CPA Exam Preparation | Recommended Study Time by Section

cpa exam preparation

Hey Jeff, I'm beginning my CPA exam preparation. How many weeks should I plan for each test? So I actually get this question a lot and I answer it in ranges so far and regulation I would take I think seven weeks is the sweet spot. Between six and eight weeks, never more than eight weeks.

And for, Auditing and BEC yeah, five-ish weeks for ninja as we have the four-week and the seven-week NINJA Study Planner.

And so four weeks, if you're under the gun cramming and seven weeks, while seven weeks is perfect for Regulation and FAR and for Auditing and BEC, seven weeks is more than enough.

Again, never more than eight weeks for any exam ever. If some expert out there telling you to study more than eight weeks, they're 100% wrong.

You can have me email me (, and I'll explain why, but I'll tell you why.

When you're sitting for the CPA exam, you're not going to become an expert on CPA exam topics.

You are studying information to become competent enough to score a 75 on your respective CPA exam section.

And what does passing the CPA exam mean? It means that So you pass the exam, get your initial license to means that you meet the minimum requirements to protect the public interest. It doesn't mean that you're an expert.

You can then go on and become an expert in a state tax or auditing or governmental.

Accounting, et cetera, but you're not going. You’re not going to become an expert on the content anyway. And the more it's, the more time that you spend beyond eight weeks, and you get diminishing returns on your time.

I get emails, “Jeff, I studied for three months, and I scored a 63.”

You're not stupid. You just, you studied for too long because the further and further that you get away from week one, week, two weeks three, the less and less you are going to remember that information.

And that's why you want to cram all the info in your head, roll into Prometric, barf it out and then leave.

If you desire to open up your CPA firm, do tax prep, and do estate tax planning, you're likely never going to touch governmental auditing or government accounting again.

Now, if you do take on that client, then you have to be competent. So then you'll have to become pretty much an expert and governmental county. And so you're back in the study, but for purposes of the CPA exam you just need, you need to know enough about governmental accounting to be dangerous, to go in there and barf it out on exam day.

That's how many weeks you should spend on your CPA exam preparation.

Have a question for the podcast? Ask Jeff.

Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)


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