In Full NINJA Attack Mode for BEC
Things are moving along nicely with my BEC studying. For the first time I have decided to adopt the NINJA method. Right now I’m Nailing my videos, and taking Intense notes on said videos.
I have gotten through 3 of the 6 chapters in about a week’s time. I have a little over 4 weeks to go ’til my exam.
I’m not going to focus any attention on multiple choice questions in my software. Once I’m through all the videos, in hopefully just another week, I’ll start doing Nonstop multiple choice questions in the Wiley Test Bank and my review course software.
By week 3, I plan to start Just re-writing my NINJA Notes and my notes from the videos. By week 4 it should All start to come together. I will use the last 2 weeks doing a ridiculous amount of multiple choice questions.
I pretty feel good about my plan – well, Jeff’s plan more or less. And with the delays due to the “fiscal cliff”, tax season shouldn’t have ramped up just yet. So I will be able to devote the appropriate amount of time to my studies.
In other areas of my life: we are the middle of some serious tax training at my office. They hire a number of tax interns for the season, and do about a week or so of intense training to get them ready. This is my first April tax season with a new company, and my previous company didn’t do anything like this.
When I started working there out of college, I had only really done my own tax returns for the past few years (other than the returns we had to do in my 1 tax class in college). I had prepared my returns completely by hand and didn’t feel like I had any idea what I was doing.
At work I probably had like an hour of training on the fundamentals of the tax software. After that, I was given a few client work-paper files, and basically thrown to the wolves. Luckily I was able to pick-up the software pretty quickly, but some real training on the tax concepts, application, and software would have been very helpful.
I was skeptical at first, but the interns really seem to be getting a lot out of it. Now that I’m a Tax Senior and the interns will be preparing some of my returns, I’m happy that they actually will have some idea what they’re doing.
In other news: my wife’s birthday is this weekend (it’s actually Monday, but really she’s going to milk it for about a week). We are having some friends and family over this weekend for some drinks, pizza, and games. My wife is big into game night.
Once you’re a few years out of college (and more so when you hit 30), I’ve found that you no longer have the desire to go to bars and stay out all night drinking and getting wild on your birthday (or anytime). Game night is your big event.
My wife’s brother and cousins, all who are around our age, are coming over with their significant others. Don’t get me wrong, our game nights get pretty wild – especially when we play guys vs. girls. You have no idea. Since this is a blog post, I should note the sarcasm up in here.
Normally on a Saturday 4 weeks before an exam, I would spend all day and night studying, with small breaks to eat, go to the bathroom, and maybe shower. This will be a nice break, and it’s far enough from my exam that it won’t hurt to take the night off.
Finally, hopefully I will get my AUD score on Monday, and it will be much better than my last 2 scores. I really need to be done with AUD. Good luck to everyone else expecting scores – keep your fingers crossed for me and I will keep mine crossed for you!
We can do this!
And a happy birthday to my wife, Kelly!
Call Me Crazy: Enjoying My Time Reviewing for the CPA Exam
Three weeks into FAR and less than a month before my scheduled exam. I sure am pumped to get this one out of the way.
At this point, I am not even halfway through my review material and the information seems to be piling up on top of each other. My final review stage, which if I am lucky will consist of two or three days before the exam, is going to have to be quite extensive in order to remember all these concepts.
In order to get the topics to stick, I have been listening to the NINJA Audio lectures over and over along with hanging sticky notes and flash cards around my desk containing little nuggets of information that I glance at during the day while working at my desk.
During the first weeks of studying the material, I was spending a large amount of time answering the questions by writing the problem out on paper. Spending almost an hour answering only 15 problems. I quickly realized that this is not going to be an option on the exam since time will be crucial.
Instead, I read the problem, then in my head, ask myself what is the call of the question? I then think of how I would lay the numbers out to calculate an answer. If I answer it correct I move on, but if I get it wrong I write it down or mark it to come back to later.
This method lets me know if I actually understand the concept in question. The time limit scares me because I used every single minute for AUD and I know this will be the case with FAR. Definitely no bathroom breaks this time.
I about lost my mind when the staff at Prometric had me scan my finger print over and over until the computer finally accepted it in order to go back in when returning from my break. Such a waste of precious time.
As I did when preparing for AUD, I have been creating my own set of notes as I go through each section. It comes to no surprise that my amount of notes is already double compared to AUD and there is still plenty of information to cover.
Call me crazy but I have been enjoying the time spent reviewing for these exams. Yes, it does stink spending the weekends at the library, but I have learned so much already that has really made an impact on the work I do as an accountant on a daily basis.
Even with simple bookkeeping that we do for our clients I have become more aware of how everything flows together in the financial reporting process. I also feel more confident as an auditor.
Passing FAR, or any of the CPA exams for that matter is not an easy task. But I believe that maintaining a positive attitude and reassuring yourself that this time spent studying is truly benefiting you as a person, then there is nothing standing in the way for success.
Good luck to everyone with their studies. Talk to you next week!
Test Your Might: BEC – Financial Management
A New Year, A Fresh Start to Passing the CPA Exam
Hello fellow NINJAs!
I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays, however you celebrated them. In our home, we had a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year’s Eve.
I have not written for a while because I was very depressed about my 68 score on BEC. I need to find some motivation in other’s stories and blogs on Another71.
A lot of people passed and a lot of people were in the same boat as me, which really helped me not to get too down about my score.
I recently bought a planner for 2013. I always reference my previous year planners for important dates and birthdays. I also use my previous year planner as a “look back” of the previous year, as I document my goals each year.
My 2012 planner had the entire CPA exam mapped out from January to December. I had inserted my NINJA study framework for each section into each corresponding month that I planned to study.
I found myself even more depressed when I realized the only goal I met last year was to pass the state mandated ethics exam. But at the same time, I refuse to allow myself to focus on only the negative portions of my “year in review”. There is always a positive in every situation.
Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we expect. Sometimes a year flies by before our eyes and our goals are not met. So what do we do? We brush ourselves off and try again.
Here’s to a New Year (even if it is a month late) and a new attempt at achieving our goals of becoming a CPA. With my new 2013 updated NINJA Notes, I am ready to conquer this exam this year!
Happy BUSY SEASON!