How to Pass CPA Exam While Working

One of the questions that I get asked every week is how to study for the CPA exam while working full time.

My first tip is that you need to come up with a study schedule. Can you do 4 tests in 4 months? Absolutely. High performers do it all the time while working at the same. However, you have to come up with a written plan for those 4 months.

My second tip is that you have schedule your exams to fit your schedule. What I mean by that is that you have to look at your 4-6 month window and determine when you are going to have the most and least amount of time available. For example, if you are working at one of the big 4 and you know that you will be busy in the month of March, schedule your easiest exam around that time. Similarly, if you are working on a home renovation or have many social obligations in a particular month, you want to schedule the easier exams. The exams that you find the easiest will vary from person to person. However, as a general rule most students find FAR to be the hardest section and BEC to be the easiest section. Plan accordingly.

In terms of studying, you will have to adjust your study schedule according to your particular style. For example, a lot of my students are not visual learners and they find the lectures to be too time consuming. These students prefer to learn via the text book. They only use the lectures for the mnemonics. You have to know your own study style and create the most effective study plan. Do not watch video lectures because that is what all the other students are doing.

Personally, I think that CPA practice questions are the most effective way of learning the material. Being engaged with the material is far more effective than simply consuming information passively.

Those are my three big tips for how to pass the CPA exam while working full time. Since your time will be limited, you need to make the most of it. Create your own study plan that is suited to your schedule and learning style.