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Planning The Exam: How Long Should I Study?

Late last week and into this past weekend I played some email tag with Bonni and Sonny over at Yaeger CPA Review.  Sonny advised me that the recommended order of exams is F A R B, and that students will, on average, study for the following number of hours per section:

Using the Seat Availability Tool on the Prometric website, I looked ahead at what exam times were available at my local testing center.  After estimating how much time I would have to study based on these exam times, I decided that it may be best if I go in the order of F A B R, in the interest of providing myself more time to study REG in exchange for BEC.

Here is the proposed schedule I came up with, along with an estimate of study time for each section.  I used an average of 15hrs/week for studying, but that can potentially be increased if necessary.  March and June are grayed out because there is no testing in these months, and I will be heading off to grad school in mid-late August, so I'll need to have it completed by that point.

Do you think I can do it?  All feedback is appreciated! :)


What Section of the CPA Exam to Take First and Why
Reduce Your CPA Exam Study Time While Increasing Your Scores
Video: How Long You Should Study for the CPA Exam, per section (note: video is from 2010)

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Tags: AUD, BEC, FAR, I, REG, YaegerCPA, average, bonni, cpa, dave, More…exam, hours, how, long, prometric, recommend, schedule, should, sonny, study, week, yaeger


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Comment by Dave on January 3, 2012 at 6:58am

I agree that my schedule looks sparse based on the information presented here, but there are many other factors I am also considering. One of my classmates from college scored 90+ on FAR first time using Becker, and he studied about 120-140 hours for that section. With this in mind, my 15hrs/week estimate is conservative, based on a moderate study schedule. If I increase my weekend studying, I can potentially go above 20hrs/week. At 7 weeks, this is roughly 140hrs total. Additionally, a 90+ score would be nice, but I only need a 75. :) Next, I just finished my undergrad two weeks ago, so I should still be reasonably fresh on a lot of the FAR material.

Of course I am not trying to come off as overly confident or cocky, but while I don't want to under study, I also don't want to over study and burn myself out.

Either way, I will keep you updated as things unfold over the coming months. Thank you for your comment, and best of luck! :D

Comment by Jenni Kouma on January 2, 2012 at 6:34pm

I think you will need more study time for FAR. It's the most voluminous material and most difficult for me.  I passed all the section first try execpt Far wich I passed on second try.  You will do well if you begin with the most difficult material. Once you pass it,  the rest of the sections will be less stressful. my 2 cents.

Good luck Dave. I think you can do it.

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