Being successful on the CPA Exam is not an exact science. Everyone has their own way of learning and has their own test taking quirks and techniques. However, from my experiences along with talking to others who have taken the exam, there are some helpful tips that could be useful to those of you that are starting to think about the CPA Exam.
1) It is never too early to start thinking about and planning the CPA Exam. I would recommend becoming familiar with the basics of the exam at least a year before you plan on signing up.
2) Do not wait! The longer you wait to take the exam the harder and harder it will be to devote the time needed to be successful. I recommend devoting the summer after your graduate to the exam. It might not be fun at the time, but it will be well worth it down the road. You have to view the CPA as an annuity that will pay dividends your entire life.
3) Don’t study “just to pass”. I find that people who study just to squeeze by with a 75 find ways to just fall short. Study with the intentions of receiving the highest grade possible because you just never know what will happen on test day. There is no such thing as “over-studying” for the exam.
4) Take a review course. There are plenty of good courses out there. Be diligent with the course work and you will see results. You can never do enough practice problems and practice exams while studying either. Those are big learning tools.
5) Don’t get discouraged! Studying and taking the exam is not fun, we all know that going in. But just like most things in life, studying and taking the exam is a process that one develops and better understands over time.
6) Make sure you have a good understanding of the test format, the setup, and the scoring system before you walk in to take your first exam. I made the mistake of not knowing how the exam was scored going in to my first exam which caused a lot of unnecessary anxiety.
Best of luck!