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Many aspiring accounting professionals wishing to advance their careers consider sitting and passing the CPA exams. And while passing the CPA exams has various benefits for accountants, the harsh truth is passing the CPA test is no easy feat.
One of the most sought-after certifications in the accounting industry is CPA or Certified Public Accountant. The 16-hour CPA exam comprises four separate sections; Regulation (REG), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Auditing and Attestation (AUD), and Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR). Students must at least score 75 to pass the exam.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re also considering taking the CPA exam. However, you might be slightly reluctant to sit for the exam based on different stories. Of course, it requires plenty of time to prepare for the test, as well as sacrifices, and effort, but it’s all worth it in the end.
So if you’re deciding to appear for the CPA exam, then be sure to consider the following factors to help you ace the exam:
1. Schedule Your CPA Exam
How can you pass your CPA exam if you haven’t even bothered to schedule it? So the first thing you need to do after applying and paying your fees is to schedule your exam. Try to be as strategic as possible.
The CPA exam schedule might seem daunting initially, but following the basic steps, you can easily get started. Thus, start by visiting the testing center and choosing the exam date and choice of center.
Try to schedule your exam day as early as possible since the validity of NTS (Notice To Schedule) is for six months only. A better idea is to schedule your exam at least one month before, so you can secure your seat.
After selecting your exam date, find your testing center. Prometric has many testing centers in different US states, so use the website’s search function and find a nearby center.
2. Know Your Learning Style
No two students are the same. Each student has a different learning style, so figure out what works best for you. For instance, do you have zero motivation when studying solo? In that case, you may prefer to take in-person classes.
Moreover, you can watch video tutorials if you’re a visual learner. However, the flashcard method will work best for you if you’re a kinesthetic learner.
3. Start Studying as Soon as Possible
Once you’ve decided which section of the CPA exam you’ll sit for, start studying. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Life will continuously throw one obligation after another at you. Therefore, delaying study prep will be the biggest roadblock. Put it this way, the sooner you take the plunge, the more time you’ll get to study. Hence, passing the test will be much easier.
4. Practice, Practice, and Practice!
Before taking the actual exams, take a few practice tests. Do it three to four times, even if you dread doing so.
Taking practice exams is the best way to get familiar with the format of the actual CPA exam. Mock exams will help you learn how to effectively manage your time even before you walk in for your CPA exam. Moreover, once you have completed practice tests, you’ll clearly know which areas to focus on to improve your passing score.
5. Choose the Right CPA Review Course
Enrolling in a CPA review course is strongly advised if you wish to increase your chances of passing the exam with a good score.
Of course, it’s next to impossible to go through every topic you learned in your accounting college. A review course will streamline all the information you need to study and get you the suitable study materials to ace the CPA exam.
Keep in mind that not all review courses are the same. Conduct thorough research and consider enrolling in the one that is good for your learning style.
6. Seek Mentorship
Considering the CPA exam’s complexity, there is no shame in seeking additional assistance. Therefore, find someone who has passed the CPA exam. Connect with them and ask them what they did to score well.
Knowing how difficult the CPA exam is, others who have passed the exam will be glad to help you. A mentor can also provide resourceful tips, materials, and meaningful advice to conquer the test.
7. Let Your Social Circle Know
Getting distracted now and then will affect your focus and planned schedule. Therefore, limiting your social life is another crucial factor you must consider as you prepare for the CPA exam.
Tell your family, friends, and even employer that you’re preparing for the CPA test. That way, they won’t bother you, and you can spend significant time studying with total concentration.
8. Don’t Be Afraid of Failures
Unfortunately, some students fail to pass the CPA exam on their first or second try. However, remember that failure is a part of life.
If you’ve failed a particular section of your CPA exam, there is a high possibility that you’ll get upset and frustrated. After all, you studied for long hours and avoided social interactions for a long time to try to pass the exam.
But instead of giving up, recharge yourself and apply for a retest.
Undoubtedly, tackling a CPA exam is a significant step that boosts your career and confidence. And while CPAs have endless benefits, from higher salaries to flexible working hours, etc., passing the notoriously challenging test is no easy feat.
When it comes to taking a CPA exam, many factors can affect your test, but by paying attention to the above suggestions, you’ll be well-prepared.
So schedule your exam, study hard, and prepare yourself to ace the test!