Studying Time for Parents?

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  • #2863737 Reply

    I received my NTS and can schedule for FAR as late as 06/18/2020. This is my first exam, and I plan on using Gleim and supplementing with Ninja.

    I have two young kids (ages five and three), I'm older than the typical test taker (age 36, graduated in 2016); and other than listening to audio files, I can only study at work during my lunch break. I plan on studying in the morning before work and doing the brunt of studying on the weekends.

    For parents who work full-time and passed a section, how many weeks did you set aside for studying? TIA.

    "Surround yourself with assets, not liabilities."
    #2863815 Reply

    I’m in my forties, have two young children, a very demanding job, and my wife also works. I started studying hard in Oct 2018, and took FAR in early Feb of this year, REG at beginning of June, and BEC at the end of Nov. Took most of the summer off from studying though. Passed all 3 first time… so far so good.

    I won’t lie to you. It’s been brutal on us all and we joke that my wife has been a single parent for the last twelve months. I work ridiculous hours during the week so maybe only get 5-6 hours in M-F, then it’s full time on the weekends. I estimate I put in 150-175+ hours for FAR, 125-150 for REG, and maybe 100 for BEC. I’d say plan on the most for FAR (3-4 months) and 2-3 for the rest. I’m the kind of person though that measures every minute, e.g. if you ask me how long to get somewhere I measure door to door, not just drive time.

    If I were to do it over again, only thing I’d change is test order: FAR, then AUD, BEC, and REG in that order.

    Good luck to you and keep your head up. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now but remember all too clearly how overwhelming it felt when I started.

    AUD - 86
    BEC - 96
    FAR - 85
    REG - 78
    Better late than never!
    #2863836 Reply
    Biff TannenBiff Tannen

    At a minimum you’ll need to squeeze in 20 hours a week per section, maybe even 30 for the most difficult chapters. If you can dedicate that amount of time, then you’ll have a chance of passing. These exams require an immense amount of effort.

    AUD - 78
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 79
    REG - 85
    “An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends” - Benjamin Franklin
    #2863881 Reply

    Your spouse/parents will need to shoulder some of your parenting burden for you for a while. Number of hours varies wildly by candidate.

    AUD - 79
    BEC - 88
    FAR - 89
    REG - 80
    Manager, Big 4 Corporate Finance, CPA (WA)
    #2864142 Reply

    Studying during lunch is a good idea. If possible throw time in early and late when kids are sleeping. Stay committed and will be fine

    #2864184 Reply

    Put the kids on Ritalin and you can study as long as you like.

    AUD - 90
    BEC - 78
    FAR - 84
    REG - 87
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    #2864343 Reply

    Like Vbmer said, the number of hours can vary greatly just depending on your knowledge base and how well you retain information. Since you are only a couple of years out of school that will hopefully be an advantage.

    I'm 34 and have a three year old. I just passed my last exam in October and I passed my first exam in December 2018. I followed the Ninja ELL (Early, Lunch, Late) plan and used Ninja only. I'd wake up at 5:00 and try to get two hours of studying in, then an hour at lunch and tried to squeeze at least an hour in at night after the kid was in bed. The last two weeks I would try to get at least two hours in at night.

    Don't hold yourself to perfection and don't get down on yourself if you miss a session here or there, but be as consistent as possible. Figure out what works best for you and what will allow you to study as consistently as possible.

    Best of luck. It's a daunting task but you CAN do this.

    AUD - 88
    BEC - 81
    FAR - 81
    REG - 77
    I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.
    #2864637 Reply

    I’m also 36, married and with a toddler and just passed my last part. Depending on your background you’ll need anywhere from 4-8 weeks averaging about 3 hours per day per section. I studied 4 weeks for AUD, 5 weeks for FAR, 5.5 weeks for REG and 6.5 weeks for BEC. I used GLEIM as my study materials and nothing else. If you follow the adaptive prompts and finish every section in each chapter you will pass. I actually only followed the prompts entirely for BEC and scored the highest for that exam so I highly recommend it. For AUD and FAR I winged it a little more than I’d recommend only because I was a former auditor and have a masters in accounting, so I felt stronger for those two sections. For REG I completed each chapter but focused more on MCQs and neglected to do all of the SIMs per chapter and scored lower than average on SIMs on the actual exam so there is a big benefit to practicing SIMs even though the topics may be all random on the actual exam. My study schedule was study at work during lunch and during slow times and then study at night once the kid was asleep and then during weekends crank out as many hours as I could. My schedule was not precise in they I wasn’t always studying every single day but on average you’ll need about 3 hours per day. I crammed hard the last week before each exam and found it to be really helpful although you also need your sleep So try to balance out getting good rest. These exams are not hard but they are very challenging mentally and require a lot of focus and determination. You’re going to miss out on a lot of family fun and social life until it’s over, but if you plan it right you can still enjoy the holidays and key events you don’t want to miss. I finished in 14 months taking breaks in between parts and avoiding all studies from thanksgiving through New Years because I just knew I wouldn’t be productive and love the holidays so much. I passed each exam on first try because I simply could not afford to waste money on retakes so money was also a motivator. However, for REG and BEC I did reschedule my exams a few times because I knew I was not ready which costs $30-35 a pop to do so but is way cheaper then paying for the fees and test at around $300 each. I highly recommend rescheduling if you don’t feel comfortable. I only took mock exams for AUD (78%), REG (67%) and BEC (73%) and then focused on the areas I scored weak in for my final studies and noticed a pretty decent bump on the actual exams so don’t be discouraged if you score less than 75% on mock exams. In short, you can do it if you put your mind to it. Good luck!

    AUD - 81
    BEC - 87
    FAR - 80
    REG - 82

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    #2880600 Reply

    MaybeIwilltryaccounting, I too followed ELL and my scores went up a lot. What did your weekend look like, studying wise?

    AUD - 73,
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    FAR - NINJA in Training
    REG - NINJA in Training
    Giving up is not an option.

    The question is not whether I will be a CPA or not, the question is when will I become a CPA.

    #2887146 Reply

    I was 36 for most of the tests with kids ages 8 and 5. For me the best times were weekends and downtime during the workday. I tried and failed to even take one exam when studying at big 4. Work hours were just too much. Then, when I had a job with predictable hours, I thought I could just do a couple hours on weekday evenings after the kids were in bed…forget about it. Brain was dead from the full-time job and parenting. Wife is a lawyer and understood the demands, which was a godsend. We also recruited grandparent help from time to time…which also was a blessing.

    There is no education like adversity.

    BEC – 85 (10/1/18)

    AUD – 91 (12/10/18)

    FAR – 92 (5/13/19)

    REG – 87 (9/9/19)

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