How to Pass the CPA Exam

This week I give you some practical tips to prepare for the CPA Exam. Watch now!

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VIDEO SUMMARY

We are talking about the CPA Exam. In this video, I wanted to focus on four practical tips you can use to pass the CPA Exam. What are the things you should be doing? I am going to share with you the insights I learned by going through the process myself.

The first thing I am going to do is save you some money. People spend so much money studying for the CPA Exam and you do not have to. If I look back on my own experience, I could have saved so much money and got better scores.

A lot of people who sit for the exam have just graduated with a Master’s Degree in Accounting. This is not everyone’s situation, because you can also just obtain a certain number of credits. But I really want to focus on Master’s students, because in your final year of college you are sold this idea that everyone needs to buy these expensive review courses. They are all over $1,000. In my opinion, you should not feel pressured to buy one of these expensive courses. I am going to make so many people mad with this video, because people make a lot of money off these courses. But I really feel that accounting students are getting taken advantage of.

I want to give you another option. You can invest in targeted review material instead of buying the full courses. Here is why. If you just graduated, you just spent two years studying everything that is going to be on that test. There should not be anything on that test you do not already know. If there is, your school did not do a very good job. So you should not have to spend money on courses over the same material that you just spent money on to go to school for.

Review courses are really good for people who have been out of school for more than two years. Because after two years you start to forget the things you learned. So if you have taken a break between graduation and taking the exam, you should invest money in review courses. But I feel like that is not the majority of students. Most students start taking the exam right away.

So if you have just graduated, what you really need to do is focus on practice problems. I feel like people lose focus with courses and making flashcards. The test is questions. You already know the material, you just need to practice the questions. The cool thing is it saves you so much money just to purchase workbooks of practice questions, rather than to buy a whole review course.

I am not going to recommend a specific company here, because you can buy questions from all the companies. Each company writes their own questions so they are all going to be different. The review courses never give you enough practice questions anyway. What I did was buy practice questions from three different companies, plus the practice exams from the AICPA.

My next tip is that you need to put in the study time. I want to give you a simple strategy for any test: If you study, you will get a better score. You need to do a lot of practice questions. Now occasionally you will run into those people who do not need to study very much to do well on a test. I hate those people. That is certainly not me, and is not the majority of people. You need to put in the work.

When I say study, let me tell you exactly what I mean. What I did to pass, was I studied for one hour every day before work, and four hours each Saturday and Sunday. That is my study plan. And just to be clear, it can take a long time to pass the test. Most people work full time. That was true for myself, so I could only do one or two sections each quarter. It took me a year to pass the test. For one year of your life, you are going to get up one hour earlier before work, and do practice questions. And you are going to do them over and over and over again. The great thing about doing it in the morning is everyone is still asleep, so there is nothing else to do and there is no one to bother you. It is grueling and difficult, and studying takes over your life for an entire year. But if you put in the work, you will walk into that test room feeling more prepared.

The last tip I would give is do not to get discouraged. I know that everyone thinks they are so smart, and they are going to walk in and pass all four sections of the test. That almost never happens. Let me share with you, I have some really smart accounting friends, and we all failed sections of the test. So just be prepared that you might fail one of the sections and have to do it over again. I know what it feels like. It is a soul crushing experience. You start second guessing everything.

If this happens to you, do not get discouraged. The people who make it through the whole CPA exam process, are the people who can fail a section, and pick themselves back up and take it again. You need to take a step back and evaluate how you could study better. You need to spend more study hours becoming more prepared, and take that test again. A lot of the CPA exam is your own self-discipline to stick it out to the end for over a year of testing.

So to recap, here are my tips to pass the CPA Exam

  1. Invest in targeted review material
  2. Focus on practice problems
  3. Put in the study time
  4. Do not get discouraged

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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance Inc. shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.

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