July 2, 2018 at 9:32 am #1860931OspreyNateParticipant
I wanted to post this because I always enjoyed seeing these while I was struggling with studying and maybe someone will find it useful.
I started studying almost a year ago and found out last week that I passed my last exam. It's surreal getting that last score. I still go home after work and expect to sit in front of my computer for most of the night.
I was able to pass each section on my first try by using Becker & NINJA. I would first go through Becker's material then would use NINJA as a supplement. When I started each section I would look through Becker to see how long the lectures were and how many MCQ were in each chapter. Then I would plan how many weeks I needed to study. In this order, I studied for FAR for 12 weeks, BEC for 8 weeks, REG for 10 weeks and AUD for 8 weeks. I ended up taking FAR and BEC during 4Q 2017, REG in 1Q 2018 and AUD 2Q 2018.
I'm working full time, so I would study during the evenings and on the weekends. Each night I would study somewhere between 3-4 hours and then probably around 8-12 hours on the weekend. The amount of time spent studying each day would depend on whether I was struggling with the material or not. My goal was to go through the chapter during the week, and then use the weekend to review, nail down tough concepts or get ahead if I felt confident about the material. Some nights I would stay up till 1 AM just trying to understand a difficult topic, but that wasn't always the case.
First, I would go through the lectures on Becker while making my own notes. I didn't bother with all the highlighting that they wanted to do. In the end I don't think I would've retained anything if I followed that method. Once my notes were written down, I would then make my own notecards. I did have Becker's notecards, however they weren't useful to me. I lost count of how many times the back side of their notecards would be a copy/pasted paragraph right from the book, which usually isn't as helpful. My Becker notecards for REG and AUD are still left unopened because I didn't use them. Making your own will be much more beneficial in the long run. I would try to review these notecards as much as possible. That's how I kept the information in Chapter 1 fresh by the time I got to the last chapter.
Once I finished the notes and notecards for a module, I would go through the MCQs. Then move on to the next module and go through the same process.
As I was finishing up Becker's material, I would switch to using NINJA more. It was good to have more MCQs to practice. Also, I highly recommend the NINJA Notes and Audio to anyone. It's a great way to see all the topics boiled down. Plus, listening to the Audio on your commute to work is a relatively easy way to keep topics fresh.
I reviewed for 2 weeks before each test. I would keep working on MCQs and do the practice tests. I would end up doing the practice tests on a Saturday morning, then would use the beginning part of that afternoon to go over what I missed. However, don't put too much weight on the scores for the practice tests. They are invaluable practice but for BEC I got a 51% on the first practice test but I still got an 86 on the actual exam. So if you fail one, just study the best you can for the actual exam.
One piece of advice I found useful; don't be afraid to shake things up. I personally had a very difficult time studying for AUD the way I studied for the other exams. The material just wasn't sticking. I ended up just practicing all the MCQ I could and didn't pay as much attention to my notes or notecards. If something isn't working, don't be afraid to try something new.
In the end I truly believe that if I could pass these exams, then you can too. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work, but it is possible. I was thankful to have a wife who took care of the cooking and cleaning while I was doing this. She's even pregnant and is due in about a month, so I'm very thankful to be done with studying.
Just keep pushing and you'll get there.July 2, 2018 at 9:59 am #1861039AnonymousInactive
this was needed. thanksJuly 3, 2018 at 3:39 pm #1864138kaylabParticipant
thank you as well. i am on the verge of tears and really struggling with FAR. you said you did FAR in 12 weeks. Since each of the 10 sections has more than 7 parts I am having a hard time doing more than one part per day to keep up the 10 week schedule… which makes me fall off track very quickly. Any suggestions on a daily schedule or how you would break up becker's 10 sections of FAR?