In this episode we’ll go over 5 things that are much more important to your CPA exam success than your CPA review course.
Alright, welcome to Episode 7 of the CPA Exam Experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate, and today, we’re gonna talk about five things that matter a lot more than your review course. Specifically, what I mean by this is five things that matter a lot more than what review course you choose.
The reason I decided on this topic was the other day, just the other day, I happened to Google, the best CPA review course, to see what comes up and the results are just gross. There are all these review sites with people ranking the different review courses on these arbitrary factors.
So I know I made a long video about this a few months ago, so we will quickly just go over the 30 second version of How to choose the best CPA review course for you personally. And then we will cover the five things that are much more important than what actual review course you’re using.
Now, let me just say before we start, I do think you need a review course. You need a full review course to.
Successfully. Study for and prepare for the CPA exams. But this idea of I’ve got to find the right one or which one is the best one. I think just the fact that there are so many of these review sites out there and when someone is just starting the CPA process and so they start Googling things like that and they come across these sites, just the fact that there are so many review sites. And the differences between review courses are very kind of arbitrary or unimportant at this point. The bottom line is any of the main review courses will have the information that you need to learn to pass the CPA exams.
There there is not a magic review course that makes learning this stuff like definitively easier than any other review course. I don’t want to say that they’re all exactly the same. But it’s pretty close. So, before we get into that, please, like subscribe, comment, review. Mostly what we’re looking for is reviews on the on the podcast since the podcast is new.
And then comments on the YouTube videos. So we. This is a free way for you to support what we’re doing to keep this free content side of things going.
Subscribe to the pod and on YouTube. Like I said, most of all, leave a review on the i-Tunes podcast app or wherever you listen, whether that’s Stitcher or there are a lot of listeners on Spotify. I discovered the other day and then to make this the comment thing easier or to give you an actual idea of something and make a comment on go to the comments and answer this question. Which of the following have you struggled with the most and why? Motivation or finding the time to study or how to study like what specific ways or how trying to just figure out how to actually study when you sit down to study. So which of those three things has been the biggest challenge for you?
How to Choose a Review Course
All right, let’s move on. So choosing review course, this is very simple. The number one thing that you want is a review course that provides unlimited access.
Now, this is just in case everyone knows that life happens, so to speak, and your plans can get derailed possibly for months. There there are a lot of unforeseen things that can happen. And so. Including currently this this corona virus thing, and I haven’t looked into this until I literally just had that thought just now. But all these review courses that only give you 18 months of access where you can’t even go in and test right now. I don’t know.
I wonder how they’re dealing with that, if they’re going to extend people’s access or how they’re going to deal with that. I’m assuming they would extend access for as long as the testing centers aren’t open. Why? I guess I don’t know that. But if you have a review course that provides unlimited access and you don’t need to worry about that. Now, a lot of the courses are starting to say they include and limited access. You need to read some of the details because some of them have these strings attached.
You know, where you have to provide certain documentation. And if you’re you know, if you’re the actual student that purchased the course and you have your NTFS, you can show them or whatever. It’s really not that big of a deal. But the one I do know for a fact is this with CPAExcel, you just have to get on a little live chat and basically ask for another year of access. And that’s all it is.
So I… CPAExcel is the number one course that I recommend to anyone that asked me not just because of that, but that is a huge factor. I like their course layout. I like their content. I would put it head to head with Becker and it’s a lot less expensive than Becker. So if you’re spending your own money looking to CPAExcel. So the other second factor is or, you know, like I said, look into it. But here’s how you really know you want to narrow it down to courses that provide unlimited access. And then from there, take a few free trials from those and spend a few hours with the interface in each one to just see which one you like the best.
That is how to choose the best review course for you. You don’t need to read all these different ranking sites and read their fake rankings.
So moving on to the five things that are more important than what actual review course you’re using, these are much more important. Now, again, that’s with the understanding that you have a review course, you know, a current full review course.
But again, the name-brand on the front. Doesn’t really matter. OK.
Your Study Methods are #1
So going into this first. First of all is your actual study methods. The best study material is worthless if you don’t have an effective way of understanding and retaining the information in the review course. OK. That’s that should be obvious. The 50 percent fail rates, I always bring this up because this is kind of interesting when you think about it. Like I say, most of the review courses are covering the same material. There is not very many ways of describing, you know, how. Inventory methods work or how business consolidations work. So more or less, everyone has access to the same information to study with. And everyone is more or less doing kind of the same thing, like watching the video lecture, reading the chapter, answering practice questions. Yet the pass rates or fail rates, however you want to say, are right around 50 percent on all four sections.
So how people are studying is really the X Factor.
Some people are nailing the study process and they go in and they just pass. Other people are dedicated. They’re disciplined. They are putting in hours and hours every day for months on end. And they go in and they fail section after section. And there are just little things missing from how they study. And that’s that’s just a fact. I mean, obviously, based on those pass rates.
So you have to have a reliable, systematic way of study.
This is another thing I say a lot. There are no moral victories with the CPA exams. What that means is you again, you can put in all this time and effort. You stop doing your favorite hobbies for a few months. You know, you give up a lot. Putting in a lot of time and effort. But even if you’re doing all of that, if you can’t go in and score seventy five, they don’t give you your CPA license. It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you’ve put in. So you have to make that time and effort count. And that comes down to your study methods.
So you need to be making progress in a systematic way every single day. Now, this episode is not about those study methods, but you can take our free hour training and where we walk you through what our study processes that we teach to our customers. You can text past now to four for two to two, and we will text you back a wink to register for one of those free trainings.
Your Daily Routine
Now, the second thing is your daily routine. The best material and the best study methods, even if you have that figured out those put together are worthless if you can’t fit in your studying each day. If your study routine or the number of study hours you’re trying to hit. If that just does not mesh with your daily routine and a few days each week you’re going by where you don’t get any studying done. Then having the best study methods and the best material doesn’t mean anything.
Now, four to five hour sessions, this is what most people are trying to do. These you have to realize, you have to look at this from a practical or pragmatic point of view. Four to five hour sessions are extremely hard to find the time for day in and day out, especially if you are working full time and then especially if. You have kids or, you know, just a lot of other real life type things going on.
Finding four or five hours consistently on a daily basis is very hard. Four to five hour sessions are also extremely hard mentally and emotionally to accomplish each day. This is another thing I talk about a lot. A lot of people, they’re just going through life. You know, you’re working full time and you’re just you people just assume that, yeah, I’m just going to start studying for the CPA exams and they don’t really have an idea yet of what that really means or what that entails, what it’s going to look like on a daily basis if they’re going to be successful. It does take multiple hours of studying every day.
So it’s a lot like someone trying to, you know, go going from kind of just eating whatever they feel like basically not following a diet and then, you know, getting sick of carrying around 20 or 30 extra pounds or whatever, and then they just decide they’re going to jump into like a 1,200 or 1,500 calorie diet that’s so restrictive and it’s so different and hard to do and it’s so miserable that you might do that for a few days, maybe a week, maybe two weeks, but you will not stick to a twelve hundred calorie diet each day.
So you always hear the thing that what the best diet is, the one that you will actually stick to. So along with that, the best study routine is one that you can actually stick to, one that actually fits in to your daily routine.
Now, it should go without saying there is some sacrifice and rearranging, even if you’re going to just study two hours a day with your review course, which is what we teach our clients how to do. You’re still going to have to move things around to find that two hours, but that’s infinitely easier to find two extra hours a day than it is to find four or five extra hours a day.
So it makes a lot more sense or it’s much more feasible or doable to break up your studying into one shorter main session and then what we call mini sessions from your phone and you know, whether you use our study products or not. That is why we created our study products and they are the way they are to do those mini sessions and have them be almost as almost as close to a full study session as they can be. Being on your phone so you break it up. But this this makes a lot more sense. It’s a lot more.
It’s a lot easier to fit into your actual daily routine. You do the 2 hour main session in the morning with your review course. Then you listen to audio notes on your way to work. Whenever you’re in your car, you instead of doing social media on your phone throughout the day, you work through our review notes and take our quizzes as much as you can and all that stuff can add an extra two or three hours a day. And breaking up the studying and kind of using your brain to think about and review these concepts multiple times a day.
This that part isn’t even our idea. That’s just a proven way of learning material, learning something new much faster and more effectively and retaining it much longer or retaining it much more effectively.
CPA Exam Motivation & Commitment
Number three is your commitment and your motivation, your pricing, a pattern here. The best material and the best study methods. And even if you have all day to study, all of that put together is again worthless if you can’t find it in yourself to actually sit down and study every day. So this is a this is another huge factor or a bit. Another big piece of the puzzle. Motivation is greatly enhanced by a sense of accomplishment and progress.
OK. So this is important, understand? And on the other hand, a sense of futility or feeling stuck. That kills motivation and it makes you question your commitment. So this comes back to having a systematic study process that, you know, is working so that each day as you complete your study routine, you have a sense of progress. You just kind of you just know that, OK, I’m getting this like this is improving, I’m getting better at this stuff. I’m understanding it better. And I I’m remembering things when I see the questions that fuels your motivation. And it just makes every other piece of this much easier and then it works in reverse as well.
If every day you’re just kind of slogging through your study session and you just feel lost and like you’re spinning your wheels. It’s going to be very, very hard to sit down and grind through that again the next day when you just feel like it’s a lost cause in general. So. These these things, these factors, they all enhance each other or they all kind of ruin each other like one piece missing out of the puzzle kind of ruins the other pieces. You kind of need all these things going for you at the same time.
So having a systematic study process that you know is working is a big key to maintaining your commitment and motivation to actually study each day.
The Ability to “Figure It Out”
The fourth thing is your ability to figure it out and gain momentum. Now, even with the best study material and the best study methods and the time to study, there will be times when you do get stuck. And there will be lessons or concepts that you just really struggle with. This little picture, if you’re listening to the podcast and the video, it’s you I’m sure you’ve seen this.
It’s the little graphic of what people think success looks like on the left side. And it’s just a kind of a graph. Arrow pointing up into the right. Meaning success is just this linear thing that goes straight up as time goes on. And then on the right side, it says what it really looks like. And it’s this squiggly line that is kind of going in circles.
But in general, kind of trends upward into the right. And that’s very true. And it’s just very apparent in the daily CPA study process. Day today, day almost on a daily basis, as you go through your main study session, there will be parts of each lesson where you have kind of a sticking point and you just kind of have to like being able to figure things out.
That is a skill in itself. And so this figuring it out, that is a combination of having the study methods or having a framework for you to kind of follow and then putting in the work and the time and the commitment. And then there are just kind of nuances to each lesson that you just kind of have to figure out. You just have to figure out how this study process really works.
The other example I use a lot is riding a bike. It’s easy to tell a 5 year old. You sit on the bike and you do the pedals with your feet. But then you as the adult or someone who knows how to ride a bike, you know, there’s a lot more that goes into it than that. There’s a lot of things that you just have to figure out what the balancing feels like, what it feels like to move forward and go in a straight line on a bike. So there’s a lot more to it than sit on the bike and do the pedals, even though that’s all you can really put into words for the person trying to learn. So all these things matter and kind of they’re just ingredients in the recipe, basically.
Resilience: The Ability to “Bounce Back”
The fifth thing is your resilience.
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. You’ve probably heard that that’s a Mike Tyson quote. That is a great quote. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Now for me. And a lot of people, you know, maybe you listening to this like, you know, I’ve I failed the I failed far the first time I took it. And that’s exactly what it felt like I.
I studied for three months for that the first time I put in a lot of hours each day, I was putting in like six or seven hours a day. And I went in and took it and it was like, I think it was close to a month before I got my score back. And I had convinced myself, like, I I probably passed that. And so I had moved on, kind of started studying for the next section.
Then I got the score back and found out it was a seventy four. And it might not be failing a section. You know, there’s there’s a lot of things that can go wrong. You… you might fail a section.
It might be that or you might just have a life happens type moment or something that takes up a week of your time that you can’t really control or even a month or even multiple months. There can be illnesses. I mean, there can be all kinds of things that just pop up. And so the resilience, it comes back to resilience.
You have to find a way to get back on track after a setback. This is another quote I really like. Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. Now, that’s a pretty heavy quote. And I believe what that quote was really referring to is something that was actually tragic. Like a cancer diagnosis. Cancer diagnosis. And I think we can all agree that in the big scheme of things, failing a CPA section isn’t a true tragedy.
But for for you going through it, I mean, it is a big setback at the time. You know, you’ve put a lot of time and effort into it and then you find out you failed. You kind of feel like you’re just starting over or that all that time and effort was a complete waste of time. You just have to have the ability, you have to have. You have to be able to find a way to get back on track after a setback. And there’s kind of the idea of a sunk cost.
That’s finally what I had to realize. Like I said, I had moved on to starting to study for the next section. I just had convinced myself, like, yeah, this is going to be a passing score. And then I got that score that it was that I had actually failed. And I went a week without studying. I was I don’t want to say. You know, actually depressed. I mean, maybe for a week. I don’t know. But it was all I thought about. And to me at the time, it was just it was a huge deal. It was a huge letdown. And eventually I just had to realize, OK, I got the feeling score.
There’s nothing I can do about it except. Restudy. So that’s what I did. And, you know, years later, that little month or those three months where I that I put into essentially just failing the first time. It just doesn’t matter. The end result is I passed off for and got the CPA. So those are the five things. A few quick words about the SuperfastCPA approach. What we teach our customers. I alluded to this or outright said it a few times. What we teach our customers is how to have a two hour main study session with your review course. And when you do this right. Once you get it and you understand how this works, you can have a two hour main session that’s more effective than someone studying four to five hours the normal way.
Then you you study supplements on your phone throughout the rest of your day to make up that extra study time. And this approach clearly fits into the average person’s day much easier than trying to find four or five hours all at once, you know, to sit down and study. So you can get a free overview of this process where we basically go through it in detail at superfastcpa.com/training or just text PASSNOW to 44222.
Again, please like and subscribe lever review in the iTunes app or the podcast app and then the comment prompt for today. Go to the comments below and just answer this question. Which of the following have you struggled with the most and why motivation? Finding the time to study or the how to of studying? Meaning what do I actually do to study? If you feel like you’re stuck a lot spinning your wheels. Let us know in the comments and then we’ll go through and respond to those. And if you have something specific. Maybe we can give you some tips on what specifically you’re dealing with. So that is it for this episode. Thank you for watching. And until next time.