Study Tips: Applying AUD Success to FAR Studies

Alex is a [A71 product=”combo”]NINJA CPA blogger[/A71].

First as an adopted Texan I must say please keep my state and all areas affected by Harvey in your thoughts and prayers. The recovery is going to be long from but I know we’ll get there together.


It was the biggest sigh of relief seeing that magical 76. I know it’s not a 90 or 95 but hey we’re just trying to pass and passing is a 75 so if I get a 76 on all parts I will be the happiest CPA you have ever seen.

Now if you ask any CPA candidate I’m sure we will tell you that things didn’t always go according to plan but we also had habits we maintained that helped as pass. I’d like to discuss the habits that I used in Audit that I’ll be bringing with me to FAR as well as those habits I’m leaving behind. 

When I think about the best thing I did for Audit it was studying every single day. Even if I wasn’t watching a lecture or reading the book, or even questions, something on the exam was getting done each day. I would go over my latest set of flash cards when I had a little break in the day. I remember going on a trip for my friend’s birthday and I brought my book so on the 4 hour drive I could ride and go through the problems in the book.

At the airport waiting for my friend I was doing lectures and taking notes. Constantly doing something for the exam is crucial in keeping your mind in the game and also drilling concepts in. The other two things that I did were taking almost all of the AUD MCQ in my study materials and practice tests. I’m not sure how all programs work but for me I could take between 1-30 multiple choice questions and between 1-10 simulations at a time so I would take them whenever.  

For me even if I just had 10 minutes I would take 7 multiple choice questions and it did help. However I knew that for the exam I had to get used to more multiple choice and simulations in one sitting. I probably took about 5 full practice exams the last week of my studying which helped me be able to focus for hours, which can be hard especially if you’re like me and your mind is constantly on other tasks.

Now I’m going to list out the bad habits that I will be dropping for FAR. I did not do a good cumulative review for audit. I got too focused on the chapter I was on and forgot about everything prior to what I was studying. Luckily audit only had 12 chapters, but I had almost totally forgotten the chapter 1 material by the time I got to chapter 12.

For my next exam I will be going back constantly and doing quizzes not only for the section I’m studying for but previous sections as well just so I don’t lose the material. The other major bad habit I had was marking my wrong answers right after I read the solutions.

Now this could be an ego thing but I don’t think I’m alone here. I guess I just didn’t like to see 40% on a quiz so I had to make it better. In the moment it was good to see that I was getting a passing quiz score but it wasn’t reflective of what I actually knew and by the time I had to review I wasn’t sure about the topics to focus on or the things that I already knew.

So from now on if I get a question I’m just going to leave it wrong so I’ll know what to study extra hard on. Also I didn’t do this in Audit, but I attempted to do this in FAR and I’m already dropping this habit. I got super ambitious and was like I can have a study plan that requires new material every day and take FAR in a month. Who was I kidding; I needed a less ambitious study plan because life always happens.

Now I have a lot of respect to people who have to rush their exams because the clock is ticking or they don’t want to work and study but if you don’t have to, DO NOT DO IT. If you get ahead of your study plan great but don’t set yourself up by pushing to be so aggressive then get frustrated and quit. Happy studying!

“No matter what happens, no matter how far you seem to be away from where you want to be, never stop believing that you will somehow make it. Have an unrelenting belief, that things will work out, that the long road has a purpose, that the things that you desire may not happen today, but they will happen. Continue to persist and persevere.” Brad Gast

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