When is the Best Time of Day to Study for the CPA Exam?

What is the best time of the day to study? Have you been asking yourself and others this question? If so, a good thing to keep in mind is that there is really no right answer. People are different. However, there are general rules that will help you determine what works best for you. To find out, you have to ask yourself these questions:

1. When are you most focused and energetic? 

Do you wake up refreshed and alert in the morning? Or do you drag yourself out of bed and feel groggy every morning? Morning people tend to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier and be most productive in the mornings. Evening people wake later and have a slow start, but their performance peaks later in the day. There has been some research that shows how different qualities of memory vary based on the time of the day. For example, visual memory is better in the morning and critical thinking is better around noon. So it’s better to watch lectures and read the text in the morning and do the MCQ homework in the afternoon.

2. What are the times of the day that you have the most distractions around you?

Is your family or roommate(s) early risers? Or does dinner time seem to be the worst in terms of distractions? Pick the time of the day that is the quietest at your home. If you can’t control the distractions then it may be a good idea to take your studying somewhere else, such as a quiet neighborhood coffee shop, the beach, or the park. 

3. If you pick a certain time of the day because you think it’s the best, are you able to be consistent?

Make sure you can stick to the time you pick most days. Consistency and routine are very important when you are studying. Your body and mind will adapt and the quality of your studying will be better.

4. Are you getting enough sleep?

If you are not, this will affect the quality of learning and your memory regardless of the time of day you study. I have found that when I can’t get a goodnight’s sleep and am unable to focus or stay awake, naps really help. Make sure to set the alarm or have someone wake you up; you’ll really see a difference in your energy after a short power nap.

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.“— Samuel Levenson

-Margo Pacific, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review 

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