In this SuperfastCPA podcast episode, you’ll hear how Colin was overwhelmed by spending so much time working through each lesson, and how he figured out how to drastically simplify and speed up his study process.
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- 00:00 Colin Interview
- 00:56 Intro
- 03:22 Colin Talks About His Background and Where He Works
- 03:33 How Colin’s CPA Journey Started
- 05:46 Colin’s Thought on Studying Before and After SuperfastCPA
- 08:09 Colin is Grateful for Creating a Study Process That Works for Him
- 09:39 Colin Done With All Four and Talks About What Helped Him
- 10:36 How Colin Used the SuperfastCPA Review Notes In His Study Process
- 14:05 How Colin Initially Started to Study for FAR
- 15:14 Colin Talks About How He Had Thoughts of Failing and Credits Lapse
- 17:20 Passed All Four Exams on First Try
- 18:02 Colin’s Daily Study Routine
- 19:55 Colin Found the Audit Exam to be the Hardest
- 22:14 How Colin Would Study on the Weekends
- 23:56 Colin’s Approach for the Practice Sims
- 28:33 Find the Study Process That Works for You
- 31:56 Colin’s Final Review Process
- 34:45 Colin’s Breakthrough, An Important Factor to Consider
- 36:13 Colin Used Frequency Tables to Break Down Topics
- 38:15 Outro
Colin: That was one of the huge points I took from the PRO modules.
So like I noticed every time too, oh, they’re they’re taking 20 minutes to talk about a subject that was barely, um, brought up in like the multiple choice questions. And am I even gonna see this like on the test and then start to think about, no, this doesn’t really seem relevant
and, I developed these habits going through FAR and REG and you know, due to that, I was able to live like a flexible lifestyle instead of like treating the CPA like a full-time job.
And, uh, you know, it worked. But then when I got to audit and, um, auditing back these habits and this foundation I built like really helped me get through, get through it pretty quickly during busy season so, yeah, I was really thankful that I took the time to really build that.
Nate: Welcome to episode 104 of the CPA exam experience podcast from Superfast CPA. I’m Nate. And in today’s interview, you’re going to hear me talk with Colin. So when Colin started the CPA exam study process, he just really found the normal approach, the traditional approach really frustrating.
He felt like he couldn’t move on to a new lesson until he had really mastered, you know, the current lesson, which took a ton of time, more time than it was supposed to take. And then as he moved on, he realized he was forgetting huge portions of all these things. He’d spent so much time learning in the first place.
So at some point he came across one of our ads, watched our free training and from there got our program. And it just completely changed how he was able to study and how fast he was able to move through the material. And feel good about it because it included all the re-review that we’re always talking about.
So in this interview, you will hear him just describe that whole process. How he transformed his study approach from start to finish and became much more effective, much more efficient at studying and move through the material much faster than he was doing before and understanding it better. Retaining it better. And then passing his exams.
So before we get into the interview, got to mention the two main things. Our free study training webinars. If you’ve never watched one of those, that’s the best hour you can invest in the CPA study process, because if your process is not effective and most people that are putting in a lot of time, have no idea. Why or what would make their process effective or ineffective? But that’s why you’ll find these trainings so eye-opening is, cause we describe all that in detail with the examples and then the strategies that, you know, we teach our clients.
So to sign up for one of those free trainings, you can go to our main website at superfastcpa.com. It’s on the homepage or the link to one of the trainings will be down in the description of this episode.
The other thing is our free podcast giveaway. Each month we give away three pairs of Power Beat Pro headphones to three random listeners that we select that have entered the giveaway. Again, that link will be down in the description of this episode or it’s at superfastcpa.com/enter.
So with that out of the way, let’s get into the interview with Collin.
Colin Talks About His Background and Where He Works
Nate: Um, so Pacific Time, where are you about?
Colin: I’m in, uh, San Francisco.
Nate: So, so yeah. I mean, we can just, uh, go to the beginning.
How Colin’s CPA Journey Started
Nate: When you, when you started the CPA study process in the very beginning, what were your materials and what were you trying to do each day?
Colin: Yeah, absolutely. I’d be happy to go into that. So, um, it was around December, 2020 where I decided that I should really start going for the CPA. It was my senior year in college. I was planning on graduating a quarter early cuz I was on the quarter system at Cal Poly to, uh, really start getting into the CPA.
So in my last semester, my last quarter I took a 24 unit quarter to make sure that I could wrap up college as soon as possible to start testing, or before they passed the new, um, that, the new act that allowed, um, seniors to take the test. But anyways, um, you know, I was really hitting a wall and I started with FAR and I got through like the third module within like three months.
So I was going like a module a month. There’s ten modules so I started to think I, I might not ever pass this CPA.
Colin: And part of it was because, um, you know, just going in Cal Poly and being their accounting department, you know, just trying to retain my knowledge from early on. Like we were taught, hey, we need to get, we need to understand this concept first before we can move to the next concept.
So they would teach classes about time, value, and money, and then make sure that you understood that before you moved into like valuing debt instrument. Just kind of went with that philosophy, I should really be trying to, you know, understand these early concepts. And then I got a hold of the SuperfastCPA, refined my study habits a little bit more to, um, actually go into the multiple choice questions and realize that I didn’t need to, um, like mastery every subject and then keep moving forward in terms of like making sure that the, my background materials was comprehensive because it, what really wasn’t, it was just all over the place to be completely honest.
And I think that’s what really helped me, um, fly through the next seven modules within like a month and a half. So the turnaround was crazy too.
Nate: Yeah. That’s awesome.
Colin’s Thought on Studying Before and After SuperfastCPA
Nate: So, uh, so when you first started, you were going really deep conceptually.
Really trying to understand the video maybe before you even read the chapter and then really get familiar with the chapter before you even went onto the practice questions. Just that kind of a thing.
Colin: Yeah. I was going from the video and then reading and then I was getting like 50% on the multiple choice and um, it was really frustrating too.
And then I realized over time when I started doing like the multiple choice first, that I would still get fifties. Or get like 70% and like realized I understood the concept just by like breaking down what they were asking for because it seems like there’s a lot of details within, I, I can’t speak for every single, um, like review package, but it seemed like there were a lot of details that I feel someone might, might reflect upon wrong because there’s just too much content out there to really, um, really ponder. Yeah.
Colin: So, yeah, I, um, I would pretty much just set up like a notebook page to the point where I would, um, you know, highlight what the chapter was, and then I would make like a frequency table, okay, how many times is this question coming up?
And then I just kept doing that chapter to chapter, and I, I would go like, oh, so like FAR module four, consolidation, there’s like 15 questions on, um, some acronym and I’d immediately know it too. So I wasn’t, I wasn’t wasting time at all. Like when I was reading so I, I knew where, um, I knew where to guide myself and I made the process really successful.
Nate: Yeah. Um, I mean, I never did anything and that’s a good idea. Uh, it would just take time to actually. That’s one that’s from one of the PRO videos is to, when you go into a, a topic, just kind of getting a, an idea by going through the questions and just trying to recognize a pattern. Like, okay, I keep seeing questions on this.
This must be the primary thing. And then the second most questions are about this, and it really boils down to like maybe three to four key things. Whereas the video itself will just cover, like you said, just a huge, a very wide range of things.
Colin is Grateful for Creating a Study Process That Works for Him
Colin: Yeah, exactly. That was one of the huge points I took from the, uh, the PRO modules.
So like I noticed every time too, oh, they’re talking, they’re taking 20 minutes to talk about a subject that was barely, um, brought up in like the multiple choice questions. And am I even gonna see this like on the test and then start to think about, no, this doesn’t really seem relevant and it’s just supplementary to this point so, yeah, no, that really helped too. And um, you know, when I was done with the multiple choice questions and I started to understood that and I had my table next to me, it made, it made more sense to actually, um, put the videos on that, um, twice the speed. Yeah. So that, that really saved me like a lot of time too.
And, um, you know, I developed these habits going through FAR and REG and then before I had even worked um, you know, due to that, I was able to live like a flexible lifestyle instead of like treating the CPA like a full-time job in, um, some, some cases I did because, you know, I really wanted to make deadlines with what was coming up with work or yeah, in my life.
And, uh, you know, it worked. But then when I got to audit and, um, auditing back these habits and this foundation I built like really helped me get through, get through it pretty quickly during, um, busy season so. Yeah, I was, um, yeah, I was really thankful that I took the time to really build that. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah. That’s, that’s awesome.
Colin Done With All Four and Talks About What Helped Him
Nate: So, so you’re all done. Correct? You, you passed all four?
Colin: Done. Yeah, I passed all four. I found out on February 8th.
Nate: Awesome. Yeah, and, uh, when I, when I looked, I always, before I get on one of these, I, I just search your email address in my inbox to see if we’ve exchanged emails. And you, uh, it looked like you got our course around May. Does that sound right of last year?
Colin: Um, I think I got it around this time. Maybe May, I’m not sure. Um, you know, the whole thing’s kind of a blur at this point. I know, I know I got it when I was doing FAR and I think the FAR notes helped the most.
Just because I, I mean, I would say FAR and then the BEC I think they’re the two best topics to get like test materials from SuperfastCPA. Cause um, it just, the amount of coverage is just insane.
How Colin Used the SuperfastCPA Review Notes In His Study Process
Nate: Yeah, let’s see what were, so I was gonna ask you, how did you, how did you use our review notes?
Would you kind of read the, the section before you jumped into your main lesson? Or were you always just reviewing them, start to finish? Or a combination, or how’d you use ’em?
Colin: Um, You know, I really used them after the fact that I reviewed module and I really used them a lot. Right. Once I finished every single Becker module and like right before I took the test.
So, you know, kind of just in essence I’d have like the notes on my phone, car rides, um, really long car rides, I’d put on the notes from the beginning modules to the end, and it was crazy I’d go on like a two hour car ride and pretty much be done with all of ’em.
Colin: Which is nice to, I mean, yeah, I mean, I think you could travel from like California to New York and cars and like, you still wouldn’t be able to finish like all of Becker’s like video recording.
Um, yeah. Yeah. So yeah, that’s what I mostly did. And then, you know, the multiple choice questions, um, in passing were pretty easy to do, um, to, it seemed sometimes it seems like a lot to get like a 30, 33 question packet going online when you’re by yourself. And I, I kinda understand like how, um, it might be hard to really do that during your review, especially if you’re missing them, but just doing five really quickly and then having it like refresh, you know, um, it make it, it felt more appealing rather than just sit down and, you know, try and do those heavy test packets.
Nate: Right? Yep. Yeah. When I was, when I was studying, the studying from my phone was like one of my big breakthroughs because once I started working full time, I was like, okay, I have like two hours max a day. I mean, I, I like literally studied how I talk about in those PRO videos, you know, that was like my whole thing.
And uh, there’s the nice thing about your phone is five, 10 minutes at a time. There’s just not the same dread factor as trying to get yourself to sit down for like a three hour study session. Um, and when you do ’em throughout the day, it can still add up to one, to two to three hours and kind of a, as you’re going through your normal day and not having to find dedicated three hours.
Colin: So yeah, just, yeah, definitely. Um, that was one thing I took away from the PRO modules, like you mentioned, uh, you know, doing these notes and passing, or sorry, reviewing these notes in passing was a big focal line of yours and why you were successful, so I adapted that as well too. And you know, It just felt more casual rather than like sitting down and forcing it too.
And when I did actually sit down because of that, things started to feel like more casual because I just always had the content wherever I was going. And it made me, um, night before tests and, you know, I could have stuff in the background like baseball and like still really be retaining the content over time.
I just had to make sure that like, I wasn’t doing blocks, but chunks. Like you, you mentioned too in the PRO modules. Cause I mean, um, you to allocate like three hours and sit down, it’s just, I mean, I’m not sure like too many average human beings can concentrate for like a three hour block, like right away.
I mean people are definitely gonna tune in and out.
How Colin Initially Started to Study for FAR
Nate: So, so your first few weeks into FAR, uh, when you or not weeks. You said it took you a couple months to get through a few modules. Is that what you were trying to do? Is studying, like blocking off several hours at a time to, to study that way?
Colin: Um, so it took three months cuz I started in December and I, I finished college in March and um, I had the 24 unit quarter.
So I tried to, I really wanted to get the CPA done. Like that was what was more important, but. I had to make sure I could get my degree. Yeah. 24 credits. Yeah. So, um, yeah, that I found that challenging and, um, I also did really have the time to, you know, do a little bit more. I just didn’t know how to do it yet, but I, I kind of got into this bad habit where I’m like, okay, once I’m like, take a week off after getting the degree. I’m gonna start and then, and I set a personal deadline for me and we’re gonna get there.
And I did two weeks of studying. Emailed you. I’m like, I don’t know if I can do this.
Colin Talks About How He Had Thoughts of Failing and Credits Lapse
Colin: And um, you know, it was tough too cause my, my job offer it start my, my job started in July and I just didn’t want to get in a gridlock to the point where I was getting stuck in like multiple busy season then that I start, I just started worried about like the credit lapse, like the 18 month lapse.
So, um, yeah, I just was really trying to be strategic at that point too. And, um, you know, that never became a concern until about like December, just because I thought BEC was actually kind of surprisingly challenging. So, yeah.
Nate: But, but you didn’t, uh, I mean, you didn’t really even get close to 18 months right? You passed?
Colin: No, not at all.
Nate: Yeah, I mean, you’re just saying that when you started, you, you thought that might be a concern if you had to work and try to pass at the same time.
Colin: Yeah, exactly, exactly. It was definitely the fear and then, um, I think I, it took me roughly about a year of studying. I mean, I wanna say like the three, I don’t even wanna count the three months in between like December and March.
Yeah. But I’m, I’m gonna, anyways, so, um, and then I took like two months off after I finished audit, cuz I had one more left BEC and I got kind of, um, I got kind of complacent and like I thought I’d be able to do it and then I’d like restart, like rebuild this foundation again too. And that, that took time.
But no, I was never really like too worried about that happening. I mean, I got, yeah, I mean I got, um, I’m trying to think when my credit was gonna lapse so FAR. I was like 11 months out from that happens. I wasn’t too sure. Um, you know, there’s just those horror stories of like, um, candidates moving through FAR, REG, or whichever order they go in and they get to that last one and they just can’t, um, they just can’t figure it out. And like, I, I thought that was gonna be me for BEC, but luckily it wasn’t. Yeah.
Passed All Four Exams on First Try
Nate: Um, and so did you, so let’s you, did you go four for four then, or did you have any failed sections?
Colin: I went four for four. Um, you know, I did not think that would be the case. I think there was at least, well, I thought I’d pass all of them, but there was, it was never like absolutely assured that I did. Um, I, I really didn’t not know if I passed BEC or not. I got an 87 because, um, yeah, the content really good there. Um, yeah, I didn’t do, so caught on the finance questions too.
Nate: I mean, yeah. But in 87 you did really well on. Okay.
Colin’s Daily Study Routine
Nate: Um, so, so what was your daily, would you do the two hours in the morning or what was your, like from top to bottom, when did you study and then you work and just what did a day, a full day look like once you really had the process down?
Colin: Yeah, I can break down like a good, um, like time when, um, how I did it in terms of like just what else I had going on in my life.
Um, in college when I had those 24 unit quarters, that 24 unit quarter, I, I did it in the morning for about 90 minutes and then at night for 90 minutes too. And then when I didn’t have anything going on, then I was kind of free, freelancing, trying to prepare for the first FAR test. Um, I definitely picked it up more.
I did two hours in the morning and then two hours a night, maybe chunks in the middle of the day, and got to that test. Um, you know, moved, moved away from, um, San Louis Obispo and I had more time because I still had a month and half, um, from June to, um, to late, to late July to study. And that’s where I really picked it up.
And, um, I was doing maybe like two to three hour chunks, three times a day because I really wanted to finish REG and, um, believe it or not, actually, I, I almost failed my tax class in college. So I really, um, I really wanted to make sure I could get this down. And when I, when I almost did fail in college, I, it was a fear that I wouldn’t be able to pass REG.
And then when I got into work, it started to. I mean, my flow started to become similar to how, um, it was when I had 24 hour units, I mean, sorry, 24, uh, units in college. Mm-hmm. . So I just did two hours, um, in the morning, then two hours at night, and it worked out great. I mean, I finished audit in a month and a half.
Colin Found the Audit Exam to be the Hardest
Colin: Um, audit might be the hardest one to be, to be fair. That that one is, that test is surprisingly hard. Um.
Nate: Yeah. Do, do you work in tax. Or no, sorry, you already told me.
Colin: No, I work, um, yeah, I do, I do audits. Um, I do the IT risk side, so I’m not necessarily doing like business controls. Um, mostly doing, um, controls over like IT general controls, um, audit controls and also looking into service organizations too.
Yeah, that’s pretty much about it. Yeah. Um, but I’m trying to get my test hours right now soon, so I’ll be seeing more of like business control side, which I’m excited for. Um, yeah, that was definitely a big learning curve.
Nate: Yeah, that’s the thing. Audit can be really hard if you’ve never worked in like what do you, normal auditing, I guess.
I don’t know what else to call it. Uh, yeah, a lot of the auditing stuff. Like really confusing cuz so much of it sounds so similar, but then it’s obviously when it comes to questions, there’s only one right answer.
Colin: Yeah. There’s so many like procedures that you can run and then you have to pick the, the right one on the test to run.
But in reality you can run multiple procedures. And then also like on the test too, like just the test questions. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to, um, I’m trying to lead this question, so, right. Yeah. There’s um, there’s like a bunch of, um, procedures you can select and like in reality you’d select multiple and also a bunch of controls you can select to like, um, mitigate a risk and like only one to two.
And sometimes it just doesn’t really overlap with what an auditor might actually see too. And that, that was one thing I noticed when I was taking that test and. yeah, it really, it really made it difficult. Some easy going from work and like looking at all this, um, knowledge and then trying to apply it to the CPA test.
Nate: Right, right. Yeah. Um, like in practice, in real life things are a lot more messy, open ended, complicated than what it is on the exam, but it can also kind of Yeah, throw you off. Definitely.
How Colin Would Study on the Weekends
Nate: And then how would you study on the weekends?
Colin: Study on the weekends? So I would try to make sure I would study on the weekends, um, as much as I possibly could.
Mostly do it in the morning and then a little bit in the afternoon. Um, I, I try to keep it the same as, um, like the weekday, but I totally blocked off the weekend when I had a test and like I made sure I did that, but, you know, I wasn’t living like a shelter in place weekend where I like studied eight hours a day.
Like it picked up overtime. That wasn’t the case too. I, um, I wanted to make sure that when I first adopted the Superfast strategy that my, my weekend, would be my weekday in terms of like the effort I allocated. But, you know, um, it definitely varied cuz there were the review periods and then there’s, there’s some big modules that would be really daunting that I just wanted to get out of the way too. I mean, I can, I’m not gonna name ’em, but there’s several audit ones and like several like BEC and FAR ones where I’m like, this, this should be done this weekend because I’m gonna take forever to do it on the weekday. So I mean, um, I’m just picking my vows with how I wanted to do it on weekend too.
I didn’t even study sometimes on the weekend. Also not a good idea, but. Yeah, strategy I had made sure that like I, I really had a flexible plan too. And, um, I think of one test that I went into where I was, where I wasn’t confident.
Nate: But you still passed, so.
Nate: Um, let’s see, and then you mentioned kind of how you used MCQs.
Colin’s Approach for the Practice Sims
Nate: What about practice sims or simulations in general?
Colin: Yeah, so I would try and I would try and do those as well too. Um, I, I would rarely get them right on my first try, just cause um, you know, getting integrated the format is hard too. And, um, you know, I, I realized too that like most candidates, um, they, they really struggle with, you know, trying to figure out how to tackle them.
And I wanted to make sure that, um, you know, I could either like really give it a good try and like not, made sure that if I hit a wall that I was comfortable with just like watching the video or looking at the answer because, um, I think it was more important really to um, understand like how to do one just in case with similar one showed up cause like the modules, they have like five, five sims per one lesson, so.
I just wanted to like take my time. Get that right. And, um, you know, when I was going through my review process, I was, I was doing well on Sims, but there was definitely a big curve between the, uh, Becker sims and the test sims from. Yeah.
But also many times too, where, I mean, I’ve seen some, some sims, uh, On the test they gave me nightmares, like after, um, the test while I was waiting for my score. But yeah, it definitely, it definitely varies, but I mean, sims are, sims are hard to tackle and I think like the best way to do it, like you mentioned, is like, wait, wait until you hit that wall.
Nate: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And it kind of like you mentioned just uh, with the practice sims instead of, you know, generating some and just kind of staring at it and telling yourself, like, I’ve gotta be able to figure this out. If you don’t know something, you just submit it and like reverse engineer it, essentially break it into pieces, understand the components, the journal entries, whatever, whatever it is that’s making it work.
And uh, cuz like you said, on test day, they’re going to be different. And so it’s, it’s really understanding. I don’t know the, how it works underneath the hood, regardless of the structure I guess, so.
Colin: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I know it seems like a short cut and it seems like counterintuitive and like some, some candidates might believe that, you know, um, just zoom in through the multiple choice questions and like sims, they might not be able to learn it.
But, um, really I just call it trial and error and like that’s how I became like really good at math in high school. Not because I knew what the teacher saying because I would listen a little bit and take notes and try and like understand It definitely hit a wall and then when I had like the formulas and the blueprints from when I hit the wall to help guide me there, I, the process was pretty much swift there too.
I took that same methodology that like, you know, helped me like really understand like math, chemistry, like all these like, quantitative, and, um, you move forward. Then, um, you know, I would definitely like encourage someone to like, try that out and that it’s not really, it, it seems like a shortcut, but in the end it works and it’s, it also it helps out a lot too.
Nate: Right. Well, it’s, you kind of, you kind of described it in, in a nutshell earlier where again, you know, working through the material the traditional way. Watching every video and really trying to understand a lesson before moving on. It just takes so long. And, uh, like one, one college class on a certain tax topic might only cover like four or five subtopics from what would be on the AICPA blueprints.
It just goes really deep. But the CPA exam isn’t like, You always hear it’s like a mile wide and an inch deep, so you can’t really spend that time because like FAR, for example, covers over 220 topics.
Nate: Yeah. It just, it just doesn’t, it’s just not the optimal way. And then you basically described when you learned how to view, view your review course and use it strategically in the way that was like best for you based on the lesson.
That’s when you just, you know, you went from spending months on the first section to then passing sections in, you know, less than like a month or whatever you said, six weeks. A huge difference.
Find the Study Process That Works for You
Colin: Yeah, exactly. Um, yeah, I think a part of that too is just, um, you know, being able to like, become comfortable with leaving certain struggles and like pain points behind in terms of like something from a test subject that is really hard, like, I think the inventory section for me, for example, was kind of like one that I, I don’t know, I spent like a week on it cuz I really didn’t get, and like that, that’s detrimental too.
And like I, I’m hearing, I’m, um, hearing about some of my friends who are taking the CPA exam right now and um, they’re trying to understand like how to like, have a fluid process to move on like quickly as possible. And, you know, I just remember myself from that time too, where I was reaching out to people and I’m like, I’m, I’m getting stressed out.
Like I’m not ready to move forward. I can’t, I can’t let go of the fact that I can’t memorize like LIFO that I don’t know how to consolidate or like do a journal entry for an acquisition. And then I just really told myself like, just let it, let it go and like just keep moving forward in that. Um, like know that you’re gonna have to like, overcome like this area sooner or later, but it doesn’t have to be done now.
Yeah. It’s just, um, it’s a process for people moving on from college for sure.
Colin: Where, where things are so comprehensive, where you gotta go to step one and go to step two, but when you open the review package, You can go to from chapter two to chapter 10, it a, refresh minds. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah. And then the idea of re-review and just building on your understanding and layers. Like you said, if you spend a whole day banging your head against the wall with like a really difficult topic like inventory or even just a subtopic of inventory, um, and it’s hard to just grasp, like a deep level of understanding comes from like revisiting things over and over and over.
And, uh, I think that’s why, just the idea of re-review, I mean, it, it, it seems obvious when you explain it instead of just going deep once and then not looking back at previous topics for weeks or maybe even months.
You spend a portion of your day so that every two or three days you’re at least hitting everything a little bit.
And that, that understanding just kind of comes in [00:31:00] layers and it’s just a lot more effective that way.
Colin: Yeah, exactly. And I know, um, I know you recommended your PRO modules that like, you kind of, it’s like when you go through each module, you’re planting a seed, but you gotta go back and water them a little bit.
Colin: I kind of, I don’t know why I did, I did all the watering at the end and it still was able, it still came together eventually, but I’m kind of wondering too if that was also maybe like a flaw in my whole process and my journey. Like how much time could I have cut off if I didn’t do that? I, I don’t know.
Like, I mean, at this point, maybe it could have gone from 12 months to, um, like eight. I’m not, I’m not entirely sure, but yeah. One thing I probably could have done better. Definitely.
Colin’s Final Review Process
Nate: Um, yeah, I mean, but I mean, you did go four for four, but, [00:32:00] so on that note, what did you do for, like, what was that review process like?
How long did you leave before an exam? Like how long was your final review and, and how did you, uh, do it?
Colin: Uh, it depends. Um, it, it really depended on the test, so, um, I think for FAR, I, I took about like maybe three, four more weeks. It was my first, it was my first rodeo. I wanted to make sure I was comfortable and, um, I was doing really bad on the simulated exams, and then I wanted to like, make sure I could get them down.
So then got that one down. Um, you know, just doing a lot of, um, test questions. Test questions, not, not so much, um, reading, only reading if I was really missing a ton of questions in one category or one chapter and, you know, that helped. Like I really got integrated with the questions. And then, um, you know, when I noticed that I kept getting the same questions over and over again.
I, I didn’t try and buy [00:33:00] like any test packet, but I’m like, it’s time to take the test and doesn’t matter if you feel ready or not, but you should feel good and that’s kind of the approach I took. And yeah, I wanted to make sure after time, I pretty much essentially ran through like almost every relevant question, not every question.
And, um, after doing FAR, I moved to REG. I, I reviewed in about maybe like nine days and took the test pretty quickly too. I think the timeline for audit was about seven days and then, Believe it or not, I got Covid right before my BEC test. And then, um, my goal was to review to the point where I was positive to tested negative when took the test.
Yeah. So that, that took a while. Yeah. That, that review was pretty long.
Nate: Yeah. Uh, how was, I mean, well, I, I don’t wanna take it much more of your time, but Covid was [00:34:00] interesting cause we finally caught it. And, uh, the main thing for me was just like this weird, like the headache had, uh, I don’t know, I almost felt dizzy for like a week and I just would sit at my computer and just could not get myself to do anything.
I don’t know, it just seems so different for everyone.
Colin: Yeah, that’s easy. I mean, for me it was, um, it kind of felt like I like fought it off in like middle of the night and then I woke up and, you know, I just didn’t really wanna do anything. I’m pretty, it was kinda hard to, it was really hard to study too. So, yeah. I was just dealt with that, so like we.
Nate: Mm. Yeah. I mean, it sounds pretty similar. Yeah. Um, well, alright, well we kind of got, we’ve kind of gone it through everything.
Colin’s Breakthrough, An Important Factor to Consider
Nate: Was there any other, uh, breakthroughs or things that you did that you felt like were something really effective that we didn’t cover? Or any other just final tips you have.
Colin: Um, you know, I think we covered like every [00:35:00] basis too, but I think, um, I think one thing too that was important also is like having, making sure that you have like peers who are going through like the, the same experience and like taking some of their, uh, some of their successes and adapting that into your plan too, but also realizing that it, it’s like it’s your journey.
Like, you should be able to tailor it the way you want and you don’t have to emulate it based on, um, anyone else’s method. Um, at the end of the day, there’s no, everyone, everyone has like a different method. I think it’s built pawned from either like your friends or SuperfastCPA or any source and just like be comfortable with like integrating like multiple facets of different plans really.
That’s kind of what helped me. Yeah. But other than that, um, yeah, just to highlight it, do, do multiple choice before, before doing, um, [00:36:00] the videos. That’s definitely like the biggest, uh, biggest success I had to, and then breaking down, um, things into the tables too, and, you know, just getting more organized.
Colin: That was the key.
Colin Used Frequency Tables to Break Down Topics
Nate: I, I like that idea of, uh, actually tracking, you know, okay, these are the, these are how the questions break down on this topic. Like 80% of ’em were this, and then 20% were this or whatever. That’s, that’s a good idea.
Colin: Yeah. Is that in the, is that in the PRO module? I, I think you.
Nate: Um, I, I just kind of talk about that.
I, I don’t recommend, I, I’m not saying I don’t recommend it, I’m just saying in the videos. I don’t say to like, make a spreadsheet or anything. I, it’s just kind of in general, the whole point of doing the questions first per topic. Is, is for that reason to just see, okay, these are the types of questions I’m seeing.
And then I say in there like, you’ll notice that on most lessons they all kind of [00:37:00] boil down to questions about the same, three to four things usually. Yeah. And then just you, you making a spreadsheet of it to actually track topics is a, the next step of that idea, I guess.
Colin: Yeah. Yeah. Frequency tables like really helped me, you know, shoot through all those.
Nate: Yeah. And that would be interesting too. So you basically broke down Becker that entire, that whole way?
Colin: Yeah. So how it went, it was like, it was three columns. It was topic, so like a micro subject in the, in the chapter. And then it was notes based on that. And then I would just, you know, drop all lines and like, do you Google check marks or how many times I like saw questions really that subject to, but um, yeah, no, it really helped.
Yeah, it’s a good idea.
Nate: All right, Colin. Well I appreciate you doing the call and yeah, well I’m glad you found us and, uh, that it helped, kind of just help you get on the right path. And then it sounds like you just had your own [00:38:00] breakthroughs and, yeah, did really well. So congrats on being done. That’s awesome.
Colin: Thanks Nate. Um, yeah, I appreciate all the, um, all the support too from the app and also emails too.
Yeah. I wish you, I wish you the best.
Nate: All right. So that was the interview with Colin. I’m sure you found that very helpful and insightful and informative. Seeing how he figured out the study process and exactly what worked for him.
So, if you did find this episode helpful, please take a second to share it with someone, you know, who’s also working on their CPA exams because like I say every time, these interviews really are, if you’re an avid listener, you’d probably agree, but these interviews are the most helpful free resource available anywhere for people trying to figure out their own study process. Because at this point there’s over a hundred interviews where you can listen to a hundred successful CPA candidates, exactly what wasn’t working, and what they [00:39:00] changed to what was working.
So share it with someone, you know, who’s working on their exams and it would also really help if you would take a second to leave a rating and review wherever you find these podcasts, so thanks for watching and we’ll see you on the next episode.