How to Prepare Your Accounting Students for the CPA Exam


It’s no secret that taking the CPA Exam is a daunting task. While the benefits are virtually limitless, accounting students may still have anxiety about taking on the 18-month task of conquering the CPA Exam.

As an educator, you have a unique opportunity to encourage students to sit for the CPA Exam, despite its rigors. Beyond the academic groundwork you’re already providing, here are some ways to help prepare your students for the CPA Exam.

Help them determine the best order in which to take the sections of the exam.

We usually recommend taking the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section first. It’s considered one of the most intimidating CPA Exam sections for CPA Candidates and typically takes the most study time. That’s why we recommend getting it out of the way first.

Next, students should tackle whichever section plays more to their interest as an Accountant – tax or audit. Students more interested in tax should try the Regulation (REG) section next, while audit enthusiasts should take on Auditing and Attestation (AUD). Students looking to quickly get a section out of the way might want to focus on Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section since it’s considered one of the easier sections. Finally, for the last section, students can take either REG or AUD, depending on which one they still need to take.

Ultimately, it comes down to each student’s own unique preferences and situation. Fortunately, our course comes with a customizable study planner that helps to chart each student’s course most efficiently.

Encourage them to create a CPA Exam game plan.

It may seem obvious, but it’s important that your students understand the task at hand and what it entails. Before they can make a game plan, they must know how to play the game!

Next, emphasize timing. 18 months might sound like a lot of time, especially to your accounting students. It’s vital to help them realize the time commitment required for studying and the importance of pacing themselves through the process. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) recommends that CPA candidates study for at least 400 hours for the CPA Exam. Preparing your students for this type of time commitment and long-term planning will help them immensely.

Once students establish their time frames, they should set smaller goals to keep them on track with studying. Setting attainable and meaningful study goals throughout the studying process helps them to stay on track, while also providing them motivation and direction along the way.

Help them figure out a routine.

Every student studies differently. Every student has different needs for their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

Some people study best in the morning, some late at night. Some study with flashcards, some by rewriting material, some by listening to lectures. Regardless, everyone needs a routine. You can help students to establish their own routine by providing study tips and alternate methods for various personality types.

It’s also important to emphasize that life doesn’t stop when you’re studying. Every routine needs time built-in for self-care, time with family and friends, time for sleep, and of course time for studying. Remind students not to neglect any of these areas in their routine.

Encourage students to find a support system.

In the most challenging phases of life, we all need a support system. The CPA Exam is no different. Every student needs a group of friends, family, supporters, mentors, and encouragers to surround them during their CPA Exam journey.

Encourage students to have unambiguous conversations with friends and family asking for their support. Sometimes people assume that their friends and family all know what they’re going through and what kind of needs they have, even though they haven’t communicated it. Unfortunately, most of the time that leads to disappointment.

By having a real conversation with people about their need for support, students preemptively create a safety net of folks that are looking out for them and actively looking for ways to help. It’s always best to have a support system in place before you actually need it.

Partner with UWorld Roger CPA Review.

As a professor, you know better than anyone that it’s simply impossible for students to be familiar with every topic on the CPA Exam. There’s just not enough time. And even if there was, you can’t be there with every student while their studying to fill in the gaps.

Students need a CPA Review course. One of the biggest mistakes that students can make in their CPA Exam studies is to try to go it alone. A CPA Review course provides not only the educational material needed to refresh old information and learn things that weren’t covered in class, but also provides a thorough, consistent, A to Z approach to exam preparation.

UWorld Roger CPA Review is the most trusted guide to taking the CPA Exam. With over 200,000 success stories and a 94% passing rate, there’s no better course to help your students achieve their career goals.

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UWorld Roger CPA Review collaborates with accounting programs and professors to provide resources for accounting students, bridging the gap between academia and the CPA profession
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