How Brandon Used Re-Review to Pass His CPA Exams

How Brandon Used Re-Review to Pass His CPA Exams

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In this SuperfastCPA podcast interview, you’ll hear how the idea of ongoing re-review was the final breakthrough in Brandon’s CPA study process.


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Watch the interview on YouTube…

Episode Timestamps

  • 00:00 Brandon K Interview
  • 04:47 Brandon Describes Struggling in the Beginning
  • 06:12 The Time It Took Brandon to Realize It Wasn’t Working and Finding SuperfastCPA
  • 07:23 Study Tips That Clicked for Brandon
  • 10:29 How Brandon Used the SuperfastCPA Through the Day
  • 11:43 Brandon’s CPA Journey
  • 16:13 When the Study Process Really Starts to Click
  • 17:58 How Brandon Learned Using the Questions First Approach
  • 21:26 Learning Calculation Based Problems and Practice Sims
  • 25:27 Brandon’s Note Taking Process for Difficult Topics
  • 27:14 Brandon’s Final Review Process and Test Day Experience
  • 29:26 A Consistent Routine Gives You Back Time
  • 32:38 What Brandon Did During Busy Season
  • 34:12 Top Tips for People Still Struggling With Their Study Process

Interview Transcript

Brandon: I just remember you saying, you don’t need to study four or five hours a day in order for it to click.

Brandon: And that’s what I was doing. I mean, I was beat by the end of the day. I didn’t really have time for me and for things that I wanted to do. And I knew it wasn’t sustainable, and so I think the point I really took away was just reviewing what I had learned in the previous days.

Brandon: So yeah, I found that video helpful cause nobody really sits down with you and is like, this is how you should study. I mean, it’s so different from school, you’re all on your own. There’s no deadlines that anybody’s giving you. It’s, it’s a crazy process and ​

Nate: Welcome to another episode of the CPA Exam Experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate, and in today’s interview you’re gonna hear me talk with Brandon.

Nate: So Brandon has a common story like a lot of the other people you’ve heard on the podcast, where in some form he was putting in a lot of work, took an exam, failed it, and just had the thought, if this is how this goes, I’m either, you know, not gonna do this, or I need to really change something because I put in so much work, and I still failed the exam.

Nate: And one key thing that he’ll mention that I think a lot of people identify with, is that he would spend a lot of time on one topic to get to the point that he felt like he really understood it. And then a few days later, but especially a couple weeks later, he would see problems on that topic, like in his final review and just realized that he’d forgotten most of what he had spent so much time studying and learning so well, you know, topic by topic along the way.

Nate: Now you’ll hear him also mention our free training webinar. And so when he watched that, of course one of our main strategies is weaving in re-review into your daily process, so that all along the way you’re constantly rehitting the things you’ve already been through so that instead of slowly forgetting all the stuff you studied a few days or a few weeks ago, you are getting better and better at all the topics as the weeks go by.

Nate: So before we get into the interview, I want to mention two things. First that free training, our free study training webinars. If you are new to SuperfastCPA, or you’ve been listening to these and you’re just at that point where you’re like, okay, I’m ready to try something different, I’m gonna see if this works for me. That’s the place you should start. These are hour long webinars where we walk through our core strategies so that you can both evaluate the ideas for yourself, see if it makes sense to you, and they will really help you realize maybe some of the mistakes you’re making that you didn’t realize you’re making or that you don’t realize you’re making.

Nate: So the second thing is our free podcast giveaway. So each month we give away three pairs of Power Beat Pro headphones to three random people who have entered the giveaway. It’s just your name and email. So the links to both the free training webinar and the free giveaway will be down in the description of this episode.

Nate: So with that out of the way, let’s get into the interview with Brandon.

Nate: You’re all done, right? You’ve passed all four?

Brandon: Yeah. As of December 2022. I’m done.

Nate: That’s right. Okay. So just recently, how’s that feel?

Brandon: Uh, amazing. It’s, uh, it’s pretty hard to be, actually, I think I mentioned it was a three and a half year process, so it’s, uh, yeah, it’s been a journey for sure.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and it’s something you put in so much time. Once it’s over, it’s almost, I mean, it’s not sad of course, but yeah, just such a big, uh, time suck is just taken away. It’s awesome.

Brandon: Yeah, I’d say that’s the biggest thing. Um, just I don’t think I realized how much of a sacrifice it is, and I think that’s why it took me three and a half years to get it done.

Brandon: Um, But yeah, it’s, it’s a time suck. It’s, I gotta say no to a lot of things. It’s crazy, but I’m glad it’s done.

Nate: All right. Well yeah, so have you listened to any of the other episodes? You kind of know how these go.

Brandon: Yeah, I’ve listened to two or three of ’em I think.

Nate: Okay. I mean, basically we’ll just start from the beginning of your whole process and like talk through and I’ll just ask questions and that’s pretty much it.

Brandon Describes Struggling in the Beginning

Nate: So, uh, going back to the beginning when you started to study, what was that like? Did you just get a review course and jump into the lessons or how’d the whole thing go from the beginning?

Brandon: Uh, yeah, so I got one of the big study courses I think I had Wiley to start with.

Brandon: And I basically, they have like a pretty good schedule and they kind of break everything out by blocks. And I was still in school at the time getting my master’s and, uh, I mean, I, I basically clicked on every block, went through everything it told me to go through. It was just information overload and I was overwhelmed every day, but it was, it felt nice cuz I was checking off a box, basically.

Nate: Yeah.

Brandon: Um, but I don’t feel like I was getting any closer to my goal. And so I think the, the worst score I had was the first test I took and that was FAR. But yeah, I mean, I started with the, with Wiley felt like, how I was going about it wasn’t working for me. And so I kind of, I started to look for other options and alternatives out there to, to help things start clicking basically.

Brandon: Cause I was, I was struggling at the start.

The Time It Took Brandon to Realize It Wasn’t Working and Finding SuperfastCPA

Nate: And so how long was that, uh, segment where you studied for weeks or months and then, you start thinking, okay, something is like, I gotta change something cause this isn’t working.

Brandon: Yeah. So I think I started August of 2019. I studied for three or four months maybe, and then I took the test in November, November, December.

Brandon: Didn’t do well, was really discouraged. Cause I put in I think over 200 hours. For that test, like it recommended. And I was like, yeah, this, this sucks. Started getting down on myself. Um, and then I think it might have been like, I think I saw one of your ads or something like that. I was like, oh I, nothing to lose, you know?

Brandon: Might as well check it out. So I watched one of your, uh, your intro podcasts or I don’t, I don’t remember what it was at the time, but I think. I don’t think it was long after that first test. Cause I, like I said, I put in the time, but the results did not show. So it was, it was pretty quickly.

Study Tips That Clicked for Brandon

Nate: Um, and then, yeah, so on the, on the little form you wrote, I was, I think you said you watched our free webinar and it convinced you, you’d been studying wrong.

Brandon: Yeah.

Nate: Is that kind of what you’re referring to?

Brandon: Yeah, that’s exactly it. And I think, I think I got the basic package at the time, started using the audio notes and that. I mean that just helped give me a bigger picture of what I was studying and kind of nailed down some of the points cause.

Brandon: I think I was, I’d become an expert in one section and then I’d forget it two weeks later. Yeah. I was like, yeah, that, that doesn’t help me at all. And, and so like just getting that full picture of what I’m studying and just getting that repeated over and over really helped me, just kind of solidify things in my own brain.

Nate: Yeah. Um, so if you remember from the free training was, what were any of the ideas that, you know, was like a big difference between what you were doing and that made sense? Okay. This is what I’ve gotta do differently.

Brandon: Oh, I, I just remember you saying, um, you don’t need to study four or five hours a day in order for it to click.

Brandon: And that’s what I was doing. I mean, I was beat by the end of the day. I didn’t really have time for me and for things that I wanted to do. And I knew it wasn’t sustainable, but I was like, oh, everybody goes through this, you know? And so I think the point I really took away was just reviewing what I had learned in the previous days.

Brandon: I think, I don’t remember exactly how you structured it, but it was something along the lines of study new material and then review for like an hour or two after that. And then it really, yeah, and then it, that helped with all the other subjects too going forward. It was like, oh, I see how this relates to this, and things just started clicking a lot better the more I started to do that.

Brandon: So yeah, I found that video helpful cause nobody really sits down with you and is like, this is how you should study. I mean, it’s so different from school. You’re all on your own. There’s no deadlines that anybody’s giving you. It’s, it’s a crazy process and i, I, I went through it, so I’m glad I did.

Brandon: But it was, it was tough

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah, just, so basically you’re describing the idea of, of re-review, right? Just, if you’re gonna go through all these topics, part of your day should just be re-reviewing all the stuff you’ve been through.

Nate: And, uh, yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s one of my first realizations when I took FAR the first time and realized that same thing, sitting in the exam that I went so deep on all these topics and now a bunch of these pretty, like, simple questions I just can’t remember.

How Brandon Used the SuperfastCPA Through the Day

Nate: Um, and then, yeah, the study tools make that really easy.

Nate: Like you said, if you just listen to the audio notes, 30 to 60 minutes a day, read the review notes a few times a day, you can kind of hit all topics every two to three days just by using our, uh, study tools. So it sounds like that’s what you, how you used them?

Brandon: Yeah, I mean, I’d, if I was on a road trip or something and I wasn’t driving, I’d read through the notes, you know, just cuz I wasn’t gonna take the time to write out all of that myself.

Brandon: So it was a really useful tool to have that. But I mean, I’d listen to ’em working out, driving, you know, doing stuff around the house. Like, it was just, it was an easy, simple way to just review constantly. So I found it really helpful. Yeah.

Nate: Yeah. I mean, it’s not, you know, it’s not as fun as like listening to music or the podcast you would choose to listen to, but it’s a lot less painful than four to five hours of like the full study process every day.

Brandon: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Nate: Yeah.

Brandon’s CPA Journey

Nate: Um, okay, so you took FAR. The first time and then that puts you about five or six months into your process. So like what happened after that?

Brandon: So then, um, I worked at a tax accounting firm, so we had tax season pretty much beginning January. And so I, I took a backseat a little bit to studying and, um, I had plans of starting back up, I think right after, so April, the week after April 15th, but then the pandemic hit and I mean, the whole world just went crazy, so I actually took a break from studying for probably eight months or so. Um, for one just cuz they ex, they kept extending deadlines for tax season and so I was working longer than I wanted to and everybody was, and it was just a crazy time. So I didn’t study hindsight. That would’ve been a perfect time to study cuz there wasn’t a whole lot going on in really anybody’s life.

Brandon: So yeah, part of me wishes I would have, but.

Nate: You said, you couldn’t, you couldn’t get test dates for like the first test.

Brandon: That’s true.

Nate: Yeah. So you, you know, it’s kind of, yeah, it would’ve been nice, but there were a lot of people. That couldn’t get a test date, or you would have one and study for the two months and, and get up to it and it’d be canceled or moved indefinitely.

Nate: So anyways.

Brandon: Yeah, exactly.

Nate: Don’t feel too bad.

Brandon: No, that’s a good point.

Nate: Yeah.

Brandon: No, I, and I try not to beat myself up and I mean, I finish so I, I feel good about that. But, so, and then I’d say I think like October I started up again in 2020. I took, I think I took audit around that time. I didn’t end up passing it.

Brandon: I think I was closer. I was much closer than, than I was on FAR, and I kind of just stuck with audit. And then before I knew it, tax season was already coming around again and I’m working 60, 70 hour week. So I just found it hard to study and I didn’t wanna burn out. So I, I didn’t prioritize it as much as I could have.

Brandon: I probably said yes to too many things that were a distraction, you know, and just, yeah, I just wasn’t, my heart wasn’t fully in it at the time. Um, but I, I did try some more of the study tactics and I found them to be much more helpful. And then I think, so I went through tax season in ’21 again, that deadline got extended, so we went into May of that year and then I hit the books right away in May of ’21.

Brandon: Um, I think I’d gotten a 73 on audit and then I took it again shortly after, got a 74, and then I bagged audit basically, and I started to study REG, which is one that I basically knew I could pass. And so, I studied REG in October and November of 21, and I passed that first try. So I was in the books, and that’s kind of when things, that’s when I was like, all right, I have 18 months to get this thing done.

Brandon: So I started to dedicate a lot more time to it. Um, and just, I mean, I, I listened to podcasts. I listened to your podcast. I just kept looking for, methods of studying that would work for me. And it was pretty wild because I think I took 12 tests in total. Two of ’em, I passed the first try, I think, audit. I took six times maybe, but I, so I passed REG in November of ’21, and then I think I passed FAR in like August of ’22. And then I passed audit a couple months later, and then I passed BEC at the end of December. So it was it, I mean, once things started to click and I got that confidence, it was.

Nate: Yeah.

Brandon: It, yeah, it just rolled, you know.

Nate: Okay.

When the Study Process Really Starts to Click

Nate: So, um, so going back to like your first attempt on FAR, you would just go into, you know, your review course, try to watch the video, read the chapter, just do everything to mark it off, you know, a hundred percent.

Nate: But you felt like it wasn’t nothing. You weren’t really learning that much. And then when you feel like your study process was like really nailed down. What was your process each day at that point compared to that first time?

Brandon: So I stopped digging into each lesson, um, like as in depth, I started to look at the study questions a lot more, and that was my main method of studying.

Brandon: I’d study simulations every now and then just to kind of build my confidence there, but I would say in the morning I’d get up and I’d try to get through, I don’t know, 50 questions, and then if there was something I wasn’t understanding, I’d jot down notes and I’d just keep powering through those questions.

Brandon: And then if there was a topic I was having trouble with, I’d go back to my software and I’d really focus more on that section. And then I’d go and I’d just do more questions. So I, I basically just did multiple choice questions and I think even just reading through the questions and understanding, I mean, just how they ask questions because it’s so different from anything else.

Brandon: I mean, I, I feel like it goes against everything we were taught in English. Like everything’s a run on sentence. Everything’s trying to trick you, you know? So I was just, uh.

Nate: Yeah.

How Brandon Learned Using the Questions First Approach

Brandon: I was just trying to get used to that language and kind of had to rewire my brain in a sense to understand what they’re asking of me because come test day, I mean, you don’t have time to think through everything. You know, you just kind of react and hope you have enough knowledge to, to pass. So yeah, I’d say multiple choice and then simulations every now and then. And audio notes and yeah. Yeah, just driving the points home.

Nate: Yeah. So yeah, so when you would sit down in front of your review course to like do a, a main study session, it would mostly be MCQs and sims and then throughout the rest of the day, you know, the audio notes as it made sense when you were driving or working out, stuff like that.

Nate: Um, yeah, you, you made a really good point. The, uh, I talk about that in the pro videos a lot is the context of questions and then like, answering the questions is like a skill, like you can get good at MCQs specifically, you know, you can read the whole chapter or watch the video lecture even to the point where you feel like you understand it really well, but then you go to the questions and it’s a different thing even if you understood the video.

Nate: Um, so you’re still gonna have to struggle through the questions or just learn how the questions work for every topic.

Brandon: Yeah. Oh, exactly. And now that it, it’s coming back to me a little bit. I was still using Wiley some and instead of going through each lesson, watching a video, reading all the script, um, answering true or false, whatever, flashcards, I would just scroll straight to the bottom and hit the questions first thing.

Brandon: And then if there was something I wasn’t getting in the questions, I’d go back through the lesson. So, I mean, I say I passed three tests in probably a matter of three or, or not three, but in five or six months. But I mean, this is because of the work I put in in the three years prior to getting that base knowledge.

Brandon: But then it was so easy to build on that base knowledge once I kind of found my method of studying, which was just looking at questions over and over again and, uh, yeah, just getting, just getting comfortable with them and reading descriptions and understanding if I thought it was this answer, understanding why it wasn’t this answer.

Brandon: And yeah, I just found the MCQs to be, to be really helpful. And then, like I said, I listened to the audio notes because I’d forget about something. I’d listen to them and then I’d, it would just remind me of a point. And then it would help me more with the questions, you know, and I just found it. That was my cycle and that’s what really worked for me.

Nate: Nice. Yeah, I mean, that’s kind of a perfect, uh, explanation. That’s basically the general approach that’s in our, um, PRO videos is yeah, go through the questions for a lesson. For a lot of lessons you’ll learn. Like what you need to from the questions, but when you can’t, you go a little bit deeper. You might watch the video lecture or find just what you need in the chapter.

Nate: Um, sims on the weekends. That’s, you know, in a nutshell, that’s basically the whole thing.

Learning Calculation Based Problems and Practice Sims

Nate: So, uh, just for the benefit of people who listen to this, um, when you’re going through the MCQs for a lesson, like if it’s a calculation based question, what was your actual. Process, like if you didn’t know it, I’m guessing you would submit it, look at the solution, try to understand it, and then would you reperform it?

Nate: Or what was your actual process from learning from the questions?

Brandon: So if it was a calculation and I didn’t understand it at the time, I think I would, I’d try to calculate something and justgive an educated guess. I mean, I’d always try to think like I’m sitting there at the test. On test day, like I can’t Google anything.

Brandon: I can’t, I can’t look up anything, you know, I can’t, uh, like flip through a book and try to find the solution. So I would, I would try to struggle through it, and if nothing was even close, then I’d pretty much take an educated guess at that point. And then, yes, I’d, I’d click submit, and then I’d spend maybe five minutes going through the solution trying to understand why, why the answer is what it is.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. And again, that’s, I mean, that’s basically how you would do it. Um, and then what about the sims? When you would work on the sims, would you just kind of do the same thing, essentially deconstruct ’em and kind of reverse engineer the solution to learn how, just learn from the sim.

Brandon: Yeah, exactly. Just, uh, if it was something I completely didn’t understand, just su suffer through it, get through it, give it the best I got, and sometimes I’d surprise myself. Um, but yeah, just reverse engineer it. And then, I mean, there were times where I’d go through it multiple times just to drive the answer home, you know, um, just almost as a, a confidence booster too, because I think I found one of the biggest areas I struggled is I didn’t do well on that very first test I took, and I thought this was an impossible task. Um, but once I, I started to change my mindset more and just, I’d almost feed myself confidence. Then I found things just started to click, you know, and I’d go into a test and I’d walk out not feeling great, but I don’t know. I would, I would pass. So it, it was working. Cause I mean, like I said, I had a 73 and a 74 on audit. I think I had one more, 74 out of the six times I took audit. And I, I knew I was right there, but I just had to, I think I start, I walked into test feeling like, oh yeah, I could fail. You know? And I think when I started to do well, I’d walk in and say, yeah, I, I got this.

Brandon: I, I’m not gonna get a 95, but I’m gonna pass. You know? And yeah, I’d say it’s as much of a mental game as anything.

Nate: Yeah. And, um, it probably a lot of that confidence came from, you know, the two differences in your study approach, like mm-hmm. Your first attempt or your first year or so. You know, like you said, you’re putting in time, but you just kind of had a sense that it wasn’t really resonating or like working and so, you know, it’s hard to feel confident, but once you’re starting to go through the questions and like every hour you put in is the, you know, you, you’re really like learning stuff from every hour you spend studying.

Brandon: Yeah.

Nate: You start to feel like, okay, I, I know this, I know the material.

Brandon: Yeah, exactly. Oh, that’s exactly it.

Brandon’s Note Taking Process for Difficult Topics

Nate: Um, what was your, did you have a, a note taking process or did you use flashcards or any form of kind of putting things you struggled to understand on paper somehow?

Brandon: Yeah, so I’d, I’d go through questions and if there was something that was just foreign to me or something I kept missing over and over again, I think I would, part of the process was I’d write out the question and then write out the solution, just cuz I find writing really helpful for me in, in learning.

Brandon: I didn’t really use flashcards. I had a, a buddy who did, and that really worked for him, but he would write out his own flashcards and I think go over them every day. But I basically, I would just write out all, all the topics I was struggling with and jot down notes on those topics. And then as part of the review process, I’d read through those notes every couple of days, just kind of refresh my memory or figure out, if I wasn’t understanding something in my notes, go and figure out why I wasn’t understanding it and then rewrite them basically. So yeah, I’d said go through questions. Um, if I found a recurring topic that I wasn’t just getting then, I mean, I’d, I’d, after looking through my notes, I’d see that coming up multiple times.

Brandon: And then that’s when I’d realized, yeah, you need to. Spend more time on this subject and really try to understand it. And that’s when I’d go more into the lessons and try to figure out that topic better.

Nate: Okay.

Brandon’s Final Review Process and Test Day Experience

Nate: Um, and then you kind of mentioned it just now, but what, how much time would you leave for a final review and what would you, what would you do for a final review?

Brandon: Um, I’d say I left about, So I actually tried to time it based on when the, the results would come out and that bit me in the butt one time, but I tried to at least leave a week of review if, if I set it up that way. So I wanted the results to come out as quickly as possible, you know? Yeah. After taking the test.

Brandon: And, uh, but I try to give myself a, a week. And for that review process, I would just, uh, I would just hit the multiple choice questions hard and then I, I mean, I felt like once things started to click, every day was kind of a, a review for me. And so I can’t say it really changed a whole lot the week before the test.

Brandon: Um, I think I’d tried to maybe just make sure I was doing well and, and healthy and that I was active still and um, just going to bed at a good hour and waking up at a good hour. Cause I mean, I found on test day, I mean, I think I, for one of the reviews, I think I stayed up to like, I. 1:00 AM a couple nights before, and test day was just miserable.

Brandon: I was exhausted and tried to cram everything and I just, I probably had all the information in my head, but I was not confident on that day. So, for review, I’d said I did, I probably did a few more simulations. Um, and then yeah, just continuing to hammer those multiple choice questions and then I’d read through my notes more frequently.

Nate: Okay. Um.

Brandon: So it was, I mean, it was a simple, it was a simple process for me once I got it nailed down and I’d say I, I cut my study time in half pretty, pretty easily.

A Consistent Routine Gives You Back Time

Nate: That was my next question. So, yeah, cuz in your, again, when you described your first attempt on FAR you were studying four to five hours a day, so I’m guessing if you were working, that’s pretty much your every waking minute, right?

Nate: Work and then studying that long.

Brandon: Yeah.

Nate: Um, so I was going to ask, once you got your process figured out, were you able to scale back on the amount of time studying and, uh, you also mentioned making time to stay healthy, I’m guessing, exercising of some form like. How did you kind of manage that or, yeah, just did your, your study process got more manageable, so you got to have a more normal daily routine.

Brandon: Yeah, so I really like to have the afternoons to myself. Um, so I’d try to get up a reasonable time. I mean, ideally be 6, 6:30, but their mornings would be 7 and I’d basically study for an hour minimum, but try to get two hours every single morning. And this was, even if it was a day where maybe I wasn’t feeling too good, I just tried to do something, even if it was half an hour or 45 minutes.

Brandon: And then I’d go to work or weekends, I’d spend more time studying, but then I’d get done whatever I needed to get done, typically middle of the day or early afternoon. And then I’d try to reserve the, the afternoons for myself to make dinner or exercise or do whatever I needed to, just to kind of let my mind reset.

Brandon: And even during that time, I mean, I’d still listen to, to audio notes at times just cuz it’s easy and um, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort or, or brain power just kind of, It’s, yeah, it’s just something repetitive to do. So I’d say morning were my big study blocks. Um, if I had time at lunch during work, I’d knock out a few multiple choice questions.

Brandon: Um, and then if I felt like I didn’t get done in the morning, would I wanted to get done that I’d spend at most an hour in the afternoon. But otherwise, like I said, I worked tax season, so I really had to be careful to not burn out between studying and work. Um, just cuz it, it’s, as you know, it’s not the most enjoyable process, but I will say once it’s done, it’s, it’s almost like I’ve kind of forgot.

Brandon: I’ve kind of forgotten all the pain and suffering I went through just to get to this point. And, and looking back, I, I can’t say I wouldn’t do it, so I’m, I’m glad I did. and I suffered through it.

Nate: Yeah. I mean, oh, definitely. I mean, once it’s done, those, uh, those letters stay behind your name, you know, the rest of your career, no one can take it away.

Nate: So yeah, it’s totally worth doing. Um.

Brandon: Definitely.

Nate: Well, yeah, we kind of went through everything that I normally ask.

What Brandon Did During Busy Season

Nate: Um, you kind of mentioned on the weekends. I mean, that might be the only other thing you would just kind of spend a little bit longer, but still try to just get it done first thing so you had the rest of the day.

Brandon: Mm-hmm.

Nate: Okay.

Brandon: Yeah, exactly. I, so I mean, in tax season, I, I get up five 30 every morning and some mornings try to exercise and go straight to work and spend, I don’t know, 10, 11 hours at the office. And so after tax season, I tried to keep that momentum rolling and I’d get up early and do my best to, to just hit the books first thing when my mind is fresh and, and aware, you know?

Brandon: And so, yeah, I’d say that was, that was a method that worked really good for me. And if I didn’t study at all in tax season, though, I, I think I went through three tax seasons during the study process and I, I made sure to not study, cuz I wouldn’t have been as effective at work and I wouldn’t have been as effective studying.

Brandon: So yeah, that, that was my big thing. So if there’s anybody out there who does taxes and works in taxes, and I’d say that worked pretty well for me.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah, that is a good point. Um, yeah, if you’re just burnt out completely, you can’t do either one very effectively, so.

Brandon: Exactly.

Nate: Okay.

Top Tips for People Still Struggling With Their Study Process

Nate: Well the last question I always ask is, even if it’s stuff we already covered, what would be your top three tips for people still trying to figure out their own study process?

Brandon: I’d say number one, just keep at it cuz that’s what I did. And um, thankfully I’m stubborn enough and started to figure it out eventually. Um, I’d say two, believe in yourself because yes, it’s really hard, but I mean, I think if you stick with anything long enough and you know, you start to figure it out and you can absolutely do it.

Brandon: And if you put the time into it, the, the information’sthere, but you just have to believe in yourself. And then three, I’d say just take care of yourself too, because it’s, uh, it feels like forever, but it’s also a short process in the grand scheme of things. So yeah, I’d say just take care of your health, take care of your sleep, take care of your close relationships.

Brandon: Um, yeah, and it’s gonna be all right. Yeah.

Nate: That, that is a big thing, um, that a lot of people don’t think about. But once you get a few months into it and you’re just really. You know, you, it can’t just be your whole life’s work and then study. Like you have to figure out, I mean, basically you have to kind of structure your whole day to kind of allow the study time and still have time to just have a complete mental break from work and study.

Nate: That really is a big point. It’s like it’s gotta be sustainable basically, is what I’m trying to say.

Brandon: Yeah, exactly.

Nate: Awesome. Well, um, thanks for taking the time to be on the call. People find these really valuable. It was, it was awesome to meet you, hear your story firsthand, and congrats on being done.

Brandon: Thanks, Nate. I really appreciate it and thanks for having me.

Nate: So that was the interview with Brandon. Hopefully you found that very helpful and informative and motivating. And if you did, please take a second to share this interview or the podcast in general with anyone you know who’s also working on their CPA exams. These interviews are easily the most helpful, free resource available anywhere for figuring out your own CPA study process because of course, your failure or success on the CPA exams, comes down to the effectiveness of your daily study process.

Nate: Also, it would be great if you could take a second or take a few minutes, leave a rating and review on your favorite podcast app wherever you’re listening to this, but specifically Apple Podcasts, and that just really helps, of course, with the algorithm and bumping us up the listings, helping other people find these podcasts. If you’re watching this on YouTube, do the normal YouTube things that help in the YouTube algorithm, like liking it, sharing it, leaving a comment. Leave a comment about one takeaway you got from this interview.

Nate: So thank you for watching or listening, and we’ll see you on the next episode.

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