Tip#6: As a last resort, reschedule the exam if possible.
It may be that after following through with a study plan and implementing the above and other tips, that you need more time. Find out if you can reschedule your exam and the associated costs. You may do this even before scheduling the initial date of examination. I do want to be clear that this is a last resort and being disciplined to sticking with the study plan should not lead to this last resort option. If you genuinely feel you need some more time, rescheduling the exam is a possible option.
Tip#7: Don’t lose track of the big picture.
I have found it quite easy to get caught up in the mundane activities of studying for the CPA and get frustrated and even a defeatist attitude/mentality. One way to combat such ill-advised mood is to know why you’re sitting for the CPA exam. It may ultimately be to have a better salary, which in turn means a better life for you and your family. Making an actual or mental note of this when becoming frustrated or getting lost in a particular topic can help minimize frustration and put you back on track with your studying, motivate you, and give you confidence.
Tip#8: Study what you find hardest first.
While there may be some logic as to why your study materials sequence topics as they see fit, it may not necessarily increase your ability to understand. You may not understand the first and third module but do already have a thorough grasp on the 2nd module. In this case, you may not want to spend too much time in the 2nd module concentrate more on the 1st and 3rd module. Of course, all modules should be studied, but study what you find hardest first so you can give yourself more time to understand the areas that you find most difficult.
Tip#9: Don’t Rush Yourself
We all have goals as to when we would like to pass all parts of the exam. However, if needed, go beyond your desired date of completion and don’t put yourself at risk. While we would all love to get the CPA ASAP, we must ensure that we’re prepared enough to take the exam, even if it means taking a longer time to finish that desired. You don’t want to put yourself at risk for failure to meet some internal deadline. Don’t get me wrong, we should all have a goal of when we should finish but don’t let this force you to take the exam when you know you’re not well prepared for it.
Tip#10: Inform friends and families about your studying.
One of the more difficult aspects of studying is the time involved that takes away from spending time with others. Giving others a heads up about our almost solitary confinement that inevitable causes some to confront you about your absence can take its toll. It can distract you from your studying and while perhaps not their intention, they may even make you feel guilty about studying. While we’re all human and tend to be defensive when we feel attacked, do understand that their frustration about your absence comes from a good place. After all, they’re upset that you’re away from them, which by implication means that they enjoy your company. While letting them know that their sentiment is rather heartfelt, it is temporary setback. Implementing tips 4 (i.e take breaks and give your brain downtime) & 6 (see above) can help alleviate this problem but it’s also important to directly speak with those that will be most affected by your absence.
This concludes the second and final part of Tips for Mission Impossible. Encompassing all the tips presented should overall increase the quality of your studying and help you be better prepared for your exam.
I would like to leave you with some acronyms. For each line, take the bolded letters and see what they spell out (Hint: There are four sections of the exam and four lines).
Finally Able and Ready
To Attempt to Unite Desire
with Reality by Engaging this Giant
To Bring this Endeavor to Conclusion