Big 4, Hours Outside of Busy Season, Studying for CPA Exam

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    It's looking like I'm going to have two exams done by the time I start at a Big 4 in international tax this summer. That being said, I'm curious to hear about what other people's experiences have been like studying for the exams while working at a Big 4 in tax (or not) outside of the traditional busy seasons.

    After the October 15th deadline, I'm hoping to take either AUD or REG towards the end of the testing window and then another towards the end of the second quarter testing window in June 2020.


    I can't speak for tax (I'm in audit on a F200 company), and not to sugarcoat this – it's going to be very difficult studying while working busy season hours especially at a B4. I have colleagues who are currently studying for one of the sections and honestly they look miserable as hell. It's not impossible to get them done during busy season, but you're going to have stay motivated, dedicated, and find whatever time you have to get studying in.

    To answer your question, it's definitely doable during non-busy season hrs. Just stick to your program.

    AUD - 86
    BEC - 87
    FAR - 87
    REG - 84
    "The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want badly enough." - Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture.

    Gotcha, thanks for getting back to me. Yeah, my plan is to just not even bother studying during busy season and knock them out during the off season.


    I am in audit not tax so i dont know when it gets busy for people in tax but from my experience, it will likely be very difficult to study for the exam during busy season. Summer and non-busy season is a whole other story though. I started in January right as busy season was starting with no sections passed. After busy season ended tho, i was without a client/work for literally 4 months so i just sat at the office studying (and browsing the web to be honest) the whole time. The next summer after busy season, pretty much the same situation of not being assigned to a client for several months. It really varies how much work depending on what groups you are on and plain luck. Good luck

    AUD - 83
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 77
    REG - 81
    Oh Hi There
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