Club 75 Candidate Bloggers

CPA Exam Smart Phones and Postpones


J.W. is a weekly Club 75 Blogger as he documents his journey through the CPA Exam.

He has been a member of Another71.com's Club 75 since August 2010.

Week 5:

Reality check. Maybe I was in denial before, but now I’m not. Fact is, I need more time with FAR. I originally wanted to take two exams this year (FAR and BEC) to avoid the changes in both exams, but it became clear to me this weekend that I needed more time with the FAR material. So I’ve made the decision to postpone FAR until November 16th and BEC until 2011.

Before I go any further, for those of you who haven’t schedule your exam yet for this year. Do it. Today. Go back in time to yesterday if you have the technological know how to do it and schedule it then. And if you do have the technological know how to go back in time, you probably should be winning the Nobel prize instead of taking the CPA exam. Ok, enough funny stuff. The last 2 weeks were filled up and the 17th was the absolute latest I could postpone FAR until, so get on it. The test center crunch is real.

I started studying for FAR in the beginning of September watching the Yaeger CPA Review DVDs. I started off slowly – 10 hours a week or so, and that was hard. I started studying and didn’t really know what to expect and I procrastinated. Then, after a few weeks I finally got in a groove and have been racking up 30 hour study weeks since and even hit the 5 hours mark on some weekdays. Yes weekdays.

I’ve been cramming MCQs for just over a week, 25 to 50 at a time on my Wiley CPA Review CD. After watching the Yaeger DVDs I started off in the low 40’s, but I have improved to almost 60% as of yesterday. With a week to go before my original test date, that 60% and the IFRS looming like a predator ready to strike in 2011, this FAR exam in 2011 became way too important to pass.

I need to be sure that I know the material. BEC simulations are not as scary as failing FAR this year and having to face the rancor that is IFRS next year. (Yes that was a Star Wars reference).

So while it would have been nice to get two exams under my belt in 2010, failing one or both because I didn’t properly allocate my time would be a stupid mistake. It’s not a race and making realistic evaluations is part of the formula for success. If you’re not comfortable a week before, you should seriously considering postponing. You won’t want to be kicking yourself later if you don’t pass.

Now that my plan has been revised from 7 days to now 21 days, I plan on getting myself a CRAM DVD from Yaeger. This Halloween weekend, is the CRAM weekend. Trick or Treaters at my home won’t hear spooky background music when the door opens, but the soothing sounds of Phil Yaeger and Cindy Simpson explaining dollar value LIFO, or if they’re really lucky, Bonds… which gives me an idea for a costume next year. I’ll be a leaseback agreement. Am I capital, or am I operating, scary stuff right there folks. Maybe I’ll hand out CPA flashcards as goodies instead of candy.

For those of you who are in the market for a CPA review program, I am really becoming a serious fan of the Yaeger system. Not only are the DVDs informative and strangely real, in a good way. I’ll never forget the first time when my mind was wandering and Cindy Simpson said. Ok turn to page 93…. Turn to page 93, we’re on page 93 go to it. She knows when you’re losing focus. Her ESP will teach you EPS. The instructors are also readily available to speak to anytime. It’s actually pretty motivating and the entire program is adaptive to you and how you learn. It’s hands down better than my other program, which is the only other software I’ve had experience with and I don’t think there’s a better price out there for any program. I look forward to watching CRAM and I’ll report back here in a week or two my practice exam results.

On tap for this week, more MCQ’s, CRAM and some one on one phone tutoring with the Yaeger CPA Review for those concepts I just haven’t grasped yet. I hope to take more advantage of my iPhone now that the VLC player has an App for it, I can put the DVD files on my phone and watch them anywhere.

Looking ahead, I’ll most likely be taking the BEC in early January, so I can take Audit or Regulation by the end of February. I’ll probably be one of the first people to take the new BEC exam, so I’ll definitely be sharing my experience with that. I also hope to share my experience studying for the CPA on Smart-phones at some point in the future.

Less than 3 weeks until FAR.

-J.W.

THE AUTHOR

J.W.

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COMMENTS

3 comments on “CPA Exam Smart Phones and Postpones”

  • If I were in your situation I’d take Audit. You could take the view that BEC will be easier next year since it’s testing 85% on what you know (MCQ’s)and 15% on what amounts to your writing skills. So you could make the case it might actually be easier to take it next year if you’re a good writer.

    I was taking BEC in part because I like multiple choice formats and it’s less time consuming to study for as I could do it in 4 weeks, I’m a fairly decent writer so taking the Sims won’t be too bad for me.

    Questions you should ask yourself are:

    Am I a good writer? If yes, then it’s probably a no-brainer for you to push BEC back and take Audit this year. I find Jeff is usually pretty spot on with his assessments of each test so audit will probably be harder. People will still pass it though. It’s not as if it’s likely the pass rate will all of a sudden go down from 50% to 20%.

    As far as to what the simulations will look like; they probably won’t look much different that the writing portion on any other Sim except that you’ll have to write about BEC topics. If you know your BEC and are a good writer, you won’t have anything to worry about. No one has ever seen what a BEC sim will look like, so it’s the unknown that is scary, but the best thing you can do is go in prepared and be able to write something constructive on each topic. I’ve always found that knowing buzzwords helps any short answer essay look better than it actually may be.

    Also, be realistic about how much time you need to study for both BEC And AUD. Do you have time to restudy what you don’t know for Audit? The last thing you probably want to do is take Audit and then fail because you needed 5 weeks to restudy, while with BEC maybe you only needed 3 weeks and you had to take the test in 4 weeks.

    One more thing to consider, if you haven’t already booked your prometric appointments, is to check availability for your centers. They may be filled up for the last 3 weeks and you’ll only have 2 weeks to study.

    Ultimately, you know what’s best for you and the most important thing is to be honest with yourself about what you need to do. It sounds as if you have a good plan laid out for yourself, so if that’s your honest assessment of your situation, then go with it.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. If you work hard enough, you will pass.

  • Hey JW, I’m in the same predicament. I’m suppose to be taking FAR on monday and am definitely no where near ready. I was going to take shotgun AUD and BEC in november which iv sat for both already, but it looks like i need to kick out either AUD or BEC for next year. I’m leaning on kicking out BEC especially since jeff says it should be the hardest exam. I know I could pass AUD and BEC this year even under horrendous time constraits but to redo 9 chapters of FAR next year doesnt sound appetizing.

    Do you have any input in your research about what taking BEC next year will look like? I know there will be SIMs with who knows what will be on there, and they are taking the easiest part of BEC out (entities) and putting into REG while bringing ethics into BEC. Writing on BEC will be annoying but since they’re non cpa’s grading it, i think we’ll survive.

    Are there any considerations that I havent thought of that you might’ve come across in regards to wether pushing BEC to next year will hurt more than pushing AUD? Thanks for your input and am now considering Yaeger now. Good luck!

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