Studying while Unemployed

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #3139461
    Nina
    Participant

    Unfortunately, I lost my job in April due to Covid. After reflecting on what my next step in life should be I decided I would go for my CPA. I take my first exam on December. I thought having the extra time would be beneficial but I am struggling. I've been feeling down not being able to find work while trying to focus on the first exam only 6 weeks away.

    Anyone else unemployed? How are you balancing the studying while applying for work?

    #3139611
    monikernc
    Participant

    I went through a longish stretch of unemployment in 2018 and you have to structure your day to stay positive. As for studying – you have been at it awhile and need to take the test. It is like being in school where you get feedback from test scores that tell you how you are doing. Kick into review mode, set a date for the exam. Be positive and set “no retakes” as your goal! Study to pass! Positive self talk matters! You can do this! Now go get it!

    AUD - 93
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 76
    REG - 88
    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
    #3139704
    2bigcpa
    Participant

    I agree with monikernc. You do need to take the exam not just to test where you are, but to get the process started. The CPA journey is similar to a marathon so you have to be more mentally prepared than physically prepared. When I was studying for the CPA exams in 2018, I wasn't working and I decided to take FAR first. I stressed myself out by studying too long i.e. over eight weeks. It took three attempts to pass FAR, but looking back it was a good learning experience. I learned not to study too much and not to reschedule exam unless it was work related at the time.

    If we weren't in a pandemic, I would recommend volunteering. My other advice would be to stay active by working out and if you need the money get a part-time job in accounting e.g. tax preparer at H&R Block.

    AUD - 81
    BEC - 77
    FAR - 76
    REG - 80
    AUD - 81
    BEC - 70, 77
    FAR - 70, 70, 76
    REG - 70, 80
    (I used WileyCPA and Ninja-FAR only)

    It took almost two years, but I am now finished with my CPA exams.

    #3140214
    Skynet
    Participant

    I treated studying for the CPA exams like it was a full time job in 2014.

    I was studying 2 sections at a time. The first half of the day, I studied one section, and the second half of the day, the other section.

    It took me 16 months total to pass all 4 sections. I took my time and kept drilling mcq's and doing cumulative tests and studying the SIM's. I wasn't working so all I did was study.

    I was on a caffeine binge with all those Starbucks coffee and McDonald's $1 Cokes.

    At that time for me it was go for broke trying to pass the CPA exams.

    AUD - 90
    BEC - 78
    FAR - 84
    REG - 87
    World Domination Plan

    Phase I : Pass CPA Exams - Complete
    Phase II : Megan Fox - In Progress
    Phase III : Megan Fox & Scarlett Johansson Lingerie Pillow Fight
    Phase IV : Form the new Charlie's Angels with Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansson, & Gal Gadot
    Phase V : TBD

    #3140739
    Sam
    Participant

    Sorry to hear about your job; the good news is getting your CPA would allow you to more easily find a job and then reap the benefits for the rest of your professional career, so good for you for getting started!

    When you do find a job (yes, WHEN), you'll have a lot less time and energy to study, so take advantage and study as much as you can now. I studied for and passed BEC and FAR between graduating in May 2019 and starting work October 2019. Contrary to 2bigcpa, BEC took me 8 weeks start to finish, and FAR took me 10 weeks start to finish, and I think it was the right amount of time for me. I didn't study all day but consistently averaged 2-3 hours a day while maintaining a life otherwise.

    If you don't foresee the job market changing much over the next 6 weeks, I'd commit to studying almost exclusively. I found reading through this forum encouraging and really helpful when I was taking the exams, and I know others have too. Obviously don't quit searching for a job entirely, but I'm guessing you'll have better luck with job searching or studying if you mainly commit to one or the other, instead of splitting time for both.

    Good luck! If you need study tips or strategies, this forum and the people in it are a great resource!

    BEC - 90 (7/19, 8 weeks)
    FAR - 78 (10/19, 10 weeks)
    AUD - 75 (12/19, 8 weeks)
    REG - 90 (7/20, ~12 weeks, split up)

    Ethics - 97 (~6 hours to go through the material & take the quiz)
    Licensed in Virginia (10/20, ~1.5 weeks to process after submitting everything)

    #3140973
    monikernc
    Participant

    @Sam, yours is such a nice response. @Nina good luck with your job search and the exams. Set a date and let us know how you do!

    AUD - 93
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 76
    REG - 88
    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
    #3141495
    Anthony
    Participant

    I was in the same shoe coming out of school with no offers. Ended up studying full time for about 6 months in total and apply my name wherever I could fit it during the night/breaks. Agree with the above few replies, get a part time gig if you need and keep chugging away. Job searching is one of the most soul sucking experiences in life.

    Difference between the shoe that I was in and your shoe is that you have some experience on your resume that you can work with.

    AUD - 82
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 81
    REG - 82
    FAR - 74 first attempt
    #3151014
    JFKGY
    Participant

    Studying for too long might not be a great idea. It looks like the long journey of both seeking for a job and studying had worn you out because neither of them are nearly the end. You need some sort of “reward” to continue the motivation (either a passing score or a job).

    If you are stress about job and being able to support your family. I would say it might be a wise at the moment to find any job (remotely or on site) that could chip in and offset the bills. It doesn't need to be in accounting, just something short-term to get along when you studies and get you off the financial stress and being awful. For a few hours in the day, you can probably afford it. Like being a delivery lady, dog walker, or simply doing grandma's housework…

    Make your daily routine fully packed with schedules, so you don't have time to be alone and free, because then your mind will wondered off and start thinking negatively. Exercise! Wash the clothes! Mop the floor!

    NY - License Approved December 2020.
    #3151719
    Nina
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for your inputs. Wanted to clarify, I didn't mean I had been studying since April lol. That is when I lost my job. After some time of thinking where to go from here I decided to go for my CPA. I really started studying in middle of Sept. I've struggled to stay consistent with studying. Trying to look for a new job while studying simultaneously has been harder than I thought. I also struggle with depression and have a lot of self doubt. Feeling lost and not sure if I'm doing anything right. Every time I come across hard topic I start to doubt myself and feel like I may not be smart enough for any of this. The more job rejection emails I get I start getting upset and feeling like I won't ever be a good accountant. I also don't have a support system. Someone encouraging me and pushing me, telling me I can do it. I know I shouldn't depend on anyone else for encouragement but it'd be nice to have. And also I have the pressure of hoping I can make my rent and bills every month. Thankfully I've been okay for now.

    Anyways, my exam is next month. I don't think I'll be ready but I will try my best to study as much as I can before that day comes. I'll continue looking for work.

    Thank you all again.

    #3152451
    monikernc
    Participant

    @Nina I say this all the time and it is true. Positive self talk matters! You can do this. You can enjoy studying. You will find a job! You will pass the exams. You will become a CPA! Always remember how wonderful you are because you are bright and have a good heart. Be kind to yourself and build confidence by studying and passing. Ask for help when you need it. Give help when you can. Now get it!

    AUD - 93
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 76
    REG - 88
    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
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