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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Successful Study Timelines: How long should you study for the CPA Exam?

Based on the average successful CPA Exam candidate, the AICPA recommends putting in 300-400 hours (YIKES!) of dedicated study time. Yet, there are no specific requirements on how to budget this time. Should you whiz through the process, cranking out all four sections in just three months? Or, does the old adage, “slow and steady wins the race” hold true for the CPA Exam, too?

Answer: To each their own! There is no specific timeline that works best for CPA students across the board, so tune in and we’ll walk you through some popular scenarios seen here at Roger CPA Review.

“Hasty Harry”: Harry is fresh out of college and has chosen not to join his buddies in Europe over the summer. Instead, he would like to power through his studying so he can sit for, and pass all four exams to solidify the big bonus from the firm that he’s set to work for in September.

An “accelerated review” is a great option for recent graduates, or CPA hopefuls with a fast-approaching deadline. However, be prepared, a 3 month study plan is more intense than a full-time job and requires impeccable self-discipline. Beginning his CPA courses during a blackout month, Harry will study and sit for all four exams in just one testing window.

“Quick Quinn”: Quinn just finished busy season at her firm, and now with more time to focus on the exam, she would like to crank out her studies and all four exams in just 6 months. With her job, she’s busier than her friend Harry, and believes doubling his study time is her best option.

Quinn is a great candidate for a 6 month plan because she can dedicate a few hours to studying each day before or after work, and her boss is even allowing her to study for an hour at the end of each day on company time! She’ll need to study for a full weekend day too, but she can complete her studying and sit for all four exams in just two testing windows.

“Steady Stephanie”: Stephanie is a self-employed, mother of three, who owns her own company, providing tax services for local businesses. Stephanie is a bit busier than Quinn and therefore wants more time to dedicate to CPA review for the Exam.

Stephanie is a great candidate for a 9 month, or year-long course plan. With these plans, she’ll need to study for a bit during two days of her work week, and one full weekend day. However, with no pending deadline, she thinks it’s the perfect way to balance her many commitments.

Whether you’re signed up for Roger’s Accelerated Review next weekend, planning to soar through our course in eight weeks, or you just sat for your last exam after a year-long stretch of studying, there is no individual recommended plan.

So long as you squeeze those 300-400 hours in, you’ll all be CPAs in your own time!


Scott Z. said...

this is great, love the scenarios......I believe roger cpa review is great for any type of person! I have one more to go and I'm finally done!!!!

Roger CPA Review said...

Thank you, Scott! Best of luck!

Shirly said...

These are great tips, but there is something wrong that I am doing. i have been studing for Audit since May. Taking the exam in two days. But I dont feel ready at all. I have kids and family, so taking time out is hard. Most of my study happens after work and weekends. I do wake up early around 4:30, but to shower, prepare breakfast/lunch etc for kids. so no time in the morning to study. and i only get half hour lunch, so i try to relax and give my brain a break. i have been doing the practise exam on the wiley CD, but each time i attempt the exam, i am not scoring above 60%. i took the practise 3 times, went through the ones i missed, then took a total different one. and still did not score good enough. students say take thte exam 3 times, i did and i am not scoring right. what am i doing wrong? i did the lecture book and went through all the questions in the lecture book. i did almost all the questions on the homework book as well. i am totally stressing out. not scoring above 60% and exam in two days. what am i going to do.
please help me.

Roger CPA Review said...

Hi Shirley, I'm so sorry I didn't catch your comment in time. Please let us know how the exam went and if we can help you out with anything in the future!

Again, so soo sorry for the delay!

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I really enjoyed your post here! actually Roger had a big factor here to guide you in your exam. This would be great to us having like these. keep it up Roger!

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Anonymous said...

Hey i am a lebanese student graduated in accounting last semester! For bieng clear i graduated with a gpa of 2.3! I am really looking for an advise of how may i study to get my cpa which is all my concern now. If you may help i would really be greatfull! Thank you!