Guest blogger Daniela: Tackling Derivatives

Daniela resides in the great state of Pennsylvania. She begins her CPA Exam journey with the perspective of a Masters in Accountancy and a new job as a Tax Staff Accountant with a top 100 accounting firm. She’s beginning with FAR and we know she’ll go far!

We have all survived Black Friday and I even picked up a new desk.  I just finished my second week of studying with Roger (my new best friend) for the CPA Exam.  A lot of the material is coming back to me from college and some of the material I either forgot or never heard of or perhaps my brain is blocking out those bad memories. One of those bad memories is learning about derivatives.  Options and futures and forwards, oh my! 

Since the thought of derivatives makes me cringe, I knew that I would have to take a different approach to studying this section.  I decided that I would alternate between watching the video, reading the book and writing down notes, in that order, until it clicked.  I feel like this order is the best way for me to learn.  I used to write notes as I read but I feel that it is better to read the information once through without stopping and then reread the information while writing down notes. 

I expected that I would have to go through this process 5 times but luckily that was not the case.  Roger presents the material in a manner that makes it easier to understand the first time.  However, it is derivatives so I still had to watch the section video twice.  I also rewrote most of the book verbatim the less I know, the more I write.  Every step along the way I felt like I retained more information until I finally felt that I was ready to do the homework questions.

Next on the agenda is derivatives and hedging instruments under IFRS oh no!  That sounds even worse.  I take the same approach; watch, read, write and repeat.  I know that I haven’t revealed any profound new study method but I truly believe that repetition is the best method.  So when the going gets tough, repeat, repeat, repeat!

Scroll to Top