A New Year + A New Plan to Pass the CPA Exam
Hey there NINJAs
Happy New Year!!
Since my last post there has not been much studying going on. I have been working it. I just have not been very productive this week.
Since Christmas, I received a phone call and subsequently have been assigned to a temp. position with a city government as an accounting clerk. Getting back into the workforce is a very welcome experience, however it was quite sudden.
So I have come to the definite conclusion that my personal schedule needs to be adjusted to accommodate work, commute, studying, spending time with the family and sleeping. In order to effectively manage my time, I will be implementing the ELL Plan for studying.
Since my morning commute is approximately 1 hour, that means in order to arrive at the office on time I will need to leave the house between 6:30 and 6:45 in the morning. So, to be concise, my weekday schedule will begin every morning at 4:00 and will progress as described below:
4:00 AM Get out of bed- and exercise
4:30 AM Study for 1 hour
5:30 AM Get ready for work
6:30 AM Leave for work
8:00 AM Start work
12:00 PM Eat Lunch and Study
5:00 PM Leave office — head to local cafe to study [2 hours] (added benefit: waiting for traffic to die down)
7:30 PM Drive home
8:30 PM Arrive home/Eat dinner/Spend time with husband and dogs
9:30/10:00 PM Go to bed
Rinse and repeat…
I do not know how realistic this plan is, however I am convinced that I would rather spend time studying after work and arrive home later than sit in traffic for 2.3 – 3 hours and not get any studying done at all. I also know that the minimum 1 hour commute will mean that I have plenty of time to listen to the NINJA Audio.
So now that I have my plan of attack for the next couple of weeks, it is time to get to work. I will let you all know how things are going in my next post.
Until then, happy studying… HiYa!
Studying for FAR + Learning to be Flexible
Perhaps the greatest frustration with CPA candidates is being able to stick to your study schedule. Life’s responsibilities have a way of really throwing a curveball at our study time.
Even when we try and stick to the ELL schedule religiously, work and family duties seem to become overwhelming.
I began feeling this way about a week ago. I have been studying for FAR, which I am scheduled to take on November 21st. I have felt as though I have given myself enough time to prepare.
However, some days the material just doesn’t “click” and when I add a few days of barely squeezing in my study time, the anxiety seems to become a volcano just waiting to erupt.
Be flexible. This was the advice of a friend of mine who is already a CPA. My friend told me that if candidates remind themselves that it’s ok to modify and adjust their reviews, the stress and anxiety could be greatly reduced.
His only footnote to this advice was to not constantly adjust study time because of laziness. The adjustments to study time must be made because of higher priority responsibilities.
I hope everyone is doing well with their reviews. Good luck to all!
Katy Perry, IFRS, and Divorce Mediation
Mari is a weekly Club 75 Blogger as she documents her journey through the CPA Exam. She has been a member of Another71.com’s Club 75 since March 2010.
It’s been a little over three weeks since tax season ended.
Yet I’m still unbelievably behind on my study schedule. It seems almost every other day, I’m changing my schedule around and pushing chapters forward when I’m supposed to be done with them. I love Jeff’s free NINJA study plan, because it holds me accountable for my studying time.
I use this app called ipunchclock and it works great and helps keep track of how much time I’m devoting to studying, on a daily basis and in total. That being said, it is pretty depressing when I don’t hit my hours as planned. I had originally thought I could study 2 hours (at the very least) the nights I have my boys. But after dinner and dancing (my 2 year old loves to dance), I am absolutely WORN out by the time the kids are in bed.
I have to convince myself to do at least one hour of study time and I’m seriously falling asleep as I’m studying yet it is only 9 pm. I have an extremely difficult time studying at home, as my brain realizes my bed is very close by and all I want to do is sleep. I know what you are thinking: sit in the living room or at a desk or get some coffee. Well, I live in a tiny apartment while my house is on the market (yes, paying rent and mortgage is super fun…) so it’s been really difficult to study on those nights.
Tonight, the kids are with their father but I just had mediation this afternoon with my ex that was absolutely pointless. A divorce is not fun and I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone. My cousin recently mentioned that a friend of hers was going through a divorce and said, “I’m pretty sure happy marriages do not get divorced”.. and she’s right. Obviously, we weren’t for each other and I must move on and not dwell on my life’s failures. Meanwhile, I’m one part away from passing this sucker, hoping not to fail another part of my life.
Since mediation went nowhere, it is very likely there will be a contested hearing in the future, which will, in all reality, be extremely painful and hurtful. I’m trying very hard not to think of this, as it is definitely affecting my studying abilities. And if I’m not done with this exam by the time this supposed hearing will occur, it won’t necessarily look good that I have to study as much as I have been studying wanting to be with the kids all the time (or at least half). My lawyer said, “Just make sure you pass on May 31st” (no pressure or anything).
On a good note, I’m taking one day off a week until study day to kill myself studying (yes, I said kill). It seems I do better at longer periods than short. I’m not exactly sure why, but it seems I focus more when I have longer periods of studying time than one hour here and another hour there. I’ve done this “one-day off a week” thing since I actually started passing this (dare I say it) stupid test, so it must be something that works for me instead of one hour in the morning or late at night when almost absolutely nothing sinks into my brain. (Test Gods, forgive me for calling it stupid – I swear it’s very smart)!
My confidence level is pretty low at this point but the best part of studying is all my great support system and my loyal circle of CPA candidates. A dear friend and CPA candidate, Heather, recently told me that she wrote notecards as she was practicing problems on topics she had issues with, and went over them close to test day.
I have every intention of doing this (hopefully soon, when I get done with videos). My plan is to dance with my 2 year old while looking at my notecards from time to time. Aw, yes, Katy Perry and IFRS. A match made in heaven. Side note: okay, so my 2 year old likes Katy Perry. But he also likes the Ghostbuster theme song! He’s very culturally diverse in music, I swear! ☺