BEC Final Review: Tons of MCQs and Rewriting Notes

06 Feb 2013


Patrick is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

I would liken this final phase of my BEC studies to the active labor phase of child delivery. When our first child was born, I recall playing card games and watching Friends episodes to pass the time.

But when I woke from my nap, something had changed. She was only focused on one thing, a picture of focused concentration. This wasn't fun and games anymore.

After 3 months, I finally completed the last module of BEC, Planning and Control. I've read every page in the Wiley book and I've answered all 748 questions. No epidural – I wanted to see what it was like without the video lectures.

The material was pretty straight forward until I got into cost accounting, which was pretty foreign. I could have used a little hand holding there. I think one of the main advantages of the video lectures is that it helps to keep you on pace.

For FAR and AUD, I typically covered an hour of lecture per night. With greater reliance on written text, I found myself re-reading a lot of material, often because my mind was still focused on work or family. On thing is for sure: with REG, I'm getting the epidural!

I have a little less than four weeks to review for the exam. I plan to do tons of Wiley MCQs, and then go back and retake the ones that I've missed. I plan to repeat this process many times, even if it means memorizing some of the answers. I have access to three different test banks, which will help to break up the repetition.

I will try to re-write my notes onto cards, which I think will be useful on test day. I also need to work on written communication; I haven't touched it yet. I once again need to get better sleep, eat better, hydrate, avoid caffeine, and avoid stress.

It's not good enough to allocate gobs of time to this thing; it needs to be quality time. That means extracting myself from situations, at work or at home, that can end in anger, frustration, or dissappointment, and thoughts that tend to re-surface when I'm trying to comprehend the step method of cost allocation.

One thing I can't get out of: I'm building a new chart of accounts for my church's new accounting software. It's time consuming but I rather enjoy it.

More ridiculous analogies to follow:

Last time I wrote, our plan was to sail from Olympia to Seattle. The winds were not in our favor so we settled for Jarrel's Cove. Whatever direction I go around here, it seems like we're always headed into the wind.

We sailed to Boston Harbor the first night and were treated to shore power which kept the cabin nice and cozy inside. We left in darkness the following morning and I single-handed the boat while my family slept, or so I thought. (The Admiral was awake for most of it.)

Winds were light and variable that day and the water was smooth. We listened to Irish folk music; it seemed to fit. Lots of time to think. I thought about light weather sailing and banking in this current rate environment: they have a lot in common.

It takes a different set of skills. You get excited by small disturbances in the water that might signify a slight breeze. You're always making fine adjustments, hoping, searching for a couple molecules of air to pass by your sail….. and then, maybe a few more until you feel a slight acceleration as you're pulled through the water.

The CFO is the sail trimmer. Anyone can hoist the sails and find wind, but it takes skill to make the boat travel as efficiently as possible, to properly balance the sail, or make sure that main has the right about of twist.

We arrived in Jarrel's Cove around noon and spent the rest of the day hiking, playing games, and collecting shells. It wasn't adventure with a capital A. We could have done all of these things back in Olympia, but we probably would have found some excuse not to… soccer practice, a play date, choir, ballet, etc.

The photo is of our kids at Jarrel's Cove with our boat in the background.


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