CPA While in Grad School?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Mi Chan 3 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #2464485


    I'd love to hear the experiences of those who sat for the CPA exam while enrolled in a Master's in Accounting program. I'm fresh out of a pretty rigorous undergrad accounting program, which has me concerned that it will be tough to balance two different study-centric activities simultaneously, though I have heard from many that MSA programs are generally easier than undergrad.

    So, for those of you who did the two at the same time, what did your typical day/week look like in terms of balancing the two? My specific program is an asynchronous online one, so I can tailor my schedule for my 5 classes and CPA studying pretty flexibly.


    I tried to study for it while in grad school and right after, but life got in the way, and once you let go, it takes years to come back to it…so do it with all your might, no matter what it takes, that is my advice…Usually the hardest parts about the MBA classes is they have massive projects due at the end of the semester, so…just don't have any CPA exams scheduled for around the final two months before final exams/project deadlines.

    “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” ― Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)

    Jimmy Dugan

    I didn't do that myself but wish many times over that I had. Try to make your cpa study track with the masters course. For instance, if you are taking financial reporting, make your FAR study coincide with that. For example, while you are studying investments in the college course, use a CPA test bank and do questions focusing on investments. You'll get a good feel for the types of questions you'll see on the exam. Just look at the exam blueprint and make sure your course covers everything in the blueprint. If it doesn't, you'll need to supplement with other resources.

    AUD - 95
    BEC - 87
    FAR - 84
    REG - 90
    You're killing me Smalls




    I completed BEC before I entered grad school, and then I did AUD, REG, and FAR during grad school. Studying for it with school was not too bad because I only had three classes a semester. I mainly focused on studying for the CPA rather than school, but I still got good grades.

    AUD - 88
    BEC - 85
    FAR - 77
    REG - NINJA in Training
    FAR - 77 (12/6/2018)

    BEC - 85 (8/17/2018)

    AUD - 72 (2/22/2019), 88 (4/15/2019)

    REG - (6/7/2019)



    I completed AUD and FAR while in the masters of accounting program. I was taking 4 classes per semester, and honestly, I felt my graduate year was much less demanding than my undergraduate classes. Most of the professors understood that students were shifting focus to the CPA exam and tailored the workload to account for that. I still definitely put in time to make sure I got decent grades, but school took the back seat and CPA was priority. Worked out for me, passed both exams first try and ended up with good enough grades.



    It just depends on the school. I passed my first 3 tests BEFORE I started. Then I took an advanced tax course to coincide with REG. I passed REG, but it had nothing to do with the “advanced” class. The material presented in the class was a combination of too old (we studied AMT relentlessly, but the test was phasing it out at the time) and too new (I was ahead of the curve on the TCJA…but it wasn't being tested on REG yet when I took the exam).

    Programs that offer graduate courses designated as CPA review are probably the best.

    FAR 81

    AUD 83

    BEC 93

    REG 84




    I say go for it. I have yet to start my MAcc (Fall 2019) and passed FAR and AUD without much work after finishing a winter internship. I took REG the other day and will sit for BEC on July 1. Being a student is an advantage. Taking FAR straight out of intermediate I and II, for example, is a huge help. My program is tough and the exams I am used to are worse than anything the AICPA comes up with. You'll probably surprise yourself!

    AUD - 89
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - 87
    REG - NINJA in Training
    FAR: Passed 4/19 - Becker (2 weeks, 25 hours)

    AUD: Passed 5/19 - Becker (4 days, 20 hours)


    Mi Chan

    I'm in Macc program now and I am hoping to pass at least three parts this summer. Fall will be busy since I'm going to take 4 classes and participate in recruiting events, Beta, etc. My grad program is a lot of papers and presentations, very different than undergrad. I'm lucky I don't have to work during my Master's so it's very doable for me. I think the best time to take the CPA Exam is while you are in school.I know a few of my classmates whom passed parts of the exam while taking classes and working part time. However, I do have to sacrifice time to study instead of spending the summer with my family, considering that once I start working I will have less time with them.

    AUD - NINJA in Training
    BEC - 64
    FAR - NINJA in Training
    REG - NINJA in Training
Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Would You Hate It If I Gave You $162.12 Of Free CPA Review Material That Will Help You…

1) Study Less

2) Avoid Common CPA Candidate Mistakes

3) Get Higher Scores

4) Spend More Time with Friends and Family

5) Finally Pass and Get On With Your Life?