Trying to figure out how to study more effectively

CPA Exam Forum Other CPA Exam Topics Studying for the CPA Exam Trying to figure out how to study more effectively

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    I studied 180 hours for REG and scored a 78. I studied 140 hours for BEC, took the test a week ago, and didn't feel great about my performance when I left the test center.

    I'm putting the time in, but just not getting the results I'm looking for.

    I am trying to figure out how to better harness my learning style (visual), and just in general study more effectively. What bookarticlevideopodcast have you come across that was helpful in getting you to study more effectively?



    If you find out– please let me know…:-)

    I studied in excess of 200 hours for BEC…. (did 5000 MCQ)…. rewrote my notes… etc… as far as I can tell for most people on here its the MCQ's and re-writing notes that are the most common and what I find a lot of people suggesting… but I think it is unique to each of us in terms of how we retain this horrible amount of information. I did the MCQ's over and over and over again and re-wrote out the problems that confused me and EVERY SINGLE formula to every single problem… EVERY SINGLE TIME… redundancy… now… I'm just praying it worked… 🙂 (I've been out of college a long time and I think that has made this a more challenging experience than for someone who just graduated— but hopefully, not impossible)…



    From what I've seen from looking at forums and taking only one test is that:

    You can study too much. There are only so many problems that they give you on the exam. Chances are, if you know the ins and outs all the assigned hw problems from Becker, Yaeger (that's the only two I've tried) or whatever your review course you have, you'll likely pass the exam. If you are worried about every single thing in the book, you'll probably spread your studying too thin.



    @holbythebear— that is one of the reasons why the 2 days prior to the exam I only ‘reviewed' lightly my notebook… I did not cram… and in fact- went on a long run… took a bubble bath etc… just sort of ‘relaxed'. I did not spend the 2 days cramming because my opinion was that I either knew it or I didn't and at that point trying to jam more info into my brain wasn't going to do me any good…

    plus an few teacher friends of mine told me that they usually always give their kids a 2 day break before taking their end of year standardized tests because in general the kids perform better when they are fresh……….. NOT SURE IF THIS APPLIES TO ADULTS but… who knows… I gave it a try–




    @uconn_cpa – There is a book called “How to Study Smarter not Harder” – someone extremely accredited and successful recommended it to me. It focuses on increasing your effectiveness stemming from Davinchian methodology. I apply it to everyday life and it helped me pass. You need to get that book my friend; it will put things into perspective for you. Link to it and another great book below;



    I've found the best thing for me, besides working multiple choice and sims, was to write notes and to read them over, and over, and over. I read the notes one time each day after I took them and before I started a new chapter. In the two weeks before the test I read ALL the notes over at least one time each day. For the four or five days prior to the test, I read the notes twice each day.

    So, I wouldn't say it took me less time, probably more, but this is how I've studied and it's worked for me.



    Thanks everyone for the great advice!

    @1bentcpa, So funny you should recommend “Study Smarter, not Harder.” Prior to reading your post I was thinking of buying it. I ended up buying “Your Memory: How it Works and How to Improve it” (, but now I'll have to pick up “Study Smarter…” too!

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