Passing the CPA exam is the final hurdle in becoming a certified public accountant. You may feel overwhelmed and nervous about the CPA exam, but working hard and successfully completing the degree requirements are actually the first step in preparing. Be ready to invest time and money in the review process. Inventory your study habits and consider study aid options as you create a review plan. If you work hard and dedicate yourself to mastering the test material, you’ll be rewarded with profitable career opportunities.
If you’re self-disciplined and prefer a computer-based learning environment, consider enrolling in an online CPA exam review course. Most courses include prerecorded lectures about CPA test topics, content in written form and study guides. You’ll also be able to take practice tests and ask faculty questions about areas of concern. Using an online review course will allow you to study at your own pace and focus on topics that are weak areas. Online review courses are available from institutions of higher education and other private organizations.
If you’re unsure of what you need to study for the CPA exam, consider enrolling in workshops that provide insight about the test structure and content. CPA test taking workshops provide an understanding of the CPA exam and registration process. You’ll gain specific insight such as test-taking strategies, how to register for the exam and details about the test-taking environment. These workshops offer a practice test environment that provides sample test questions.
Seek study tools that will deepen your familiarity with CPA test content. Study guides are available that delve into topics such as auditing, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting and regulation. You can also get flash cards and practice tests in each of these areas. You can use these resources as your primary review material to complement a CPA review course. Be sure the tools that you use are accredited by the American Institute of CPAs and the most current available.
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for the CPA exam is to create a written plan for your review process. Begin by determining the date you’ll take the test. Work backward to design a schedule for studying. Allow two weeks to study for each section of the CPA exam. If you’re taking an online or in-person review course, schedule it after the self-review process to reinforce your learning. Implement your study plan immediately following the completion of your degree so that the material is fresh in your mind.
Dr. Kelly Meier earned her doctorate from Minnesota State Mankato in Educational Leadership. She is the author and co-author of 12 books and serves as a consultant in K-12 and higher education. Dr. Meier is is a regular contributor for The Equity Network and has worked in education for more than 30 years. She has numerous publications with Talico, Inc., DynaTEAM Consulting, Inc. and Kinect Education Group.