Joe is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
As I prepare for FAR I am fortunate enough to have a decent amount of time to be able to study for this exam. I am going to take this exam the first week of April, although mid-March may have better suited my study program.
Instead of trying to pass the exam, I will use this extra time as a gift, and try to ace the exam. I am currently watching my FAR videos. I am almost finished and cannot wait to move onto some Wiley MCQs. (Actually, I am not that excited about MCQs, my hand just hurts from all of this note taking).
Even with all of this extra time, I still struggle every day to find the right time to study. At work, I try to study during lunch, which has happened exactly zero times this week due to year-end craziness. If you expect to sit at your desk and get any studying done during lunch you are wrong!
Take the 5 minutes to gather your things and take your materials to Starbucks or somewhere quiet. Put you cell phone away and do NOT check work emails. This is your time to study, make the most of it.
Another time I need to study is at home. Since I am not a morning person I expect to study a few hours each night before I go to bed. With an 11-month-old, baby boy who does not like to sleep this can be close to impossible. I try to help and get him to sleep but at 9pm, I ask my wife to take over.
It is important that you establish a firm cut-off point where you must drop everything and start studying. My routine is to study every night from 9pm-11pm. Sometimes I will last until 11:30. I have not yet developed a weekend schedule; however, I will share that when I do.
I also listen to audio CDs in the car on my way to and from work. For some reason my study program hired the most monotone people on the planet, so listening is very difficult. I often find myself turning them off after about 15 minutes. However, this is a great tool in reinforcing the materials. I hope that at some point I will make it an entire car ride!
This seems to be working now but I am sure I will have to tweak my study plan a bit, especially as I get closer to the exam. I will let you know how it goes! Good luck to all you NINJAs out there. Keep studying!