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Tips & Strategies for How to Pass the CPA Exam

Updated on January 16, 2013

Study Strategies and Motivation Tips for the CPA Exam

Passing the CPA Certification Exam requires hard work and thorough CPA review preparation, but the results are more than worth it. At Roger CPA Review, we offer CPA review courses designed to prepare you for your career and fit your busy schedule at the same time. Our RealResults® CPA exam review system has helped more than 80,000 students just like you stay focused and motivated while learning the information and exam-taking strategies that you need to succed.

Study Strategies and Motivation Tips for the CPA Exam

How you can make the most of your study power hour

Let's cut right to the chase - no one likes to study. Period. It's the last thing on any sane person's list of desired activities, right down there with having another hole drilled in your head and swimming with a pack of hungry sharks.

We've all been there. It starts off just fine, with you sitting down to read through your class notes or highlight the textbook. Soon, though, your mind starts to wander. Anything and everything becomes a better idea than actually studying. I'll just take a minute to check out Facebook. Maybe you even start cleaning your room. And by the time you had planned to be finished with the grueling task of poring over your course material you've barely even begun.

But studying has to happen - it reinforces concepts learned in the classroom, which will directly affect a student's performance when it comes time for an exam. So how can one get himself to do it, and do it well? As professionals in the realm of CPA Review, we here at Roger CPA Review know a thing or two about how to succeed when preparing for an exam (namely the CPA Exam). And so to lend a helping hand to anybody out there looking for a little guidance, here are a few things students should be looking to strive for in creating a productive study session.

Find what motivates you.

This is probably the most important aspect of studying, and that's why I'll start with it. Pinpointing the factor that will make you able to sit down and actually complete the task at hand is first and foremost when it comes to success in studying. After all, if you never settle down and start, then you can never finish. Motivation comes in a lot of forms for a lot of different people. Some are interested in the topic they're reviewing and that's enough to get through a session. For others, the grade on an upcoming exam is a sufficient spur. Still, some others may find that they need an extra kick to rein in their concentration for a time. People in this third situation might find it helpful to incentivize their study - If I study for an hour straight, then I can have an entire sleeve of Oreos. Now, you'll probably want to keep it a bit healthier than that, but you see where I'm going with this, right?

Break it up.

If you're still having trouble keeping your nose in the books (and really even if you're not), you should always keep in mind that our brains work more efficiently when given time to rest after periods of intense concentration. Every hour or so you should feel free to take 10 minutes and do whatever it is you do to unwind - take a walk, play the guitar, draw a picture, etc. The downtime will do you good, and you'll be doing yourself a service when it comes to the efficacy of your study time.

Bite size chunks of material are retained much more easily in the brain than long, drawn out lessons. That's why the Roger CPA Review course is designed with more concise lectures that focus in only on the material you need to pass the CPA Exam.

Determine the environment you work best in.

Do you like to have a little background noise while you read a few chapters in the textbook? Or do you prefer complete silence? Would you prefer to head to the library and be surrounded by other students, or do you like the solitude of your own room? These are all important questions to ask yourself before you start a session. Decide what type of surroundings you thrive in and make sure you're there when you crack the books.

Have a plan.

This will make it way easier to tackle the challenge that studying presents.

On a macro level, a daily calendar that lists your study goals will help keep you on track and get into a routine. Think of it as a lot like going to gym - it's always easier to keep going to the gym once you get into the groove of a solid routine. Studying is exactly the same in that sense.

On a micro level, you should have a plan of attack that outlines how you will approach each individual chapter or topic during your study time. This organization will keep your efficiency high and prevent you from getting stressed when it comes time to study.

Structure like this is especially important when it comes to preparation for exams that happen over extended periods of time, such as the CPA Exam. It's easy to lose your way when you're forced to spend months studying and working incredibly hard, but study schedules, like those provided by Roger CPA Review, are a great way to stay focused and on track.

Last, but not least, do what works for you! Don't get wrapped up in the stereotypical image of the hardworking college student surrounded by mounds of fat textbooks sitting at a desk in the library at 3am. If you like to listen to blaring death metal and eat Twinkies when you review, then do that. But always make sure that whatever it is you decide to incorporate into your study environment is actually helping you learn and reinforce the material - just because you like something doesn't mean it's a great help to your studying! Try different things and work to find an efficient and conducive setting for you to learn in.

“Roger, you are awesome. I only wish you could have been my teacher for ALL my accounting classes!”

What CPA Exam study tips do you have to share? - Share your success stories, study tips, and weird memory aids with the group!

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