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Unless you have a photographic memory or amazing recall abilities, don't wait until the last minute to study.
Having gone through several years of schooling and taken bar exams (and passed), I have developed some study habits that have helped me successfully pass these exams. First, I do not procrastinate. I know people who start studying for big exams a month before the exam. That may work for some, but it doesn't work for me. A friend of mine has a photographic memory and instant recall ability, so he can remember anything he has ever read or been exposed to and repeat it to you verbatim. Unfortunately, my photographic memory is out of film. I need repetition and time to review any information already gained in order to retain it.
You must also set realistic study goals and timelines. Dr. Gleim’s program suggests that you study the material for one hundred hours. For me, studying three nights per week, at least four hours, is optimal. It allows me time to work and study for the CPA exam, but allows me to have free time as well. This pace puts me on course to sit for the BEC exam in July. At that rate, I will have reached one hundred hours of study in less than 9 weeks.
My final tip, at least for this article, is to use a buddy and set up a weekly check-in. I used this approach in getting my accounting bachelor's degree, and it was amazingly successful. I sometimes get busy and distracted and may miss a week of studying. However, by having a check-in buddy, I have a checkpoint, which helps to focus my studying. Our check-in usually lasts no more than a few minutes, but it’s like having a deadline. We set up weekly goals for me to attain in my studies, and on Tuesday nights, we discuss my accomplishments and set goals for the next week. That accountability to that third-party drives me to stay on track and stay on course.
Gleim CPA Review is proud to welcome Jonathan M. to the Team Gleim family. While Jonathan enjoys being a chronic test taker, he does want to ensure that he only takes each section of the CPA exam once, which is why he chose to pass with Gleim. Good luck CPA candidates!