My CPA Exam Journey
The summer following my college graduation, I started an internship from the national accounting firm BDO USA, LLP. After the internship, I received a full-time offer and was set to start in October 2014. Before I got too far removed from study mode, I knew I had to pass the CPA exam.
I started studying for the CPA exam in September 2014 using Roger’s CPA Review. I went through the lengthy lectures and drilled the multiple choice (MC) and simulation (SIM) questions repeatedly. I took FAR in January of 2015 and received a 75.
After all that time spent on lectures, I realized there had to be a better way. At this point, I was going right into busy season and simply had no time for lectures. I cut out the lectures and began drilling MC and SIM questions only. I took AUD in May and received a 79 doing absolutely no lectures.
The next part on my list was REG and I wasn’t taking any chances, so I purchased Ninja Notes from Another71.com. This time I read over the notes and then rewrote them. Then before each MC and SIM section, I would read over the correlated section in the Ninja Notes. I repeated this until I finished all the MC and SIM sections and then started drilling questions from the entire REG portion. A week or so before the exam I rewrote the Ninja Notes again, while still drilling questions daily. I took REG in either July or early August and passed with an 85.
Finally, I was at my last part, BEC. I followed the same study routine as I did with REG, took BEC in October 2015 and passed with a 79.
I had now passed all four parts of the CPA exam on my first attempt and within a year and a month’s time – all while having a full-time job in public accounting. I have to credit that success not to watching lectures, but to drilling MC and SIM questions and reading and rewriting study notes. You can read my in-depth guide to passing the CPA exam here.
If you are interested in a personalized CPA exam coaching session where I will help you design a study plan and go over these study tactics with you in greater detail, please click here.