Using NINJA CPA Study Materials to Regain Focus

    AshleyAshley is a CPA Exam review blogger

    I’m sure you’ve all been on the edge of your seat waiting to hear about my next move. Well, so am I! After some serious, careful, well-thought consideration, I declined the job offer mentioned here.

    It was hard. The opportunity was with a non-profit organization that I love, but unfortunately, it wasn’t the next step my heart and sights have been set on.

    With that coming to an end, I had a refreshed and renewed sense of what I am searching for in order to move into a new role. This has helped me hone in my focus on very specific opportunities. I am still pursuing, but this isn’t my main focus. I’m focusing on how and when I’m going to PASS these CPA exams!

    For the coming weeks my plans are non-stop NINJA CPA materials: NINJA MCQs, SIMS, rewriting the NINJA notes, NINJA Blitz, and NINJA Audio to fill in any gaps. I want to breathe FAR and pass on my first attempt, so I’m seriously considering revising my timeline just a little bit more.

    I don’t need to win any awards (though I certainly wouldn’t turn one down!), but I’m not going for the 300 Club either. I want to walk in and out knowing I will pass.

    I know I can, but I also know that this requires time to study without distraction. Interviewing for a new opportunity is a major distraction, especially when you are still trying to be successful at your current position.

    Stay focused. Be determined. Live in anticipation of all the good things that lie ahead. This process is such a small part of our bigger journey. And we are all destined to do great things!

    HiYA!

    May 25, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    CPA Reviewed #60: REG Update, Club 74, & Staying Motivated

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    Ask Jeff (http://www.another71.com/ask-jeff/):

    Patti – What are the major REG exam changes for July 2015?

    Hany – How many questions are in the NINJA MCQ and Simulations?

    Ryan– I have been taking the CPA Exam off and on for about 7 years now and have used multiple cpa review courses. I am getting 65 to 70 every single time. I am beginning to become discouraged and thinking of throwing in the towel. However, I have a new baby and this has given me motivation to FINALLY get this exam behind me. Do you have any tips for me?

    Tim– So I just got my AUD scores back last night, and I got a 74 after studying my butt off the past 2 months. What else can I do to help me get over the 75 mark to pass?

    Tammy– I am not the one who is taking the CPA exam, my boyfriend is. Since he is too depressed right now to ask for help, I guess I will be the one to seek help. He has been very hard working over the past two years but for some reason still hasn’t managed to pass BEC. So far he has taken it 4 times- 63, 72, 68, and 73 as of today.

    He has been using a review course along side NINJA MCQ and has being scoring pretty well and trending in the high 80% for ninja. Before the exam date, he would be doing 100 mcq & studying about 4 hrs on a daily basis and on weekends he would devote up to 6 hours. I feel like he has been doing everything he possibly can be doing but it’s just not reflecting on his test score.

    We are both frustrated… I am sure he is more upset than anyone else. He doesn’t know what else he could have done differently for his 5th BEC exam. Anything would help.

    Free CPA Exam Resources:
    CPA Exam Survival Guide
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    May 21, 2015 Podcasts

    Raised Score 13 Points with NINJA MCQs

    FrancineFrancine is a NINJA CPA review blogger.

    HiYA! I have finally passed AUD!! And it feels amazing. I increased my score by 13 points, just by doing the NINJA MCQs.

    I am half way there!! I am currently studying for REG, which I plan to take by the end of May.

    There have been so many changes at work. I was recently promoted and my responsibilities have increased. I feel as if I am doing the work of 2.5 accountants.

    My wedding day is next month and I’m starting to feel a little stressed. The wedding planner is taking care of pretty much everything, it’s my wedding party and guests are starting to annoy me.

    Since it’s a destination wedding, I am trying to arrange transportation for everyone and a lot of people seem to be waiting until the last minute to get things booked and paid for. I love to plan everything ahead of time and get it out the way.

    Honestly, my studies for REG have not been that great. I still have a couple more chapters to review. I have been doing a few MCQs on the NINJA website. It’s time to really buckle down and focus on studying.

    My fiancée graduates next week with his Masters, then we plan on having a graduation BBQ…. so many things going on.

    REG is not as boring as I thought it was going to be, so I’m hoping that since some topics in this section has sparked my interest that I will pass this one on the first try.

    Wouldn’t that be amazing! Pass on the first try! Let’s see what happens.

    CPA Exam Reviewed Video Podcast #59

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    CPA Exam News:
    AICPA Released Questions
    CPA Exam Score Release May 5 & May 27
    CPA Exam Tips from Elijah Watt Sells Award Winners

    Ask Jeff (http://www.another71.com/ask-jeff/):

    1. Rob – Hi, I am scheduled to take the REG exam in the beginning of July and I am interested in purchasing NINJA material. However, it looks like the NINJA material for REG is for tax law that is tested until 6/30/15. Does this mean that NINJA materials purchased now would not encompass subject matter that will appear July 2015 and going forward?

    Evan – Hi Jeff, when will the REG Ninja MCQs and Blitz be updated for the July exam? I’m guessing they aren’t updates yet because people are still studying for the current test window. Great site/products and thanks a lot.

    2. Rana – Can you please also give me advice on how I can pass this section? I’ve taken it 3 times so far. The first time I didn’t study too well and got a 57. Second time got a 67 with MCQ weaker and Sims comparable. Third time got a 70 with MCQ comparable and Sims weaker. This time around i got comparable or stronger in all of my mcq subjects except Law, which was weaker. Any advice to give myself a push to get to that 75?

    3. Y – My doubt is about the Ninja Framework. I don’t know if I understand it correctly. What I understand of it is that I must see ALL the videos, but do I take notes while watching it? or Should I watch them all and then take notes with the book? I’m trying to be time efficient so thanks for your time!

    4. Chelle – Hi Jeff, What advise would you give to me who has been out of school for over 15 years? I have a bachelors degree in Accounting earned 15 years ago. I’m a mom with a 5 year old and a 13 year old. I currently work full time with a group of CPA’s and my managers encourage me to pursue the exam. Where do I begin? Do I take refresher college courses or can I just study the CPA reviews right away? I recently ordered for my transcripts and will send to the board of accountancy so they can let me know – what other courses I need to take to qualify to sit for the exam. Help!

    5. Myranda – I came across your site/products while trying to figure out which CPA study materials I would like to purchase. I downloaded and reviewed the sample products that you have available on your site and like what I see. I also read through the CPA Exam Survival Guide, which I found to be quite helpful. However, I am still stumped as to how to approach studying/purchasing materials. I actually like the NINJA model that you have developed. But I am still slightly confused. So my questions are a follows:

    1) Should I or do I need to purchase a separate program in addition to the NINJA program?

    2) Do I need to purchase just videos from another company and then supplement with NINJA products?

    3) In the CPA Exam Survival Guide it mentioned to “1. Nail the videos”…is this referring to the NINJA audio files? Or by purchasing other set of videos?

    6. Hi Jeff, do you have a sample of what your NINJA MCQ is like? online or a pdf, etc. Also, approximately how many questions are there? Thanks!!

    7. Varinder – Can you please send the 2015 AUD AICPA released questions. I am unable to find them on the website.

    8. Mack – I just finished my B.S in accounting here in MA. I’m Brand New to CPA review curses. Never purchase any review package. And, I need to take my CPA test. The point is. Today: I don’t have money to purchase the whole package now, and looking for a job. What would you do, if you were in my shoes?

    9. Matt – I took REG once and failed and was in need of supplementary material. I purchased the 10-point combo. Will I be receiving hard copies of the materials in the mail? Also, do you have a recommended study approach as to how many MCQ/sims should be tackled in a given day, vs. how much reading of the textbook/listening to the audio I should do? I will be taken REG again in Q3 in July.

    10. Steve – I am about to start my CPA journey for California and am looking for study materials to take the CPA exam. From the looks of it, the reputation of Ninja is primarily as a supplement to another primary review resource, but from what I understand this is before you introduced the Ninja Book and other resources. I am trying to save money for the study materials so Ninja is the most bang for my buck, but i also want to make sure I am prepared for the exams. Do you recommend using Ninja solely by itself as adequate to pass the CPA exams (10 point combo)? Or should I stick to supplementing? Thank you for any feedback.

    11. Allison – In the NINJA MCQs, what is the “review” stage? And, how do I get to it? I have answered all of the questions correctly once. Is there a “review” phase? Thanks!

    12. Gloria – I want to know what course do I need to buy for study?… Do I need Becker or Ninja or both?.. tell me which one do you recomenmmend.

    13. Brian – Jeff – great site. I have decided to get back into the swing and study and set for the CPA exam (after a 25 year hiatus….). I am a corporate tax manager, but am really weak in accounting. Should I start on what I’m strongest at (Reg) or worse at (reg) with the 18 month window looming? Thanks.

    Facebook Questions (https://www.facebook.com/another71):

    Ansah – Do you have any advice for eligible undergraduate students who want to take some parts of the CPA during their school year?

    Josh – The REG audio was great! I’m ready to buy FAR and the rest – should I wait to buy? Will the Ninja-Dealmaster make a deal down the line? I’m holding back for fear of getting burned. Maybe a MCQ audio combo?!

    May 20, 2015 Podcasts

    Another step in the CPA Exam – Bring on FAR

    Joshua Graunke

    Joshua is a NINJA CPA review blogger

    What a month.

    Last we left off; I was interviewing for a job in public accounting and was feeling pretty good about my chances. Well I should have taken those instincts to Vegas with me because I was made an offer and accepted in April.

    I got in the door and, much like my new co-workers told me, “It’ll be like drinking out of a fire hose your first 5 weeks.”

    It was a busy month of orientation and conferences, but now that the dust has settled, it’s time to refocus on the CPA exam.

    I was under the impression that breaking in to the real accounting world would alleviate the pressure to get the certification done and that I would be able to take a little more time to truly focus and ease in to the exam. On an unrelated note, my face is the only thing used to define naïve in the dictionary.

    My group does accounting consulting and outsourcing, which is very exciting (to me) and actually provides a service that will help smaller and mid-size businesses report and forecast properly.

    The problem is my senior and my director are not currently, nor will they ever be, interested in taking the CPA exam, but the team needs a CPA to sign off on all of the financials.

    This would be the point in the comedy where all heads in the room turn to the guy scrolling through Buzzfeed on his phone, blissfully unaware of what’s happening.

    After my first 5 days of imagining a summer not spent at a desk and instead doing things like going to baseball games, bowling, seeing family members, remembering what my friends look like etc.,

    I have sent my application in to the Accountancy Board and am waiting for my ATT (and also praying they didn’t notice that the check bounced the first time they cashed it).

    I have laid out my calendar, requested my review materials and blitzkrieged my way through the remaining portions of my accounting classes. This is where the fun begins. This is what I’ve been looking forward to since I started my journey last fall.

    Bring it on FAR.

    May 20, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    Pushing forward with NINJA MCQs

    Rollie S

    Rollie is a NINJA CPA blogger.

    Hello NINJAs!

    I come here today to tell you of the disappointment that I received Tuesday morning on Cinco de Drinko, er I mean Cinco de Mayo.

    I woke up at my normal time to go check my score and to my dismay I received a 72 on BEC.

    I was very disappointed and I did not even tell my wife before I left for work. I am glad when I woke up in the middle of the night to find the NASBA website down, otherwise I would have trouble going back to sleep.

    In fact, I had a dream that NASBA sent me an email that my score was between 86 and 92.

    My wife and I are both employed at the corporate office for the Good Samaritan Society and every couple of months we deliver “Meals on Wheels.”

    I broke the news to her when I picked her up. At the same time, I launched into a rant about how my REG expires at the end of the year and I am wasting our money. She tried to slow my brain down to make me realize that we will get through this together.

    Secretly, I know that she wants me home more and to use the money to travel. Secretly, I know that she is sad that I am never home for supper.

    She knows that I have hard time studying at home because of all the fun distractions. Plus she will try to yell from the other room to have me come help with a chore when I am in the middle of a NINJA MCQ session with my headphones on.

    I was feeling so confident and ready to get a second pass under my belt. I wanted to get the momentum moving and be done before the One Direction concert in Winnipeg this summer.

    Well, plans have changed again and I have to keep moving forward if I want to succeed. For the record, my wife loves One Direction and was sad to see Zane go.

    I take AUD at the end of May and am looking forward to passing. As you know from past blog posts, I really hate AUD as it is so dry. But forcing myself to keep pounding NINJA MCQ will help me succeed.

    For the NINJAs that did not succeed and are feeling down, my college accounting classmate reminded me of a phrase our professor would say: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

    It was in reference to our classmates in Intermediate Accounting and those who were planning to take the CPA exam to never give up and to remind us the shear volume of material that the CPA exam covers.

    See you on the forums and just keep swimming!

    CPA Exam Study Advice from an EWS Award Winner

    elijah-watt-sells-award-bonusThe NINJAs recently caught up with Shulem Rosenbaum – a 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award Winner, to get his take on the CPA Exam, winning the EWS Award, and find out about his future plans.

    Tell us about yourself – what is your educational and work background?

    I received a B.S. in Accounting from Touro College. I previously worked in the field of education and had an AA in Liberal Arts, but decided to pursue Accounting.

    I started school in 2010 as a father of two children and graduated in June 2013 with four children in tow. I now work at Roth & Company LLP, a CPA firm in Brooklyn, NY and teach at Touro College as an adjunct instructor.

    Which CPA Exam section did you take first? Any particular reasoning for your choice?

    My CPA Exam order:

    1. FAR (97)
    2. AUD (99)
    3. REG (94)
    4. BEC (94)

    I started with “the beast” because I was most familiar with the material right out of school. I also wanted the clock to start running after FAR, which involves lots of material.

    Which section was your best study experience (i.e. least-painful) and which section was your worst?

    I believe that AUD was my easiest section (hence, the highest score). AUD involves lots of common sense. I also had a phenomenal professor for Auditing who covered the material very well. Professor David Tajerstein is known to many in the CPA community as a lecturer at Person/Wolinsky and CPA Exam tutor.

    Unfortunately, he succumbed to cancer in March 2015.

    I felt the least comfortable with BEC, as it involves scattered material and includes the numerical disadvantages of FAR/REG and the subjectivity of AUD.

    How many hours/week on average did you study? What was your study routine?

    Financial Accounting and Reporting

    I began studying for FAR during my last semester in college. I worked full-time in education, juggled school and studied for FAR all at the same time.

    I started my job at an accounting firm in June and knew that I had to take my exam before tax season. Accordingly, I scheduled my exam for August 27th and studied about 10-15 hours a week.

    When I got to the exam, I breezed through the MCQ, the TBS, however, was murder.

    I walked out of the exam site dejected and miserable. As strange as this sounds, I was sure I had failed.

    However, when I checked to see my score, I was shocked to see a 97 and even checked what “advisory score” meant on Another71.

    I used Wiley CPAexcel to study for the exam – I was actually introduced to Another71 when I was researching the prep programs – and followed the NINJA Study Framework.

    I first watched the lectures on the entire section (CPAexcel has multiple subsections for each topic) while taking notes, completed the MCQs and compared my notes to the textbook.

    I used the NINJA Notes to summarize my notes and eliminate topics that aren’t tested heavily.

    I spent the last two weeks working MCQs with the Wiley Test Bank and reviewing my notes.

    I used the same methodology for all exams (it worked!).

    Auditing and Attestation

    I began studying AUD earnestly immediately after October 15.

    I had already completed the material in May (see above) and was comfortable with the material (despite the changes) so I reviewed my notes and worked MCQs until October 24 (if I remember correctly) when I sat for AUD.

    Regulation

    I studied for REG throughout December and January and took the exam on February 3rd.

    I wasted far too much time trying to remember phase-outs (I should have listened to Jeff).

    Business Environment & Concepts

    BEC was a drag.

    It was after a heavy tax season and was pushed off continuously.

    My patience for studying was exhausted and I hated the material.

    At that time the BEC NINJA Book became available and I used it to supplement my notes.

    In June, when I realized that I was getting nowhere with the material, I used an Excel spreadsheet to track my time and committed myself to 25 hours of studying a week!

    I studied for approximately three weeks and sat for my final exam on July 2, 2014.

    Was the Elijah Watt Sells Award a goal from the beginning, or was it something that became a goal along the way as you progressed through your exams?

    I never planned on getting the Elijah Watt Sells Award.

    I merely tried to pass with a 75. However, I definitely over-studied and started rooting for the award while studying for BEC (adding to my difficulty with the exam – it’s easier to study for a 75 than to study for a 93).

    How nervous were you during the final score release – knowing the EWS Award was hanging in the balance?

    To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I passed (again – I’m sure that sounds strange to most people considering the results, but at the time, it’s easy to let your mind play games with you) but I was elated to see the 94.

    What advice would you give to a CPA candidate who is just starting on their journey?

    The CPA Exam does not test your IQ level or your knowledge (I know I’ll get heat for this – a 96 average is saying that passing the CPA doesn’t involve brains), rather the CPA Exam tests your resilience.

    I am not a genius, but I was committed and dedicated to passing the Exam (too committed I guess).

    Do not think that the exam is a fluke, seclude yourself from social life for a short period of time, think about your long-term future while your friends are having a beer and get it done.

    You’ll feel relieved and save yourself time and agony if you’re diligent the first time.

    What’s next for you – any additional certifications or education?

    I hope to take the LSAT and go to Law School one day.

    Thank you for your time!

    I owe it to the NINJA Community. You have been my rock, and I hope to contribute the way you contributed to my success.

    ***

    See Also: CPA Exam Tips from Elijah Watt Sells Award Winner Matt Durette

    May 12, 2015 The Best of...

    When Life Gets in the Way of Studying for the CPA Exam

    Carolina2Carolina is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

    Here I am once again trying to cram in all I can, studying for the CPA Exam as much as possible. I procrastinated for the past two weeks. I actually didn’t do it on purpose this time. I did study, but not as much as I wanted to.

    Two weeks ago, I noticed that my husband was more exhausted than ever. I looked into our financials and noticed that our savings were almost gone, so I decided to start looking for job again (and as everyone knows looking for a job could be a full time job and very stressful). I know he needs help paying the bills.

    So, that week I didn’t get to study the 40 hours I had planned because I spent hours applying for jobs and contacting recruiters. Luckily, I found a job within a week. The pay is great and the company seemed to be good.

    However, the accounting department is going through a huge transition and there is a lot of tension between the employees that are left in the department. There is a lot of drama and a lot of work built up. 2014 books have not been closed yet. It’s actually a mess.

    The funny part is that the manager expects me to fix all of this in less than a week. This is crazy stressful to me because I don’t have any experience in this industry, and I have not gotten any training.

    In addition, they have a really old system that I don’t know how to use, and I’m learning by doing. This software is super stressful because to do a simple task you have to go through multiple steps. I have to work long hours to just keep up with everything that is going on.

    This place is so bad that people keep resigning. I’m a little bit mad too because at the interview I was lied to when I ask about all of the above.

    Therefore, I’m two weeks behind in my studies. I was supposed to be in the review stage of my studies, but I’m still far away from this stage.

    These past two weeks, I have learned that there is not a master plan for these tests. You can have it all figured out, but life just doesn’t want you to have it that easy.

    All of this have caused me another anxiety attack. I never suffered from anxiety until I started studying for the CPA Exam (maybe this is due to all the things, besides the tests, going on around me).

    I had my first anxiety attack back in February, the day before my 3rd FAR retake. I know I missed the test by couple of points because of my anxiety. I know I need to do something to control this, but I’m just too concentrated in passing that I haven’t done anything.

    I know I need to make changes, so I will start reorganizing my plans/study schedule once again and start looking for some professional help regarding the anxiety.

    Ok, I’m going back to study for my AUD test. I pray to GOD that I get a 75 and move on to the next one.

    As many people say, “when life gives you lemon make lemonade.”

    May 08, 2015 NINJA CPA Review
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