What would you spend $1000 on if you had that kind of money laying around? A sweet gaming console with the newest version of Call of Duty? Maybe a fancy designer handbag or pair of shoes? Its not like $1000 is spare change and yet every day, people sit for the CPA Exam without taking a prep course and waste at least $723 on the exam fees, not to mention to the initial application fees which can be anywhere from $75 upward. Why throw away years of time and effort you put forth to earn your Accounting degree by going the cheap route and not taking a review course? Here are three key reasons why you should take a CPA Review course to ensure that you don’t waste time or money:
#1: College courses do not prepare you for the breadth of information on the exam. Professors love accounting and all its intricacies. Even if they work through a simulation or two in class, these exercises are not enough to get you through the exam. You need to focus on specifically what will be tested. The CPA Review prep courses meet with the AICPA twice a year to find out what will and wont be covered on the exam. If the audit standards change and you’re studying with your brothers roommates cousins book from 2012, you are wasting your time and not getting the most up-to-date info. Also, did you take a course in Government/Non-Profit Accounting? Did you know about 20-30% of the FAR exam is comprised of these sorts of questions? Bottom line: You will need a refresher or an overview of these topics before you dive right into questions. Drilling through millions of multiple choice questions will help, but you need to hone in on certain topics, understand them and how to apply them to pass this exam.
#2: Time management is key. You have about a minute and a half to answer each multiple choice question. These arent the kind of questions where you will have 3 obvious incorrect choices and one absolute response. These questions will take critical thinking and reading time in addition to selecting the response. Most courses have practice tests with built in timers that simulate the exam experience. You will need this, especially in the case of FAR and REG, the sections where most people tend to run out of time. Also, CPA Review courses like Roger CPA Review, focus your studying by using memory aides and mnemonics that you can use as soon as you sit down at Prometric testing center with your fancy whiteboard on exam day.
#3: Using a study planner will help you with work/life balance. Most courses will provide a customizable study planner which will delineate two to three hours of study time in addition to the one hour of class or lecture time. You need this tool. For years you have been told when to show up and how long you will be there. Your boss will not remind you to show up at the clients office or warehouse at this exact time on this exact day. You are responsible for knowing how to balance your obligations and life most assuredly gets in the way, when we make plans. Work-life balance enables you to juggle everything now and will help you in your career. A study planner is vital to charting out when you will commit to those 300-450 hours the AICPA recommends you need to successfully complete the CPA exam and also when you can actually catch up on sleep or Dancing with the Stars.
What do these three tips have in common? Discipline. It is the underlying thread that strings these concepts together. As Roger Philipp, CPA, and CEO of Roger CPA Review says “the CPA exam is not an IQ test, it’s a test of discipline. Discipline yourself and dont do it alone. You will end up saving your time, your sanity and money if you commit to using a CPA Review course now for 18 months. Dont let money or any other excuse be what stands between you and your CPA license!