The 3 Things You Don't Realize Are Preventing You From Passing the CPA Exams

(but they are easy to fix once you know what they are)

"The CPA exams are so complex and the material is so vast, that studying for, and passing the exams is just as much about your strategy as it is about learning the material..."

Strategy... and how it relates to your study approach as well as on test day is something that you won't get from the big review courses.

You get your username and password and login, and it's all there... all the material that you could possibly need to know.

But the CPA exams and the material is so complex and vast, that studying for, and passing the exams is just as much about your strategy as it is learning the material.

Do any of the following sound familiar?

Have you heard other people talk about how hard the CPA exams are? Or heard the official statistic that only 45% of people pass? (that's very accurate)

Have you looked through the contents of your review course, or maybe a few chapters, and been shocked at how much material there is?

Or, if you're already studying and taking sections, have you studied for weeks only to realize that you've completely forgotten what you studied just a few weeks ago?

Worst of all, does every day seem to go by without getting quality study time in because you literally don't have time?

All of these reasons really boil down to 3 main issues. If you can overcome these 3 things, you can study effectively, remember what you've studied, and pass the exams.

Usually on your first try.

Recognizing what they are is the first step, so keep reading...

"Passing the CPA exams really boils down to 3 things..."

Still have all 4 sections left?

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Key #1: Retention

How do you learn and remember everything, in a short amount of time, without forgetting what you've studied... to the point that you can walk in and pass on test day?

Let's just say that there's a lot to learn in order to pass the CPA exams.

If you really want to freak yourself out, open a copy of the CPA exam blueprints from the AICPA and start reading through everything you're supposed to know for each exam section.

For FAR alone there are 206 (as best I could count) subtopics. And each of these "subtopics" means full chapters and video lectures inside a review course.

The amount of information you need to learn for FAR and REG is staggering... which is why it's so common for CPA candidates to feel completely overwhelmed and outmatched.

(that's not to imply that BEC and AUD are "easy"... lots of people struggle with different sections for different reasons)

It's fair to say that any section is probably 5-10x harder than any test you ever took in college.

So, how do you learn everything in a short amount of time, but remember it as you go instead of forgetting everything you've studied?

I've got an exact routine that will not only help you remember what you've studied, but you'll drastically improve your understanding and retention over time, in addition to learning new material.

And this takes less time each day than what you're doing now.

Let's go over obstacles #2 & #3 first...

"For FAR alone there are 206 subtopics... and each of these "subtopics" means full chapters and hours of video lectures in a review course... the amount of information you need to know for FAR and REG is staggering"

Key #2: Study Methods

Do you have an exact routine that you follow when you sit down to study? Or do you struggle through every study session and feel like you're never really learning and understanding the material?

This is one that you're probably very aware of.

Whenever I talk to CPA candidates about their study process, it usually sounds something like this:

"I'll turn on the video lecture, and after 10 minutes I've zoned out. Then, I'll try to read the chapter but it doesn't make sense or I just can't focus... so I'll try some questions, but those don't make any sense... so then I'll restart the video lecture..."

And that process basically repeats itself over and over until test day, and you never really feel confident about the material.

Again... there is so much material to learn, and you know that every single day counts. So it's very common for panic to set in when you're trying to study and it's not making sense, because you know the days are counting down and you're not making progress.

In my opinion, the big review courses don't do a great job of teaching you how to study. You buy access and then you login, and it's all in there... and you're just supposed to figure out how to put it all into your head.

The other thing, is that you just assume you need to know everything from every video lecture and every chapter because it's in there... but on test day you're only going to see questions on a small portion of topics.

So... what is the "best" way to study so that you're not wasting time and you're actually making progress?

And how do you narrow down the most important topics that are the most likely to show up on the exam?

I've got a lot of advice on that - including how you can actually shorten your daily study sessions while getting much better results - but let's cover obstacle #3 first.

"'s very common for panic to set in when you're trying to study and it's not making sense, because you know the days are counting down and you're not making progress."

Key #3: Time Itself

You work full-time, but you still want to have some kind of a "life", and no matter how much you pump yourself up, actually fitting in 3-4 hours of study every single day just doesn't happen...

Literally not having enough time in the day is something that everyone struggles with.

Even the best study plan is worthless if you're not executing it every. single. day.

The problem is - and most candidates never consciously think about this - is that adding in 4 hours of CPA study WILL NOT happen unless you do something that really alters your schedule and frees up a bunch of time.

Your daily schedule and habits and regimen are already set. You're already using up the ~18 hours that you're awake with whatever your life consists of right now. But people sign up for a review course, put in their ideal exam dates, and it spits out your recommended study routine, which is usually 3 to 5 hours a day of studying.

And the thing is... that much time of dedicated studying does not just magically happen. You have to make drastic changes to fit in something new that takes that much time. You have to wake up 3 hours earlier, or you need to stay at the office 3 hours longer... and even if you don't have people at home waiting to see you, that is a big shock to your system. Your 10 hour day just turned into a 13 hour day... and most people can't keep that up consistently... hence the 45% pass rates.

I faced the exact same thing when I was trying to pass. I studied for 3 months for FAR over the summer before I started my job in public accounting. And this was studying the "normal way" that I've described above.

I ended up failing it. Then, I started working full-time, and I had very little time to study, but I was more motivated then ever to pass.

After seeing the exam in person, I had a few of my own ideas about how to study differently - and go through new material rapidly (because I had to) - and after changing a few things about how I studied, I ended up passing all 4 sections in the next 3 months.

"...after changing a few things about how I studied, I ended up passing all 4 sections in 3 months."

So what are the changes I made to my study approach that allowed me to pass all 4 sections while working full-time?

Here's a comparison...

The Traditional Approach

  • Relies on one big study session each day which realistically doesn't happen every single day
  • Short-term memory overloaded so that most of your session doesn't stick
  • No ongoing review, so you forget what you've studied as weeks go by

The SuperfastCPA Approach

  • Relies on a short main study session, easy to accomplish each day
  • Relies on highly efficient study methods, makes study session feel easier and motivating because you're making progress
  • Ongoing review built-into the approach, get better at all topics over time instead of forgetting previous topics

Want the specifics?

I'd be happy to walk you through the approach from start to finish, but it works best as almost a conversation... which is why I deliver it in the format of a webinar.

I have a free training webinar you can attend, and it will walk you through this approach from start to finish.


You can apply these strategies no matter what review course you're using.

After this training - which takes about an hour - you will have a crystal clear picture of how to approach your daily study sessions. Which, I might add, will now be much shorter. And easier to get through.

I promise that you will find this training to be extremely helpful in your CPA journey.

Click here to attend a session that works for you...

NOTE: You'll have a better training experience if you attend the training on either a desktop or laptop.

Also, you'll get a free copy of our CPA flashcards when you attend, because flashcards are a big part of our approach... we'll explain on the training.

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"This one hour can save you months and months of time from trying to figure it out on your own..."