Prepping for the CPA Exam
Certified Public Accountant and consultant Lewis Daidone offers tips for preparing for the CPA exam
Passing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination is no easy feat. About half of all people who take the CPA exam fail. In addition, it is estimated that there is only about a 20% chance of passing all four parts in one try, so proper exam preparation is crucial.
Clearly, anyone who intends to take the CPA exam has to take it extremely seriously. Not only is the exam rigorous (it's a 14 hour test), the cost for the four sections of the exam is approximately $1,000, including the application fee. In addition, I highly recommend taking a review course – and those fees range from $1,500 to $3,000. Trust me—you don't want to have to take this more than you have to!
Here are a few tips to consider regarding taking the CPA exam.
Choose your study courses carefully
Don't settle for basic review courses or those with the best advertising or those that appear affordable. Do the research. Look for hard data on student exam passing rates. Review the reviews – search for student posts on independent websites..
Study like it's your full-time job
Plan to put in 30+ hours per week of study (approximately 500 hours) for each section of the exam. In addition to dedicated study time, you can also take audio courses, and listen to them during your drive to work or on the elliptical. You will also want to simulate the exam itself – multiple times. Your review courses should offer computerized test simulations; there are also online resources you should research – some are free, These should be used only to augment the review course material, not replace it.
Take care of yourself!
If you're completely sleep deprived and run-down by the time your exam date rolls around, you're probably going to kiss all of that exhaustive prep work goodbye. Get plenty of rest, eat well, and practice your favorite stress-reduction techniques so that you will be in top physical and mental condition for your big day!