Wednesday, June 13, 2012

10 Tips for Passing the CPA Exam on the Way To An Accounting Career as a CPA

Savvy students know that planning a strategy for passing a comprehensive exam, such as the CPA exam is imperative for success. For accounting students, there is no need to go re-inventing the wheel; when it comes to planning a strategy for passing the CPA exam, just follow these top ten best practice tips!

1. Prepare an overall study strategy:
·    Decide if you will study alone or with a group.
·    Chose between a formal face-to-face review program or an online option.

2. Set a Schedule:
·    Decide which topics will require more attention.
·    Review your toughest topics first so you can cycle back to those just before the test.
·    Create a schedule that allows for realistic pacing through the materials.

3. Speak with recently certified CPA’s:
·    Online discussion boards or alumni networking may be helpful to refine your study strategy or clarify testing procedures.
·    Utilize CPA courses to brush up on topics or subject matter that you may be unclear on.

4. Exercise the day before Exam:
·    Exercise for at least an hour the day before the test so that you can rest well the night before the test.

5. Prepare what you need the night before:
·    Set your ID and any other necessary testing documentation out where you will not forget to take it with you to the test.
·    Set out comfortable clothes.
·    Confirm your ride/gas up your car.
·    Set your alarm.

6. While taking the test read the question more than once:
·    Read each question at least twice before answering it to clarify the major points of the question.
·    After you answer the question read it again to be sure you have covered all parts of it in your answer.

7. If you are stuck, move on:
·    Keep moving through the questions.
·    Focus on moving on and you may uncover hints to answer the question later in the test.

8. Manage your time:
·    Practicing ahead of time will promote better time management on test day.
·    Managing your time wisely will give you time to read your questions thoroughly and review your answers.

9. Give “the book” answer:
·    While your experience may have provided a work around method which could be applied in real life, the examiners need to know that you are aware of legal requirements per state law, so make sure you give clear textbook-inspired answers.

10. Be thorough with computational questions:
·    Take your time and recalculate every question twice.
·    Be sharp with your details; there should be no misunderstandings in your answers.

While preparing for the CPA Exam may not be easy, it is certainly a task that many have completed successfully. Learn from their strategies and plan ahead to create your own successful results. Following the best practice strategies developed by those that have come before you can put you on a clear course for passing the CPA exam and becoming a CPA!

By Grant Webb with Bisk Education.
Grant writes and reports on best practices for becoming a CPA, career advancement, and accounting law.