Getting Ready for Baby + On Schedule with FAR Review
Greg is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
So my wife and I are getting the baby’s room painted this week, and we just ordered most of his furniture. Note that I said we are “getting the baby’s room painted.” I have only painted once in my life.
When my wife (then girlfriend) and I bought our first place together, we were naïve and thought we could paint our 2 bedrooms ourselves. Within about 45 seconds, my wife had stepped in paint, and I fired her from the job.
I think I did a decent job finishing the bedrooms myself. They weren’t perfect, but they looked good, and it worked for the 3 years that we lived there.
But it was not an enjoyable experience. So for our new house, I will not be doing any painting. As my late father-in-law would say “I write a mean check.” We got lucky that a friend of a friend has a painting business, and he can paint the room for a very reasonable price.
So on top of studying for hopefully my final seating of the CPA exam, I am expected to have the baby’s furniture built and set up before my wife’s baby shower, which is the weekend before my test. And you can’t really argue with a pregnant woman. That is one thing I’ve learned these past few months.
Even if you are right, you are wrong. So I repeat, DO NOT argue with a pregnant woman.
Anyways, I just finished up my review videos the other day. I am right on schedule. I am going through the FAR NINJA BLITZ videos now.
I have the NINJA notes, and NINJA audio, and they are basically the exact same info as the BLITZ videos. But I think I like BLITZ better. The only time I listen to the audio is on my commute to and from work. I find that I don’t always pay as much attention as I should, since I am trying to focusing on driving my car at the same time.
The notes are great too, but I like the format of the BLITZ videos better. Either way, I will be using them all and more.
I should be finished with BLITZ in a couple days. Then I move on to 2 weeks of nonstop multiple choice questions, while mixing in the NINJA audio on my kindle.
I didn’t have any of these supplemental materials the first time I passed FAR. I just used the self-study review course that I purchased initially for all 4 sections. I have since switched that up to another review course. This new review course has helped me get over the hump for AUD & REG. So I think I should be in good shape this time around.
Say it with me “C – P – A !”
Mid-Terms, Presentations, and Studying for the CPA Exam
Elizabeth is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
I hope all is well. So unfortunately I have not watched all the videos as I had planned. I had mid-terms (though on the brightside the midterms were spread out) and had to allocate more time to study for mid-terms than watch the videos and study for the exam.
Needless to say since a CPA exam can be rescheduled, I studied for my mid-terms and I am happy to say the lowest I received was an A- with the balance being As, and A+s. However, I am unsure why when I study for college exams I can do fine, but study my hardest for the CPA and no luck.
I know it is a different exam and you need to study different and I am now thanks to NINJA.
As you can guess there is not much to report from my front. For the last 3 weeks I have probably spent the time I should spend in 1 week. Sometimes life is very frustrating. I was originally planning to schedule for the end of Nov and now I am just honestly not sure.
While I certainly don’t want to wait seven months and do it more in like 7 weeks the honest truth is you need to spend 7 weeks worth of studying and I have not for the last 3 spent 3 weeks studying. In summary maybe after this week is over and everything for school lightens up we will see.
On the other front why are you allowed to schedule exams till Dec 6th? I would have killed for that in other years though I am certainly not looking a the proverbial gifted horse in the mouth. Perhaps with the few extra days I might be able to pull of an exam in the beginning of Dec. We shall see.
The depressing part is for the next week I barely have allocated any time except for the time I am commuting to study as otherwise I have 2 presentations and while the presentations are done I need to rehearse, etc. Also I need to make final revisions to a semester paper.
I hope to get some review time in watching videos and studying for my MBA class. I have elected not to fret over it for this week and then reevaluate next week.
I do not think I realized how much of the NINJA Audio sank in till I was doing homework for my MBA class and Jeff’s voice popped into my head and guided me through a problem. Sad to admit but it is true. This is why I am still holding out hope for the beginning of Nov.
So while this is a depressing and dismal post it also shows the reality of life that we all face as we try to juggle life with studying for the CPA exam. Whether you have classes that sometimes take longer than you anticipate or you have a family, we all need to balance studying for the CPA exam with something.
Have an enjoyable though more importantly productive week. Personally I am just trying to get through my presentation and revisions to a final paper.
All the best,
Goal: Put in the Time and Pass REG the First Time
Brent is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
Only a few weeks remaining before my first attempt at REG, which will hopefully be the last CPA exam I ever take. Preparations for this exam began back in September and I have been working hard up to this point.
I will be allowed 3 attempts at REG before AUD expires in May. My goal is to put the time in now and pass it on the first go around so that I will not have the added stress of having to retake an exam already passed.
The material that the REG exam covers has its challenges but the majority of its topics regard items that are presented to me on a daily basis (after January) relating to individual & corporate taxation. My scores working the multiple choice sections in my review material for REG have been higher than that of any of the other past exams. This gives me confidence but I know there are certain areas of this exam that my review materials may not put much emphasis on that might show up on exam day.
To be fully prepared for this exam, I have watched the lecture videos twice and will continue to work the multiple choice questions up to exam day. I have printed the MCQs and organized them by topic, presenting the ones I struggle with most at the beginning so that they will appear first when I begin my final review.
Each of the CPA exams seems to have its own set of topics that really dig deep into many small details that you are required to understand. Well REG goes beyond that of any other exams because almost every tax rule has an exception or phase out.
My experience with the exams is that you never know what type of questions you will be presented with and even the simplest question can be a struggle to answer by carelessly skipping over a small detail while preparing. Sometimes many of the wrong answers can be eliminated allowing a better chance of selecting the correct one.
To combat this issue with REG, I have paired my review material with NINJA to enhance and reinforce my understanding of each topic. The standalone review material that I have used for each exam has provided me with the essential information that the exam covers along with questions that are similar to those on exam day.
Adding the NINJA materials on top of this is really what gave me the edge to the pass. The NINJA Audio is the tool that I have implemented most in my review. The use of the audio lectures has allowed me to return to previous topics that I have covered and reemphasize the important details that may show up on exam day.
Having a different stand point can make some topics easier to relate with and understand. I also feel that I am able to remember things more clearly.
My journey of the exam CPA began last November and has numerous ups and downs. The exams require a tremendous amount of time and effort and are very challenging. The most important piece of advice that I can share with you is never give up and continue pushing forward knowing that you will succeed.
The time we are putting in learning all of this information is not solely to pass a test, it is knowledge that is going to strengthen our abilities in the accounting profession. There is nothing standing between you and passing grade except for yourself. Stop making excuses and get to studying!
Circumstances aren’t keeping me from Passing the CPA Exam
I have come to the conclusion that the majority of people studying for the CPA exam fall into one of three categories.
They are recent graduates that have not yet entered the working world, recent graduates that took positions under the condition that they will pass the CPA in a certain amount of time, and those that have been in the work force for some time and decided to pursue the CPA, either for a more advanced career or to achieve something they intended to achieve years ago before life got in the way.
I fall into the latter category and have convinced myself over the last 3 years that those of us going back to school while working full time with families have the least ideal situation for passing the CPA.
With 7 days until my AUD retake I have had a change of heart. It is not my circumstances that have kept me from my goal. It is ME. I am the one that chooses to watch Scandal after the kids are in bed because I feel I have earned it by studying so much, when I should be taking a few quizzes or rereading a chapter before bed.
I am the one that chooses to take my study breaks outside with my neighbors because I feel like it’s important not to lose touch with everyone for 8 weeks while I study, when I should break inside alone for 15 minutes instead of outside with others for 30-45 minutes.
I am the one that chooses to be adequate because I just need a 75 to pass, when I should regain the aggressive nature I had when I was in graduate school and strive for dominance over EVERY topic and not just the ones that have a better chance of being tested.
I am my worst distraction. Not my job, not my kids, not my husband, not my friends, and not my hobbies. ME.
The more time I focus on what I am missing with my family and friends, the longer it will take me to pass these exams and achieve this goal. It’s time to focus on what I do have. I have a wonderful husband that, in addition to working two jobs himself, supports my goal 100% and maintains our household because I’m too tired to care about doing the dishes or washing clothes.
Our girls are so fortunate to have such a loving father that will spend his few precious hours for sleep in between shifts to take them trick or treating. I have amazing parents that, in addition to watching the kids while I work, will gladly watch them so I can study. Our girls are so fortunate to have grandparents that will take them to gymnastics class and countless fall festivals so mommy can study on the weekends.
I have three of the most caring, beautiful children who wish me good luck before exams and tell me “to have fun studying.” I have the ability to pass this exam and doubting myself only hinders my progress.
These are the things that I need to remind myself to push me through this journey. It’s time to take back control of my future and focus on what I do have that will help me succeed. Seven more days and I will have the holidays off before resuming my studies in 2014. Seven days to focus. Seven days to study.
Seven days to make sure studying for AUD will not carry over to next year. Seven days to make sure I’m 50% done with CPA exam. Seven days to miss my kids, family, and friends for the last time this year.