Cassandra is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
I (re)took AUD today. I thought I'd share my experience with everyone, because I used different study techniques this time around. I really increased my confidence level, which is very important on exam day.
If you have failed a section and lost hope, I've been there. But I decided to use several different study resources this time to better prepare myself for the retake.
I think that's the key to keeping yourself from becoming burned out with studying–use different formats of the material to stay engaged and motivated.
The first time I took the exam, I used only my self-study course. (It was also my first CPA exam ever.) I felt pretty well prepared, and my exam seemed to go well. However, I only made a 71. I realized that the course alone wasn't enough for me. So I decided to spice it up. Here are the materials I used to study for my retake:
1. Self study course: This was the foundation for my studying. Instead of just watching the videos and highlighting, I took detailed notes on every single chapter. This makes a huge difference.
2. Flashcards: I used the actual paper flashcards from my course (not the app) and I loved them, but some people tend to hate on them. (I also love the NINJA flashcards on my iPad—with those, you can rate your confidence level on each card. It’s pretty awesome.)
3. NINJA Notes, Audio, Flashcards, and Blitz: The beauty of these is that they all complement each other. Reading, hearing, watching, and practicing the same basic layout of information really solidifies the concepts.
4. Wiley Test Bank: Fresh MCQs and Sims. I did all of them. No better practice than that.
The versatility of the review materials really helped me. When I got tired of reading, I'd watch a quick Blitz video, or listen to audio, or do flashcards, or a few MCQs … You see? Instead of simply reading and re-reading the same thing, then doing MCQ after MCQ, I was able to keep myself engaged in the material by varying the format.
I was confident on my way in the exam, and confident on my way out. I know that's by no means a definite pass, but it's a good feeling. At least I can rest easy (sort of) for 3 weeks waiting for my score, instead of worrying myself to death. Here's hoping that I don't make Another 71! (See what I did there?)