In this SuperfastCPA podcast interview, you’ll hear how Jordyn was originally doing everything she thought she was supposed to do to pass the CPA exams, but it still wasn’t working.
Then she made some small tweaks to her daily routine and her study strategies, and everything started working and she started passing the exams.
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- 00:00 Jordyn Interview Video
- 00:54 Intro
- 03:44 Jordyn Talks About How She Started Studying for the CPA Exams
- 06:00 Why Jordyn Thought That Something to Change
- 06:59 Finding SuperfastCPA and the Change Jordyn Made with Her Study
- 08:24 Watched the PRO Course and Implementing New Strategies
- 10:03 Still Managed to Find Time to Study Despite Being So Busy
- 11:06 Why Studying After Work Didn’t Work for Jordyn and Switching to the Morning
- 14:31 How Jordyn Made the Transition to Studying in the Morning
- 17:32 Currently Passed Three and Studying for BEC
- 19:34 Jordyn’s Experience Struggling with FAR
- 20:55 Getting 48 on FAR the First Time, the Difference She Did to Get it Up to 73
- 24:09 You Can Use Different Resources to Learn Problem Areas
- 26:38 How Jordyn Was Able to Pass AUD in Three Weeks
- 28:53 Audit is the Only Exam Jordyn DIdn’t Do Any Practice Sims
- 30:22 Jordyn’s Study Process for the Practice Sims
- 31:52 Jordyn’s Study Routine on the Weekends
- 32:30 Jordyn’s Study Process for Topics She Struggled With
- 35:32 Planning to Retake Again BEC Soon
- 39:13 Jordyn’s Retake Strategy
- 40:35 Plans to Do After Passing His Final Exam
- 42:44 Connecting With Other People Through the CPA Exams
- 43:52 Talking About Wanting to Guide Someone Else With Studying Efficiently
- 45:52 Jordyn’s Top Tips for People Still Struggling With the CPA Exams
- 47:02 Talks About Why She Chose SuperfastCPA Out of All the Other Podcasts
- 49:09 Outro
Jordyn: So I would get home and just make excuses to not study, or I would just sit there and like in my head, I’m looking at the book, so I feel like I’m studying, but it just, it wouldn’t happen. It would not happen, and I just wasn’t seeing the results I needed to.
Jordyn: And so as soon as I saw your study methods, like it has changed my whole life. I get up early, I study two hours from four to six every morning before work. That way I still have time to get ready and, you know, make my commute to work and everything and get there at a good time. Um, and even like when I haven’t been studying, I’ve kept up with that routine.
Jordyn: That way whenever I do pick up the next exam, my body is still like on that sleep schedule and I really like it. I am so much more productive in the morning as soon as I wake up. Just like you say.
Nate: Welcome to another episode of the CPA exam experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate, and then today’s interview you’re going to hear me talk with Jordyn. So the beginning of Jordyn’s CPA study journey story is that she was working extremely hard to study each night, after working full time so she was super busy.
Nate: She would sit down and as she described, she just didn’t know any better, so she kind of operated under the assumption that I always talk about where people get their review course and they start going through the lessons and they just assume that you need to memorize or learn every single thing, every part of every chapter, every part of the text and everything included in every video lecture.
Nate: So she was doing that and that took so much time. That she didn’t have much time to really go through the questions, and she also assumed that, well, if I read every chapter and understand it, and watch every video lecture and understand that, then that should be what I need to know to do well on the exams.
Nate: So she spent several months doing that, took three sections and kept failing the exam, missing it by about four or five points. So she was very frustrated, and again as she’ll describe, you know you have four exams still left to pass, you’ve spent close to four or five months already failing three sections, so it gets extremely discouraging.
Nate: So around that time, she saw one of our ads watched our free training, and now she’s on the podcast, so you know how that went. So before we get into her whole interview, I just want to mention two things.
Nate: First our free study trainings, which you will hear Jordyn refer to, again, that’s where pretty much everyone you’ve heard on these interviews, that’s where they start with SuperfastCPA. It’s a free one hour webinar where we walk through our core strategies so that you can see for yourself why this makes so much more sense, and it will be clear why the strategies work so much better and are much more effective than the normal way of studying. So the link to the training will be down below in the description of either the YouTube video or the podcast episode.
Nate: And then the second thing is our free podcast giveaway. So each month we give away three pairs of Powerbeat Pro headphones to three random listeners who have entered the giveaway, it’s just your name and email, and that link as well will be in the description of either the video or the podcast episode.
Nate: So with that out of the way, let’s get into the interview with Jordyn.
Nate: Okay, so have you heard any of these other interviews? You kind of know how these come.
Jordyn: Oh yeah. I’ve listened to a ton of them.
Jordyn Talks About How She Started Studying for the CPA Exams
Nate: This, uh, little snippet you wrote in the Calendly thing. You got your accounting degree in 2020.
Nate: Took the online classes to hit your 150 and then in July 2021 started studying, you know, the normal way just using Becker going all the way through. So let’s, uh, let’s start there. You can just kind of talk about what that was like. You get Becker, you log in and just start going through the lessons. Is that how it was?
Jordyn: Yeah, so I pretty much logged in and how it, how it’s laid out and how they want you to do it. I didn’t know any better, and so that’s just what I started doing. I wanted to make sure that I had a hundred percent on everything and that I had gone through and completed as much as possible. So I even started reading the book, which I’m not a fan of at all, but I tried reading the book best I could, and I tried to watch every single lecture.
Jordyn: And, um, go through the multiple choice questions, but I didn’t really rely on the multiple choice as much as I do now. Um, I was just kind of doing them as I could, but I was really focusing on watching every single lecture and just taking notes. Um, and I did that from July until August, the end of August or September.
Jordyn: Um, and it just, it was not for me. I was, cause I work full-time at a CPA firm here. Getting home after a full day of work and I have an hour commute both ways. I just was not, I, I wasn’t studying as much as I should have and it wasn’t productive whenever I was, I was just, you know, zoning out during the lectures and just trying to hit and, you know, just mark off every checkbox they had and it just wasn’t working.
Jordyn: So, not my preference.
Nate: Yeah, that’s, yeah, it, it’s interesting that, um, you know, and again, if you’ve heard a bunch of these podcasts, it’s a very common thing. You can kind of mark off the, the dashboard a hundred percent and it’s still, you know, not much is actually happening, you know. Um, so, so did you, I mean, you, you listed out some of the sections you took and your scores and stuff.
Why Jordyn Thought That Something to Change
Nate: Did you kind of have a sense that you were spending most of your time just kind of watching the video and that it wasn’t really translating when you would do practice questions or would you think you were prepared and go in and take the real exam and like almost you were surprised every time if you got a failing score.
Jordyn: Yeah, I mean, I’ve tried taking BEC three times just by using those study methods, and I wasn’t using the multiple choice tools as much as I should have. I was hardly using it at all. I thought that, you know, just watching the lectures and reading the main parts of the book, I thought that that would do it.
Jordyn: I didn’t think that I needed to have like an active learning style, how I’ve transitioned now. And it just, I mean, I got a 67 and then 2 71 s and I was just so frustrated and done and at the beginning of your process when you have four more exams to go, that’s super daunting and just discouraging overall.
Jordyn: So I knew that something had to change if I wanted to get through all four exams, so.
Nate: Yeah. Okay.
Finding SuperfastCPA and the Change Jordyn Made with Her Study
Nate: And so, so then, so what did change or what, what happened after that?
Jordyn: So I, I think I stumbled upon like one of your ads or maybe the podcast online, um, or something. And I just listened to a couple podcasts and I saw that you had, um, I think it’s like the free one hour, like seminar.
Nate: The webinar.
Jordyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And after listening to that and just hearing all of the different ways that I could be studying, I was just, my mind was blown. Like I had wasted so much time doing it, you know, in a way that didn’t really suit me and my learning style. And so after failing BEC three times, I started listening to your audio notes and I started like really trying to learn based on multiple choice questions.
Jordyn: Just like you lay out in your study plan. And I only studied for REG for three weeks. I decided to move on from BEC and just kind of take a break because I was just so frustrated. Um, but I studied for REG for three weeks to just try and like get one more exam using the new study methods before tax season started.
Jordyn: And I got a 73 on my first try after only three weeks of studying. And I mean, I was just ecstatic of the immediate results even though it wasn’t a pass. Um, and so right after tax season I studied for four weeks and got a 77. So, and then just moved on.
Watched the PRO Course and Implementing New Strategies
Nate: Um, and so did you have our, uh, PRO course videos? Did you go in and.
Nate: Okay, so you went in and watched all those and that was kind of the basis of your new study method, I guess?
Jordyn: Yes. Yeah, so I, you know, I watched all of the PRO course videos first before starting to study it all. So I really tried to implement the audio notes like that is my Bible, because I just, I’m in the car so much.
Jordyn: So just listening to audio notes over and over again, like, and I really benefit from hearing it, hearing it, and seeing it in a multiple choice, um, questions and everything. So just the amount and sheer volume of audio notes I was able to like, listen to and just repeat, repeat, repeat. I mean, it, it made a huge difference.
Jordyn: And then, um, yeah, I also implemented the, um, like the mini quizzes, you know, just instead of getting on social media. I totally agree. It’s a waste of time whenever I could be spending, you know, accumulative, I don’t know how to say that, but. You know, like just overall, a much more time, a much greater time studying throughout the day just by cutting out social media and adding in five minute mini quizzes.
Jordyn: And I just, I saw immediate results and I was super happy.
Nate: Yeah. Um, I know, it just, it just makes sense, right? Like everyone has their phone. You look at it constantly anyways. While you’re in the, like, the pain of going through this, you know, you might as well just add that in, like instead of your favorite time wasters on your phone, just keep studying, you know?
Jordyn: Yeah. It’s a much better use of time.
Still Managed to Find Time to Study Despite Being So Busy
Jordyn: Um, and then so after I implemented all of that, so I did still struggle with FAR so. Just overall, I have a super busy schedule. I have a husband and a golden doodle and a full-time job for taxes and all of that, and so just, I work a lot and I have a lot of family stuff going on constantly, so studying on the weekends was not something that I really wanted to do.
Jordyn: So I tried to just spend as much time as possible during the week and listening to audio notes, just being super productive because I honestly didn’t study, you know, the way you recommend on the weekends, like for four hours or whatever, because I just didn’t have the time or we were out of town. Um, I tried to still at least get in like the two hour sessions in the morning on Saturday and Sunday, but I didn’t get to spend a, you know, six to eight hours studying on the weekends.
Nate: Yeah. But I mean, if you start passing sections, you know, whatever you’re doing at that point if you’re passing, it’s, you know, it.
Jordyn: It’s working. Yeah.
Nate: Whatever that is.
Nate: Yeah. Um, what was I gonna say?
Why Studying After Work Didn’t Work for Jordyn and Switching to the Morning
Nate: Oh, so it sounds like, so when you first started studying, it sounds like you were trying to study after work.
Nate: Did you switch?
Nate: To the morning?
Jordyn: Yes, I did. So I would get home and just make excuses to not study, or I would just sit there and like in my head, I’m looking at the book, so I feel like I’m studying, but it just, it wouldn’t happen. It would not happen, and I just wasn’t seeing the results I needed to.
Jordyn: And so as soon as I saw your study methods, like it has changed my whole life. I get up early, I study two hours from four to six every morning before work. That way I still have time to get ready and, you know, make my commute to work and everything and get there at a good time. Um, and even like when I haven’t been studying, I’ve kept up with that routine.
Jordyn: That way whenever I do pick up the next exam, I’m, my body is still like on that sleep schedule and I really like it. I am so much more productive in the morning as soon as I wake up. Just like you say.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah. The, um, there’s, there’s so many benefits to doing it in the morning. Like obviously it’s so, you don’t have to fight yourself so hard.
Nate: You know, in the evening you’re tired. The last thing you wanna do is study, and like you said, you just have to fight yourself through the whole three to four hours.
Jordyn: It’s miserable.
Nate: And it’s usually not productive. Yeah. Um, and then the, just the consistency factor two hours is so much easier to accomplish each day than again three or four hours when you’re tired. And then I think the biggest thing though is if you do that the two hours in the morning, all the mini sessions throughout the day, you’re more or less done studying by the time you’re done with work. So you, you have, you’re able to take a mental break from work and study.
Nate: Whereas otherwise you can’t, it’s just work and studying, that’s your whole life.
Jordyn: Right. Um, and I mean, that’s horrible for your relationship, especially being married and stuff. I know that single people may have an easier time coming home from work and doing that, but it’s really hard for me, like having no time with my husband during the day or in the evening whenever I was trying to study for I guess two or three months of me trying to do that, or I just wouldn’t even open my book and I, I wouldn’t do anything at all, which, I mean, yeah, I’m getting to hang out with my husband and do stuff around the house that needs to get done, but then I’m not studying. So it was just a constant battle. So maintaining the relationships of the people that are helping support you and get you through the exams, I mean, that’s, that’s super important. So.
Nate: Yeah. And that, that’s another factor is. , what would you call that? Like, like you said, if, if you’re trying to study in the evening and some nights you’re just like, I’m just not, I’m just gonna hang out with my husband instead, or whatever. You just have that in the back of your mind, like weighing on you.
Nate: Oh, yeah. Whereas if you nail it in the morning, mini sessions throughout the day, you just have this sense of productivity and it’s like, it’s just, your life is much less stressful.
Jordyn: Yes. And I don’t feel that.
Nate: Is that how you experienced?
Jordyn: Absolutely. And I don’t feel any sort of guilt for going home after work and just getting to enjoy myself and just kind of unwind for a little bit and not having just more and more to do.
Nate: Yeah. Yep.
How Jordyn Made the Transition to Studying in the Morning
Nate: Um, so what about, so 4:00 AM is, that’s like real early, you know, 6:00 AM a lot of people get up at six, five even. I’ve always thought that 4:00 AM just kind of feels different to wake up at four. So what did you do to kind of start doing that and, uh, like practically speaking, did you go to bed earlier and make sure you were in bed by a certain time, or did you.
Nate: Anyways, what was your routine for getting into that routine?
Jordyn: Um, so I mean, the first few days were very hard. Um, but I just, I try and make sure that I’m in bed by 9 to 9:30, um, as best I can. And then I always make sure like that the night before I get up, like my coffee is ready to go and if, if I smell coffee in the morning.
Jordyn: When my alarm is going off, I’m like, okay, I’m gonna go drink that . You know? So it’s just kind of a motivator for me to get out of bed. And there was a direct correlation for the nights that I forgot to set up my coffee or something, or it didn’t happen. I probably wasn’t getting up. And that may sound silly, but I mean, it definitely got me out of bed because I knew that something was waiting for me, um, that I really enjoyed, and I knew that that would kind of help jumpstart my studying. Um, and I also just kind of accepted, I know that we should probably get eight hours of sleep every night, but I’m a very busy person and I can operate pretty well off of six and a half hours of sleep.
Jordyn: So as long as I get my six and a half to seven hours of sleep, like I’m good with that. And, and I just became okay with that. And I just always made sure that I at least hit that, you know, those hours of sleep. And I would always be productive if that happened, if I stayed up late. You know, sometimes I did get less sleep, but then other times, like I wouldn’t even get up and study.
Jordyn: So, um, yeah, and then something else we also bought, um, like an actual alarm clock, um, because it would force me to get out of bed and physically turn it off and then I would like brush my teeth or something, um, just to like wake up my body. I would just do something just to make sure I wouldn’t get back in bed.
Jordyn: And all of that made a huge difference.
Nate: Yeah. Um, no complaints from your husband on the alarm at 4:00 AM that he had to hear?
Jordyn: No, he sleeps right through it. Um, the only, I mean, it’s not really a complaint, but he’s had to start helping me make coffee, you know, because like I’ll get so tired and stuff. So he’s been really having to help out a lot at home, just like cooking and helping with dishes and stuff.
Jordyn: And we just, we really tag team this whole thing. And he always makes my coffee now, like every night without fail, and I can like guarantee that I will get up the next morning and study.
Nate: That’s awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Um, oh, shoot. I had one other question. Uh, I don’t know if it was a question or comment. It’ll come back to me probably in the middle of the next thing you’re saying.
Currently Passed Three and Studying fo BEC
Nate: Um, so, are you through three of these then? Yes. I You’ve passed three or you passed all four?
Jordyn: I passed three. I just got a failing score for BEC again, but I didn’t, I studied for like three days and I was just trying to get another exam in, um, I get on Reddit quite a bit on their CPA subreddit. There’s just such a great community there and you know, a lot of people recommend, like if you can take an exam before a window closes. Like the more exams you can take, you’re bound to pass one or get one that you’re better at than a previous one. And I’ve also really tried to stick with that mentality too, even though like I didn’t study as much as I should have for this one, I’ve, I’m glad that I had another experience with BEC since it’s been my problem child.
Jordyn: So, but I’ve passed all the other three.
Nate: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I do think there’s, I, I get asked that a lot. Someone’s like, I have, whatever, FAR in three weeks and I’m not ready, but my NTS expires. Should I take it? And I do think there’s value in seeing the real exam, you know, like you said. Um, if someone hasn’t studied at then seeing the real exam and paying the 300 bucks won’t really mean much to just go in and see all the stuff. But if you’ve been studying a decent amount, seeing what’s on there and anyways, so yeah, I, I agree. As long as it’s not just a complete hail mary and you haven’t studied it then it’s like.
Jordyn: Right. I mean, at that point I had already taken BEC three times. Um, I mean, they were just, you know, eight months ago. Um, and I also just passed FAR not too long ago, and I feel like a lot of the material from FAR carries over to BEC. So I failed, but I got a 68, so only studying for three days and having every, you know, just everything else that I’ve learned throughout the exams.
Jordyn: I mean, I, I was happy to not get something stupid like a 15 or, you know, whatever.
Nate: Yeah, yeah.
Jordyn’s Experience Struggling with FAR
Jordyn: So, but I, um, I did struggle with FAR though, so I had to take FAR four times and I think if I would’ve really implemented the weekend studying more. Um, and maybe just really cut everything out. I probably could have passed it sooner.
Jordyn: Um, the first time I took FAR, I got 48 after studying for three months. And I really think that I overstudied for that. Um, but then I took it again and got it 73. Um, and I think just the overall hype around FAR being the biggest and baddest and just, you know, it just has that negative connotation of being the worst.
Jordyn: And I went in there just so nervous just because of that. And the test room was overly cold and I was like shivering the whole time. Cause I didn’t bring a jacket. Just so many things were working against me in that first exam.
Jordyn: And I think that’s a, also a direct correlation to that 48 because I mean, I put the time in.
Jordyn: I definitely put the time in, but after failing, I mean, hopefully my score is only gonna go up. So I was able to get to that 73 on the next try, and it took me four times to finally get a 78, but I’m just glad it’s over, so I don’t, don’t really care.
Nate: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Getting 48 on FAR the First Time, the Difference She Did to Get it Up to 73
Nate: So any, any major difference between the 40, the attempt that got you 48 and then the 73 the next time?
Nate: Did you change anything in your daily routine at all?
Jordyn: Yeah, so a big game changer for me, um, between those two exams is there’re just, there are so many topics and you get really wrapped up in the idea of like, I have to know all of this perfectly and I have to know this in such great detail, but you can, you can know what’s like, heavily tested and you know, there are the main topics that they really focus on.
Jordyn: And as long as you have a general understanding of everything, I mean, that’s kind of where my focus shifted. Um, I was just, I, I wanted to have a, an overview of everything instead of just getting down to the nitty gritty for every single topic, cause it’s just impossible with the amount of material.
Jordyn: Um, and then the other thing was I started watching the Skill Master video. Um, like the weekend before the exam. Um, and for people who don’t have Becker, that’s like the videos that go with the simulation, the practice simulations. And I watched how they worked through the simulations and how they recommended, like, um, going through all of the exhibits, for example, or just how they processed all of the material that’s thrown at you just for one simulation.
Jordyn: And that made a huge difference just seeing someone else work it out.
Nate: Yeah. I, I do think those are, those are really good, those skill master videos. It’s just, um, you know, one of those videos can take, I mean, it, a lot of ’em are at least an hour long, right? For them to walk through a, a big.
Jordyn: I didn’t ever have one that was an hour long. I had one that was like 16 minutes and I would speed up the video. Um, cause I, I just, I, I struggle to sit still. I’m not gonna sit there and watch a video for an hour , so I just sped up the videos and it was like 10 to 15 minutes. I didn’t watch all of them by any means, but I think bank recs, every FAR exam I’ve had has bank recs on, on it and it’s gonna be tested at some point.
Jordyn: So just watching their bank rec or yeah, sim videos and like their statement of cash flows. Those are kind of really heavily tested. And they’re, they’re the most complicated ones, and they throw a ton of information at you. I just really watched a few of those, and that’s what helped me a lot.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s just a good, you know, strategy to whatever the sims are that you find challenging for whatever reason to .Yeah, like if you don’t have Becker, to at least find some of those in your review course and work through the solution. Because yeah, if, if you don’t have Becker and you don’t have the Skill Master videos, you can kind of do the same thing.
Nate: Go to a sim If you find it, if it looks impossible, you don’t spend time on the front end trying to figure it out, cause you’re not gonna figure it out. Just submit it and see how, where all the solutions come from.
Nate: And then just kind of reverse engineer it. Reperforming.
Jordyn: Yeah. And I also just.
Nate: So that was.
Jordyn: Go ahead. Sorry.
Nate: Sorry, go ahead.
You Can Use Different Resources to Learn Problem Areas
Jordyn: Um, I also found a lot of stuff on YouTube. Um, like for something that I didn’t really like how the Skill Master video laid it out or just something that I was really struggling, like, um, bonds and leases and notes, that was like my worst topic for FAR. And just watching, I mean, I watched your videos, I watched like i75, um, there were a couple different ones that I watched just to kind of get different methods for solving the problem to see kind of what worked for me.
Jordyn: So, I mean, there are resources out there just on YouTube if you don’t have Skill Master videos to watch.
Nate: Yes. And that’s a really good strategy is, uh, yeah, you don’t have to confine yourself to your review course or one, one thing that will happen a lot is there will be sometimes just words used and it’s like assumed that, you know, that you have a deep understanding of these basically vocabulary words.
Nate: And it’s not, the questions aren’t about what those words are. They’re just using it, you know, to get somewhere else. So like, what I mean is when I was studying REG at one point, I just got really confused with, okay, what is the difference between a realized gain and a recognized gain because they just keep using it as if you, you know, already know the difference.
Nate: There’s not any questions about that difference. So I had to go off on this like side quest to figure out what the difference is. And once I became very clear on what the difference was fr from like, yeah, YouTube video. Then so much of the REG material was so much easier because, yeah, I just. They’re always using those words, and I was never fully clear on what the difference was.
Jordyn: Yeah. You definitely shouldn’t be afraid.
Nate: That is a good strategy.
Jordyn: Yeah. You shouldn’t be afraid to just look outside of what you have or just even just trying to Google things. There may not be a ton of stuff on Google, but odds are YouTube video is gonna pop up and it’s gonna explain it in a way you understand, and it makes a huge difference.
Nate: Yeah. Another thing that I found would be, again this is mostly for REG. Which one are you? Which one do you still have left?
Jordyn: Um, BEC I’m hoping to take it on Saturday.
Nate: That’s right.
Nate: Okay. Okay. Yeah, I would google a specific thing and there would be like an accounting firm out there that specialized in that thing so they would have these really good breakdowns of anyways.
Jordyn: Yeah, that’s very helpfu.
Nate: But yeah, just in general, that’s a good idea. Yeah.
How Jordyn Was Able to Pass AUD in Three Weeks
Jordyn: Um, and I also only took three weeks to pass audit. Super proud of that. I only studied for three weeks and got a 75 and everybody that I’ve seen on Reddit, they struggled so hard with audit and takes months to study for it, and so I was just super happy to not spend a ton of time studying for that.
Nate: Yeah, that is one that it’s just very, uh, so much, what is it? Almost purely conceptual and so much of it sounds the same but there’s obviously.
Jordyn: Those key words.
Nate: You know.
Nate: Specific things. Yeah.
Jordyn: Yeah, um.
Nate: So what was your, I, I mean, what do you attribute that to?
Jordyn: Well, it starts with, I had a really good auditing professor at A&M.
Jordyn: Um, and he, his goal was for the end of, when you were at the end of that class, he wanted you to be prepared to take the auditing section of the CPA exam. And I felt like I recalled so much just from his class and he trained us to like look at the wording of the questions because that, that makes all the difference.
Jordyn: And you have to just read questions slowly and pay attention to detail because they, I mean, they’re super tricky questions, but if, you know, like the buzzwords that they use and everything, um, I mean, you know what they’re looking at and, and what they want your answer to be because there’s several right answers.
Jordyn: But if you look at just the few words that they’re throwing at you, you’re like, okay, I know that that is pointing to this answer. Um, and for me, I just, multiple choice questions constantly were my saving grace because you just have to get used to those questions being thrown at you.
Nate: Yes, that’s, there’s the whole question context right? Like there’s the context of how something’s presented in the textbook or the video lecture where you just get everything line or point by point. And then the questions are just a different context. So when you’re spending all your time watching the video or reading the chapter, it just doesn’t really translate to how those questions are asked.
Nate: But when you spend a ton of time going through questions, you just start to, you get good at answering questions.
Jordyn: Yes, absolutely.
Audit is the Only Exam Jordyn DIdn’t Do Any Practice Sims
Jordyn: And I didn’t, I didn’t do, I don’t think I practiced for any sims for auditing at all. I mainly focused on multiple choice questions. The only sims that I went over for that was the research question, because I think there’s research questions for FAR, REG, and audit. Um, and knowing like where, what source to look at, I mean, that makes a huge difference and it’s free points. It’s just searching and, you know, control find and that’s about it.
Jordyn: As long as you know, like what source you need to be pulling from for that exam.
Nate: Right. Yeah, it’s, yeah, it’s good to, I don’t know, a few days before the exam, uh, maybe like pull up several research sims just to get used to, like you said, clicking through the authoritative literature and just knowing in general where things are before you go into the exam. Because obviously the research sim could ask you anything but, knowing beforehand the basics of where things are at is pretty much how you get those free points.
Jordyn: Yeah, and I would only do that the weekend before the exam and I would, I would pull up maybe three or four, um, of those and just go through it, because odds are like, in the authoritative literature whatever source you’re pulling from, I mean, it’s nine times out of 10 word for word. You just have to make the right words out of the question and just practicing researching is super helpful.
Jordyn’s Study Process for the Practice Sims
Nate: So besides that and the skill master videos, were you doing sims at all on a daily basis or for each section kind of what was your practice sim process?
Jordyn: So I really, since I only studied for two hours in the morning and I didn’t wanna study anymore when I got home, I really only did multiple choice questions pretty much up until the exam. But the weekend before an exam, I made sure that we were home and I would study Saturday and Sunday all day just as much as possible until I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Um, and that weekend before the exam, I would start studying sims, but it’s my opinion.
Jordyn: It may not be the case for everybody, but if you know the information that goes with the multiple choice questions, you should also know the information for the sims, it’s just a different testing method. Um, and I think that’s the case for most of them. But I didn’t study sims a ton. I only studied it a week or two leading up to the exam.
Nate: Gotcha. Okay. Yeah, and that’s a very common thing. I, a lot of people in the interviews say. I think I mostly, I mean, when I was studying it’s, it was exactly what’s in the PRO course.
Nate: So I was only doing sims on the weekends going back and just whatever lessons I’d covered during the week, I would go through the sims for those. But yeah, it was only on the weekends.
Jordyn’s Study Routine on the Weekends
Nate: Um, so did you sleep in a little bit on the weekends to have somewhat of a break or catch up on sleep? Or you still got up at 4:00 AM.
Jordyn: A lot of times I would still wake up at four because my husband sleeps in. So if I knock out my studying from four to 10, I mean, that’s four hours of studying and he’s probably gonna get up at 10:30 or 11, you know, depending on what we had going on. Yeah, I would still try and wake up at four.
Jordyn: Um, if I was super tired, if I had had a rough week, I would maybe sleep in until six. But I mean, at, at this point, I can’t sleep in past 6:30, even if I try. So I’m fine with that.
Jordyn’s Study Process for Topics She Struggled With
Nate: Um, what about flashcards or taking notes? Do you have some way of putting things kind of in your own words when you, uh, things that you struggle to remember or understand?
Nate: Do you have a process for that?
Jordyn: Yeah, so I have a Quizlet and I, I have like a deck of flashcards on Quizlet for each different section. And if I just was really struggling with, um, concepts or you know, what to use when, I would always put that on a flashcard in my own words, you know, the best I could. Um, I never took handwritten notes once I switched over my study method.
Jordyn: Um, I did put your, um, your review. Yeah, your review notes. I did put that in one note. Um, and so I would like kind of mark that up, um, on my iPad, like with a highlighter and.
Nate: Oh, you mean OneNote like the Microsoft.
Nate: OneNote, the program.
Jordyn: So I, I would just like dump that PDF into OneNote and then I could like be laying in bed, like reading your review notes and then just highlighting it all with like my Apple pencil and making notes off to the side if needed.
Jordyn: Um, just for, just for like things to help me remember. Um, but other than that, I mean just making notes off to the side and just my quizlet flashcards.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah. I mean that’s essentially, that’s, that’s what I recommend. I think, uh, some people really like the paper, or what is it called? Just normal flashcards, like physical flashcards.
Nate: But, uh, I would always just have a second tab open. When I was doing my main session in BrainScape, I think I used quiz Quizlet and BrainScape. Same thing. But, yeah, it was just faster for me to type, just keep the flashcard tab open if I had something to make a flashcard on, make ’em as I was studying, and then it’s with you effortlessly on your phone in the app, and so I would weave that into my mini sessions.
Nate: I’d either be doing quizzes on my Wiley app, or they had these focus notes, but back then it was like PDFs and I had to pinch and zoom to read ’em on my phone. Anyways, but I studied from my phone constantly throughout the day.
Nate: Just like I say in those videos.
Jordyn: Yeah. Well, whenever I first started, I was carrying around the bed with flashcards with me, like I really am.
Jordyn: I love a pen and paper, but] I’m just, I’m such a busy person, I’m gonna lose my flashcards, or I may not have my flashcards with me. And so efficiency and everything being digital made studying for me much easier. There was not a barrier to enter. I didn’t have to lug anything around with me. I always have my phone, so I always have my flashcards.
Jordyn: So for my like mini sessions throughout the day, I would like just scroll through some of my flashcards and then switch off and do like some of your multiple choice, um, questions, like your mini quizzes. And it made just a huge difference.
Planning to Retake Again BEC Soon
Nate: Um, so this last, uh, your BEC. So are you gonna take this again at the end of this next cutoff thing?
Nate: So what is it five, four, or five weeks from now or is it sooner than the next?
Jordyn: Cutoff date is Tuesday and I feel like I’ve really ironed out some of my, um, trouble areas. And so I was gonna try and take it Saturday. I’m just waiting on like my state board, um, to finish processing my paperwork and getting my notice to schedule.
Jordyn: So if that happens in. And if there is still a seat open for Saturday or Sunday, um, I may try and take it again.
Nate: Hmm. Of this week?
Nate: Oh, cuz you’ve been, okay, you just got your score. But that means it’s been several weeks. So you’ve had a few weeks to study?
Jordyn: Yes. Yeah.
Nate: For it again. I see.
Jordyn: So, and then hopefully I’m done. I’m tired of BEC and it’s taking me longer, like more attempts on BEC than it is FAR, and everybody says that BEC is supposed to be one of the easiest ones, and it seems to be my biggest problem, so.
Nate: Yeah, it’s, it’s funny how that is, I mean, I’ve talked to, uh, auditors like high level auditors that have been working in audit for five years that like cannot pass audit or you know, vice versa. Someone who’s a tax person who can’t pass REG. I think when that happens, it’s like they’re so used to the real world stuff and it’s so different than the exam.
Jordyn: It really is.
Nate: Because there’s always a right answer. But there’s so many nuances and things, layers of what, what it could be or how you could do something in the real world that, going back to the exams almost like two e, I don’t know.
Jordyn: It, it’s not how you.
Nate: It’s like they make it harder.
Jordyn: It’s not how your brain wants to think. You’re, you’re wondering about all of these different thresholds and limits that are currently the case, but on the exam, that may not be like, what they’re actually using.
Jordyn: And it definitely got confusing for me in that, in that area.
Nate: Yeah, because you work, you work in tax.
Jordyn: Yes. So I, I really liked REG. Um, I passed it on my second try and it wasn’t, it’s hard as everyone says it is, but I do that every day. But I’ve also only been working in tax for two years.
Jordyn: So maybe my brain is just still susceptible to learning it through Becker and how it should be tested since I’m still kind of learning tax in general.
Nate: Yeah. Um, are you in the middle of busy season right now?
Jordyn: Yeah. Yes.
Jordyn: I usually, I usually take a break. As soon as January hits, I won’t study until after busy season.
Jordyn: Um, but in the fall, so I passed REG in June of 22. And after that, my goal was to pass FAR and audit during the fall by December 31st. And I took four attempts at FAR and one attempted audit, and I was just amazed that I actually hit my goal. So after that I was like, why would I not just try and pass BEC, um, in January or February if I can, and just call it, call it good and be done.
Jordyn: Um, so that’s kind of what I’m working on right now. If I can pass it, either this cutoff or the next cutoff and be done, I would really like that.
Jordyn: Instead of waiting until after busy season.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah. How nice will it be to be done? Find out you’re done, and busy seasons, then over, and then you’re just free.
Jordyn: Then I just have a free summer.
Jordyn’s Retake Strategy
Nate: Right. So it sounds like your approach is to just kind of take the, take your retake as fast as you possibly can. So that being the case, if you’ve taken a section, you obviously have a week or so to wait till you get your score. Do you just keep studying that section in case you failed it, or do you wait till you get your score and then obviously at that point you would start studying again?
Jordyn: Depending on.
Nate: How you do that?
Jordyn: Depending on how I felt about the exam, um, you know, I think it’s very important to remember to like pause and take care of yourself and just give your mind a break because I mean, these exams are heavy and just, I mean, they just bring you down.
Jordyn: So I think it’s important to take a few weeks off, and if that ends up being like in between your exam and score release. If you plan it right, you shouldn’t have to wait too terribly long. So I would typically take a break, but still listen to audio notes. Um, for FAR I didn’t do that because I just, I felt really bad about it pretty much after every single exam.
Jordyn: So I did keep studying. I would give like myself a weekend to, to myself or a few days after the exam to just kind of recharge and recuperate. Um, but for every other exam, yeah, I would give myself a break after my exam until I found my score out.
Plans to Do After Passing His Final Exam
Nate: Well, um, what do you guys have planned for, do you have some reward or plan you’re gonna do when you get your fourth one done?
Jordyn: Yeah, so I am very excited about it. We are gonna plan a trip to Italy, um, in May of 24, so hopefully as soon. You know, I take my exam on Saturday, I can be done, and then next week or in two weeks, I can start planning our trip. But that was kind of like my husband’s motivation for me. I was just struggling so much in the beginning.
Jordyn: He said, what? What can I do? I’ll take, I’ll take you wherever you want. We can do whatever you want if you get through these exams. Because I think he really didn’t know if I would actually follow through because I was just struggling so hard. So I said, really? You’ll take me to Italy if I want? He said, absolutely.
Jordyn: So that really motivated me to like get serious and find something that worked for me. I taped up a little picture of Italy on my wall. So, yeah.
Nate: That’s awesome.
Jordyn: That’s kind of our big thing.
Nate: Did you, uh, did you get that idea out of the, the little motivation guide?
Nate: That is in the PRO course?
Nate: Yeah, that really does, that really does work.
Nate: I still do that. Like I’ll, I don’t know if there’s some project I’m trying to get done or anyway. Some, some goal I’m trying to hit, I will buy the thing sometimes and like have it sitting here in, in my basement either where I like work out or something and have to see it, but I can’t use it. Like I can’t, I can’t like have it until I’ve like done the the thing.
Nate: Yeah. And, uh.
Jordyn: It, it made a huge, it’s difference.
Nate: This daily physical reminder.
Nate: That’s awesome. Have you seen White Lotus that show?
Jordyn: No, is it pretty good.
Nate: It’s, so the second season is in Italy. Oh. And uh, I’ve heard that just like trips to Italy have gotten even more popular because of that show.
Nate: It’s just this stupid HBO show. I mean, it’s really good. It’s not like meaningful or anything. It’s just one of their stupid shows. But.
Jordyn: That’s fine, I like stupid shows.
Nate: The first seasons in Hawaii. The second, yeah, the second season’s in Italy.
Jordyn: Nice. Well I’m gonna go watch it now.
Nate: It’s pretty good.
Connecting With Other People Through the CPA Exams
Jordyn: Yeah. I actually got connected with another, um, person taking their exams and they just got back from Italy and they had all these recommendations for me. Um, and they said that there’s like a lemon farm on the Amalfi Coast that’s just supposed to be, um, a must, a must do while you’re in Italy. It’s been nice getting to meet people through these exams.
Jordyn: Obviously it’s not the best experience ever having to take these, but I’ve met a lot of really nice people and have made a lot of good connections, just taking exams with other people and hearing their experience, and that’s been really cool.
Nate: Yeah. Now, is that through people at your firm that are also studying, or do you mean like the CPA subreddit or?
Jordyn: The subreddit, yeah. Just, just online.
Jordyn: Just talking to other people and knowing that you’re not alone and feeling like, you know, these exams make you feel so dumb. You know, it doesn’t matter how you did in high school, or in college, they just, they just make you feel like you know nothing. So just to talk to other people who were going through it too, that really kept me going and motivated and they’re just super encouraging on there.
Talking About Wanting to Guide Someone Else With Studying Efficiently
Jordyn: Um, but yeah. And then we have a, so we’re a super small firm, um, here and so there’s like maybe 15 of us. And so there’s only one other person here who’s about to start taking their exams. And so after everything I’ve learned through the whole process, I feel like I’ll be able to send him your way and just get him doing it the right way from the start instead of wasting time, and I’m so happy that I can help him in that way.
Nate: Yeah. Well, what you said about, you know, when you fail an exam making you feel dumb. At the same time, it’s crazy how, if you just change your strategies, like what you actually spend time doing, the, you know, the results you get. So therefore it’s not like, you know, you know it’s not an IQ thing.
Nate: I know, I get what you mean.
Nate: It just sucks to fail, obviously.
Nate: But tweaking your strategies and you start getting completely different results, you know, you can be like, well, it was just how I studied. It’s not, you know, it’s not me.
Jordyn: Yeah. And just studying efficiently, I mean, is just, it, it’s key because I mean, I know that most people taking these exams are working or they’re, you know, they’re working full-time and have kids at home and I don’t have kids and I, I don’t know how those people do it, but they’ve got to figure out some way to study more efficiently because I, I know people who passed, passed all four on their first try, but they were studying full-time and studying eight hours a day. And you know when you have life and just everything else going on, you have to find something else better than that that can get you through.
Nate: Right. Yeah, definitely. Well, um, we’ve kind of gone through everything and I don’t want to take up much more.
Nate: Did you have to, did you take like the morning off to do this? Because you’d be at work normally, right?
Jordyn: I’m, I’m at work. I just close my door.
Nate: Okay, okay.
Jordyn: I usually don’t take a lunch or anything, so just an hour of something in the morning, it’s no big deal.
Jordyn’s Top Tips for People Still Struggling With the CPA Exams
Nate: Um, so last thing I always ask, you probably know this. What, uh, even if it’s stuff we already talked about, what would be your top three tips for people trying to figure out their own study process still.
Jordyn: My top three tips would be wake up and study in the morning. Even if you’re not a morning person, you need to change your mentality and you need to become a morning person.
Jordyn: Um, listen to audio notes constantly. No matter what you’re doing, you need to be listening to audio. Even if you’re cooking or getting ready or driving, you need to listen to them because just having so many different methods of retaining the material and hearing it and seeing it and practicing it, it will make such a big difference.
Jordyn: And number three, just keep taking them. Do not give up. I believe that you can get through them with just brute force. You know, if you give up, I mean you’re done, but if you just keep taking them, yeah, you’ll eventually get it. Um, but implementing all of your study strategies made a huge diff, a huge difference for me, so.
Nate: Yeah. That’s awesome to hear.
Talks About Why She Chose SuperfastCPA Out of All the Other Podcasts
Nate: I mean, I’m glad you, uh, so it sounds like you found us through the podcast first?
Jordyn: I think so.
Nate: Were you like searching on? Did, did you search like CPA in your podcast app to find something?
Jordyn: Yeah, it was super random and then that, yours was the first one that popped up and I just, I was desperate for anything to help me and I saw a few different ones and I ended up, um, clicking on yours and just loved the idea and the concepts behind your studying, not taking you four hours after work.
Jordyn: And, you know, the fact that it was geared towards working professionals and people with busy lives.
Nate: Yeah. Which is, I mean, that’s like most people, you know?
Nate: It’s, yeah.
Jordyn: They’re just, I don’t know, people out there say like, you should have taken ’em before you went to work and like, I had so many people tell me that, but I wanted, like, I had to get to my 150 hours and I wanted to like gain experience and start making money.
Jordyn: And so I knew that I, it was gonna be hard, but it was just nice seeing someone being like pro that route instead of against it like everything else I had heard.
Nate: Yeah. And I mean, you know, the pass rates are only 50% so if you don’t get ’em all done in the summer between your masters and your like first job, then, then what are you supposed to do?
Nate: I mean, most people are working at some point through the process, you just can’t, nobody has just six months without working to, you know, study all day and take the exams.
Jordyn: Yeah, that was definitely not my situation.
Nate: Yeah. Okay. Well, um, yeah, I’ll let you get back to work, but I appreciate you doing the call.
Nate: You had a lot of good things to share. Definitely let me know how BEC goes this next time or when you’re done. And, uh, that’s awesome about your Italy trip. But anyways, I’m glad you found us and that it’s been helpful. So congrats on being three out of four so far.
Jordyn: Thank you so much. Y’all have been the reason for all of this, so thanks for everything you do and keep helping people, get through these.
Nate: Yeah, yeah, it was fun to chat and hear your story.
Nate: So that was the interview with Jordyn. I’m sure you found that very helpful and informative and motivating to hear her own journey about how she was doing everything she thought she should do in the beginning, and it just still wasn’t working and then just tweaking her strategies a little bit, and then not even having to put in as much time as before and everything was working so much better. So anyone can make those same small tweaks, as long as there are the right tweaks, to their study process and get much better results.
Nate: So if you did find this episode helpful, please take a second to share it with someone else. You know, who’s also working on their CPA exams or also leave a rating and review for our podcasts or, you know, like and subscribe, leave a comment on YouTube. It just helps in the different algorithms to help other people find these episodes. So thank you for watching or listening and we’ll see you on the next episode.