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You may think this is about a Tom Cruise film…well it isn’t but as many us have experienced, it can be just as dramatic. The mission of attaining the CPA license seems impossible. This impossibility is what I would like to make possible by July of 2012.
The easy part is setting a goal and the specifics to accomplish the goal but the difficulty lies in actually following through. So how exactly will this goal be met? I have a few tips to share that I myself will follow.
Tip#1: Take One Module At A Time
Don’t get overwhelmed by looking at all the topics in FAR. Start with a module and once, at the very least, understand the major parts of the module, proceed to the next module. Breadown the information that they are teaching and once you understand the smaller components of a module along with the major areas, then you can proceed to the next module. Simply taking one module at a time will alleaviate feeling overwhelmed.
Tip#2: Know What You Don’t Know and Why You Don’t Know It
It is important to know what areas you don’t grasp so you can direct your attention to those topics. In addition, it is also important to know why you don’t understand a particular topic/area. It may sound like a riddle but it is quite effective to know why you don’t know a particular topic.
In some ways, it may even help eliminate unnecessary studying. This sounds counter-intuitive but if you already know one topic by heart why continue studying it? Perhaps a refresher a week or two on all topics prior to the exam is warranted but leading up to it, you can extensively focus on things you don’t know.
Tip#3: Knowing an effective studying method for you.
Even for this unique CPA exam, is abundantly beneficial. It’s easy to find people that switch between studying materials with the misleading idea that the program they’re using is ineffective. Perhaps is ineffective in the sense that the way they studied is ineffective for them at the individual level. Perhaps using the same program differently would have produced the desired results.
It may also be that this could facilitate a better understanding of the material once an effective studying method is identified.
Tip#4: Take breaks and give your brain some downtime.
This is especially true if your studying is intense. If you studied for five or six hours on Saturday and there’s a get together at your friend’s place, you may want to take this opportunity to spend time with them. Maybe even have a get together of your own. While it is obviously important to study, it is also important that you don’t do so to the point of exhausting your brain, which may actually work against you. While you must make sure to stay on track with your studying, part of that track should include some resting periods. Sometimes some material may even sink in when you remove yourself from intense studying.
Tip#5: Find Others To Share Your Pain and Study Partner
Find other people who are also sitting for the exam so can help each other cope so to speak. A place where you can vent and you know you’ll be understood. Sometimes finding others that can empathize can be quite therapeutic.
Aside from CPA forums like this one, you can also perhaps even meet people at the testing center to find a study partner and motivate each other. While you may not find a study partner for the 1st sitting of the exam since you havent previously been to the tesing center, it may be helpful in your subsequent times you take the exam. This is especially true if you fail the initial exam. In these Internet days, let’s not lose sight that in-person interaction is quite valuable.
This concludes the first part of Tips for Mission Impossible. Stay tune for the second part.