Strategy FAQ: One Day of Rest Before Exam
Strategy FAQ: Days Before Exam - Cram Time Plan

CPA Exam Mistake #7: Not Focusing on the Ways You Learn Best

CPA Exam Mistake #7: Not Focusing on the Ways You Learn Best

If you are sitting for the CPA exam, you have graduated from college (or soon will), so you know what it takes to successfully pass exams. Each of us has a unique style of learning.

When studying for the CPA exam, many people use only the recommendations of the CPA exam review course they purchased or were given. They turn their backs on what made them successful students in college.

Keep in mind that there are many ways to learn, understand and internalize the material, not just the way taught by your review course.

Maybe you learn best by listening. Maybe you learn by writing. Maybe by watching. Maybe summaries and flashcard work for you. Maybe doing questions works. Whatever method has made you successful in college is what you should focus on for the CPA exam.

I learn best by writing. In college, I would read a chapter, highlight, then write my own notes based on what I had read and highlighted. This crystallized the information in my mind. I used the same tactic for studying for the CPA exam, and it was a huge reason I passed.

I also made my own flash cards. While going through the cards helped in the days leading up to the exam as quick refreshers, what really made the difference was the act of writing them.

Do not fall into the trap of getting pigeon-holed in your study tactics because of the methods your review course uses. Instead, think back to what made you a successful student in college and apply those same tactics to your CPA exam preparation.

If your review course is only written and you learn best through listening, make some audio notes using a voice recorder, then listen to those on your MP3 player or in the car (or buy some Audio Notes…).

If your course is only video and you learn best by reading, take notes while you watch the videos, then use your notes as your review instead of re-watching the videos (or buy some Study Notes…).

You are going to be spending 300 hours or more studying for this exam. You owe it to yourself and to your friends and family who want to spend time with you to give yourself the best chance of passing. Either get review materials that are in the format you find the most efficient or do some legwork yourself to get the material into that format, but in no case should you short-change yourself or those around you by trying to change your learning style.

Rob
Pederson CPA Review

 

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