Studying for the CPA Exam feels, at times, like it should be a full-time job in and of itself. Combined with an actual full-time or part-time job, the task may look even more daunting. It’s a long process that requires discipline and commitment, there’s no doubt about that.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t pursue your CPA certification. The process, while arduous, is also vastly rewarding. Not only will you grow in your professional knowledge, but you will also grow as a person, learning your own capacity for balance, discipline, and hard work.
If you’re preparing for your CPA Exam while also working a full-time or part-time job, here are a few pointers to make the path a little smoother.
1. Create a routine
Time is valuable. Every day only has so many minutes, and each one is crucial. If you’re working and trying to keep up with the rigorous studying required for the CPA, you’ll learn quickly that your time is far too precious to waste.
First, make a plan for your entire CPA Exam process. Schedule the order and time frame of each section of the test, and then break down the time in between by your study topics. Determine your big picture plan first before you try to break it down on a smaller scale.
Then you can make a daily schedule. Budget time for work and for study, as well as personal time for friends, family, hobbies, and sleep.
Lastly, and most importantly, stick to your schedule! Having a plan doesn’t help if you don’t use it.
2. Make Use of your Free Time
When you have breaks or downtime at work, it’s tempting to spend it talking to coworkers or scrolling endlessly on social media. It may not seem like it, but these short intervals can make great study breaks.
Again, every minute of the day is valuable. Rather than wasting your breaks scrolling through the vacuum of social media, use it to be productive and move another small step toward your goal – a CPA certification.
3. Technology is your friend
There are so many helpful study resources available from your phone, tablet, or computer. Whatever setting you’re in, use the resources available to you to study! Don’t have your computer? No problem. UWorld Roger CPA Review has study resources available on any device.
Whatever technology you have at your disposal you can use to make progress toward your study goals. Especially for students who work, portable technologies provide great opportunities to study when you’re not in the comfort of your home.
Whether it is listening to lectures on your commute or studying virtual flashcards on the train, technology is your friend when it comes to studying. Use it!
4. Keep a long-term perspective
One of the most important things to remember, especially if you’re working while you study for your CPA Exam, is to maintain a long-term perspective. Keep your eyes on the end goal. Coming home from work, it can be hard to pluck up the motivation to sit down and study. You’re working hard all day and it doesn’t feel good to sit back down and get back to work.
It’s difficult. There’s no way around that. But you’re a future CPA – an expert, a trusted advisor, a hard worker. You are capable and you will succeed. Just keep your mind set on the goal you set out to achieve, and it will all be worthwhile.