5 Difference-Maker CPA Study Strategies to Help You Pass Faster

5 Difference-Maker CPA Study Strategies to Help You Pass Faster

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In this SuperfastCPA podcast episode, Nate and Logan cover 5 “difference-maker” study strategies that most CPA candidates have misconceptions about, or just aren’t aware of. Each of these strategies is a “difference-maker” on its own, but when combined they make your CPA study process extremely effective and efficient.


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Episode Timestamps

  • 0:00 Interview Video
  • 01:24 Introduction
  • 04:33 Making Your Own Flashcards
  • 09:43 Everything About the Study Process is a Skill
  • 11:12 What “Planting the Seeds” Really Means
  • 19:44 The Issue of Memorizing Questions
  • 23:38 Side Rant: Don’t Kid Yourself About Your Study Process
  • 26:13 Importance of Studying on the Weekends
  • 35:15 Give Yourself Every Possible Chance of Passing

Episode Transcript

Nate: [00:00:00] Yeah, and that’s another like side rant I could do so much of this is not kidding yourself. You know, even as far as watching the video lectures, it’s easy to press play and then think, okay, I am studying, I am being productive. But it’s just such an ineffective way of studying. The only thing that matters on test day is can you answer the MCQs and the simulations? So that’s, you should be spending most of your study time on,

Nate: Welcome to another episode of the CPA Exam Experience Podcast from SuperfastCPA, so in this episode it’s gonna be Logan and I. So a lot of you probably know that Logan now works for SuperfastCPA full-time.

He helps with everything that I was normally doing, so the coaching program is one of the biggest things. So in this episode, we’re gonna go over some of the biggest difference [00:01:00] makers, whereas the last, you know, year or so, Logan and I working with the different clients, just the biggest things that can derail the study process.

So Logan, why don’t you just give, you know, a, a reintroduction of kind of your CPA story and then working with SuperfastCPA, and then, you know, you can introduce the topic we’re gonna cover in this episode.


Logan: Yeah, sounds great Nate. So like Nate said, I work for SuperfastCPA full-time now. If you haven’t seen my previous podcast interview, you can go see that to get a kind of like a little, little intro to me, but I’ll do a little bit again here. I got introduced to SuperfastCPA by my best friend.

He had seen one of the ads for SuperfastCPA and so I purchased it eventually, and it was awesome. Like I passed all four of my sections first try, the whole study process since I started to, to me passing was seven months, and if you count just the day that I passed my [00:02:00] first exam to the day I finished my last exam was four and a half months.

So I was just blown away by how useful the SuperfastCPA strategy was. So, I, during the whole process was talking to people constantly in my master’s program. Just like, come on, you gotta do it. And I had multiple people tell me, you should work for SuperfastCPA, like you, you, you, you should be getting paid for all the people that you’re like converting to SuperfastCPA. And you know, I actually, I straight up told them like, yeah, I mean, that’d be awesome if I could, but I never really thought that would be a thing. But I did have a cool opportunity in my master’s program where I, I reached out to you and I asked if you and my best friend Parker, the same one who had introduced me to SuperfastCPA, we were able to do a, like an interview for one of our classes, kind of like talking to entrepreneurs and stuff like that. And I either stupidly or [00:03:00] just had the guts to ask you, do you think I could work for you someday? Like I just straight up asked that question in the interview and I, I don’t know if that surprised you. But yeah, I just asked if I could work for you someday. And so, you know, we kind of started talking a little bit and then a few months later, I started working for you on the side. I was kind of still working in full-time public accounting after I had finished my master’s but then I was working for you a little bit, but I was really determined to potentially work for you full-time and eventually, and you can, I don’t know if you wanna say anything about this, but eventually. It was obvious that it was just working really well, and I didn’t wanna be in public accounting and you needed help with some stuff, so it just, it just worked out. So yeah.

Now I work for Superfast full-time. Yeah, I don’t know if you wanna say anything about that.

Nate: Yeah. Yep. And it’s been, it’s been awesome. Just really helpful, especially with the coaching program. And so, yeah, so that’s what we’re going to [00:04:00] go into is just some of the biggest difference makers that if you’re not doing them or if you are kind of doing it incorrectly or ineffectively, it can be really harmful to the effectiveness of your study process. And on the other hand, if you have these things dialed in or they’re a part of your process and you’re doing all of them, it’s kind of hard to go wrong.

So yeah, Logan, let’s have you start it off. Pick your favorite one that you wanna talk about, and then we’ll just kind of go from there.

Making Your Own Flashcards

Logan: Okay. Well, you literally just talked about this, but I feel like we need to hit it again is flashcards. So flashcards, I think a lot of people have like a negative connotation towards flashcards, you know. You tried them in high school, maybe you tried them in college, but for most people, I bet that they just didn’t know how to make good flashcards and so they hated them. So they did something else. So the thing that I think [00:05:00] is missed so often is making flashcards and you, you really did just beat this into the ground with your last.

Nate: Yeah, the last video.

Logan: But I think we just need to mention again so when we say flashcards, we don’t mean handwritten notes.

Handwritten notes are great. I used them a lot on, during my study process. I printed out the Superfast review notes and wrote my notes on there, so that was super helpful. Like, don’t get me wrong. Notes are great, but flashcards is where, there’s a so many parts of flashcards that will help you in your study process, so seriously.

It’s not really like a, it’s not really like we’re saying maybe you could do flashcards. You really kind of have to do flashcards if you want to get the most out of your study process.

Nate: Yeah. And that, well, and that reminds me of the big caveat to any study tip or things you should change about your process. If you are [00:06:00] passing exams and just crushing it, then do whatever you’re doing, you know. All, all this advice is for people that, and, and this is the majority of CPA candidates, because what worked in college doesn’t really work on the CPA exams.

There are just very specific things and so yeah, if, if what you’re doing is already working and demonstrably working, meaning you’re passing exams, you know, then, then great. You know, maybe there are things you could do to be even more effective and efficient, but this is typically if you’ve been studying and you just constantly have that feeling that I’m not sure this is working.

Or if you’ve taken exams and failed, you know, obviously the things we’ll discuss here will make anyone’s study process more effective and efficient if you’re not already doing it. So going back to flashcards, I think kind of the key reasons flashcards work so well is A. Just [00:07:00] making the flashcard itself.

So the idea is as you go through practice problems or practice simulations and the things that you kind of find difficult to understand, or you repeatedly miss questions on it, whatever the reason is, the act of, okay, can I take this explanation in front of me and distill it down into essentially kind of your own words in a way that you understand it and put that into words on, on a flashcard.

Just that the act of doing that means that you’re able to kind of make sense of a concept or a calculation or whatever it is. And then you have the benefit of the same benefit of taking handwritten notes. You’ve put things kind of in your own words, the things that you feel like you need to put in your own words and kind of capture, capture the understanding.

And then the second big benefit that flashcards gives you over handwritten notes is as you review the [00:08:00] flashcards, is the forced recall. So again, this is just super important to understand on test day. Of course the only thing you have is what you can pull out of your own memory. So flashcards, again takes the your personal things what, for whatever reason that you’ve made flashcards on.

And then as you review ’em, it’s that forced recall. Whereas when you review handwritten notes, it’s just all in front of you. Your brain doesn’t have to really do any work, you know, you’re just rereading them, which again, is better than nothing. But flashcards is much more effective just because of that, the forced recall.

So that’s kind of my mini speech on flashcards.

Logan: Yeah. Get, get off the soapbox now. No we I, I really noticed this when I was doing my study process. You know, I had no idea how to make flashcards. And so when you go into this, don’t expect yourself to make perfect flashcards right off the bat. It just like this whole [00:09:00] thing, like, you know, every part of studying, this is a process and it took me a while to figure out, okay, these kinds of flashcards are really effective for me.

Like, you know, there’s different kinds of flashcards you can make. You can make true false flashcards. You can make blank, like fill in the blank flashcards. You can make just yes or no flashcards. You can just make whatever works for you as long as it’s helping you remember a concept or a specific part of an equation or whatever it needs to be. If you can condense it down into that one little flashcard. It’ll be really helpful and I, I saw that myself when I was doing it, so, you know, it’ll take time. But it’s completely worth it to, to get good at making flashcards for yourself.

Everything About the Study Process is a Skill

Nate: Yeah. And, and that’s like, that’s like a side tip or everything about this study process is a skill that you can get good at. And I think that might, I don’t know, that might sound weird to say these different study skills or these different strategies or [00:10:00] skills, but you can get good at breaking down multiple choice questions and just, you know, extracting the, what was the thing that you didn’t understand previously that now that you understand it, you can answer these types of questions. Again, that might be a calculation or a formula or something about the rules or concepts that you just hadn’t, it hadn’t clicked yet until you did that problem and made a flashcard on it.

Anyways, so yeah, everything about the study process is a skill and as you get better at all the little aspects, that’s where, you know, we’ve had multiple people on the podcast that say something like, yeah, really after I passed the first like two, I felt like I was almost slacking off studying.

I still went in and passed the last two. That’s because you can get so good at, or just so efficient that it almost feels like you’re not putting in enough work. And that might sound crazy [00:11:00] to someone who feels like they’re putting in a ton of time and effort and it’s still not working. And that’s just a big sign that what you’re doing and spending time on isn’t as effective as it could be.

What “Planting the Seeds” Really Means

Nate: All right. Let’s go on to, the next one where maybe a, a misconception about the idea of planting the seeds. So a brief overview, planting the seeds is just kind of how I refer to the process of going through the questions first. And the idea or the analogy is, you go through the first time, you’re kind of getting a foundational understanding, setting the stage.

And so planting the seeds the analogy I guess, you know, would be to come back, like when you plant something, you come back daily. It kind of has to be taken care of to have it grow and you know, get the fruit you want or whatever. You know, that’s like the analogy. So planting the seeds, [00:12:00] which is followed by daily re-review.

So you’re kind of constantly coming back and re-practicing, re-hitting all these topics over and over. That’s where the deep level comprehension and understanding and the kind of the long term, just the very solid retention comes from, is just constantly rehitting these topics. So the misconception though, that we’ve seen happen a lot with clients, but also, you know, our, for lack of a better word, normal customers that just have our different bundles in our, in the coaching program is, I guess sometimes that idea of you go through the questions for a lesson and you’re just getting a foundation or a big picture understanding. I think where that idea goes wrong is that people kind of think, okay, well I just kind of click through the questions and see what’s in there and I don’t really need to fully [00:13:00] understand the questions or how to answer ’em yet that that will just come later on. And that’s the big misunderstanding.

So your first time through a lesson, you do want to be fully making sense of each question that you go through, and that is why now in the, actually we haven’t done this yet, we’re going to though, Logan has made new planting the seed walkthrough videos for a specific lesson in each of the exams and then a re-review session, just showing him actually doing it so you can see what that process looks like of breaking apart problems, making sense of them, reperforming them. So, so, yes, the idea is when you go through a topic doing the planting the seeds or the questions first.

You do want to get to the point where in that session you feel like, okay, if I saw these questions again on test day, I would know how to answer these. Even if you watch the video. [00:14:00] Perfectly understood every word in the video and then read the chapter. Like, yeah, you get all the background information, but even that doesn’t lead to being able to effectively answer the questions. So the planting the seeds idea is you just deal with the questions, you’re, you’re not mastering the topic right then.

But that also doesn’t mean you’re just kind of shallowly clicking through the questions just to see what’s in there. You are putting in the work to make sense of each question as you go. And then the, really it’s just the reinforcement after the, the, the re-review and then all the mini sessions. So the re-review with our study tools, that just helps solidify, helps you retain things and just that deeper level understanding comes in. But it’s just a fallacy to think clicking through the questions and not putting in the work to figure out how they work and be able to reperform ’em. That’s not gonna magically come later on. So [00:15:00] that is the point of planting the seeds initially. Anyways, anything you want to add onto that?

Logan: Yeah, exactly. You know, in the ProCourse you directly say, this is not magic. This is not a shortcut necessarily, you know. So, I, so you say that, but then I’ve, I mean, I even had the same misconception a little bit when I was studying, and I’ve seen it with, I’ve seen it with multiple people that it’s easy to hear you say, you’re not trying to master this, you’re not trying to be a professor and they’re like, oh, well then I don’t need to like super deeply understand it. I’ll, I’ll get it as time goes on, which you will get it as time goes on. The re-review is extremely helpful in that way but, the re-review is only extremely helpful if you’re already getting a pretty good understanding of it upfront.

So, yeah, I, I think this is it, it can take a little bit of time to get used to the idea of like doing the questions first and then while you’re doing those questions first, you know, actually understanding it, [00:16:00] like getting to the point where you could explain it to yourself, you could explain it to somebody else. That can take time upfront and you know, sometimes that doesn’t sound that fun to kind of put in that work upfront. But it just, like we were saying before, this is a skill. If you put in the effort upfront to get good at understanding questions, knowing what you need to pull out of questions as you’re planting the seeds you’ll get better at it.

You’ll get faster at it, and you’ll get better information out of it, the more you do it and the more you try at it. So, yeah. Don’t look at this as us saying like, you have to spend like 20 minutes on one question necessarily, but you do want to understand it. You don’t wanna just skip through questions.

So yeah, planting the seeds is, like Nate said, it’s not, we’re not shallowly planting these seeds, you know, we’re not digging a hole and then just dropping it in and then not covering it up or whatever. You know, you still need to put it in good soil and then you can come back on [00:17:00] for the daily re-review and, and water it.

You know, kind of continuing with that analogy.

Nate: I guess, yeah, so the other way you could say it is the wrong way would be sprinkling the seeds on the ground. Right.

Logan: Just dropping ’em.

Nate: Versus just planting them correctly, however you do that. I’m not really sure.

Logan: Yeah.

Nate: There’s steps to it, but yeah. I guess to describe it differently or in a different way, let’s say that you open a lesson for a topic and it has like 40 questions,

I think what happens a lot is someone thinks, okay, I’ve gotta cover all 40 of these and just fit it into that, you know, 90 minutes. So the wrong way of doing that is, yeah. Okay, you, you clicked through all 40 questions and made some feeble attempts at answering some of ’em or reperforming it. You would be far, far ahead to only get through 15 or 20 of those questions as long as you’re [00:18:00] fully making sense of each explanation, reperforming it. So again, it’s easy to look at an explanation and think, okay, that makes sense.

That’s why we teach you in the PRO course, cover it up and then re-perform it. I mean like prove that you understand it.

Taking the steps away from out in front of you. See if you can rework the steps and arrive at the same answer again. Not so much that, but also understanding why, like what’s the, what’s the what and the why behind this question in general, and the steps, or really each step.

Anyways, so if you have 40 questions, you are far ahead to carefully work through 15 or 20 of them.

And then, then you have some, some, practical knowledge to work with going forward.

Whereas if you go through all 40, yes, you’ve seen ’em all. But you didn’t really learn how to execute any of those question types well then you, you’re back to just kind of kidding yourself and [00:19:00] wasting your own time.

Because again, you make you get really clear on the first 20 questions that’s gonna give you the tools at least to do pretty well with the remaining 20.

And you’ve gotta realize that when you do the daily sets of 30. You’ll see those remaining 20 over time. But I think that’s the best way to describe it. You’re, you’re far ahead to even work through 10 questions as long as you could re-execute those if you saw ’em presented differently on test day versus seeing all 40 questions.

But if you saw any of those on test day, you wouldn’t really know what to do. And I, that should make sense to everyone. That’s, it’s much better. To do less. I mean, it’s quality over quantity, basically.

The Issue of Memorizing Questions

Logan: So moving on to the next point, and this kind of goes along with what we were just saying with planting the seeds. But this more has to do with your daily re-review. As you’re doing all of this every day, planting the seeds and then doing your daily re-review, you’re gonna see a lot of the same [00:20:00] questions over and over again. And one of the biggest disservices you can do to yourself is just clicking an answer ’cause you know it’s right.

Basically, you know, memorizing answers. You know, and I think this could easily happen with all the exams, especially with audit and ISC because they’re extremely conceptual, so. You’ll see tons of questions that are just, that’s the answer. You just click on it. You don’t have to do a calculation. But that’s, you know, like I said, you’re doing a disservice to yourself because if you’re clicking on an answer, just because you know it’s the right answer, but you don’t know why, it’s the right answer, that is not really helping you in the end. You know, because on test day, they’re probably gonna ask it in a different way. And so you won’t see the same question. You won’t know the concept. So basically what I’m trying to get at is the, make sure that you’re not memorizing answers to questions. And an easy way you can get, you can avoid that is when you pull up, when you see a question, just take a second. And if you’re [00:21:00] like, I know that’s the answer.

And if you think for a second and you don’t know why that’s the right answer, it’s probably better to select the wrong choice on purpose so that at the end of your daily re-review, you see like you have to go back and review that concept even though you knew the right answer. ’cause if you don’t actually know why, then on test day still not really gonna help you. Yeah.

Nate: Yep. And I, I get asked that a lot, you know, how can it still be, or, yeah, I’ve done these questions so many times in my re-review sets. I’m seeing things for, whatever, the fifth or sixth time, and I know it’s B. 10,000, so how do I avoid memorizing questions? I don’t think that’s the right, like if you do all this repeat practice, you are going to memorize some questions, but that doesn’t have to mean really, like you said, the key thing is, okay, you just happen to remember that this one’s B. 10,000, on your scratch [00:22:00] paper or in your spreadsheet.

Can you walk yourself through this? Reperform, like can you do the calculation and kind of explain the why to yourself of why you’re doing each step? And if you can’t, then yeah, you don’t know it. The fact that you memorize the answer that doesn’t have to hurt you in a way. It’s just, that’s just another opportunity to practice the, the what and the why behind the question, which if it’s calculation based, will be some series of steps.

Logan: Mm-Hmm.

Nate: On how to do the calculation or how to arrive at the right answer. But also, again, like the why. Why am I doing this step? And then this step, and then this step. And if you’re constantly thinking like that, it just, every problem you rework, I mean just every minute you spend studying is gonna be much more effective.

Logan: Yeah, exactly. And, you know, and it can, but it, and it really can happen on any exam. So really, like, like Nate said, it’s okay if you know that the answer to that [00:23:00] question is this. It’s okay if you know that, but the thing that we’re trying to say is, take a second. Think. Do I know how to get that answer?

Or if it’s a conceptual, like, do I know why that’s the right answer? And if you don’t know how to get to the right answer or why it’s the right answer, even though you have it memorized, then you really just have like the letter placement or the number memorized rather than the actual concept. So that, that’s what we’re telling you to try to avoid is, don’t, you know, kinda like Nate said, don’t kid yourself. If you see something and you’re like, I don’t actually know why that’s the right answer, then at that point you know that you need to learn that concept better.

Side Rant: Don’t Kid Yourself About Your Study Process

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s another, that’s another like side rant I could do about, so, so much of this is not kidding yourself. You know, even as far as watching the video lectures, you know, it’s, I think I talk in the free webinar about this, but it’s easy to press play[00:24:00] and then think, okay, I am studying, like start the timer.

I am being productive. But it’s just such an ineffective way of studying. You know, that’s how people end up or, or highlighting the chapter. Even reading the chapter, I mean. The only thing that matters on test day is can you answer the MCQs and the simulations? So that’s, you should be spending most of your study time on, directly improving on the series of skills involved with answering MCQs and sims.

So anyways, yeah, the, the idea of like, not kidding yourself, not all study time is created equal. You want every hour you spend to be as effective as it can possibly be.

Which will almost always mean some form of active studying. You’re reworking questions, you’re writing things out on flashcards or typing ’cause I highly recommend BrainScape. We didn’t mention that with the flashcards, but, highly recommend the digital version so that they’re on your [00:25:00] phone with you and you can review ’em whenever .

Logan: Another great thing about BrainScape is that it kind of does what we are building into our daily re-review where it will feed you. It’ll show you all the stuff, but then as you’re getting better at it, it’ll start showing you the stuff you definitely know. It’ll show that to you less so you’re hitting everything, but then it kind of starts molding into the stuff that you’re weak in. Which is just super helpful. Like, it just makes it so that you’re continually hitting the stuff that you need to get better at.

So, yeah, just another plug for BrainScape, I really liked it as well.

Nate: And that’s from the, you score yourself on kind of a color scale, right?

Each time you answer a flashcard.

Logan: Make your honest to yourself, otherwise it’s not useful. But but yeah, yeah. Each flashcard you’re like, you can score, like I definitely knew that, like, no problem. Or you can be like, eh, kind of like I maybe knew a part of it or I didn’t know it at all.

You know? So if you’re really [00:26:00] honest, it’ll feed you the stuff that you actually need to keep learning.

Nate: Mm-Hmm. Yeah, that. Yeah. And that’s a huge thing. It self sorts based on how you are grading yourself. Yeah. It’s just really, really effective.

Importance of Studying on the Weekends

Nate: Okay, so we’ll move on to the idea of studying on the weekends. So this is a big thing. So, I know people really latch onto the idea ’cause it’s an attractive idea of studying just two hours a day.

Logan: Mm-Hmm. Mm-Hmm.

Nate: Now, the big caveat with that is the weekend, that is fine, and that’s all you need during the week. I mean, especially if you’re working full time, that’s the whole point. Two hours ideally in the morning, and then the mini sessions throughout the day, and that gets you to three or four or even five hours of like really high quality study time, only having to find two hours of dedicated study time.

But then the weekends is your chance to, well, A. You do the same two hour session [00:27:00] ideally, so that you’re still moving through new material. But then the biggest thing about the weekends is this is just your chance to do what you have to do basically. So the, the idea that goes along with the weekends is never start a Monday behind.

So week to week, whatever happens during the week, you do what you have to do on the weekends to feel caught up. I mean, if you covered a lesson, maybe you even missed a day of studying, but even if you covered a lesson, you still feel pretty iffy about it. The weekend is a chance to go back, do some more questions or like that example earlier, maybe you only did get through 20 of the questions and you just want to do the remaining 20.

That’s a good idea. I mean, that will only help speed up your results and help you understand that full topic faster. That’s what the weekends are for. So on the other hand, even if you nail the weekly session, weekday [00:28:00] sessions, I guess you can’t really skip the weekends and that seems to happen a lot. And I mean, I understand it.

The weekends are super busy, especially if someone has kids or you know, even people that are just still young and don’t have kids. The weekends are usually busy. People have a lot of stuff planned, but again, you kind of just bite the bullet. Or the easiest thing overall is try to get up at the same time.

Or the other idea I’ve heard, if you’re getting up at 4:00 AM during the week, or 5:00 AM, even if you gave yourself two more hours on the weekends, you get up at seven, six or seven or even eight, and you put in four to six hours. You’re still done by like noon or the early afternoon, and then you have the rest of the day.

You’ve done the big gross task for the day. You just don’t have to think about it anymore. But the weekends and that extra practice like, [00:29:00] whatever it is you need to feel caught up and really good about whatever you covered that week. That’s what the weekend is for, and that’s what you have to use it for, you know, and sometimes people will say things like, I just, you know, I just can’t make it happen on the weekends, or, well, I am, I’m doing, you know, I’m doing the sessions during the week almost as like a I don’t know, at, at, like, at the end of the day, if you walk into the testing center and you’re not, the understanding you’ve given yourself isn’t a 75%, you know, or better. I mean, that it’s on you, you know, it’s, it’s on the person. It’s part of just that, like taking the responsibility wherever you’re at and wherever you need to be.

You just, you have to do it. And that’s what the, that’s what the weekends are for.

Logan: Yeah. Something that I found that was really helpful for me, I mean, to be honest, if I, if you go back to my interview, you’ll know that I still only study two hours on the weekends for [00:30:00] myself. That’s, but I was already passing my exams. I’m not trying. Anyway, what I’m trying to get at is, yes, I did something different, but I would say for the majority of people, you still, you need to get at least four hours of studying in on the weekend.

You know, get your main study session in and the sims are super important. If you’re not, ’cause you know, the way we tell you to study throughout the week, you’re not hitting sims at all or maybe a little bit. So if you’re not studying on Saturday and Sunday and hitting those sims, you’re, that’s half the test that you’re not practiced on. And yes, sims are sims are dynamic. They won’t be the same on test day, but you still need to know how to do them. You still need to know how to navigate a sim. And there are things in the sims that are mainly tested in sims. So if you’ve never practiced the sims, you’re not gonna know how to do some of the material. So really, you just you, it, you have to figure out a [00:31:00] way to make the weekends happen. And if you absolutely just like 100%, you know, for some reason, cannot make it happen on Saturday and Sunday, you have to make it happen some way throughout the week. Now, again, for the vast majority of people, that’s probably not the case.

You can probably, like Nate said, wake up early. Get it done and it’ll kind of suck, but you’ve done something super productive and then you can go on with your weekend. So you can probably make it happen. So yeah, with, with what I just said there, that’s like a very small percentage of people I would say, that they just absolutely cannot make it happen on the weekends. So I’m talking to most people, you can make it happen. And it will be hard. It, it will be hard, especially if you have kids. Like that’s just, it’s super lame to have to study and we get that. But if you look at it from the bigger picture, and Nate talks about this all the time, like if you’re not putting in all the effort you can in the end, that’s gonna show [00:32:00] on test day and you, why not give yourself as many chances as possible to pass? So it, it’s kind of like a, like Nate’s, like Nate said in the past, it’s kind of a hard bullet or a hard pill to swallow, but you, you kind of have to do it otherwise you’re, otherwise the whole study process is gonna be even longer. You might fail more exams. You need to make the week weekends happen.

Nate: Yeah. The other format I’ve heard from some people, so, so there is I guess again, if, if the weekends are just too difficult or putting in four to six hours just is not gonna happen with whatever your life is on the weekends. I think the key thing goes back to what we were saying earlier. You know, don’t lie to yourself or kind of selectively ignore some realities.

Like you have to find a way where, yeah, you’re putting in that sim practice. So one format I’ve heard is people do the standard. Well, like the SuperfastCPA, [00:33:00] the standard two hour session in the morning and then an hour of sims each night.

And then they just try to do what they can as far as the mini sessions on the weekend.

They go to their kids’ soccer game and they’re like listening to the audios in one ear, or you know, they’re taking quizzes and reading review notes when they can. Like, there are things you can always be doing, but you can’t just, yeah, like you just said, you, you can’t ignore the sims the whole way through, because that’s, in our process that typically happens on the weekends. But if the weekends aren’t happening, you can’t just kind of pretend that everything’s gonna come together magically. Either be realistic with yourself and say, okay, I’m not gonna do full study sessions on the weekends, or I just can’t. So then how are you going to get that in still.

Maybe it’s an hour each night as well, I mean, just whatever that is. You just don’t, don’t lie to yourself. Don’t kid yourself [00:34:00] as the weeks go by because there’s nothing worse than failing needlessly just to have to pay the $400 again, study for another two or three months. I guess the other, you know, one side note with these new long score releases.

It’s more important than ever to be absolutely sure, well, as much as possible that you’re gonna go in there and have a really good chance of passing.

Logan: Something that I think that most people forget is that even though a lot of people don’t understand the CPA exam, you can still be honest with them, with your family and with your friends and be like, hey, I have to make this happen. Just be honest with people.

Like, I can’t do that this morning. I have to study. But if you’re willing to push it to later in the day, then I can come, you know, just being upfront with people and saying, I have to make this happen. Will you please help me make it happen? I think that’s something that a lot of people forget to do. [00:35:00] So anyway, that, that could be something really helpful on the weekends.

Just make it, make sure everybody else in your life is aware, like that, so that they can help you make it happen kind of a thing. That was the last thing I wanted to say with that.

Nate: Why don’t you go into the next one?

Give Yourself Every Possible Chance of Passing

Logan: All right. So the last point is mini sessions. So the thing that we want to make sure that people know, or just to reiterate, is how important the mini sessions are. You know, getting those review notes, mini quizzes, audio notes, follow along notes, flashcards. Doing that as much as you can throughout the day is an extremely important part of this process. It’s not really like, just like a little auxiliary thing. It’s a major ingredient of the Superfast study process because like, you know, we’re only studying two hours in the morning during the weekday, and we all have phones, we’re all addicted to our phones. That’s [00:36:00] just, it’s just the reality. And if you can make a way to turn your phone into a major tool and a major help during these months of studying instead of a major deterrent or a major distractor, if you can kind of flip that switch and it might not be very fun, but if you can flip that switch and just make mini, make mini sessions happen as much as possible throughout the day. That will be a massive difference maker for, for, anybody who’s who is a Superfast, client. So don’t, don’t skip the mini sessions, you know, like, and don’t and, or, or don’t skip one part of the mini sessions and only focus on one thing, like I’m only ever gonna do mini quizzes ’cause I don’t like reading or I don’t really wanna listen to the audio notes. That may be true that you like some of it a little bit less than others, but it all still is really helpful. It’s all still important.

Nate: Yeah, and you could, you know, we can attach like numbers to this. [00:37:00] Like, okay, if you listen to the audios or you just play the audios when you’re getting ready in the morning, that’s, I don’t know, 30 to 40 minutes, maybe an hour on your commute if you have one, or whenever you’re in your car, when you walk the dog.

I mean, I think the biggest and easiest time to really pay attention, is when you are driving, but also when you’re doing mundane things around the house. So like get some good headphones or ideally ones that are separate, you can just put one in. My big thing with the mini sessions is why wouldn’t you do this?

You’ve dedicated thousand of dollars, I mean, you could arguably say you’re two college degrees, you know, or your bachelor’s in the 150 hour equivalent or whatever. You spent a lot of time and money going to college just to take these exams. Why would you not do every possible thing to pass the first time?

Get ’em over with as fast as you can. And studying from your phone is, you know, even if you are studying four to [00:38:00] five hours a day and you’re making that happen. Again, I would still say you can still be fitting in another one or two or three hours just as you go through your normal day using your phone.

So two extra hours a day over, let’s say eight weeks that’s a hundred extra hours of study time. That can only logically improve your score and increase your chances of passing. You know, the average failing score is like from a 68 to a 74 and the people that you know have been studying, trying, then they add SuperfastCPA.

The common thing that I’ve heard over the years is when someone just adds in that one idea of taking advantage of all the five minute chunks throughout their day, using our study tools a lot. They typically score 10 to 15, sometimes 20 points higher, you know, than they were without ’em previously. It just can easily be the [00:39:00] difference between you passing and failing.

So that’s my thing is like, why wouldn’t you do that? Because this is a miserable process that greatly increase, increases your chance of passing, you know, why wouldn’t you?

Logan: Yeah, and, and I would even invite people, now I’m not saying this is like a hundred percent everybody should do this, but I would invite people to maybe be pretty hardcore about this like, maybe even just get rid of anything distracting on your phone for the next few months while you’re passing these exams. You know, don’t have social media on there. And again, this is, you don’t have to do this, but I’m just saying, I think this will be really helpful. Don’t have social media on there. Just don’t have, don’t have games on your phone. Just make it easy to make it so that your phone turns into a complete study tool so that anytime you pick it up, you are using it to study for the CPA exams.

And it’s ’cause like, like we were saying, you use your phone all the time anyway. Why not turn it into something that will help you pass these exams faster and [00:40:00] not fail exams and you know, why not do all that? So again, you don’t have to do what I was saying, but I would invite people to think about it and maybe get rid of anything that’s taking away from using that using the Superfast app.

Nate: Yeah. I’ve heard different versions of that. People that completely just deleted their social media until they passed their exams, or they’ve at least moved their favorite time-waster apps to kind of the back few, you know, pages of their home screen and they put the SuperfastCPA app and their flashcards app and their Becker app or whatever, just on their

first home screen.

Yep. And that’s part of that’s an idea from what’s the book? I’m always talking about Atomic Habits. Put as little friction as possible between the, the little actions that lead to the, your desired goals as you can. And you know, that’s just one, just making those CPA apps the [00:41:00] first thing you see when you unlock your phone versus Instagram or TikTok or whatever your favorite way to waste time is.

Logan: All right. So those are the five things we wanted to talk about in this video. And, you know, also kind of give an intro to me being on the podcast. I will be starting to help Nate on these podcast interviews, so you’ll be seeing more of me.

Hopefully that’s all right with you. And so yeah, we’re looking forward to seeing you in the next episodes. If you found this helpful, make sure to leave a rating and a review in whatever your favorite podcast app is. And if you’re watching this on YouTube, make sure to leave a comment and like the video. And with that said, we’ll see you in the next one. ​ [00:42:00]

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