Passing the CPA Exam in Less Than One Year: Can It Be Done?
The CPA exam is one of the most difficult hurdles for an accountant to clear. In the following post, Lewis Daidone discusses the feasibility of setting a time limit to passing the CPA exam. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to financial services firms and tech companies..
The very idea that it is practical to pass the CPA exam within a year is not realistic for the majority of those taking the test. However, such things are not impossible – it’s purely a matter of dedication and time; a tremendous, almost supernatural, level of dedication and time.
Upon graduation from college, most of us don’t have the luxury of devoting 100 percent of our time to preparing for the CPA exam; there are bills to pay, jobs to seek, responsibilities to fulfill. However, if you’re determined to dedicate a year to exam prep, here are a few tips that can help you to achieve your goal.
Secure an accounting internship during the busy season.
Accounting internships are fantastic for providing you with professional skills and training, but they are also exceptional for allowing you to apply your academic knowledge to real-world situations. It’s one thing to memorize details from a book. When you’re able to actively use that information successfully, you are far more likely to hang on to that information for the long term.
Surround yourself with other ambitious future CPAs.
A little competition can go a long way. Having a peer group with the same goals will help keep you motivated during a very difficult preparation period. Moreover, working in pairs or groups can be tremendously helpful in creating new and useful study strategies. Finally, it’s good to have some interpersonal interaction during your marathon study year, since you won’t be able to afford to indulge in a normal social life!
Don’t cherry-pick your practice questions.
You might think that you’re being efficient by only tackling the most difficult prep questions, but it will behoove you to pay attention to everything. You won’t know exactly what you’ll be confronted with on exam day, so make sure you don’t have any gaps in your knowledge.
Think like a teacher.
If you had to instruct someone on these principles, how would you go about it? Don’t stop at simply knowing the information, make sure you understand it enough to actually teach it.
Don’t let failure stop you.
Believe it or not, you can actually still meet your deadline even after failing one or two parts of the exam. Just make sure you adjust your preparation according to your weaknesses, and learn from your experience.
It’s important to view this particular goal as a challenge, rather than an ironclad deadline – even if you don’t necessarily wind up passing all four parts within your established timeframe, you will have completed a considerable amount of important work. It will be extremely hard and sometimes frustrating, but if you stay focused, you will ultimately be rewarded with an extremely valuable certification!