How Difficult Is CPA Exam Prep? A Study Guide For Aspiring Accountants


You may be a job-seeker in the financial sector, with or without a degree in one of the top MBA majors, wondering how hard the CPA exam is and if it is even worth taking. Yes, it is a difficult exam and yes, it is still worth taking. Passing the CPA exam will maximize your earning potential, so even though it will be difficult, it will be worth it. This article will give you tips to successfully pass the CPA exam on the first try.

Understand Recent Changes

If you are wondering “how difficult is CPA exam prep?”, the answer depends upon when you plan to take the test. Due to recent developments, 2017 CPA exam changes may make you want to take the test a bit earlier. This way, you are familiar with the test format. These CPA exam changes for 2017 will only be rolled out starting in Q2, so if you are able to take the test now, do that. You may also choose to only rush to take the sections that will be most impacted by these changes, BEC, REG, AUD and FAR. Familiarize yourself with the recent CPA exam updates before you schedule your test taking date.

Make A Study Plan

Of course you know that you’re going to have to study for the CPA exam, but you may not study enough if you do not devise a set schedule for studying.  Make sure you create a schedule of which days and times you will be studying as well as how long each session will last. Also, make sure to schedule breaks during those study times so that you have something to work towards and you remain focused. Once you have a plan in place, stick to it regardless of events and occurrences that may pop up. You may not like it now but you will be thankful that you made  and stuck to your schedule once you pass the test.

Sign Up For A Prep Course

While it is important to study on your own in preparation for the exam, prep courses can give you a valuable edge on passing. These courses will help you streamline your personal studying time by reviewing practice test results and focusing on the areas you may not doing well in, like cost containment strategies. Taking a prep course also presents you a group of individuals to study with. This can be beneficial for both you and the other parties involved because they may excel where you lack and vice versa.

Use Technology

Although technology can definitely provide plenty of distractions from your studies, it can also provide you with unconventional study opportunities. If you download one of the numerous CPA test exam prep apps available through business colleges and other reputable organizations, you can practice and review anywhere and anytime you have a couple minutes to kill. You can also make use of audio prep lessons by listening on your way to and from work or social outings. These things alone won’t guarantee you pass the test, but they can be a valuable tool to keep what you’ve studied fresh in your mind throughout the day.

Every individual has specific strengths and weaknesses. It is important to remember that when preparing for the CPA exam. What may seem easy to you may be seem impossible to someone else. Do not let the results to your most recent Google search psych you out. Study on your own, sign up for a test prep course and use preparatory apps and audio lessons to supplement your studies. As long as you follow these tips, you will pass the CPA exam and be on your way to a very lucrative career in finance or accounting.

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