How do you study DURING tax season?

CPA Exam Forum FAR FAR Review How do you study DURING tax season?

This topic contains 16 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  cpawannabee 7 years, 6 months ago.

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    Is anyone studying DURING tax season? I've signed up for FAR on 5/1 and that only gives me two weeks of cramming after April 15th.

    I've tried getting up at 4:00am to study for 2 hours in the morning (LOTS of coffee.) That only lasted 4 days. By 8:30pm you're falling asleep at your desk everynight.

    Conversely I've tried leaving the office at 9:00pm to go home to study for a couple of hours but at the end of the day, my brain is just fried. It can't study.

    So I just bought some flashcards from CPAExcel…they came in yesterday's mail…my idea is to carry them around with me everwhere.

    I'm looking for some tips from folks in the same boat. Do people study on their lunch hours? maybe from 5-7 before heading back to the office.

    What works for you??????

    CPAexcel CPA Review



    Wow, you have it tough! I don't think you should take FAR on 5/1…..try pushing it back another month…seeing your attemps at tests shows that you are persistenly ruthless and you will definately pass……..What happened with AUD?



    he is waiting on his grade for Audit



    I passed AUD, REG, and FAR this summer but failed BEC after sitting for it in November. I was aiming to sit for it again in the beginning of January so it wouldn't interfere with tax season too badly, but I ended up pushing it back all the way until 2/28. Luckily for me the concepts were still fresh in my mind. I told the partners at my firm that I was only going to work 60 hours a week while studying for the exam, meaning I was out the door every night at 7:00 p.m. I would go home, relax and eat dinner for one hour, then study non-stop from 8:30 – 10:30. I also would take my flash cards and review sheet into work and study during my 30 minute lunch. Hopefully it was enough and now I'm back to my usual 70 hour work weeks.

    Oh, if only I could go back to when I when I was a college freshman and talk some sense into myself…..


    The GaJone

    At my firm we're only required to work 50 hours per week right now and I'm putting in about 55. I put in 10 hours a day M-F and 5 on Saturday. I get to work at 7:30 – 7:45 and work until 6:00 – 6:15 with a 30 minute lunch break, giving me 10 hours. I get home and settled in by 7:00, eat a quick dinner, and start studying at about 7:30. I then study until about 9:30 and then just go to bed. To me, the most important thing is getting 8+ hours of sleep per day. I wake up every day at 6:30ish, but I'm usually asleep by 10:00 the night before.

    I don't study at all on Fridays. On Saturdays I usually leave the office at 2:00 and then I usually put in only about 2 hours of studying before going out on Saturday night. Then on Sunday I typically study around 8 hours, putting me at about 18 study hours for the week, give or take. Some nights during the week though I'll take a night off just to relax.

    People always ask me why the heck I'm studying during busy season and the answer is simple; I'm already miserable from work, might as well study while I'm at it. Plus, once summer hits and it's warm out, the very last thing I want to be doing is studying. In fact, I'm leaving for Myrtle Beach for a golf trip immediately after taking BEC on 5/20. Can't wait for that day : )



    I knew going into this, I couldn't study AND tax season without losing my sanity. Some people can do it but I'm not that dedicated. I don't take lunch breaks and I work 7 days a week; however, I leave at 5 every day to spend time with my family – no studying!

    My plan is to retake FAR at the end of May. I know I will not be fully prepared as I'd like due to the backlog at work after tax season, so I am planning to keep studying and re-retake it again the first of July. BEC will be the end of August.

    Goodbye, Summer 2010!

    P.S. GaJone, I am taking the first week of June off to go to Myrtle Beach 🙂



    I'm finding it hard to get motivated to start studying AUD. I just took REG last week and was able to get enough studying in….. We are swamped at work, I work p/t (by choice) and I feel like I need to do more. My normal work schedule is 3 days per week but during tax I work 4 days. I also have 3 kids, ages 5, 9 and 11 in various activities and sports. So although I'm not putting in 60 hour weeks at the office, I'm running myself ragged with everything else and trying to fit studying in.

    Someone above mentioned flashcards and they are a godsend for me! I carry them in my purse so I can review them anytime I get the chance.

    I really don't want to be consumed with it this summer though! We just booked TWO weeks of vacation… and I don't want to have to take books along. ha!



    Guccimane: How did you get a 94 on BEC. I've taken and failed the thing three times now and have resigned up for the 4th attempt on Aug 28th.



    CPAWannabe…I hear you about retaking FAR. But one thing I've learned is that on “some” exams, you think you've failed, and your score winds up being a 75 or 76!! Others I felt like I did REALLY well….and wound up getting a 74 (three times!)

    SPRINT HARD for the May exam….I'm learning this isn't a marathon, but rather an 18-month time frame of four short, intense, bursts of speed. My problem is I haven't been doing that. I've been getting only 60-70 hours of studying in for each exam (and I wound up passing two!)

    Roger Bannister didn't break the 4 minute mile mark by practicing running a 5 minute mile twice as many times as he had been during practice. He claims he ran at a 3:45 minute pace and continued dying out until one day, he made it the full distance.

    You and I need to become like Roger Bannister when it comes to our FAR studying 🙂



    I just don't have it in me to “sprint hard” and study during tax season. Time is literally money for me. I'm not making money studying, or working out, or doing anything good for me. Otherwise, how can I buy those Christian Louboutin shoes?


    But I see what you're saying. After April 15, I am going to put forth my best effort to pass FAR the end of May, but I'm going to be realistic this time: 6 weeks will not be enough time for me so I will continue to study.



    I actually find it easier to study during tax season. It is easier for me to go home and focus when it is cold outside. If I wait, then I have alot of distractions and the warm weather is so tempting. But that may not be true for me this year. Because I just sat for FAR recently and….. I don't know.. I will prob end up studying for it again, for the third time.



    I have a lot of respect for anyone who can study during (tax) busy season. I know I wouldn't be able to do it. I come home from work and I am completely exhausted every night around this time of the year. I'd say it's possible to do if you are working 50-55 hours per week, but once you hit around 65-70 hours per week and higher, well…it seems almost impossible.


    The GaJone

    Yeah if I were working anything more than 55 I don't know how on earth I'd do it.



    First I want to congratulate everyone who is crazy enough to study for the CPA Exam during Tax Season…..Especially those of you who also have to take care of your families. In my case I decided to retake studying for the CPA Exam after four very dificult years, personally & professionally & failing five times the BEC section and two times the AUD section.

    I took BEC on 02/20/2010. I'm praying to all the accounting Gods for a passing grade. I'm scheduled to take AUD on 04/03/2010, REG on 05/26/2010 & FAR on 08/02/2010. Studying during Tax season was not a choice, is a mere determination to pass this exam once and for all before my 33th Birthday on August 06, so I can finally move on with my life.

    Since I have no social life whatsoever during tax season and my love life is non existant. I thought it would be a good idea to keep myself extremely occupied… by working 60 hours a week at my firm & studying the rest of the time available. I do miss working out at the gym which is the only entertaiment I've got so far.

    So Good Luck & my Best Wishes to Everyone……. I know WE CAN DO IT…….. :0)

    P.S. –>> If any one have suggestions or tips for the AUD section, I will really appreciated..



    I'm taking FAR in May 26th and there's NO way I'm studying right now. I've thought about it, but there's really no way… I've been working over 70 hrs/week so by the time I get home, I pretty much pass out. I have Sundays off but that's when I get everything else done (errands, cooking, cleaning…) I don't have a family or kids so at least I don't have to worry about that…

    If you can, I would re-schedule your exam for the end of the month. May 26th was the latest I could schedule FAR since my NTS expires at the end of the month… Hopefully 6 weeks should be enough to study after tax season! I'm worried about FAR since there's so much material. This is my last section so I'm really hoping to get it done so I can reclaim my life!!



    By the way… I'm not sure how CPA Excel flashcards are, but I find it helpful to just make my own. Writing things down multiple times really helps me remember everything.



    Making my own flashcards feels like it would take SO LONG to create….my attitude is why recreate the wheel if someone else has already done the work. I don't even want to fathom creating 1,000 flash cards.

    BTW – I'm not too impressed with the CPAExcel flashcards so far. I've only gone through about 150 of them but they are kind of “weird” (for lack of a better term.) The best way to describe them is……….after looking at both sides…'re not really sure which side is the question and which side is the answer? Or you read (what you think is a question) but the answer is for Property, Plant & Equipment only (????)

    I wish I could buy the Becker FAR flash cards as I know some people swore by them. I took all 4 Becker LIVE classes back in 2007 but think you can't buy their flash cards unless you're a “current” student. Is that right?

    I'll study from BOTH CPAExcel AND Becker flashcards!!!

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