Distractions and Renewed Motivation
Jay is a weekly columnist as a Club 75 Blogger, where he documents his journey through the CPA Exam. He has been a member of Club 75 since April 2010.
Week 2 Report:
Last weekend didnt go quite the way I planned. Saturday was pretty much lost with the kids birthday party I had mentioned. My plan was to hit Starbucks early for studying, but there were some unforeseen things that arose.
Saturday was a complete wash.
On Sunday, I set up shop in my basement office, bad idea. Distractions all day long, kids upstairs crying periodically, the computer is available to check fantasy football scores, and the tv is available to occasionally check football highlights.
The weekend went completely off-course, but I realize I have to get back to the library in order to focus appropriately. I did at least get good quality time with the family, but thats not going to help me on the Audit exam.
Studying during the week was slightly better. I did 2.5 hours on Monday, Wednesday & Thursday. I got stuck at work on Tuesday and by Friday night I was completely drained and useless when I got home at 7:30pm.
I didnt really feel comfortable with my understanding of the types of Audit Opinions, so I took some time this Saturday to re-review Chapter 1 prior to doing the homework. Im not really a fan of the way Becker lays out the explanations; I found it to be confusing.
They explain Modified Unqualified, give a summary of the 7 instances in which an explanatory paragraph is used, then after detailing the first 4 instances, they move on to Qualified Opinions.
Maybe its just me or the fact that I dont get through a full chapter in one sitting, but the layout is all over the map in my opinion. Anyway, I hit the library for 4.5 hours on Saturday afternoon and then did an additional 2 hours at night, after the kids were sleeping. I feel like I got back into the groove Saturday.
Early rise on Sunday and I was at the library by 9am. I worked on Chapter 2 until 1:30pm, it actually went pretty well. After the library, it was time to get home and close up the swimming pool, the weather in New York is getting chilly and itll be frigid before you know it.
The kids get to play in the yard on their big wheel and tricycle, while I work on the pool and my wife does a clean up on the inside of the house. It all actually worked out pretty well and everyone is happy. I did another 1.5 hours this evening after the kids were asleep and now its Sunday night as I write this recap of my week.
During the week ahead, I plan on doing 3 hours after work every night, no excuses or exceptions. Now that school is back in session, the local college library is open 8am 11pm, 7 days a week, so I will be at the library all week long. If I can get out of work a bit early, I may be able to log a few more hours than planned. Im crossing my fingers.
Have a nice week and good luck with the score releases this week, Im expecting FAR, but Im not eager to see the results.
Week 3 Report:
Ive done a pretty good job sticking to my study plan this week, after last weekends renewed motivation. I logged 11 study hours after work between Monday and Thursday. Im still on Beckers Chapter #2 for Audit (Other Reports).
Although I got through the lectures and most of the homework, I still have attest homework, supplemental questions and simulations, but hope to have those completed by Saturday afternoon, so I can start Chapter #3 on Sunday.
I feel like it takes me forever to get through a chapter and I am seriously starting to doubt my study habits. Becker gives a hypothetical weekly study schedule and assumes it should take 17 hours to complete Chapter 1 and 15 hours to complete Chapter 2, but Im nowhere close to getting through the material at the pace they are suggesting.
Am I the only one that has experienced this? I think I may be spending too much time rewriting notes after each lecture is completed. I think thats what torpedoed me with FAR too.
I feel it helps me, but its way too time consuming. I wonder if I am wasting precious time rewriting notes. Would appreciate if anyone, including Jeff, has any comments or thoughts on rewriting the notes??
(Jeff’s Input: Re-writing your notes is one of my secret CPA Ninja Study Techniques. The only exam I had time to do it on was REG, which netted me a 92. ONLY do it if you have a full week to devote to it. Otherwise, MCQs are much more important.)
Anyway, I got this renewed motivation last week to start hitting the material hard and the past week has gone well, until today. I received my second FAR exam results and scored lower than the first time I took the exam. That was completely demoralizing and makes me wonder whether I have the steel to get through the whole darn CPA exam.
It also makes me think of the impact on my family. Ive been at this since March and havent got a thing to show for it. Im trying to remain positive and focus on AUD, but its really difficult.
Plan for the next week is 3-4 hours on Friday, 5 hours each on Saturday and Sunday, and then 3-4 hours per evening on Mon-Fri. If I get 15 hours logged during the week, Ill be very happy.
My goal is going to be to finish AUD by third week of October and then do a cram course for FAR and retake FAR on NOV 30th.
If youre wondering why Im being aggressive on cramming them both in by year end, its because Id like to try and avoid preparing for the updated materials/formats in 2011 for FAR and AUD.
Hope your week has been better than mine.