Passing the CPA Exam is not an easy task. Taking all four parts needs to be properly planned and scheduled especially given the 18 month window before parts that have been passed will be lost.

Ideally, the best time to take and pass the exam is while you are still in school or before you start your career in public accounting. After graduation, working 40 hours a week and not just a professional life but a personal life begins to happen. Don’t even try to tackle the exam during “busy season” unless of course you don’t like to sleep.

CPA Exam Tips

Below are some suggestions on what will help in passing the exam and achieving this life-long credential:

  • Sign up for a review course.  Our Firm has partnered with Becker but there are other options out there to try as well – Bisk, CPA Excel, etc.
  • Concentrate on studying for one part at a time.  Statistics say the average preparation study time is 80 hours per part and some people believe that is conservative.
  • Don’t take a part without believing to the best of your ability that you will pass
  • Find a study method that works best for you – can you study at home?  Do you need to go to the library?  Did you need a study buddy?
  • Build time into your schedule to relax and think about something else (but not too much!)
  • When in doubt pick “C” 🙂
  • Ask people who have passed what worked best for them; consider their recommendations and if they would apply to you
  • Explain to family and friends why they won’t be seeing you for awhile and explain why you need their support to pass!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your mentor/performance advisor in the firm for help – with study time, scheduling, etc.  If you’re still in school, talk to your advisor and get their feedback
  • If you determine that passing the exam is just not for you, that’s ok.  Be honest with yourself and with your advisors.  They deserve to know your plans.

All certified professionals have been in your shoes at one point or another.  Keep that in mind!  And finally, if you have any questions or problems, don’t be afraid to ask for help!!

And when you pass, you can buy a mug just like the one in this picture!