The process of preparing for the CPA exam is always rigorous. It is a true test of one’s grit, discipline, and commitment. Throw busy season into the mix and you get an intimidating task. But do not be mistaken, intimidating and impossible are two very different things.
Here is how to stay on track with your CPA Exam prep during the busy season.
1. Don’t Panic.
Yes, the busy season is difficult. Yes, the CPA Exam is difficult. But do not let that define your attitude toward the next few months. If you look at the task ahead as an impossible, miserable process, that is probably what it will be. If you look at it for what it is objectively, an arduous but achievable challenge, you will be in for a much smoother ride.
We are not saying you should take it lightly. It is not easy. But panic and self-doubt are not the best approaches. Confidence and commitment are what will push you through. So, take some deep breaths. You can do this. Now let’s look at how.
2. Clarify your Timeframe.
Students without any serious commitments who are ready to study aggressively can reasonably attempt a 3- or 6-month study plan. But accounting professionals with a full-time job, especially those currently in the busy season, might be better off with a longer-term plan. We would suggest a 9- or 12-month plan. Each CPA Exam candidate needs to determine which plan of action will meet their specific lifestyle and goals.
Do not bite off more than you can chew. You know yourself and what you’re capable of. You know what you need for success and what will hold you back. Ultimately, it’s up to you what timeframe you choose. Just be realistic, be smart, and give yourself a little bit of slack if you need it.
3. Plan. Plan. Plan.
You need a plan. Even if you are more of a Type B personality that prefers to wing it, you still need a plan. Between the time demands of an accounting job during the busy season and studying for the CPA exam, there is not a lot left over. You need a specific plan that will account for both proper times for work and ample time to study.
The study planners integrated into the UWorld Roger CPA Review course organize a candidate’s studying in either 3-, 6-, 9-, or 12-month intervals. Every planner covers all course materials and can be tailored to fit any schedule, allowing for maximum flexibility. For each day of studying, the study planners map out the specific topics and lectures to work through.
The UWorld Roger CPA Review study planners are the easiest way to make a plan that will work. You know exactly how much studying you need to do to conquer the CPA Exams in the timeframe you have chosen. Now all that is left to do is execute the plan!
4. Stick to the Plan
Accountability is key. A plan does no good if it is not executed. The study planner cannot do the studying for you. At the end of the day, the biggest determinant of how successful you will be in your CPA Exam prep is how accountable you are to your study plan.
If it is proving to be too much too fast, readjust and start over from step one. If you need to take the whole year to complete your CPA exams, that is totally ok. On the other hand, if you feel like you can handle a little more and you want to do it in 6 months, that is great too. Be flexible and adjust your plans if you need to but stick to it.
Other quick tips:
Hang in there, take care of yourself, get enough sleep, and do not skip meals. Keep your priorities in line. Let your friends and family know what you are going through and lean on them for emotional support when you need it. The busy season will not beat you. You can do it!