Myth or Truth: studying at night is not as effective as Morning?

CPA Exam Forum Other CPA Exam Topics Study Tips, NTS Problems, and Candidate Issues Myth or Truth: studying at night is not as effective as Morning?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by NattySD NattySD 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    Is it more important about type of person you are (morning vs night) or does your brain suck in more information with a fresh mind when you wake up? Just curious to see what others think.



    For me morning is the best.As you said my brain absorbs more in the morning. I tried late nights initially and it doesn't work. So try to get up like 4:30 or 5:00 AM and study till 7:00. Then some MCQ's at work and also during lunch time. Then again like studying from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at home .Weekends are more productive like solid 6 hours each day on Saturday and Sunday.So for me morning.

    AUD - 75
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 80
    REG - 86


    I am a kind of person who studies when I wake up , take coffee and start studying
    Some days I go back from work take 1 hour of sleeping then start
    Some days I sleep tell next day, wake up 4 am and study 3 or 4 hours then go to work.
    But I can't study or concentrate at all if I didn't sleep well.

    AUD - 91
    BEC - 77
    FAR - 80
    REG - NINJA in Training
    REG : 09/10/2017



    I studied both morning and evening for Aud, Reg and Far and found that my best study times were in the evening. The worst times for me to study were on the weekends during the afternoon lol

    AUD - 80
    BEC - 75
    FAR - 84
    REG - 76
    Exams started Sep 2014 -Exams done Mar 2017

    Texas CPA

    I put in work, it was evident



    Myth: I think it depends on the person. I worked a full-time job at a CPA firm when i had 2 exams remaining. I'd go in around 7:30, off at 5-5:30, took a nap til 7, then wake up and study until a local coffee shop/library closed at midnight. Studying at home didnt work well bc i'd get distracted. Main thing is, RETAINING what u learned no matter the time of day. I made my own note cards and would go over 20 before work & 20 before bed.

    BEC: 77, (lost credit), 77
    FAR: 64, 75
    AUD: 86
    REG: 60, 67, 77



    I'd say myth. I almost never studied in the morning when I was taking the exams and was successful. I would come home from work, eat dinner, and head to the local library to study for 2-4 hours. My girlfriend wasn't the biggest fan of this but it paid off in the long run.

    FAR 80
    REG 87
    BEC 87
    AUD 96

    Primarily Gleim, supplemented with Ninja Notes & Ninja MCQs

    Missouri CPA as of January, 2017



    I'm only employed half time, a few times a week, and I find I do my best studying from like 2am to 6am in the morning! So it's all about when your mind and body is ready.



    Myth, I have taken all four parts of the exam and have only study in the AM during the weekends. I find it very difficult to study in the morning before work or even during my lunch break because I just can't seem to stay focus. My typically work hours are 7:30am-5:00pm, get home around 5:30pm, take a short nap until 6:30, study 7:30pm-1am.

    AUD - 79
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    FAR - 84
    REG - 86
    "Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle"


    Sometimes it's not about what's best, it's about what time you have. Most of the time I have 9pm-midnight available. So whether my brain likes it or not, I study then:)

    AUD - 87
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    FAR - 81
    REG - 77
    Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst!

    I always studied at night after getting home from work. Rarely on weekends I would read/study in the morning or around lunch time but the bulk of my time was 7pm or later.

    B - 80 Jun16
    A - 74 Aug16, 77 Oct16
    R - 87 Nov15
    F - 79 Apr16
    Ethics - 98 Nov16
    Licensed in New Mexico Dec16


    It just depends on you. I cannot study and retain a damn thing at night. Grad school was a nightmare since all my classes were at night. Generally, the earlier I wake up, the more I retain. So, when I really need to hit the ground running I'll get up at like 4:00am and study hard until 10am or 11am (with a quick breakfast thrown in).

    It also depends on the difficulty of the material. I really can't study much more than 5-6 hard hours per day on this dense CPA material. It's just too much and too difficult whereas I could probably stretch that out to about 8-10 hours if I was studying lighter material or doing research/writing a paper.

    Regardless of when you decide to do it, it's a grueling, miserable experience.



    Quality studying matters. If you are COMPLETELY at peace, studying night vs day shouldn't matter because you are focused and able to absorb the material.

    Though for reals, I had a MUCH better time grasping and absorbing everything when I started studying before 11 or 12.

    BEC - 80 (Roger + NINJA MCQ + WTB)

    FAR - 72; 83 (Roger + NINJA MCQ)

    AUD - 83 (Roger + NINJA MCQ + WTB)

    REG - 52; 78 (Roger + NINJA MCQ)

    Ethics - 68, 96 (how I dislike you)
    This forum is more addictive than drugs. Still returning after licensure.



    A day of work can be mentally exhausting and that will affect study. I remember when I was in my master's program – I would go to class and almost be ready to pass out half way through. My teachers must have thought I was lazy. Work is draining, especially if you leave it all out on the stage most days, thus AM for me.

    It depends on the scenario too. Younger = tougher. Closer to middle age, married, youngsters, general stresses of life, even walking the dog. Everything adds up before you finally get to “have fun” and study (yeah right).

    AM for me please. Studying in the AM literally changed my life. I would likely have quit without having started getting up earlier or finding out about Ninja MCQ/notes.

    AUD - 77
    BEC - 81
    FAR - 77
    REG - 81
    REG - 1. Becker only - fail (forgot to study depr - oops); 2. Becker only - Pass
    FAR - 1. Becker only - fail; 2. added Ninja Notes and MCQ - Pass
    AUD - 1. Becker videos; Ninja Notes, Audio, MCQ, Becker Notes - Pass
    BEC - 1. Ninja Notes, Audio, MCQ, Becker Notes - Pass


    Morning may well be more effective but night gets the job done. Literally the only time I had available to study was 10p-12a and was done in just under 12 months.

    Old timer,  A71'er since 2010. Licensed since 2012-non reporting MA CPA.

    Finance manager/HR manager





    Scientifically, morning makes sense. You wake up and your mind is fresh. It can absorb all that material. Me on the other hand, mornings don't work. I'm not a morning person. I'm fighting to stay awake and watch the lecture videos and then realize afterwards I didn't retain a thing they said. Best time for me is evenings.

    AUD - 86
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - 79
    REG - 75
    Patience young Grasshopper

    I could never understand why I like to stay up til 6am, but it is what it is…. I've even told myself that I need to find an accounting job where I can work nights cause working 8-5 is just inefficient since I don't start working mentally til noon, lol. Luckily I found a job where I can work whenever I want after convincing my boss I'm more efficient and alert at night (I get things done faster (cause I don't have a million other things on my mind) and I find even more errors than I normally do).

    I prefer to study (and work) at night. It's just quiet, I can concentrate better since no one is texting me, calling me, or emailing me (I'm not distracted or worried about being available). I'm also not worrying about all the things I need to do today since, well, I already did them! As soon as I wake up (between 10am-12pm), I need to eat something. After I eat, I need to clean the kitchen, and before you know it I'm just getting things done (laundry, making phone calls, running errands, doctor's appointments, paying bills). I like to clean and get things done in the morning. In past jobs I've had, I remember being at work unable to concentrate cause I'm thinking about all the things I need to do (but can't) cause I'm at work! So doing these things before I start working/studying helps me concentrate better and not be distracted.

    I just converted from full-time to part-time, and I get to work from home, so studying is now my “full-time job”, so after my “morning routine” I do end up studying, but I personally am a night person and just like staying up at night, I really don't know why. But another thing I've learned about myself is that I can study more efficiently and retain information better when I don't have other things on my mind. I love getting things done and checking them off my to-do list. It's one of the reasons why I do things from easiest to hardest as opposed to hardest to easiest cause my goal is to get as much as I can done in a day. Also, when I do get to the harder more mentally exhausting stuff I can concentrate and focus better cause there aren't 20 other things I have to do after this. I'm on the last thing I need to do for the day cause after this I'm going to sleep! Tomorrow's a new day.

    Everyone's personality is different, everyone's situation is different, hence why I don't take these “study in the morning, workout in the morning, have sex in the morning” studies seriously since everyone seems to recommend doing everything in the morning. When are you supposed to do everything else if everything should be done in the morning???? LOL!

    AUD - 78
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - NINJA in Training
    REG - NINJA in Training
    (James 1:6-7)

    (2 Timothy 1:7)




    for the longest…..i thought i was a night owl given being in Big 4 made you “used to working late” so its only right to think my focus would be greater at night vs morning. I learned with time that regardless of how much of a night person i thought i was, life happens, and you realize the earlier you study in the AM, the more you retain. The reason being is that the older you get, the harder it gets to study late at night since the day becomes full (kids, work, etc…) . If you are young, i can totally see night time would work better. But just know, the older we get, the days fill up and morning is the best for me in my opinion to squeeze in 1-2 hrs of studying (6am-8am……then start the day..and not worry as much about “catch up studying” if things get super crazy at the back end).

    Again, i bet it all revolves around a person's preference/personality. But my opinion, night time studying got me to not study as hard. Then again i am in my 30s and not a young buck.

    AUD - 77
    BEC - 75
    FAR - 82
    REG - 77
    -Becker (do all mcq, period),
    -Buy NINJA mcq (68% trend), and
    -PRINT trouble topics.

    -Also Used WTB mcq (68% trend).
    -Do 40-50 SIMs and read answers/try to learn from solutions like its a book example.
    -Lastly, when having trouble with same topic, go big picture and watch trouble lecture


    I think it's a myth and that it just depends on the type of person you are. I'm not a morning person at all and I only study at night, usually starting around 8-10pm. I always seem to have more energy and focus at night + there are usually fewer distractions.

    @loveandbeloved Your first two sentences are spot on for me too haha, if only accounting offered night shifts!

    BEC - Attended May 29, 2017

    AUD - Dec 2017?

    REG - 93

    FAR - Oct 2017?

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