Guest blogger Sherri: AMT is not for me

Sherri shares with us her all-too-common story of losing credit for three parts previously earned due to the 18-Month Rolling Window. We think her perserverance and hopeful attitude will serve as an inspiration to all! Sherri has passed BEC, FAR, and AUD, and now embarks on the REG Exam preparation.

Hi Everyone.

I’m not sure why I find this subject so difficult to master.  I just finished all of section one today of the Roger CPA Review course book.  Although I’m a bit behind schedule, I am pleased with my scores.  I think that I am comfortable enough with Individual Tax overall to move on to the next section, yay!

I did struggle some with AMT.  I think that AMT is one of those topics that my brain has firmly decided not to accept.  Its a bit like trying to put a big rock (AMT) on a tiny ledge (my brain).  The rock keeps rolling off!    I’ve studied the AMT information thoroughly, but cant seem to retain it.  I’ve done well on everything else though.  I think that perhaps I am procrastinating with moving on because I’m afraid that I haven’t nailed Individual Tax 100%.  I have to remind myself that Individual Tax is not the only topic covered on the exam.  There is still LOTS more to cover before my test date in August.

I hope that everyone was able to enjoy a bit of the memorial day weekend or at least take advantage of the extra non-work day to study.   I know I did!

I make most of my study gains on the weekends, though I am trying to study during my lunch hour at work as well.   I like to work on the Wiley Online CPA Test Bank quizzes, while trying to inhale my lunch and ignore incoming phone calls, at the office.  Its nice to get a little bit of satisfaction in knowing that I have studied something during the workday, even if I cant get around to doing so in the evening.  It’s also a motivator to know that I am progressing in my understanding of certain topics by getting a score above 75%.  My lunch time goal is to try to make at least 80% on a practice quiz. or to keep taking quizzes until I do so.   I finished my quizzing today with a 90%, so I’m ready to see how much additional information my little brain will hold.

Previously I mentioned how important I thought it was for CPA students to figure out how they learn the best.  I am definitely NOT an auditory learner.  I like to listen, write notes, read the text, take more notes and listen to the lectures again.  One trick, that really helps me, is to write down the correct answers, in the form of a statement,  to the homework and quiz questions that I have missed.   For example, I missed a question that asked how much an individual taxpayer could deduct for charitable property contributions.  The distinction with property contributions is that they are limited to the lesser of  30% of AGI or fair value,  unlike the 50% AGI limitation for charitable contributions made in cash.   Rather than just indicating the correct letter D  response to the question in my notes, I write out that charitable contributions made in property and held for over a year are limited to the lesser of 30% AGI or FMV. When I’m doing my final review during the week before the test, I write out these little snippets of information again and memorize them.  Such an approach is a bit time consuming, and might be overkill for some of you, but really works to increase my confidence going in to test day.

I think that one of the things that I like the most about using the Roger CPA Review course is knowing that if I read the material, watch the videos, do the homework and finish off by doing the questions in the test bank, I WILL PASS.  That kind of confidence is priceless! What if that kind of confidence could spill over into the other aspects of the wannabe CPA’s life? Just think of the global impact! Nerds would rule the world with both kindness, practicality and financial savvy.  Entry level accountants would make six figures right out of college.  The brilliant but acne-ridden, high school kid with braces, would score a date with the home coming queen.  World peace would ensue!

I’ll end my post by encouraging all of you to do the lengthy preparation and study necessary to confidently test and pass the CPA Exam.  Confidence is King!


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