FAR Studying: Finding the Strength to Keep Going

    Carolina2Carolina is a NINJA CPA blogger.

    I stated in my last update that I took a week off from studying due to my grandfather’s death. Afterwards, I started to study a little bit every other day.

    Then on August 10th at 11am, I started to have chest pain. I kept working through the day ignoring the chest pain.

    I got home and followed my daily routine of playing with my son a little bit, giving him dinner, and putting him to bed.

    At 9pm the chest pain got worse, so I decided to lay in bed to rest a little before studying.

    Oh my God, the chest pain only got worse and worse; I thought I was having a heart attack or something. However, I didn’t want to go to the ER, so I stayed home and took some pain killers and tried to stay calm.

    The pain decreased an hour later of taking the pain killers.

    I went to my primary doctor the next morning. He was going to send me to the ER, but I refused to. I hate going to the ER because they charge you more and then tell you that you need to see a specialist.

    So the doctor performed a heart rate exam, and told me that my heart rate was a little higher than it should be.

    He sent me to see a cardiologist and a gastrointestinal doctor (I was having abdominal pain a month before) and get some blood work done.

    It was hard to get an appointment with the cardiologist, but I was able to see the gastrointestinal doctor right away. I got an endoscopy done and everything looks fine in my stomach and intestine areas.

    The lab results for the blood work came back good with the exception of the white blood cells, which came out high.

    My doctor said not to worry too much about the white blood cells because it could be caused by stress and that we need to wait for the cardiologist diagnose.

    He also said that if the cardiology exams come back good it could be that I have anxiety, which I think it is the case because I have had two anxiety attacks in the past.

    I just didn’t want to go to the doctor to check if I really was suffering from anxiety. So, now all I have to do is to wait until they find out what is going on with my body.

    The chest pain has not gone away. It is still there, minimal, but there. I just believe that my body is telling me that I need a break.

    I have never taken a break. I have been working and studying since I was 16 years old. The only time I took a “break” from working or studying was when I was pregnant, but I was studying for my master.

    My life just gets better and better. I don’t know what is going on with me, but I don’t seem to catch a break. I don’t want my bosses to think that I’m an individual with too many issues, but everything seems to be falling apart. I haven’t studied anything since I don’t remember when. I think the last time I studied was on Saturday 8th.

    This weekend, I put a lot of thought on my next moves. I was thinking on taking a break from FAR studying and just work and spend time with my family. However, I know that if I take a break now from this CPA journey, I will never go back. Therefore, I decided to move (once again) my FAR retake to October 3.

    I just need to find the strength and the motivation to keep swimming.

    August 28, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    Ready for Vacation + Back to BEC Studies

    Christina FChristina is a NINJA CPA blogger.

    So plans don’t always go the way I want them to. I’m leaving for vacation soon, yay!

    After all of the extended family drama I’ve dealt with over the summer, I’m ready for vacation. Believe it or not, I’m also ready to get back to studying.

    I’ve made a new study schedule, starting lightly on vacation. I’m going to take BEC the first chance I get in October. Then move on to AUD next. I’m actually excited to take these on, now that I’m (hopefully) done with getting sidetracked.

    I started out packing my book for vacation trying to decide if I wanted to continue with BEC since I had to take a break or if I should seriously start fresh with something else.

    I decided to stick with BEC because I’m pretty much starting fresh anyway.

    Sometimes having to step away to take care of life is a great idea because once that’s taken care of, you’re able to refocus back on the exams and get it taken care of.

    My new plan is to read the book and do the questions at the end of each chapter. In the meantime, I’ll be working on studying formulas so I don’t leave those until the end like I did the last time.

    When I finish each section, I also plan to work the corresponding NINJA MCQs and add in from all previous sections to review so I’m not losing anything. I’ve got a good plan this time and plan to stick to it.

    August 27, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

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    August 27, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    AUD score is in: Another 71!

    Rollie SRollie is a NINJA CPA blogger.

    It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that I have failed AUD again with a fantastic 71. (You can’t buy this marketing, Jeff) I had a feeling that it was going to be close but it is still frustrating to continue to fail.

    I know that I cannot let myself give up because I will have regret that I did not complete the goal of being a CPA.

    It is tempting, but I would always regret it. I have also accepted that my REG credit will expire in December as I do not believe I can pass 3 exams by November 30th.

    I could try to squeeze it in but with all of the life changes, I am accepting the fact of marginal utility.

    What happens next? I am currently studying for FAR and I am more likely going to take FAR in October. I have more opportunity to study during the day as my new employer promotes professional development.

    Another reason that I have accepted expiration of FAR is that we are trying to close on a home at the end of August. From all the times I have moved, I am absolutely dreading the moving process. However, it is exciting to see the possibility of moving into a home as more realistic.

    With all of the work involved in the mortgage process and all of the crap we have accumulated throughout the years of apartment living, I have decided to take some time off to refresh and move.

    I am also hopeful that this time off will provide a chance to refocus and get rejuvenated so that I can start study after work again in early September.

    Currently, I get some FAR studying in at work and have some fun colorful flashcards for the journal entries. I will still continue to study and will be posting more frequently as we move into the season of Pumpkin Spice and NFL!

    August 26, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    Studying for the CPA Exam is Like Eating an Elephant

    Joshua GraunkeJoshua is a NINJA CPA blogger.

    There is a weird feeling of satisfaction getting through your first exam, and then immediately looking forward to the next test.

    It is a high, followed immediately by the low of being ¼ of the way through this hellish exam (at best) and seeing the long road remaining to certification.

    It helps to keep the end goal in mind when staring at such a grim reality. For me, the reward is a company bonus, the weekends becoming mine again, and the idea that I can help with wedding planning.

    Since I had a 3 week gap between my FAR exam and the release date, and I felt better about Audit material on the front end than I did for FAR, I decided to make August a blitzkrieg month and try to study for Audit in a little under 4 weeks.

    I am currently finishing my notes and planning 2 solid weeks of 200+ MCQs a day. It will be intense and not at all fun, but the potential of getting 2 tests done in this window is a great motivator for me. Plus, anything that can keep my mind off the impending 8/24 score release is plenty helpful.

    I plan to take Audit in August, and REG in October if I pass FAR. If I were to fail FAR, I would retake in a short time frame, using NINJA MCQs as a refresher.

    Ideally, I would like to finish the year with at least 2 exams behind me, with REG and BEC as the only tests left to take. It is a non-stop push to keep myself motivated.

    I found the best way to keep myself going is to write down everything I get to do when I finish the exam and tape it to the cover of each test study guide.

    It seems trivial, but it helps to envision the idea of “Watch every Lord of the Rings extended version in one day” without having to do any CPA studying.

    Just like eating the elephant, you gotta get through this exam one bite at a time. Every extra 10 minutes of studying may put you 1 point closer to being done with another exam.

    My eyes are on the horizon and I’m pushing as hard as I can to get there!

    August 25, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    A Solid Plan for Studying AUD

    Bev Headshot NewBeverly is a NINJA CPA blogger.

    I have been slaving away studying for AUD.

    What a difference studying actually means when you are really putting in 100%. I have been putting in at least 3 hours each evening.

    My husband has been doing a lot more of the household chores that we did together.

    He has really stepped up – making dinner and cleaning the kitchen. I love a clean kitchen and he has been trying really hard.

    I just need to do a few loads of laundry and I should be set till exam day. I have some work travel coming up but since I have been consistently waking up early I plan on sticking to that schedule.

    Studying has definitely been going great. I just have to keep up with the consistency because if I take one day off that is it for me. People always compliment me on my discipline but it’s really not discipline.

    I am one of those people where you can’t give me leeway. It’s all or nothing. So I either go all in or I will be taking a study break for a week before I pick my book back up.

    It also helps that when I sit down and attempt to watch TV my husband always reminds me that I should have my nose buried in a book. Like the kid that I am, I pout and go study. But it’s for my own good because clearly I need adult supervision.

    I broke down my weekend study hours to 3 chunks of 4 hour study sessions with breaks. If I stick to it I can get in at least 12 hours of studying each day. That could make a difference in me getting that 75. Granted I will also play it by ear because if I am sitting there 10 hours later not retaining anything it’s time to call it quits.

    I have been working through the NINJA MCQs and did the new questions first. I should be able to get through all the questions one more time before I sit for the exam.

    I am also incorporating SIMS with each set of questions. I have the list that Jeff posted and I cherry pick the ones I work through based on my weak areas.

    As always, Audit Evidence has been hard to get through. For as long as I have been studying for AUD you would think I am a pro by now, but far from it.

    Here’s to getting a 75!

    Happy Studying NINJAs!

    August 24, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    Committed to the CPA Exam: Three Exams in One Quarter

    Christina FChristina is a NINJA CPA blogger.

    At the beginning of the summer, I was going to take as many tests as I could (and pass them) in order to get them out of the way before my oldest started school back up.

    Well, my plans haven’t exactly gone as I’d have liked them to and I’ve done nothing but gotten myself stressed out and drained from it.

    I keep picking up my books and studying for the CPA Exam, and life gets in the way.

    A friend of mine told me that I was not committed enough. I thought about that for a little while. I am completely committed, but being a mom and wife have to come first.

    Most of the time, my husband handles what needs to be taken care of, but there were things that came up that I couldn’t avoid.

    I decided to stop studying, take care of my family stuff and once it was all taken care of, get back to studying. I’m no good to anyone if I’m studying but my mind is on what else is going on; it just leads to me failing many more tests.

    So now that vacation is coming up, school is going to be starting, the whole family has committed to me taking these exams; I can start fresh.

    I have my plan set in place, and yes, I’m taking my book and NINJA MCQ on vacation with me. I’ll be able to study during kid naptime and probably retain more since I’ll be relaxed.

    What a great chance to work on lots and lots of MCQs. My plan is to focus and get at least 2, maybe 3 exams completed in the next quarter. Hopefully, that plan sticks.

    August 21, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    Slaying the CPA Exam Monster

    Carolina2Carolina is a NINJA CPA blogger.

    Hello NINJAs,

    I don’t know if any of you have followed my CPA journey since the first time I wrote for this blog.

    Oh boy! Has it been very difficult? Perhaps, this has been the most difficult thing I have ever tried to do.

    Only when I thought things could not get any worse, my grandfather passed away.

    The man I considered like my father died a couple of weeks ago. Even though he was ill and old, I was not fully prepared to let him go. Of course, this has affected my studying schedule.

    I had to travel outside the country to say my last goodbye to my grandfather. It was tough to see my grandmother, mom, and other family members so vulnerable (especially my grandmother, for she was with my grandfather for almost 50 years and she couldn’t stop crying).

    I stopped studying for a week and I have been doing only a few NINJA MCQs every other day since I went back to studying. As I said on my last update, I was having difficulties finding motivation to study, now it is even worse.

    I do not want to study after a super busy day at work. Since I was out of the office for a week, my workload has tripled (counting that we are short staffed). I’m trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I can’t.

    I know I need to do this. I need to pass all these tests, for it has been my biggest goal since I was in high school. How do I do this? I ask myself every day.

    I also know I cannot quit, but I’m tired. I just wish that these exams were like the ones in college because I didn’t have to kill myself to pass a test. These exams are a different monster, and I don’t know how to kill this monster.

    I wish someday I could write something positive and say “I’m a CPA; it was tough, but I did it.”

    I just need to find the strength and the motivation to keep swimming.

    August 20, 2015 NINJA CPA Review
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