5 Ways to Prepare for Your Upcoming CPA Exam

Written By Alla Levin
February 24, 2020

Prepare for Your Upcoming CPA Exam

The journey to becoming a CPA can be a long and difficult one. On top of earning a degree in accounting, it requires a person to undertake a rigorous study schedule and perform well on a challenging exam.

Though this may seem to be an impossible task, it can be done as long as a person has the right attitude and the willingness to work hard.

To prepare for the CPA exam, there are several things a person can do, including taking a review course, obtaining a study guide, hiring an experienced coach, developing an exam timing schedule, and scheduling study breaks.

Take a Review Course

One of the best things that a person can do to prepare for the CPA exam is to take a review course.

Most review courses include hours of classroom videos, practice tests, task-based simulations, and study materials.

Some of the better courses also include personal help and instruction from professionals.

In fact, there are some CPA Exam Prep courses that even have a practicing CPA on their management team.

Classes can generally be completed online or include some in-person classroom instruction, depending on a person’s availability and learning style.

By taking a quality review course, a person can be ready for the CPA exam in as little as 15 weeks.

Obtain a Study GuideCPA Exam Prep courses

In addition to taking a review course, obtaining a study guide is a must when preparing for the CPA exam.

Many study guides are available, with some being free and some available at a cost.

A study guide will help a person through the entire process of applying for and taking the CPA exam. The application alone can be complicated.

After the application is accepted, a person can continue to use the study guide to learn study strategies and obtain tips for boosting scores.

Hire an Experienced Coach

For some people, completing a CPA review course is not feasible.

Perhaps they have job, family, or other time constraints, or maybe they feel like they would learn better in a one-on-one instruction environment.

Whatever the reason, the solution may be to hire a coach. Some coaches work independently and others may be associated with a tutoring company.

All of them will be CPAs themselves and will have scored high on the CPA exams.

A coach will be able to help a person prepare for the CPA exam by providing individualized study material and strategies.

Develop an Exam Timing ScheduleCPA exam

To do well on the CPA exam it is important to understand the nature of the test itself. The exam is divided into four sections, with each section including five tests.

Time management while taking the exam is of the utmost importance. A person should prepare a timing schedule for each part of the exam that allows enough, but not too much, time for each section.

Be sure to allow time to use the research tool, but do not spend too long on one section, as the better one performs on a test, the more difficult the next testlet will be.

Allow for Study Breaks

It is true that a person needs to do a lot of studying to prepare for the CPA exam. This includes participating in a review course or working with a coach as well as studying independently.

A person should develop good study habits by first determining the best location and time of day for studying, then sticking to a study schedule.

However, it is not necessary to study for exam nonstop.

In fact, doing so can even be detrimental to a person’s progress. Therefore, it is important to allow for breaks when making up a study schedule.

This will give a person time to relax and recharge and make them better prepared for future studying.

Passing the CPA exam is a notoriously difficult thing to do. The exam includes twenty smaller tests, and each takes patience and effective time management to complete.

Though passing the exam can seem overwhelming, it is definitely possible.

By following five basic guidelines, including taking a review course, obtaining a study guide, hiring an experienced coach, developing an exam timing schedule, and allowing for study breaks, a person is guaranteed to be as prepared as they can be and will likely do well on the exam.

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