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What components do you study the most in preparing for the CPA Exam? What resources do you use to test your knowledge?

I am hoping to become a CPA in the future and would like to know what the best tools are to use when it comes to getting ready to take the exam. I am aware that it can take several attempts to pass the exam and it would be great to know how to best be prepared for it! #accounting #studying-tips #certifications


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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Lucy! I used Becker like a few other people here did as well. I completely agree in what Hannah had mentioned in that you need to do all of the questions and watch all of the lectures. I used all of my free time to keep working on different multiple choice questions and reviewing the different sections and I was able to pass them all! Additionally, depending on when you start your job, you may be able to pass a few of the sections prior to starting your job! If you do use Becker, I would say that one thing to keep in mind is if you don't do well answering the questions, don't let it bring you down! Keep studying and doing what you can to learn the material better and to keep pushing yourself to do better. There are typically 2 practice exams at the end once you have finished learning the material and I think I only passed those practices exams twice out of the 12 times (I had to retake 2 of the exams) I took them! You never know what kind of questions will be on the exam and you never know if they are going to be a "pretest" questions (aka questions that are not scored) so that is something to keep in mind as well!


Good luck in your studies!


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Hadar’s Answer

Hi Lucy!

As others have mentioned, the CPA exam is no small feat. However, it is not impossible and definitely can be done! Using a guided program (like Becker) is extremely helpful as they are aware of the content, changes, and styles of questions you will face on the exam. I found that doing a lot of practice tests and problems was the most helpful for me but I know other who learn best from listening to lectures and reading. I would say one of the keys is to identify your best learning style and then using that when going through all the resources available to you. Setting up a study schedule and timing tests when you know you'll have ample review time is also a good strategy.

I was only able to pass one section before starting my job full time and i was definitely envious of those who had passed them all before starting!

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Kristina’s Answer

The CPA exam is a challenge, but proper preparation and planning can help make it manageable. I recommend using study materials specifically designed for the CPA exam. I used the becker review program, including textbooks, lectures, practice questions, mock exams, and flashcards. There are other similar programs available as well. I also believe that planning out your study time is very important. I personally made a calendar with what I wanted to complete each day, including how long I anticipated it would take. This ensured that I did not overbook myself and rush through it. I also planned on a week to review and take practice exams before my exam date. Throughout the process, I used the flashcards to keep prior material fresh throughout the process. Similar to other responders, I took some tests before I began my job and others while working. Both can be done, it just takes proper planning. Best of luck to everyone taking the CPA exam!

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Hannah’s Answer

Hi Lucy.

I highly recommend getting a review prep program. Personally, I used Becker. I made sure to watch all of the lectures, read the textbook, and practice every problem. Although practice is extremely important, do not rely solely on how you do on the practice questions to gauge how you will do on the exam. After all, those aren't all of the questions that will appear on your exam, so make sure you really understand the concepts. Also, there is so much material for each section of the exam (especially FAR). As you're going through a section, make sure you refresh your memory every day or other day with prior chapters so that you don't forget. An easy way to do this is to simply go through those flashcards. Finally, be sure to take as many practice exams as you can! I know it's grueling, but you really need to just practice taking an exam for 4 hours. Best of luck in your studying!

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Eric’s Answer

Lucy,

As Rose noted, all parts of the exam are rigorous and could be difficult depending on your experiences. I recommend getting into an exam preparation program. The following link has some comparisons http://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-exam-review-courses/. If the cost is a concern, some accounting firms will cover the cost if you are employed with them or had a previous internship. Alternatively, you can join a study group to try to share the costs.

Whichever program you use, make sure to study the materials and go through the test exams and sample questions. Do not underestimate the time and effort it takes to complete the exam and try to take the exams during school or shortly there after as it will take a lot of dedicated time.

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Debbie’s Answer

Law was the toughest part for me so don't skip on this. I took a review course offered by a state university and it worked well for me. Ask questions if you are confused or don't understand something. Don't spend lots of time on topics you've already mastered. Gliem study guides with lots of practice questions. I tried to create calm surroundings while I studied so I could focus better.


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Rose’s Answer

Every section is difficult and requires rigorous preparation. I used the Becker in-person course, recorded lectures, exam simulation software, and workbooks. Distributive studying is helpful. For each part, I studied about six days a week (after work) for two months. After sitting for each exam, I took a week off and then started over. Fortunately, I passed all four sections the first time.


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