Guest Blogger Sherri: Breaking it down for the home stretch

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 perseverance 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 There Fellow CPA Hopefuls!

I hope that the week has been kind to you, with lots of time to study and minimal disruptions.

I haven’t actually been able to do much in the way of studying this week.  I took the day off of work today to try to catch up. I’m almost done with Section 5 except for watching a couple of the Roger CPA Review videos. I’ll do that today. Section 5 will then be done and dusted and Ill be ready to start the LAST section covering Bankruptcy, Suretyship and Commercial Paper. I’m so excited to be in the home stretch!

You might recall that I mentioned in a previous post that I have set up twenty different testing sessions in the Wiley on line test bank so that I can make sure that I cover each and every question in the software.  My goal is to get an overall average of 85, with at least an 80 in each of the sixteen individual subjects.  I’m all about the numbers!  I guess its a good thing I’m an accountant huh?

I went out for lunch today and enjoyed a bit of studying under a shady area outside.  I went back through my book page by page and thought about how I would put together a study guide to go over in the final days before my test on the 27th.  

One thing I like to do is to make a set of notes after I have finished covering all of the material, so that I can have my family call out questions to me in the days right before the exam.  I think that the best test of how well you know something is whether or not you can answer a question out loud, under pressure, without having other multiple choice responses to use a guide.  

After looking at the book, I’ve decided to put my final review notes together as follows 

  1. Mneumonics 
  2. Exceptions to Rules 
  3. Carry Forwards and Carry Backs 
  4. Formulas 
  5. Rules I’m having difficulty remembering 
  6. Penalties 
  7. Laws 
  8. Tax Forms and the Uses of Each 
  9. Filing Deadlines for Individuals and the Various Entities
  10. Other Deadlines and date-driven criteria (i.e. for copyrights, trademarks, depreciable lives, statutes of limitations)
  11. Definitions I’m having difficulty remembering

I’m not going to write up notes for everything I’ve studied. only the things that aren’t absolutely cemented in my tired little bean counter brain.   I take notes as a way of processing information.  I do it at work and in my studies.  Its a way for me to learn and remember things.   In a final CPA Exam study document though, I re-write my notes and re-organize them, so that I am focusing on the most critical subjects.   I think that its important that a final review not be written in such detail that it becomes impossible to navigate through right before the test.  My final review of the topics above will probably be about 20 handwritten pages in my notebook.  Ill then take those pages and make questions from the information, so that my husband, son and daughter can quiz me accordingly.

There is something about actually writing up the notes, rather than just typing them.  My retention is much  better when I write the notes by hand.  I’m not really sure why that is.  I do know that I have gone through a multitude of pens and suffered a bit of writers cramp lately.   I’ve just bought a new note book to store all of my notes as a result of the test bank review and the review I will put together of the topics above.   

I bet all of this sounds pretty anal to some of you.  It is!  I wont apologize for my over analytical tendencies here.   I am going into this exam with absolutely no uncertainty about my possibility of success.  I’m on the warpath to beat down this last section.   I like my chances.

Have a great weekend everyone.  


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