Whether you are balancing a crazy work or personal life while studying for any of the four sections of the CPA exam (BEC, REG, FAR or AUD), there never seems to be enough time in the day for quality study time. So, the Universal CPA Review team has compiled our favorite list of strategies and technique that can help you find optimal study strategies.
Make Flash Cards
For visual learners, flash cards can be a great memory aid for repeatedly quizzing yourself on topics that simply require repetition. Although much of the CPA exam is formulaic and mathematical, that is not the case 100% of the time. A lot of the exam is conceptual and can be learned by memorizing. Whether you are trying to remember components classification of the financial statements that is often seen in the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) exam, or are trying to remember formulas to calculate questions for the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) exam, both flash cards can be a critical tool that can pick up those extra “garbage points” on your exam.
Study in the Morning
Although all candidates study differently, we have found that the majority of our students find more production first thing in the morning rather than late at night. When logging into your online CPA review course first thing in the morning, you will have the opportunity to read challenging material before you have thought critically about anything else. After all, the brain is a muscle. I think we could all agree that attempting to train your muscles after a full day of working it might not be the ideal strategy.
Write Down Question Numbers You got Wrong
Whether you are studying with a full review course, or repeatedly practicing multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations, it is paramount that you note what topics you are getting wrong. Write down the question number and flag questions that you are misunderstanding or getting wrong. This way, you can go back to these topics or topics that are similar to help identify what areas you can improve on. This is especially helpful when it comes time for your final review.
Studying for the CPA might seem like a daunting task. However, if you find small ways to tweak your study habits, it can result in a rather large impact down the line. Getting a 75% score on any section of the CPA exam is not an easy task for anybody, so making small changes to your study schedule could make the difference between a 75% and a 72%.