September 22, 2020 at 12:44 pm #3110426BUZZedFinance88Participant
I am starting my pursuit of the CPA exam.. I have read different study methods candidates have used to have success in passing the cpa.
Background: I have never been a student who could go into an exam without thoroughly reading and studying the lecture material. My initial plan was to read and take notes on each chapter and maybe watch the lectures followed by taking the mcq's.
I've read people have skip the lecture material and just pound away on multiple choice questions.. I don't think I can succeed just jumping blindly into mcq's.
Any helpful tips or comments would be appreciated. thanksSeptember 22, 2020 at 1:27 pm #3110444CH89Participant
Out of curiosity what review course are you using?
I think your initial plan is fine, however, I probably wouldn't do both reading and watching lectures. Doing both could be very time consuming. I prefer to read the material, and watch lectures only if a topic is giving me trouble. I wouldn't suggest going straight to MCQs blindly, as you could be missing a lot of nuances that could be the difference between a 74 and a 75.
I found my journey of the CPA exam to be a process and identify what worked and what didn't work. I would typically follow the review course, then hit the MCQs and SIMs provided in the course and write down notes on anything I got wrong or guessed on. It is crucial to understand the concepts you are studying. When doing MCQs it is important to understand WHY that one answer is correct, and why the other three are incorrect.
There's a lot of information and awesome tips that can be found on this forum, and I hope it helps you on this journey. Best of luck!September 22, 2020 at 2:02 pm #3110489ReckedParticipant
I am the opposite from CH89.
I can't get myself to sit and read an accounting book, and the stuff to actually stick in my head.
I am just reading words to read them, but don't take anything away from it.
I found the lectures to be much better for me, to actually see the explanations, etc.
I would watch the lectures and jump into the MCQs, and only went to the book for something I still was not grasping.
Just keep plugging away. You'll figure out what works best for you.September 22, 2020 at 3:16 pm #3110558BUZZedFinance88Participant
Thanks CH89 & Recked.
I am using Roger CPA. I guess I will have to find out what works for me. Most likely my process will be to read through the chapters and watch lectures if I am unsure or need further understanding.
thanksSeptember 22, 2020 at 3:33 pm #3110573Road2CPAParticipant
For the first few days of my studying, I took advantage of everything within my review material… text, video, flash cards, focus notes, typed out notes, etc. After about a week, I began to eliminate what I felt I didn't need. For the most part, I settled with what @CH89 did in regards to reading the text, and then only watching videos when there was something I didn't understand. I am also one that rewrites notes on questions that I get wrong. After writing it enough times, it tends to stick. The reason I didn't watch every video is because I felt that my review material didn't do a good job of explaining the minor things in the videos, which seemed to come up in the MCQs or SIMs, but typically did a good job of going through major/more difficult topics (both minor and major topics were always covered in the text).
Something I've observed in regards to hammering away on MCQs is that I've noticed many people that have failed an exam followed the advice of just hammering out MCQ questions and not focusing on SIMs. I think that might be one of their downfalls, but if they were limited on time, then that might have been their best option.
I've also seen the argument that SIMs take up a lot time during studying (which I agree), but I think that's a good thing. SIMs take up a lot of time during the actual exam. At least you are getting practice with individual problems that may take 10-20 minutes to work through, so that when you see them on the exam, you are fairly prepared and can pace yourself. Also, I've found that SIMs help me confirm whether I truly understand a concept, and will confirm that I'm not only able to eliminate 3 of 4 answers presented in front of me. I say this because I was running out of time for REG, so I focused more on MCQs and not SIMs because of time constraints, and I barely passed REG. Passed with a 75, haha! I definitely won't repeat the same thing for FAR.
Overall, I would say give yourself a realistic study schedule that would allow you to study using study habits that work best for you.September 22, 2020 at 3:46 pm #3110588Road2CPAParticipant
One other thing that I eliminated after the first exam were the practice exams. I've seen people mention is was a waste of time because you do not get immediate feedback for 4 hours straight and can't refocus on your weak areas during those 4 hours. I personally agree with that. The only benefit of taking it the for the first exam is to get a feel of sitting at the computer and focused for 4 hours, and only having the one 15 minute break that you are allotted (without the break counting against you) during the actual exam. I would definitely say take at least one of the practice exams at the end to see if that's something you want to repeat for the other exams.September 22, 2020 at 4:49 pm #3110618ReckedParticipant
The strength of (and primary reason I purchased) the Roger CPA review course is the videos.
The Roger book is not the pinnacle of literary achievement. If you bought Roger you should definitely watch the videos.
If you wanted to just read a book you could have gone with Gleim for the notes style, or Wiley. Or ever the Ninja notes.
The value in the Roger course is the videos, but that's just my opinion.
If you are not a visual learner then the videos might not work, as you mentioned.September 22, 2020 at 9:08 pm #3110798SamParticipant
Some solid pieces of advice here; bottom line is you figuring out how best you'll learn and retain the information. It'll be trial and error at the beginning. Personally, I watched the lectures and paused them frequently to take notes, not just when a topic was difficult. I did all the Modules/MCQs/Sims/Practice tests for each section (using Becker), never tried to cut corners. But different strategies work for different people.
Agree fully with Road2CPA on practice exams. Take at least one per section (I suggest with a mask since that's gonna be required for a while), so your first time through isn't the actual exam. The more practice exams you do, the less grueling the actual exam will be, from the length/stamina point of view. Review the practice exam(s) as you would any set of MCQs or Sims, but don't dwell on your score, since it's not graded like the actual exam.September 24, 2020 at 11:42 am #3111744TncincyParticipant
I agree with Recked, Roger videos beat the book any day. The conflict for me was how much time to do what. So I had to set aside the time to do the videos (I’m loving by the way), take the notes and go for the mcq’s. That little voice is still there that says you’re not doing enough, you’re not going to pass. But I found to just pace myself, this is not a competition. No, don’t spend too much time where you are over studying, but cover the bases and measure thru the mcq’s, practice tests and etc. Then take the test. Every time I tried to read the book, I would wake up wondering what happened. Yes, you’ll figure it out, but figure it out before you spend so much money.December 29, 2020 at 10:57 pm #3196652Professor FarnsworthParticipant
In order to pass the CPA exam you will need a review course, otherwise it’s extremely hard and almost impossible to pass.
My recommendation is Roger CPA Review.
The way they structure the material and lectures is phenomenal, very easy to follow and feels intuitive.
They have plenty of MCQ's and TBS questions (more than you'll ever need). Every question is followed by an explanation so you can understand what you're doing while doing the questions. Some of my favorite features are:
Study hub- it's like a search engine where you can find answers from Roger's team to specific questions that comes up while studying. Super helpful if you're struggling with a very specific subject.
Flashcards- a fun feature where you can create your own flashcards (you can even use them on your phone through the Roger's app)
Smartpath- it shows you how you're progressing in your studies relative to other students who passed the exam.
For the sake of keeping it brief I’ll stop here, but there are a lot more unique features that are really good! Overall Roger's CPA review is great and I can't recommend it enough.January 4, 2021 at 6:57 am #3200975CPA-ManParticipant
If you learn better by going through the material either by reading the book or watching lectures, then I definitely think that's what you should do rather than going straight MCQs.
I have friends that comb through every page of the book AND watch the lectures (Becker) and do everything they can. Meanwhile, I couldn't even get through 5 minutes of Becker's lectures without getting annoyed or distracted and found the book too boring to sit and read through. So I skipped it all entirely, went straight to MCQs, and only tried the lectures/book if I couldn't figure something out through practicing MCQs.
It all just depends on your learning style.January 4, 2021 at 12:15 pm #3201155ellabellaParticipant
I am in a situation where I need both lecture material and written notes to succeed. I tried books alone in the past, and was miserable. When I felt lost in a subject that was not covered in either grad or undergrad courses, I had no where to turn for advice. When I discovered UWorld Roger, I was very glad because of their dynamic lectures, app, and a mix of written and video material. With them, I can pass the four parts of the exam.January 4, 2021 at 12:21 pm #3201182ellabellaParticipant
I am in a situation where I need both lecture material and written notes to succeed. Also, I have a lot of distractions around me, so I needed something that I could return to after a time. I tried books alone in the past, and was miserable. When I felt lost in a subject that was not covered in either grad or undergrad courses, I had no where to turn for advice. When I discovered UWorld Roger, I was very glad because of their dynamic lectures, app, and a mix of written and video material. With them, I can pass the four parts of the exam.
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