How to Combat CPA Exam Burnout


CPA Candidates have spent the last year navigating the uncharted waters of a pandemic while continuing to work towards meeting their goals of becoming CPAs. Many candidates are experiencing complete burnout while attempting to manage work, life, and their CPA Exam studies. Burnout is real and is defined as facing the consequences of severe stress through three main areas of symptoms that are signs of burnout including, exhaustion, alienation from activities, and reduced performance. Burnout can also produce added feelings of diminished personal accomplishment. 

If you’re in the middle of CPA Exam studies and starting to notice signs of burnout, it’s important to make changes in your life as soon as possible.  There are many ways to change the way you approach the CPA Exam, personal habits, and lifestyle that will ease the burden of stress and set you up for success on the CPA Exam

So, we’ve put together 6 ways CPA Candidates can avoid burnout while studying for the CPA Exam. 

  1. Consider Self-Care. It is important to know your self-worth. Self-care is important to take time for yourself by focusing on what makes you feel revived and refreshed. Taking care of yourself helps you maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and others and produces positive feelings about things going on around you. Try to get enough sleep at night, eat good foods, take a walk in nature and get some fresh air, and learn how to say ‘no’ to others when you need some time alone.

  2. Create Goals.  Creating, setting, and accomplishing goals is crucial for CPA Exam success. Try to create, set, and track goals to organize your time and build confidence in your everyday schedule. Creating goals helps CPA Candidates be more aware of their actions, efforts, and priorities. Goals also help you take action, regardless of any obstacles that might come into play during your studies.

  3. Stick to Deadlines. Once you have goals set up and you’re tracking them, be sure to stick to them by creating deadlines for yourself. Deadlines directly impact your time and compel you to organize your CPA Exam study tasks in order of priority. This way you’re only working on the objectives that move you closer to your CPA credential, instead of wasting time.

  4. Take Study Breaks. There is almost nothing as important as taking study breaks when preparing for the CPA Exam. Studying for hours at a time every day is of course necessary to pass the exam, especially when it comes to sticking to the daily study goals that you’ve carved out for yourself.  However, it is necessary to recognize when your brain needs an occasional break to recharge and focus. Be sure to add breaks into your study schedule and be sure to take them. 

  5. Study in Shorter Sessions. Studying for the CPA Exam is more of a marathon than a sprint, so it’s important to approach each day’s study sessions with manageable content. Most CPA candidates find that they learn best when covering exam material in small bite-sized amounts.  Learning this way allows you to focus on just one major concept at a time. Many CPA review courses try to cram everything into one chapter, which can be very overwhelming when you’re trying to learn a new accounting concept. Instead of packing everything related to a major topic into one, very long lecture, UWorld Roger CPA Review delivers three or four separate lessons covering various sub-topics within the overarching topic. By breaking down each topic, you’re able to dig into each section separately and really hone in on the areas that are more challenging for you. 

  6. Connect with other CPA Candidates. Studying for the CPA Exam is a challenging experience that is really only comprehensible to someone who is going through the same thing. So, why not make a friend or two in the process? Joining a study group can help build a sense of community and a network you can be a part of that offers tremendous amounts of support and motivation to inspire strength and effort.

Remember, you’re not alone when you’re starting to feel study burnout. There is a whole community of candidates that are in the same boat experiencing the same types of pressure, stress, frustration, and triumphs that come with studying for the CPA Exam, especially during a pandemic. When you focus on taking care of yourself, setting goals, sticking to deadlines, studying in shorter spurts, and connecting with others, you’ll suddenly feel less burdened by working towards your CPA credential, and hopefully, you’ll avoid CPA Exam burnout. 

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