How to Stay Motivated to Study for the CPA Exam During Summer


Summer can prove to be a difficult time to stay focused and study for the CPA Exam. Between navigating the world during a pandemic and trying to find some time to have fun this summer, you may find yourself falling behind on your study goals. But remember–you’ll never get this time back to focus on obtaining licensure. So here are our top tips on how to stay motivated to study for the CPA Exam this summer.

1. Get Your Firm Bonus Faster

If you’re already working at a firm or are planning to do so, you already know that many firms give out bonuses (anywhere up to $5,000!) for candidates who finish and pass the CPA Exam in an allotted amount of time (usually 1 year). Afterward, the bonus amount can decrease the longer it takes you to pass. So finish the CPA Exam before that due date, and you may get that bonus even quicker! Plus, this will show your current or potential employer that you mean business. Taking the CPA Exam is ambition enough—but passing all 4 sections before they expect you to? Yes. You’ll be on the radar and you may enjoy some benefits that your peers won’t be privy to, giving you some extra fluff on your shoulders.

2. Increase Your Salary Quicker 

CPAs make on average 5-10% more than non-CPAs and are also estimated to make over $1 million more during the course of their career. This means the sooner you get your CPA license, the sooner you can increase your salary. Imagine getting that pay jump right when you start at your firm. That means more money in your pocket sooner to pay off school loans, save for a home, and more!

3. The Longer You Wait, the More Difficult It Will Be

Life only gets increasingly complex as time goes on–so take the CPA Exam as soon as possible. Take advantage of the time you have now before you have to juggle a full-time job, kids, marriage, going back to get your master’s degree, or having to deal with your brother sleeping on your couch for six months while his place is being renovated. The faster you get the CPA Exam out of the way, the quicker your life can begin. Plus, take advantage of still being in academic study mode if you just graduated from college. The accounting topics you learned will still be fresh in your mind and you won’t have to deal with transitioning from young professional back to the student. 

4. Know That You Have a CPA Exam Personal Trainer

It’s often said that passing the CPA Exam is a marathon; not a sprint. And what better way to get yourself into shape for this Exam than with your own personal trainer? With the guidance of SmartPath Predictive Technology™, our students are passing the CPA Exam faster than with any other course.

Backed by a 94% pass rate, SmartPath is a data-driven platform that provides targeted recommendations on how to focus your efforts by comparing your progress and performance to those who have passed the CPA Exam. Using Adaptive Technology, you get a personalized learning experience tailored to your individual progress and performance. 

As you go through the material, it shows you where and how to spend your efforts, taking the guesswork out of CPA Exam preparation. The ultimate result is more efficient study sessions and less wasted time. Smartpath is proven to help you conquer the CPA Exam with confidence. CPA candidates no longer question when they’re ready to take the CPA Exam. They know! 

5. Study Outside 

You don’t have to be a hermit all summer in a dark room. Find a way to incorporate enjoying the nice weather safely when you’re studying.  Find an outdoor courtyard. Set up your study station in your backyard. Use your fully-featured UWorld Roger CPA Review mobile app (Apple or Android) and dive into your QBank. Some students may find it difficult to concentrate outside, but you’d be surprised how far a little Vitamin D can go for both your mental and physical health — especially during these trying times!

6. Include Your Family and Friends in Your Reward System

If you’re a parent and your kids are home and begging you to go somewhere outside try to incorporate them into your reward system. For example, when you’re done mastering a chapter or concept, it’s time for some family fun. Alternatively, if your friends are wanting to spend time with you, but they understand that helping you stay focused to get through your practice test for FAR will make that happy hour happen faster, you’ll get your studying done sooner and everyone will know exactly what to expect.

7. Do More Today so You Have Less to do Tomorrow

Don’t procrastinate! Work now, play later. Granted that this is much easier said than done, but the harder you try to put your studies first, the more enjoyable your summer will be! In retrospect, these few months that you spend bunkering down on passing the exam are a small price to pay for the enormous amount of benefits and opportunities that licensure will bring in both your personal and professional life. 

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