A lot of students have complained to me about how difficult it has been to study for the CPA exam during the lockdown.

Studying for the CPA exam in the best of times required discipline. However, with the added stresses of the pandemic, the CPA exam now requires far more discipline.

Here are my CPA study tips for studying during the pandemic:

  1. Get a CPA study group. You need to socialize. Many people have severely limited their social interaction. This has a negative impact on your mental health. If you don’t believe me about the importance of social interaction, watch this video. Even reaching out to fellow candidates on social media helps. You’re in this boat with other people who are struggling with the same issues as you are.
  2. You need a CPA study schedule. It is too easy to get caught up in the permanent vacation vibe of the quarantine. Once you are in joggers and Netflix mode it is hard to switch to Audit exam mode. You can use one of the study schedules in our guidebook.
  3. Take long walks. No one will listen to me about this tactic. It is the most proven stress reliever I’ve found that works with almost all my CPA students. Too much sitting is a bad thing. And most people have been doing 2X as much sitting as normal during the pandemic. Move your body. Get some fresh air.
  4. Don’t speculate on the future. Everyone has an opinion about the pandemic. For some, it’s just a blip and things will get back to normal in no time. For others, “nothing will ever be the same.” The truth is, no one knows. It’s all speculation. You can really psyche yourself out if you project too much into the future about the impacts of the pandemic. A lot of my students are making long term projections about the job market. This is understandable with 40 million unemployed in the U.S. However, no one knows what will happen with the economy. I’ve learned over the the last twenty years that economic prognostications don’t amount to much.
  5. Create a hard limit on your social media time. It is easy to get sucked into the social media vortex with so much bad news ranging from the pandemic to social unrest to the economic depression. And of course, it’s an election year which means people are spending even more time on social media. This is most likely your biggest time drain. You can use an app like Offtime that prevents you from accessing your social media. Well worth it.

Those are my top five CPA study tips to help you get through the pandemic. However, the most important thing to remember is, “this too shall pass.”