Professional and licensed accountants benefit from the job’s perks and understand the challenges in their journey. Most CPA students anticipate graduation when they can finally complete the intense coursework and challenging exams. Preparing for the exam is one thing but creating an effective study plan is a different matter altogether.
Come up with a schedule that accommodates your learning rate and coursework. It can be a pretty arduous process since you have to create harmony across scheduling, content, exam dates, and personal timeline. With that, here are some tips to help you develop an achievable study schedule as you prepare for your CPA exam.
1- Identify Your Weak Areas
Choosing the appropriate study areas can be quite a headache as you may wonder where to begin. Take time to go through the vital topics to determine what you know and the areas to concentrate on.
Familiarize yourself with the exam content by reviewing previous papers and the most tested topics. Consider if you have the content to take the exam and areas that require improvement comfortably.
2- Stick to a Study Pace
Your study plan should accommodate what you intend to learn and work within the timeframe. Consider how fast you want to learn and the type of content you need to master. This way, you can determine whether to pick an aggressive or moderate study approach.
If you need to cover various CPA sections within a short period, you can opt for an aggressive study plan, especially if you have been a regular student. Conversely, aspiring accountants that have been away from school may consider using a study schedule that helps them refresh their content and revise their notes.
3- Use a Planner
Apart from the usual accounting programs, an interactive planner may help you organize your schedule to fit your lifestyle. Download a quality planner and enter the CPA exam dates, study hours, and course units.
The planner automates your schedule and provides room for customization in any dynamic shifts. This way, you can have a daily reminder to help you stick to your study plan and track your progress before sitting for the exam.
4- Evaluate Your Current Schedule
It can be pretty different when planning a study plan for your first CPA test. However, as a professional, you may have come across different tests and gained relevant experience from past exams. When preparing for another exam, start by evaluating your previous study schedules and the results.
Is your current schedule working, or do you need to create a new one from scratch? This way, you can revise your current plan and make changes to accommodate the upcoming exam.
5- Register for the Exam Early
Plan on when you feel comfortable to sit for your CPA exams. Determine if you have enough time to review various topics and revise your content.
Start by planning earlier and booking your exam quickly to provide enough time to plan your study schedule. Therefore, you can set your deadlines and separate your study time from your schedule.
6- Stick to the Plan
Don’t create a study schedule to deviate from it and get caught off-guard. Please stick to your schedule, commit to it, and avoid making unnecessary changes. Committing yourself to the schedule allows you to maintain a study momentum and focus on the CPA exam.
7- Prioritize Your Studying
Determine the areas that require utmost focus and where to begin your study. You can consider concentrating on your weak areas as you work towards strengthening your best topics. This way, you can determine the topics to allocate more time to and seek extra help.