Guest blogger Megan: Survive the CPA Exam

Megan shares with us the trials and triumphs of CPA Exam preparation, all from the perspective of a non-accounting major. She currently resides in Pennsylvania, and is loving Roger CPA Review’s acclaimed review course to prepare for the BEC Exam.

This weekend I attended an event at a local hospital. One of the speakers was country music star, Naomi Judd. She gave a poignant motivational speech on characteristics of a survivor. The list she discussed includes eight bona fide commonalities found among different groups of survivors. Data was gathered from people who had lived through many types of difficulties- emotional, physical, and circumstantial.

I couldn’t help but dramatize the process of CPA Exam preparation into something one survives. Please keep in mind, I am not saying that passing the CPA exam is on the same level as surviving a concentration camp, battling cancer, or living through ground zero conditions. I do, however, believe that the practices of these survivors can help anyone conquer whatever difficulty lies in front of them. Lets consider these characteristics in relation to the difficulties of passing the CPA exam.

Strong spiritual belief. This need not mean attending church every Sunday or even praying to a deity. Roger CPA Review professes the need for confidence, faith, and belief in yourself when it comes to successfully passing the CPA exam.

Strong support system. I cannot imagine spending countless hours pushing through lectures and homework without the caring support of my loved ones. Not to mention, if things don’t go as planned, a support system is there when you need to regroup and recover. It definitely helps to know others going through this process at the same time you are. If you’re like me, you may not know anyone personally, but I found ways to make connections online, so I would have support during this journey. Something as simple as reading a blog when you need encouragement contributes to your support system.

Sense of humor. There is no better way to involve comedy in your CPA exam preparation than studying with Roger CPA Review! Rogers antics and memorable stories bring a light-hearted tone to material that may otherwise seem dull or frustrating.

Connection to nature. If you don’t see how this one ties in, consider how you feel after spending multiple hours in a room by yourself. That is often the scenario when one has to put in hundreds of hours studying. Your body and mind respond well to fresh air and day light after spending extended periods of time in library lockdown.

Goals. This is one of those characteristics I cant say enough about. Consider small goals like finishing 30 multiple choice questions in the next 45 minutes and large goals like staying on schedule for the next month until exam day. Targets will keep you motivated and focused.

Good nutrition. Certain foods are absolutely better brain fuel than others. In fact, I’ve read CPA blogs dedicated to this topic. Eat healthfully, and stay hydrated. Maintaining a balanced diet helps improve your concentration.

Regular exercise and rest. At times it may seem like the only way to make time for studying is to forgo the gym or skip out on a couple of hours of sleep. Resist these trade-offs by reminding yourself that a weakened immune system or an overtired mind will inevitably result in some ineffective study time. In my experience, it is better to spend fewer productive hours hitting the books than longer, more strained hours treading through the material.

Openness to new experiences. Relative to the CPA exams, this makes more sense if you think about it in terms of new methods of studying or even openness to learning difficult topics. Some people begin a new lesson thinking it will be impossible to understand or master simply because it is new or has a reputation for being challenging to others. Keep an open mind and allow yourself to digest what is in front of you. I truly believe this can help build confidence and overcome self-imposed barriers.

There you have it! Eight characteristics found in survivors. How many do you recognize in your life? Can you think of ways to improve any that seem weak? Keep these practices in mind as you conquer your dream of becoming a CPA. In fact, see what other areas of your life you can apply them to. Study hard and you will survive the CPA exam!

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