual exam, which is largely made up of problem solving scenarios. So, make sure you’re actively solving practice problems and using sample exams as well to make sure you’re fully prepared.
Know Where You’re Going Wrong
After you’ve completed your exam, make sure you know where you went wrong. Did you not understand the concepts well enough? Did you not have enough CPA exam practice questions? Were you not prepared enough? Make a note of these things so that you can actively work to improve them. For example, if you didn’t have enough practice problems, make sure you practice more. If you feel like you didn’t understand the concepts well enough, reread your textbooks or try to find other materials that might explain the concepts to you better.
Focus on Improving Your Weak Areas
If you know where you went wrong, you can also know which areas of the CPA exam you need to focus on improving. Now, don’t just randomly pick a few topics and study those. Instead, you should look at exam content and make a study plan. For example, if you know you need to improve your financial accounting and reporting concepts, don’t just look at more examples in your textbook. Instead, find a financial accounting and reporting concepts study guide that has a lot of practice questions in it.
Being organized is important for so many reasons when you’re studying for the CPA exam, and so many other aspects of life in general. If you want to be successful with your studying, and ultimately passing the exam, you need to be organized. Make sure you have a set schedule for your studying, and don’t deviate from it.
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Get a Good Night’s Sleep Before the Exam
Studying for the CPA exam is a lot of work, and there’s a good chance you’re going to be a little bit tired. However, if you’re tired, you’re going to make lots of mistakes on the exam. That’s why it’s important to get a good night’s sleep before the exam. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep so that you’re well rested, but not too tired before the exam.
Take Breaks and Walk Around Occasionally
You might be tempted to just sit down, put your headphones in, and study for hours on end. However, that’s not going to help you at all, and in fact, it can even hinder your studying. Instead, make sure you’re taking regular breaks to give your mind a rest. This can be as simple as taking a break to get a glass of water, or walking outside for a few minutes.
As you can see from our top 8 tips for passing the CPA exam, it’s important to be prepared for a challenging time, and to actively practice for the exam. Make sure you’re familiar with the basics, that you’re not relying solely on your study guides, and that you’re actively solving practice problems and using sample exams. Costs associated with the CPA exam make it an investment. So, make sure that you’re taking it seriously.
Once you’ve completed your exam, make sure you know where you went wrong so you can actively work to improve those areas. Then, make sure you’re staying organized, getting a good night’s sleep, and taking regular breaks to give your mind a rest. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to passing the CPA exam with flying colors!