BEC and REG in 4 months (while working) possible?

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  • #187396 Reply
    Ninja Juice
    Participant

    I have gotten more 74s n 73s than I can remember. I passed AUD n FAR pretty good marks but BEC 73 today and Im really lost on my strategy to finish BEC n REG by November before my audit expires. No Tax experience. Any advice/strategy?? Please??

    #584065 Reply
    Quinacridone
    Member

    I did REG without any tax experience at all, so I'm betting you can. Since I knew this would be my weakest area, I really absorbed myself in the material: flashcards every night and every moment I had more than 5 minutes of sitting time (i.e. sitting in my car between client appointments, lunch breaks, dr. office, etc.), typed out or copied any MCQ I missed and kept all missed MCQs in a word doc that I went completely through at least every other day (and was also the last set of papers I went through before I went into the test).

    I really think those two things were what helped me the most. I used Becker – not that I believe it is a magic formula, it was just what I had and all I knew was really available when I signed up for the exam (I had not found this site until after my REG test).

    BEC was tough even though I did manage to pass it. It is such a hodge podge of topics! And my test was BRUTAL (my weakest area seemed like 1/2 the test and I was in that window where they threw questions from completely non-CPA areas like remote laws I had never even heard of). From reading experiences here, it is a crap shoot as far as getting an easier test vs. a harder test. I have no suggestions. Along with Becker, I used Jeff's Ninja MCQs which were significantly harder than Becker and explained concepts in a way that was a bit easier for me to absorb (also, all the instant hyperlinking to related concepts was an invaluable tool). And I tested myself on variances until I could do it in my sleep…

    You can do it! Set your mind like flint and do NOTHING in your off hours but study.

    #584066 Reply
    sep7uakron
    Member

    I did REG in 7 weeks and BEC in 5 weeks. If you buckle down, then yes.

    #584067 Reply
    Ninja Juice
    Participant

    Thanks. much love you guys awesome feedback.

    @Quinacridone can you explain your daily regimen? I have read tons and done so many different ways but at this point seeing another 73 or 74 has made me feel retarded. I have access to gleim and Becker materials but open to anything that will help me pass by November!

    #584068 Reply
    Ninja Juice
    Participant

    @sep7uakron can you also shed light on your daily regimen? It would seem to do it in short time requires a more tactical approach than i am using

    #584069 Reply
    sep7uakron
    Member

    I use Becker. I don't even bother with the lectures and I read the book, but I don't take notes at that time. I take notes as i'm working through the MCQ's. I believe the MCQ's hit on every topic in Becker. I then take my notes and combine them with the NINJA notes and rewrite them. It hasn't failed me yet.

    #584070 Reply
    Kimboroni
    Member

    I work full time and I'm not a morning person, so I study 1-3 hours every night during the week plus 4-8 hours each weekend day. I do the lower end of the range when I first start, and it creeps up to the higher end of the range as I get closer to my test. If you're a morning person, Jeff's ELL plan of 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour at lunch, and 1 hour in the evening is a good one.

    I also listen to Ninja Audio every time I drive. I tried it for FAR and decided it's a must-have for my other sections. It really helps drive home the concepts.

    I try to maximize study time by always focusing on the material. I do one question at a time: answer the question, look at the answer, process why I got it right or wrong, rework the math myself if necessary, read that section of the book if necessary, etc. Only then do I go to the next problem. I feel like doing a bunch of problems and then checking only reinforces wrong answers if you're not comfortable with the material yet, and it also kills your confidence. You don't need that distraction.

    If I look at a problem and I'm not familiar with the material, or I just can't remember, I look it up. I use my resources as I practice, since that focuses on learning the material. As I continue, I need them less and less.

    Taking notes also helps, as it creates a mind-body connection that requires more processing of the material than just reading/highlighting/underlining. If you don't have a test bank, get one.

    For REG, I printed the main tax forms and took them with me so I could review them in a spare moment, like the day before my test I had them in my hand in the few minutes before Zumba class started. Also for REG make sure you practice SIMs.

    If you can take REG this window, do it. Then keep studying REG and take it in early October if you need to. Then study for BEC and take it before AUD expires.

    #584071 Reply
    Ninja Juice
    Participant

    @Kimboroni how long did this process take you? and was this your first experience with taxes? Im an international candidate so im not as familiar with US tax code.

    #584072 Reply
    Quinacridone
    Member

    Ninja Juice, my daily/weekly routine was brutal. I worked from 5:30/6:00 in the morning until around 5:00 each night (pretty flexible: 9 hours required, with required hours between 6:30 and 4). When I got home, my boyfriend had dinner on the table (could not have done the CPA as fast as I did without his help). I studied after dinner until I couldn't see straight anymore (sometime between 10:00 and midnight). Get up at 4:30, start day over. During lunch at work, I normally did MCQs or read, or wrote summaries of the chapters.

    My weekends: my boyfriend and I went out every Friday night for a date night and grocery shopped together on Saturday or Sunday. The rest of the weekend, morning to nightfall (except the weekend after a test) was spent studying. He was amazing! He constantly told me when I felt guilty, “Your first priority is the CPA.”

    I do not consider myself a naturally smart person and I have ADD, thus, long hours to compensate for both. I did take breaks every hour but not on a regiment – normally I would tell myself, “get through XXX, and then you can take a 10-15 minute break). Most of the time I can control my ADD with strong coffee (I know, seems counter-intuitive, but my doctor told me about it and I prefer this method over medication). Coffee increases my focus – so I tend to drink it heavily.

    I gave up exercise and anything extra-curricular for the whole 7 1/2 month CPA journey…and I gained 10 pounds (from sitting for too many long hours). Yes, it was worth it.

    And the way Kimbroni described doing MCQs I could not agree with more. That is what I did. If I got an MCQ wrong – especially if it appeared to be an area that I was consistently getting wrong, I started pulling out whatever resource I could to “get it”. This included my intermediate accounting books (i.e. pensions), and going online to look at resources such as articles in the Journal of Accountancy. Drill. Drill. Drill it in!

    #584073 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Just as a note of encouragement – I started Reg in May, took it early July. Started immediately into Audit – taking it this afternoon. Passed Reg, and (obviously) don't know how I'm going to do on Audit. But, I feel 85% comfortable, and ready to take it. I work full time.

    Using Becker – On Mondays, I watch the video, and may read part of the chapter. On Tuesdays, I read the chapter and answer some MCQ's (one time through – don't fix my mistakes) but not the “additional questions”. On Wednesdays, finish up what I didn't finish on Tuesday, and watch the next chapter of videos. On Thursday, I finish up the videos, and begin reading the chapter, and answer MCQ's. Depending on my life – either Friday or Saturdays are my nights off. Let's say Friday. On Saturday morning, I finish up reading the chapter and the MCQ's (again, one time through, reading why I was wrong, but not re-working the questions.) Then, I flip back through the chapters and see what I think I remember missing.

    On Sunday, I re-work my incorrect questions, then do the additional questions. I use this as my final review of the chapter. I then do all the SIMS.

    Four months is completely doable. Good luck.

    #584074 Reply
    klink24
    Member

    I took REG 7/18 and will take BEC 8/13. I use CPAExcel, WTB, and Ninja Audio. I work full time, married (wonderful wife), and 3 kids, 1 of which is 4 weeks old today. My routine is study 2-3 hours each weeknight, 6-8 hours on weekend days (couple hours here and there throughout the day). Listen to Ninja Audio on 40 minute drive from work.

    I put in about 5 weeks for REG, no prior tax experience except for 1 personal income taxes class and doing my own taxes via TurboTax.

    When BEC comes around I will have put in about 3 weeks. My MBA and work experience helps with that preparation though.

    That being said, every person's experience is different. But I think you can definitely get it done and hope that you do!

    #584075 Reply
    Ninja Juice
    Participant

    Im honestly close to tears..All of you guys are helping me so much. I also thank Jeff for this site. I just want to be an encouragement to someone like you all and a testimony of hard work, determination, and believing in God will lead to success.

    Thank you all and any additional advice or encouragement is welcomed

    #584076 Reply
    Ninja Juice
    Participant

    Oh One more question guys. I have Gleim 2013 material for REG and using their questions but I noticed that the amounts are different in 2014. Do you think they are testing those amounts or is it not a big deal?

    I have access to updated becker material but i preferred gleim test prep layout. Should I ditch and switch?

    #584077 Reply
    klink24
    Member

    I think the general consensus is the amounts are not critical, but any amounts that show up will be from 2014. It's more important to know the rules and whether there are phaseouts, maximums, etc. Also know calculations that go into determining credits, deductions, etc.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong or elaborate if I'm right.

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