Common Motivation Killers for the CPA Exam


Hi, everyone! Today I’d like to talk about things that have really hurt my motivation to keep studying for the CPA Exam. The most difficult thing on my CPA journey is trying to focus on studying when I am not really motivated. There are highs and lows while studying for the 4 parts of the exam, and I would like to share my low times with everyone so that others that are having the same feelings can realize that they are not alone.

The most difficult obstacle I have experienced was failing REG.

I knew that REG was not going to be easy for me because I have only worked as an auditor and I know pretty much nothing about US taxation. It took a long time for me to feel comfortable with many of the concepts. I felt all the rules were complex and not logical and thus hard to memorize. It made me feel that the Government created Tax rules based on many factors such as the economy and lobbying, exploiting the money as much as possible in unnoticeable ways. As a result of not liking the section, I failed my attempt at the REG exam. Now I feel it is even more difficult to be motivated because I have to start studying for it all over again!

Another thing that hurts my motivation is when I do not see my score improve as I practice multiple choice questions.

It has happened to me while studying for all 4 sections of the exam. What is interesting is that there are always questions that make me think “I have not learned about this in my textbook”. If this has happened to you, do not worry. You are not the only one. 

The last thing is the overall length of time for the entire process.

I have to admit that I am getting a little bored of studying. I am a short term focused kind of person. I was pretty good at school exams because those exams were frequent and covered fairly narrow topics. Not like the wide coverage of the CPA Exam. For the CPA Exam, sticking with a study plan, working hard on it, and finding your own pace are all long term goals that can sometimes be difficult to stay on top of.

However, I know that these dips in motivation should be expected.

What I do in order to uplift myself from these motivation killers is to take things one day at a time and remind myself why I’m going through this journey. It’s easy to let a moment of defeat taint your entire day or week, so it’s important to always have a list of the benefits of becoming a CPA in front of you and to pick up where you left off in a positive perspective. Attitude is everything and you can’t start a new chapter of your studies if you keep overanalyzing the previous one!

These anxieties can also be overcome by the anticipation and excitement of passing the exam. Knowing that we experience ups and downs, facing the difficult parts, and gradually working through them will reinforce your confidence.

Good luck with your CPA road!

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