The CPA Exam and You

For most people, college graduation means no more late night study sessions and a lot more free time. That’s not the case if you’re entering the world of public accounting. You go from college exams to the CPA exam. Many people, like me, start the process of studying for the exam, unsure of what to expect and full of questions. I recently passed the last of four parts of that exam, and am looking very forward to a summer with that is study free. Here are my tips:

Studying: It’s important to allow yourself enough time to complete the study program you choose and then go back and refine the areas you’re weakest in. Everyone has different ways of studying but the most important strategy is just studying. If you put in the time you’ll see results.

Sequence of Exams: Some people take the section they believe will be the hardest first because they’re more diligent about studying for the first test versus the last. Others want to take a section they feel they have a better chance of passing first so at least one section would be out of the way. Whichever way you think about it, it’s important to choose the best strategy for you.

Changes to the Exam: Starting in 2011, the CPA exam will start testing on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). If you can, it would be a good idea to take a class on IFRS while you’re still in school. Also, three of the four sections of the exam currently have a written portion; starting in 2011 only one section will have a written portion.

The stress of the exam can become overwhelming so it’s important to remember to also make time for yourself during your studies. The occasional night out with your friends won’t keep you from passing so study hard and you’ll soon be on your way to a CPA.