With the holidays right around the corner, we all know how difficult it might be to study for the CPA Exam. Since the holidays are a tough time to concentrate on your studies, we have put together a list of things you can do to make your study time a bit easier.
1. Have a Plan
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: make a plan! All of the virtual Friendsgivings and holiday parties can really put a wrench into your normal study routine. That doesn’t mean you just have to RSVP “no” to everything. It just means you need to adapt and adjust your plan specifically for the holidays and all the hustle and bustle that they bring. A key aspect of achieving your CPA is by being adaptable and resilient. The holidays are a perfect time to flex those skills!
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
It’s ok to say “no” to that next virtual family gathering. Some things are worth working around your schedule. Some things are not. Only you can decide what is and what isn’t. When the time comes, don’t be afraid to say no to some things. Your study time is important, and your friends and family will understand that.
3. Use Special Events as a Motivator
Even if you’re really looking forward to seeing your family or friends over the holidays either virtually or socially distanced, let the special moments that come with the holidays be your inspiration. Waking up extra early to study isn’t easy, but it’s a little easier when you have the extra motivation of whatever fun activities you have coming up – even if it’s just sitting at home with your immediate family all day watching movies.
4. Ask For Support
Most people don’t understand how serious of a task you’re undertaking with your CPA studies. They may try to tempt you out of your study habits and encourage you to just throw it out the window for the holidays. It’s hard to say no to distractions like that, especially during the holidays. So instead of fighting that uphill battle, take steps to prevent it ahead of time. Let your friends and your family know about the importance and extent of your commitment to your studies, and ask them for their support. Now, instead of distractors, you have supporters. That’s a win.
5. Get out of the House
Ah, the holidays. Kids are out of school or have been since March. Holiday smells are coming from the kitchen. There are presents to wrap, snowmen to build, and movies to watch. It sounds pretty great unless you’re trying to study in the other room. Find yourself a quiet, distraction-free place to study. Whether it’s your office, the bathroom, or your car, get yourself away from the frenzy to study. Less distraction equals more focused study time, which equals more time for fun when you’re done!
6. Get a Study Buddy
It’s so easy to get off track during the holidays, but remember you’re on a strict timeline! Accountability is everything when you’re trying to stay on track in the midst of so many distractions. Find yourself a study buddy/accountability partner – someone who knows what you’re going through and can offer you support and keep you focused on your goal. It’s a tall task that you’ve undertaken, don’t try to go through it alone!
7. Don’t Neglect Sleep
With life as crazy as it is right now, you may be tempted to stay up later and wake up earlier to squeeze it all in. Our advice: don’t. You need plenty of rest to keep you at the top of your game. It’s not just your studying that suffers when you’re exhausted; every aspect of your life is affected. So do yourself a favor and get seven to eight hours a night. If you can’t fit it all in your schedule and still get enough sleep, revisit tip number two on this list.
8. Get Physical
Exercise is vital for staying healthy, managing stress, and even balancing your mental health – not to mention working off some of those holiday sweets. Make sure you have at least a little bit of physical activity every day, even if it’s just getting outside for a short walk. It’s good for your body and your mind. If you really can’t spare the time, give some new study tactics a try. Work through flashcards while you’re walking. Get creative!
9. Study On-the-Go
If adaptability is the key to holiday studying, there’s no better tool than the UWorld Roger CPA Review mobile app. Turn your walk, your workout, and even your lunch break into study sessions. And, you can master the most heavily tested CPA Exam topics with our cutting-edge Digital CPA Flashcards while you’re on-the-go. Every little bit counts, especially during the holidays.
10. Study Smarter, Not Longer
Again, time is precious during the holidays. Don’t waste your time with ineffective study methods. Find the study tactics that work best for you and study smarter, not longer. Use SmartPath Predictive Technology™ for personalized, data-driven recommendations to optimize your study time.
11. Keep your Eyes on the End Goal
Remember what you’re doing all of this for. You’re not studying for the sake of studying. You’re studying because you will soon be the proud owner of one of the most coveted professional certifications of all. Soon, if you keep up the good work, you’ll be a licensed CPA. Keep that goal in mind as you work through the CPA Exam.
12. Have a Happy Holiday Season
The holidays shouldn’t be all work and no play. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be smart and stick to your plan, but give yourself time to just enjoy the season. It’s a special time of year, and you don’t have to miss it all to study. Give yourself plenty of time for celebration during the joyful days of the holiday season.