CPA Exam Strategy

A Simple Way to Save HOURS of Study Time

One of the advantages of a program like Yaeger that will work on any DVD player (home or computer) is that you can control how fast the DVD plays. In the case of Yaeger DVDs, I have found that I can watch the video, take notes, and work the questions with the instructor and cut out 1/3 of the time.

I haven't gotten Windows Media Player to do this effectively for me yet, but my laptop comes with a program called WinDVD by InterVideo that has a time stretch function that allows you to choose how fast the DVDs play. I typically watch the videos at 1.3x to 1.5x, depending on how fast the instructor speaks naturally.

My method of watching the Yaeger DVDs is as follows:

1. Turn up the time stretch to 1.3x and get used to it.
2. Turn it up to 1.5x
3. Hit pause to take notes (I hit pause to take notes regardless of how fast the video is going so that I don't miss anything).
4. When the instructor says to do MCQs ___, ___, and ____, I hit pause, work the problem and then hit play again to see if I was right, then hit pause again and work the next problem.

How much time does this save? About 14 minutes per lecture on 1.3x and 20 minutes per lecture on 1.5x. I don't go any faster than 1.5x.

This method of viewing cuts down on time spending viewing the lectures, but I haven't found any decrease in comprehension. I used this method for REG and it was effective. When Cindy lectures I cut it down to 1.3x because she's a faster speaker than Michael (both are Yaeger instructors), who I watch at 1.5x.

Over the course of 13 FAR DVDs, this will save you 13-17 hours of viewing time. It's something to consider if you can handle the faster conversation speed.

Important: If you try it and you don't feel like you're processing everything – drop the speed back down to 1.0 if you need to.

Everyone is different. Some people can comprehend everything at 1.75x, but that's beyond my comfort zone. I will throw out the disclaimer that this is not for everyone, but since I am using this method and like it – and have had success with it, wanted to pass it along.

If your DVD player doesn't have a time stretch feature, then WinDVD is $60. Like I said, I can't get Windows Media Player to work properly with it because the audio doesn't play – just the video.

For what that's worth…

Thanks for reading.

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  1. koolguy_4u
    September 24, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Great Idea… i did this during my college financial classes when i recorded lectures… 🙂

    Windows Media player worked for me!

  2. Jose
    December 5, 2008 at 7:39 am

    I used the Gleim program and it has been extremely helpful to me. I did better on the CPA exam than I did in college, mostly because I pay more attention now! However, while studying the material for some of the parts, I did not remember covering it in my college years, so I was relearning everything all over. I have taken 3 parts and passed them all the first time. FAR (87), BEC (77), REG (92) and I am currently waiting to hear for my scores in AUD on the second wave. For BEC, REG, & AUD I used striclty Gleim materials, but for FAR I complemented my Gleim materials with my Intermediate and Advanced accounting books from college. The most helpful tool was the Gleim Test Prep software.

  3. deciBelle
    January 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    This is a great tip. I found software this morning that will do this on a Mac (hooray!) Find it here: It cost me $50, but I think it will absolutely be worth it, as I try to maximize the use of what little time I have.

    I just watched a 57-minute FAR video section, turned the speed up to 1.32x (it was Cindy), and saved myself approx. 13 minutes. It also helps me keep my brain engaged — too slow, and my mind tends to wander…

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