Ask the NINJAs: How to Study 20 Hours a Week for the CPA Exam

Dear NINJAs,

I am stuck.

I started my CPA Exam journey several (more than two) years ago.

I started with (expensive course). I do not like their product.

I like the study schedule that's created, but the program has since changed and I am having a hard time using their study schedule.

Consequently, I have fully converted to Ninja.

Unfortunately, when I am on a study roll, life happens.

Well, long story short. I am at it again.

I need a good study schedule, what are your suggestions for FAR.

I really want to get this behind me before tax season.


Dear Cynthia,

Ahhh, tax season.

…Empty roads and parking lots on Saturday morning as you drive in to work and normal people are at home.

…Continuously brewing pots of Folgers coffee

…Clients who call you in early January, tell you about their family drama for 35 minutes (while you work on another return, hoping to not transpose a kid's SSN), and then don't bring their tax docs in until late March (or worse)…


Let's get you a study plan that can erase “FAR” from your list of tax season worries.

It's time for the ELL Plan.

Early – Get up 2 hours before you have to leave for work. Leave for work at 7am? Get up at 5 and study for an hour.

Total Study Time: 60 Min.

Lunch – Sit at your desk (sorry, no walks down the street with your co-workers to grab something…(they will have to clue you in on the office gossip and the rude thing that the boss said to such-and-such later).

Whatever part of the NINJA Framework you're on (Nail the Concepts? Read the book or watch NINJA PLUS … Non-Stop MCQ? Work your MCQ) while you eat.

Total Study Time: 45 Min.

Late – After the kiddos are in bed and the house is reasonably quiet – study for an hour.

Total Study Time: 60 Min.

Total Study Time (Monday – Thursday): 165 min x 4 = 660 min … 11 hours

Friday – Do Early & Lunch, but take the night off.

Total Study Time: 105 Min.


Option 1: 4 Hours Saturday / 4 Hours Sunday

Option 2: 8 Hours Saturday / Take Sunday Off

Total Study Time (Friday – Sunday): 585 min … 9 hours 45 min

Total Study Time (Monday – Sunday): 20 hours 45 min

The extra 45 minutes gives you flex for “life happens”.

Overslept on a Tuesday morning…

Son/Daughter forgot (fill-in-the-blank) and had to run to school over lunch…

(if you listened to the NINJA Audio en route – still counts!) 🙂

Got sucked into starting Stranger Things on Netflix (don't do it!!!!!)…



Have a question for the NINJAs?

Send it here and Jeff will forward it to them via Carrier Pigeon.

Get more Ask the NINJAs

Listen to the CPA Reviewed Podcast

Related Posts

Ask the NINJAs: How Long to Study for FAR

Dear NINJAs, Short and Sweet: How long should I study for FAR? -Kay Dear Kay, Short and Sweet back at ya: “Traditional” Course Study Method: FAR = 7-8 Weeks @ 20 hours a week. NINJA Study Framework: FAR = 6-7 Weeks @ 20 hours a week. (If you’re not studying 20 hours a week … […]

Ask the NINJAs: When to Start Studying CPA Exam MCQ

Dear NINJAs, Hope this email finds you well! My name is Karina. It’s nice to “meet” you. I work full time at an audit firm. Studying for AUD which I’m sitting for early December. I purchased Wiley as my main course and started studying in September but lost motivation due to needing to find the […]

Ask the NINJAs: 2017 CPA Review Materials on 2018 CPA Exam

Dear NINJAs, I am looking to start studying for the BEC or AUD after tax season 2018. A co worker gave me her CPA Review materials she purchased during 2017 (books/flashcards). Would these still be a good thing to use to study for the CPA Exam in 2018 along with NINJA Study Materials also? Thanks […]

Ask the NINJAs: REG Material isn’t Sticking; 25% Average Score

Dear NINJAs, I have about 2 weeks until my REG exam. I’ve skimmed the book and listen to the NINJA Audio during my commute. I’ve written the notes once and I’m currently taking notes while doing the MCQ’s however my average score is about 25% – I’m struggling! I know REG isn’t in my wheelhouse, […]

Leave a Reply


saeeda.nasir 5 years ago

Stranger things LOL