I recently passed the FAR portion of the CPA exam luckily on my first attempt, and for those struggling I was hoping I could share some of my study strategies. In my mind, anybody can pass these exams. Intelligence is not a factor whatsoever; instead, consistency is what will lead you to success. This consistency along with understanding the material on a conceptual level as well as drilling questions facilitated my understanding of the information. Here’s my list of tips if you want to take the exam.

Tips for your study schedule

  • ****USE BECKER CPA PREP!!!!! It’s amazing
  • Have a goal of how many Becker modules you want to complete per day
    • Always do at least one per day (except for your days off of course)
    • Consistency is key
  • Scheduling a set date for the exam can also be an effective motivator 
  • Don’t feel pressured to take the test ASAP, be sure of yourself before scheduling
  • Once you finished all Becker modules, go through the material again once or twice

Learning the Material

  • Do not try to remember all the material on every page, it’s just not possible
  • Instead, try to understand the rules and the philosophy behind them
    • Do not try to remember each example about revenue recognition, understand the reasoning behind it and its theory; this will allow you to apply it anywhere
    • Think about the questions logically rather than trying to remember the exact details you read in the book; what makes logical sense and what is simplest
  • Use the acronyms Becker gives you, they are incredibly helpful
    • Try making your own as well for areas you are having trouble with
    • The best way to study for this is practicing questions over and over again
    • Take the Becker practice tests until you completely understand every question and answer
    • Take the random practice tests as well every time you get the chance
    • After learning a new chapter, do a practice test on that chapter
      • Then, do a practice test on all of the preceding chapters together
    • This will lead you to truly understanding and applying the information rather than just spitting it back out like a machine
    • If you just drill questions over and over, I guarantee you will pass
    • In the days leading up to the test, I recommend 100 questions per day
      • From these questions, find where you are weak and skim the chapters
    • I literally cannot emphasize enough how important drilling questions is, it is the singular most important factor in this exam

Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet to passing this accursed exam, but if you follow this simple framework of drilling questions consistently on Becker, you will pass!