Completing the CPA exam is essential for anyone looking to establish a career in accountancy. The advantage of passing this qualification is the ability to demonstrate the high level of technical skill and understanding needed to impress potential employers.
The exam is naturally challenging and demanding, but with careful and thorough preparation beforehand, it is possible to perform well. We look at some top suggestions on how to prepare for the CPA exam.
Research your course
As with any exam, having a clear idea about what to expect from it will ensure you can prepare most successfully beforehand. It is wise to research your course as fully as you can, and gather as much information as possible. You may want to look into the relevant course details, such as the Massachusetts CPA requirements to check that you have not missed out on anything.
Understand your learning style
There is no single learning style that works for everyone – in fact, there are over four distinct approaches to learning that have been found to work well for a variety of people. By understanding your learning style, you can tailor your exam preparation process to make the most of the time and resources available to you.
Learning styles can determine what kind of environment suits you best, such as a social style, which is ideal for those who are calmed and relaxed by the sound of others’ activities around them. Others, in contrast, may strongly dislike being around others when trying to learn, and may work better with a more solitary approach.
There can also be differences in how you may process information, such as aural, visual or verbal. Depending on each of these, you may retain and understand information more easily by listening to notes, writing or highlighting them visually, or speaking them to yourself.
Set a regular learning schedule
The time of day, and how often you spend revising, will make an enormous difference to your exam preparation. As with learning style, the time that you may learn new information most effectively can vary between individuals due to a number of factors, but generally, it is found to be earlier in the day when a person is most alert.
As well as the time of day itself, you should also create a regular schedule for your exam preparation. Not only with this help you stay organized and cover all the relevant materials as you need to, but it will also help establish a clear habit, that can benefit your learning process.
Practice some sample questions
Finally, sample questions and exam preparation are essential items in your tool kit, as they give you the chance to see past questions, how they were answered, and how they were assessed. To get the most out of sample questions, it is best to avoid taking them too casually, but instead, it may be worth trying to replicate exam conditions more closely and timing your responses.