Bad CPA Exam Advice
January 11, 2017 at 11:19 am #1435377
If I had a dollar for every time someone gave me bad advice during this CPA process, I wouldn't need to be a CPA…
“Don't study/review the day before the exam it won't do anything for you” UMMMMM it does everything for me. I go over topics I am still a little confused on, I do MCQ, and I have “OH YEAH moments that seem to stick with me on exam day”
“Don't review the day of the exam” ARE U KIDDING MEEEE do u know how much I go over a specific topic on the day of the exam that I just can't seem to memorize. Like governmental for FAR, or a certain audit topic, or ratio's.. and how much it has helped me on the exam.
“Just don't get your CPA, you already have a degree and can work, right?” oh, okay. Wow.. I never knew that was an option.
“You are only 3 points away from passing, study what confused you and take it again in a week” …No comment
“It's just a test, stop getting so nervous” not advice but this is possibly the worst of it all
… :/January 11, 2017 at 11:25 am #1435391
The 3 (or 2 … or 1) point(s) from passing thing is fools gold wastes a lot of time and money.January 11, 2017 at 11:45 am #1435407
Not disagreeing…just curious…why is that fool's gold? I'd think that if you're a few points away, a little push can put you over.January 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm #1435428
You're not 3 “points” from passing by the time you get your score. If you walked back in and took it the same day you received your score – you wouldn't score a 72…you'd probably score a 62 or worse. You were “exam ready” several weeks ago and it takes build up to getting there. You have to re-study everything the same as before – with an extra push on weak areas. Taking the “just a few points” approach usually leads to score worse than before.January 11, 2017 at 12:04 pm #1435431
Got it…I assumed we were talking about an overall review with a little extra effort.January 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm #1435434
Yes you are not 3 points away from passing, you are still the same 75 points away. It's not like you “know” everything and are only studying what you think you don't know. I agree that the score will help gauge your understanding, however.January 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm #1435446
I think people are giving you advice based on their own experience and what works for them, however you need to evaluate what works for you. When you say “bad advice”, I guess the question should be for who? Personally, I found the suggestions on this forum and from any other sources to be helpful regardless if its something I would incorporate in my own studies. I'm very analytical person so what I do is gather all data and modify it to my advantage.
You don't have to be a genius to pass the exam, you just have to put in the proper amount of time (whatever that may be for you). I'm sure you have figured that out by now.
Good luck!January 11, 2017 at 12:43 pm #1435461
I just don't talk about taking the exam anymore, I got tired of hearing the fake encouragement. Only people who have actually gone through this process know how grueling it can be, others have no true comprehension so please take their comments with a grain of salt. I came in to work Monday morning to a message from my boss asking me if I had a good weekend to which I replied what weekend? If anyone understands my stress level right now it should be a CPA. At least he puts up with my snarky attitude.January 11, 2017 at 12:48 pm #1435469
the “dont study/review the day of your exam” i hear a lot..
and this is advice from older CPAs at my firm. I've been struggling with the exams but i just can't imagine not reviewing the morning ofJanuary 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm #1435482
I never reviewed day/morning of…and generally took a very light day the day before. Just a small refresher, maybe an hour.
The only one I studied full throttle day before was BEC…and it likely hurt me. When I do it that way, I end up getting a lot of “wait, was it this circumstance or this one!” in my head…and it makes me more panic prone. A nice couple of easier days and stress reduction works better for me.January 11, 2017 at 1:25 pm #1435530
Wow! Yes on that one I did my best cramming the 2-3 hours before my exam. I can't imagine not looking at that before I walked in. I would get in there and be like don't talk to me so much or else all this stuff I just crammed in will be lost! lol!January 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm #1435548
What! WE DON'T HAVE TO BE A GENIUS! well good Lord, because I'm not. Really though most people mean well when giving advice, it's up to you to take it or not. As far as the point system goes, it's 75 or nothing..so study, study, study. I personally have stopped talking about the exam and the study process, I feel so less stressed. Everyone will know when its absolutely over and licensed. I can't imagine doing all of this and can't get the actual license.January 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm #1435557
If you need to study the day of the exam or even the day before the exam for that matter then you don't really understand the material. The CPA exam isn't about memorizing formulas, it's about understanding concepts. Going into the exam fresh is much more valuable to your overall performance than getting one small piece of information memorized before the exam. My lowest score was my first one where I studied the night before. After that I never scored below an 85, mental awareness is a deal breaker.January 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm #1435565
Everyone is different and whatever works for you I say. I guess I'm not very smart then as I did study the day of my exams. Oh but I passed them all, so maybe I did really understand the materials, even after looking at them again before the exam (strange to say). Again…all this to say that everyone goes about it their own way. I agree sometimes the advice given should be taken with a grain of salt, especially from those that have never taken the CPA exam.January 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm #1435575
I hear you, I think it is probably the feeling new parents get – everybody wants to give advice on how to handle the newborn but half the time I think the parents don't want to hear it. I don't have any kids but I tell my friends, I know you're sick of the advice, but people are giving their (probably unwanted) opinions because they care about you and are trying to help. Maybe if you try and think about it like, wow these people actually care and take what they have to say with a grain of salt, it won't be so obnoxious?
While this isn't advice, the most annoying thing I heard from a non-accountant was “well, did you pass with a 75 or did you actually do good?” WTF dude – what a comment coming from somebody who knows very little about the exam.
With the study of the day of/before – I have tried both methods and had a mixed bag of success and failure. Now, I do what feels right. The last exam I took, I didn't feel nearly comfortable with one area so I took the day and half before the exam and tried to get it hammered out. I passed. I try to take any advice with a grain of salt knowing that everybody is different (learning styles, ability to memorize, coping with stress) and there isn't one specific fail-safe formula to get a passing score.
I really like this forum though 🙂
It's loaded with people going through it with you.January 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm #1435577
Do what works for you, learn how you best learn. I did better relaxing those last 48 hours.January 11, 2017 at 2:37 pm #1435581
I understand the ‘don’t study the day before’ concept. From someone who has studied 8-10 and sometimes 12 hours in one day, there is such a thing as over-studying. I have done 200 FAR MCQs in one day, 100 in one sitting, with full-on notes and research. The first time I took FAR, I barely remember going to the test center and I have no clue what was on that exam. I was under an immense amount of stress and I tried to compensate by over-studying. That was too much. I have learned to slack off the week before- so no more than 5 hours per day and take a weekend day off. I usually schedule an exam on Thursday, take off studying the Sunday before. Then I do sims on M,T, and review on Wednesday. On my 2 hour drive to Prometric on Thursday I listen to my voice memo of my NINJA notes (Far happens to be the exact right length lol), look over my mnemonics right before I go in, then go in and test. This is my formula, and I wish I had known this in the beginning. I could have potentially saved a lot of cash. lol
Advice is subjective and everyone is different. 😉January 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm #1435608
I can tell this is going to be a good thread, so I polished up the title 🙂January 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm #1435610
The cpa exam is currently a lot of memorization, which is why they are changing it. There words not mine.
Memorizing the difference between IFRS and GAAP.. I'm sorry that isn't something I do everyday in my life. No matter how hard I try I can't retain that part, so I'm going to listen to a ninja lecture on my way to prometric. I know a lot of concepts, but it isn't just about knowing concepts, cause if it was.. we would all pass. Ratio's, IFRS vs GAAP, REG: tax deductions, income ceiling for tax credits… so much to memorize. Which is all totally fine and fair, but saying the CPA exam is not about memorizing- wayyyy off in my opinion.January 11, 2017 at 3:16 pm #1435620
^^^ Exactly why I think the exam changes are a good thing. It should test concepts more and de-emphasize stuff like IFRS vs. FARS a LOT. Some stuff just requires memorization…and the memorization IS part of the concept (like REG and knowing what is below and above the line), but the sheer bloody mindedness of memorizing non-sense like statement titles to the nth degree, or the arbitrary 7 components of the COSO cube…which ALL FREAKING OVERLAP…is ridiculous. It makes it a test of tolerance for tedium and pain rather than one of accounting.
Make it harder to pass, but considerably easier to prep…more like the bar exam. More sims, less detail.
(says the guy good at reading and concept who HATES memorization and tedium)January 11, 2017 at 4:09 pm #1435662
I have to agree with not studying on the day of the exam. AT least for me, if I don't know it by the day of the exam, than I'm not ready to take the exam. That's all there is to it for me.
I don't talk about the CPA exam with people who are not familiar. I think there's a correlation between getting a lot of useless advice and us complaining too much about the exam. What do people do when we complain? They offer an advice. Don't want to hear it, than don't complain to those people. Right?January 11, 2017 at 6:10 pm #1435751
Today-worst advice ever……..you should totally take your scheduled vacay to the beach the week before your exam. You can study by the pool. It will help you to relax and you might even do better on the exam.
I.cant.even….who says this?!?!
Someone wanting you to fail, that’s who. 😠January 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm #1435797
That's funny stuff stilgoin…lol! A week! I'd die!January 11, 2017 at 7:45 pm #1435850
I didn't memorize one formula for any part. I did about 6000 MCQ each section, until the information became cemented in my skull.
Did not study day before or day of exam. Everyone is diffferent. I think the key is to not tell a single soul outside of spouse you are taking the exam. Do not need any additional pressure or annoying comments.January 11, 2017 at 7:51 pm #1435856
That's all bad advice. The worst for retakers is probably the last. And its not possible to take it a week later anyways!January 11, 2017 at 9:30 pm #1435955
I think this is a good thread though the title begins with the word BAD, LOL.
Shouldn't we have a counterpart thread such as Good CPA Exam Advice?
-Don't eat at Taco Bells before going into the testing center;
-Drink a lot of water a day before the test
-Drink less coffee before testing;
-Do less MCQs a day before the actual testJanuary 11, 2017 at 9:41 pm #1435964
^Bad Advice!! 🙂
Don't alter caffeine consumption prior to your exam…take your exam under the same caffeinated state you did when you studied.
😀January 11, 2017 at 10:18 pm #1436000
When I took BEC, I studied for about 30 total hours – 12 hours each the two days before the exam and 6 hours the day of the exam. I scored an 81. It really is dependent on the person. I would NEVER suggest someone study like I do, because it really doesn't work for most people. I just happen to be a person for which cramming works really well.January 12, 2017 at 1:14 am #1436088
I agree I need plenty of caffeine before my exam. Need to go in ready for battle. Can't be at all sleepy! Everyone is different though but I make sure to have at least two shots of expresso in me before my exam. Everyone is different though!January 12, 2017 at 9:49 am #1436210
“Don't study the SIMS” is the most common piece of bad advice I read on this forum.
With the exam moving toward a more simulations based approach, some people are going to be in for a real treat if they skip studying SIMS.
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