How to Improve CPA Scores? How Addison Did It

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How to improve CPA scores? In today’s interview you’ll hear how Addison went from scoring in the 70s over 3 years, to then making some changes to her study routine, and then going 4 for 4 while scoring in the mid-to-high 80s on her CPA exams. Addison does a great job of describing in detail the exact mistakes she realized she was making, and the adjustments that helped her improve her average score by over 10 points.

Episode Timestamps

  • 00:27: A brief overview of Addison’s story.
  • 05:32: Addison describes how she was stuck in a loop, studying and taking exams for 3 years before she realized what was holding her back and that she needed to make a change.
  • 08:29: Coming across a SuperfastCPA Ad and watching the FREE 1hr training.
  • 09:30: Purchasing the SuperfastCPA bundle and applying the techniques to her study process.
  • 11:24: Addison making the most of her more productive morning hours for meaningful study time. “Once I watched the strategy videos, it was sinking in that it might be a good strategy to use my most awake hours of the day.”
  • 13:02: Finding what works best for you.
  • 14:35: Addison highlights the importance of being committed, disciplined, and holding yourself accountable.
  • 16:34: Addison’s strategy for managing the weekends in her study schedule.
  • 17:51: The note-taking strategy that proved to be a catalyst to Addison’s success in her CPA exams. “I didn’t even really use my books after that, because I made better notes myself. And that’s what ended up working for me. My notes were better because they were in my own voice.”
  • 22:05: Preparing for Practice Sims before and during the test day.
  • 25:05: Leveraging a study planner/calendar to gain the most out of her study sessions and to stay accountable.
  • 26:45: Addison passes her exams! “I took FAR on July 3, 2020, and I ended up getting an 83. I was beyond words; I was so happy. So I kept with it. I used SuperfastCPA for REG and I passed in the 80s. And then I blasted through BEC in November/December to take it in January of 2021 and I was done in the nick of time.”
  • 28:20: “What did it feel like to get your fourth score?” – Nate
  • 30:28: Learn Addison’s top tips for people taking (or planning to take) their CPA exams.
  • 32:57: How studying in the morning creates momentum for better study outcomes.
  • 34:35: Addison’s mindset over her 3-year period of attempting but failing her exams—and how she pushed through.
  • 38:54: Share the podcast episodes with friends or colleagues who are working on their exams: “These interviews are the most helpful, free resource anywhere available for people that are trying to figure out their own CPA study process.”

Episode Resources

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Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript was automatically generated and might have some inaccuracies.

Nate: Welcome to Episode 56 of the CPA Exam Experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate and in today’s interview you’re going to hear from Addison. And I really like Addison’s interview because her story is she spent three years going through things the normal way. So she was trying to watch every video lecture, read every chapter, and then before she knew it, three years had gone by. She just wasn’t getting the results, even though she was dedicated, putting in a lot of time. So she started to look for another approach and she found SuperfastCPA. And then she just applied the study process that we kind of outline in those free one hour trainings and in our PRO course, and she started getting much better results. She does a very good job in this interview of just making it crystal clear, she walks through her three year experience where she wasn’t getting the results and then the changes she made, the breakthroughs she had, or the light bulbs that went off in her head about, OK, maybe this would work better. Here’s what I need to change about this. And the thing about that is, is the most common mistakes that people make when they’re studying for these exams, they’re very universal. They’re usually the same mistakes. And then the little tweaks that I’m always talking about that would help anybody get better results. Those are also universal. They are almost always the same things that just people are just missing one little portion of or just a key part of their process. So you will hear that from start to finish. You will find this a very easy episode to take the best tips or the best strategies from Addison’s story and apply them to your own study process just because she does such a good job of describing these were the mistakes I was making the first time around. And then this is what I changed about it. And she’s just very clear in explaining her process from start to finish. So before we get into that, I just want to mention our free one, our training again on this interview. Addison, you’ll hear her mention it. It was the first thing she came across from SuperfastCPA. You watch these one hour trainings, we give you this big picture walk through of our study process, how it’s different than the normal way of studying. And the key thing you walk away with is exactly the six key ingredients that your study process needs to contain some version of to make sure that you’re getting the results out of the time you’re spending. And then the other thing is the framework of the free training is we’re teaching you the perfect two hour study session. So the idea with that is this is how you spend two hours where you will get more done in this one two hour session than someone studying four to five hours the normal way. So you’ll find these sessions extremely helpful if you haven’t taken the time to watch one of these sign up for one right now, just go to SuperfastCPA dot com. It’s the main thing at the top of our homepage and click on that. Go to the registration page, choose an upcoming time that will work for you and then do not miss it. It is that helpful and it’s that valuable. We’ll save you months and months of time and frustration. So all that being said, let’s get into the interview with Addison.
Speaker 3: So you work in industry or you’re in public accounting still?
Addison: I’m in public, so I’m finishing out my fifth busy season right now and our main industry to our health care. So we work on a lot of nursing homes, dabbled in with a handful of non-profits and manufacturers or so.
Speaker 3: Do you do tax then?
Addison: I don’t do any tax. I’m strictly in the audit department, which I think has been really good, but it makes Wragge really difficult. Yeah.
Speaker 3: And was that the last one you did?
Addison: I ended up taking Betsey last actually. So like a true auditor I got I started with audit to get that confidence up and kind of get a passing scoring, give yourself a little kick in the butt. And then I worked on Wragg because I knew it would be difficult. I took far after that. And then I finished with Betsey because I took my last exam this last January. So specifically, I started my busy season pretty early. So I knew I would be working 60 hour weeks studying for Betsey. And I wanted to make my life as easy as I could.
Speaker 3: So you said you took the exams for three years. What did the first three years consist of?
Addison: So like most first year associates, you go in and your firm buys something. So our firm helps you pay for Bekker. And so I was just using Bekker and I was trying to learn a new job and I moved to a new city, so. In my free time, I was trying to make friends and I wasn’t grasping the Bekker material, to be quite honest, I would do the same as I would do the multiple choice and I would get 70, 70 threes. And it’s heartbreaking to spend so much time. So that’s kind of where I found myself getting stuck and looking for something else to help. I think about moving to a different study option, maybe gleam or while you’ll be better, but you spend so much time and because you know the process. So that’s kind of what I found super fast and decided that I might need some supplemental material just based on my learning style.
Speaker 3: Yeah, and so was that you said taking the practice and the questions was that after watching the lectures, you would just do the whole thing, like watch the video, read the text, that whole thing.
Addison: Yeah. At that point I was watching all the lectures I was highlighting in the books and then kind of doing the lecture Multiple-choice, same kind of procedure, which clearly didn’t work for me. I wasn’t able to retain the information because it takes so long to get through a chapter that way.
Speaker 3: So yeah. So for three years, where you going in and taking sections or was it like you just never felt ready and so you never actually took any exams in those three years?
Addison: I took a number of exams to be quite honest. Yeah, I probably took three exams a year. So in three years I took nine or so exams and I bounced around. I thought, I’ll try on it. I kind of got close. All right. I’ll try B.S.. All right. Maybe that one’s not for me. I’ll try Wragge. And that’s how you try to do different things to find out what works for you. And it turns out it wasn’t the material for me. It was the study habit. And I just hadn’t narrowed down what time of day was best for me, how to take my own notes. And now is really what was holding me back.
Speaker 3: I guess I always say like a recipe and there’s like key ingredients right to the time that you study. Like, it sounds so obvious, but like you have to make sure that it’s like just set up in a way that you’re actually going to do it each day. And that’s just like most basic step. And then from there, it’s knowing what to do when you do sit down to study. And then there’s the whole rereview aspect. Anyways, we’ll get into all that. So, OK, so you came across, did you see one of our video ads or something? And then what was the first thing you saw? Like our one? Our training is that if you remember.
Addison: Yeah, it must have been so a lot of my online ads because I was doing because my YouTube ads and my Facebook ads were very much focused. I love how the Internet does that. And so I had found one of the free videos that was pitching. Here’s the best way to study in the best times to study the best app. And here’s how we’re different from NINJA that makes you write your own notes and here’s how we’re different. And so I read it or watched it, and then I looked into it a little bit more and did some of my own research on reviews. And I decided that for a few hundred bucks, like what would be the loss? Right. Like the same amount as me reapplying for an exam. So like, if I try it and it doesn’t work, I didn’t really lose anything. So that’s how I kind of decided to give SuperfastCPA try. And I started with five. So I was like, I’m going to try it on the hardest one, OK?
Speaker 3: And so in your little form, you put in it, said you. So you watch the training videos. So there’s like the free training. But then if you purchase the bundle, there’s our actual, like, strategy videos. So you watch those as well.
Addison: I did. I watched the strategy videos and I thought about the idea of studying before work and getting your two hours out of the way and supplementing with five multiple choice questions throughout the day instead of trying to fit in a twenty question block. That’s probably going to take you forty minutes just based on the material. And I started thinking about like the way I learn and repetition and just how tired I am. At the end of a ten hour day of looking at a computer, the last thing I want to do is watch a Becker lecture for another forty minutes and then try to have the brain power after that to get through 30 or 60 multiple choice. So once I watch the strategy videos, it was kind of sinking in that that might be a good strategy for me to use my most awake hours of the day right when I get up, motivate yourself with a cup of coffee. I think your example is the golf clubs you want to buy and reward yourself piecemeal. So I didn’t really follow the piecemeal reward, but I definitely put my cold brew in the fridge at night and that’s what got me into bed in the morning at five thirty or six. So I got my two hour block and thus I.
Speaker 3: Probably drink way too much coffee, but so good,
Addison: it’s so convenient.
Speaker 3: Yeah, exactly it is. That is the big thing I think is I would love to mess around with my own espresso machine, but I don’t because of how much work it would be. So you start doing the two hour session and we followed kind of our format, I guess, like going through the questions first, trying to learn the lesson from almost backwards, just deconstructing it from the questions.
Addison: Yes. So when I started to do my two hour sessions in the morning, at that point, like I said, I had taken all of the exams at least once. So I had watched all the Bekker videos and I was kind of sick of the lectures. So I started with the multiple choice. I would do the multiple choice and then I would use the guides that are basically like outlines of the chapters, and I would rewrite every single important vocab word. And then I would find the SuperfastCPA note section that correlated to the section I was learning. And Bekker and I would do multiple choice and then I would read the SuperfastCPA notes because it was in a different voice. So it was you were learning the same material that you were hearing it a different way. So for me, that’s what I needed, was to do multiple choice, read the notes over and then move on to another section and then do multiple choice and read the notes. And then I made sure that throughout my workday when I took like a social media break, if you will, I made sure I did at least one or two of the app sections. I think it’s five multiple choice you do at a time. And I would I would screenshot the ones I got wrong. And then in the evening when or if I had any brainpower left after a workday, I would try to fit in another hour of studying in the evening. And all I would do in the evening was just multiple choice and I would go over the ones I got wrong. And so I was spending meaningful study time. And I think that was the make or break piece for me was instead of just putting in the hours and sitting at a desk, I was making sure that my hours I was sitting at the desk were really meaningful study time.
Speaker 3: Yeah, that’s another huge distinction is I just think a lot of people never really figure out what that actually means, because the studying for these is just so different than college classes. It’s completely on your own. The information’s in your view, of course, but like how to go through it and actually learn that much stuff in a short amount of time without forgetting it. There’s a million ways to do it and a million ways to screw it up. And yeah,
Addison: yeah, that was it is just finding out and I’d heard that before. Right. People in your firm tell you find what works best for you, but until you actually do it, mean something different. So to be quite honest, I passed on it and I got a seventy seven I, I barely passed on it and then I started buying the SuperfastCPA materials and I was passing my next few exams in the eighties just like mid to high eighties. And I was like, what is going on. Like that’s how much of a difference something like this can make if that’s how your brain works. And for me that’s how my brain operated was repetition, repetition and the commitment. The time commitment, I think is something that was underrated for the first few years of me studying, too.
Speaker 3: Yeah. So going back to that, if this happens to everybody, if you save your studying for after work, I’m guessing it just got multiple days a week, something would come up and you just wouldn’t really study that much. So it was
Addison: right. Yeah, no, the difference for me, I think, was making a commitment to myself and making that choice to be disciplined. So once I decided I’m not allowed to go to the gym until I get my hours of studying in or I’m going to plan so I can make a really quick half an hour dinner and get my studying in. And I started telling my friends to I’m not allowed to make plans on weeknights because I’m studying. And so once I set my own discipline and I committed to myself and decided that I was doing this for me, that made the world of a difference. And I think it’s just holding yourself accountable, which is not an easy thing to do when you’re self study.
Speaker 3: Right. And then once you switch to doing it in the mornings, would you kind of freeze you up, I’m guessing? Was that your experience? Like you just have that the biggest obstacle out of your way for the day and then would you where are you more flexible in the evenings where you just kind of relax a lot more than you were before?
Addison: Yeah, it took the stress off because when you’re thinking about during your workday, having to study in the evening, it’s a stress area and it weighs on you. So when I was able to get my studying done in the morning, I had a better work day and I felt better when five and six o’clock rolled around because I knew I was going to have to be in bed by nine or. If I was going to get up at five, 30, so I was getting more sleep, I was just having a better day in general because I got my biggest chunk of studying done first.
Speaker 3: Yeah, definitely the two hours in the morning, it just again, it solves a lot of problems. Yeah, you start making progress simply because you’re just being consistent every day. It’s a lot easier to fit in that two hours than to fight yourself over like it’s three or four or a five hour study session at night, like you said, when you’re tired. You’ve already been looking at a computer for ten hours.
Addison: Right. And that’s the other strategy was the weekends. I didn’t fully utilize my weekends before, but when I committed to being up at eight a.m. on a Saturday and not making plans all afternoon, I worked. I studied from eight to noon. And when you make that your schedule, it’s not so hard.
Speaker 3: Right? We put in those videos and I think it’s hard for people to accept. But when you just kind of take and no days off approach and a lot of people doing these interviews, a lot of people out there just completely take some days off and whatever. Like the big thing is you never start a Monday behind on your study schedule. So it’s like you try to follow it as good as you can through the week. If something does happen, you kind of like wipe the weekend clear and do whatever it takes to be caught up. Just the general idea is don’t start on Monday. Right. And that, again, prevents a lot of problems. Anyways, the other thing I was going to ask is you mentioned you’re one of the big breakthroughs for you when you started passing your sections was how you took notes or just that that added element of putting things in your own words that you struggled with. Just tell me about that. Like, what did you start doing for that?
Addison: So my notes when I started passing tests, I realized that my note taking was not just to take notes. I was taking notes for my final review. So when I thought of it as I’m going to come back to these notes for my last two, three weeks of review, I started writing better notes because I knew I was going to look at them again. So I for me, it was easier to type my notes out. So I always had a document open and when I got a question wrong, I would either take down what number was or screenshot it if it was in the app, and then I would use my weekends in my multiple choice sessions to run through those. And when I continually got a question wrong, I would make myself type it out. I would make myself write it out. And then when I got to my review session, I would print out all of my notes, I would read through. Then I would highlight things I knew that I struggled with. And then as I did my review, multiple choice, I would continue to write out the questions I got wrong on my printed notes. So I was making better notes for myself and I was actually using them, whereas before I would write notes and I’d never go back to them.
Speaker 3: Yeah, and I’m guessing before again, I think what a lot of people do is they’ll just type like word for word, what they’re seeing, that’s someone else’s steps or the way that they understand it. And like for me, my flashcards, by the end, I would make how a formula worked almost in my own not my own language, but I think if someone else read it, it wouldn’t really make sense. It’s just exactly how I viewed it. And that’s why they were so helpful. Right. So you didn’t use flashcards then? You typed notes?
Addison: I typed my notes, right. So I had a header, typed my main points or my vocab. And then at the end of the chapter, I would print my notes and I would highlight the typed sections and then I would use the back side of my printed paper for my written notes. So the questions I got wrong or concepts that I just needed to, like, pound the concepts more, that’s when I would use my written notes. But I kept them all together. They were always in a binder clip. They stayed with my SuperfastCPA notes. So when I went to a friend’s house, when I’m on vacation, the whole folder of notes came with me and my tablet right where I could continue to work. So that was the other piece that I wasn’t tied down to a big book. I didn’t even really use my books after that because I, I made better notes myself and yeah, that’s what I ended up working for me is my notes were better, I think, to your point, because they were in my own voice and I wrote them the way I think.
Speaker 3: Right. This wasn’t one of my big talking points before I started doing these interviews. But I, I realized talking to all these people, that was like this other key piece that everyone who had figured out how to pass their exams had done some form of was that either flashcards or their own notes, but some form of putting things in their own words. That’s just different than like using the flashcards that come with your view, of course, is that again, that’s the same. It’s just you’re constantly just reading what’s in front of you, it doesn’t really force you to think or like force you to realize it or not, if you understand it, if you can’t put it in your own words and you don’t really get it.
Addison: That’s like the step that I think the test takes is you can do the work and you can run multiple choice and you can memorize the questions. But until you’re able to apply them and and work through a simple question and understand it, when a variable changes, that’s what throws you off during the test, is when you think you’ve seen this question before. But they add in the word like not. And because you’re reading too fast, you get it wrong. But if you conceptually think of the question and you’re continually seeing new buckets of questions, I think that was the other helpful pieces. SuperfastCPA had multiple choice questions, but they were worded differently than my Bekker ones. They were in a different format. They just made you think differently. And so I think not falling into the repetition of similarly worded questions was helpful because you had to read and be critical of the question.
Speaker 3: Yeah, that’s a good point. So the practice Sim’s and then how they’re so different on test day, like what did you do to prepare for this?
Addison: I did not do Sims when I ran through a chapter in primarily I saved all of my Sims for my review weeks because Sims were there just traditionally harder. And I felt that if I saved them for the end, I would learn them closer to the test. And I always took the AICPA practice test that they offer. So I would use the CPA’s practice exams and then I would find in my study material The Sims that were formatted the same way. And I would practice those and I would watch the review videos because usually they’ll explain the same to you as well and they’ll tell you your thought process and what notes you should be taking. So I saved all my sins for the end because that’s where I struggled the most. And I would work on the chapters and the concepts that aligned with The Sims that I struggled with the most to try to just bang them out as much as I could.
Speaker 3: Yeah, and that’s a good idea. So, like, we’re using our stuff a year and a half ago. We now have like a newer version of the strategy videos. Now we call them the pro videos and there’s like a specific one on the we call like the mega cram session. But that’s kind of the idea is like the last two days before the exam or if you have a week left or whatever, you just work in sets of like exactly what you’d see in the exam, like two sets of thirty, multiple choice and then five to seven practices. And that should be instead of going back to like week lessons, I think it’s a lot better to do just repeat coverage, just keep going through essentially the same little cycle you see on the exam. Kind of like you said,
Addison: that’s the piece about having enough review time, right. Is having enough review time to fit in a four hour practice test or even a two hour practice test to identify your weak areas. That was a big improvement for me, is if I built in and stayed on track, I would have two weeks. I could take a practice exam and then I could focus my last week of review in the areas that I needed it the most. Because at some point you have to understand that you’re not going to get over 80 percent on every single section on far because there’s just too much that you can be as well versed in the sections that you’re good at and cross your fingers that you get less of the questions that are difficult for you, because it’s it’s just the makeup of what you get at the end of the day.
Speaker 3: Right. So you’d go through the practice. Oh, and that was the timeline thing. So would you put it in your study planner if you use that to be through all the content? So you had two weeks left at the end?
Addison: Yeah, that was the goal. So I always made my calendar on paper and I kept it with my study materials. So I would kind of write out the weeks and I would say it’s going to take me either a week and a half or four days to do each chapter, depending on how ambitious I was or how busy work was. And then I would make sure I did whatever I needed to do to stay on track. So I would make my calendar in two weeks at least of review. I think I might have had a few more weeks for far just to be ready. And then it also gives you a little bit of a buffer. If you get behind, you have a little bit of time at the end. So I would always take before my review started. I always take a practice exam, a full one, even if I wasn’t through the material, just to start sitting at the computer for that long, because when you do two hour sessions, you get used to being done after two hours. Yeah. So as I get closer, I would stop listening to music with words. I would only listen to instrumental music for the last two weeks and then maybe the last week I would just cut all music and I would. Try to study in the testing environment. I would not have snacks, I would only have water. I would try to make it as like the exam as it could be for my own sake and just to get ready.
Speaker 3: Yeah, well, it started working, apparently. So you said you started kind of using our strategies or whatever in our stuff. So you had passed on it and you started really on fire.
Addison: Yes.
Speaker 3: And then you were three, four, three. You passed by that time. And then from there it was just past the
Addison: past audit in the fall of twenty nineteen. Then I failed the rig that fall and I failed far early in twenty twenty. And at that point I was frustrated and exhausted from studying and I was like, I need something new. And I had seen the super fast video so I purchased it for far and I really committed in the spring of twenty twenty without distractions. Right. We were all in quarantine so I only really had work and studying and seeing roommates. So I took far in like July 3rd of twenty twenty and at that point I had like six weeks to wait for my score and I ended up getting like an eighty three and I was beyond words. I was so happy so I kept with it. I use SuperfastCPA Regg and I passed Regg in the eighties and then I blasted through Bessey in November and December to take it in January of twenty twenty one and consistently gaud in the eighties was done in the nick of time for a busy season this year. And it was, it was exciting because you get to share that with your friends and family who have seen you sacrifice and struggle and study for years.
Speaker 3: So yeah, that is like some people’s reaction. They start studying and they’re just one of those people they pass in a few months. And so to them, it was kind of like, yeah, it was hard, but not a huge deal. But yeah, if it’s spend like years going to be this huge event. So what did it feel like to get your fourth score?
Addison: It was so exciting. It was really exciting. It was probably a Monday or Tuesday night, maybe Tuesday when the scores come out. And I remember I followed NASDA on Twitter and I remember seeing them make the announcement, OK, scores are going to come out 7:00 p.m. Central Time. And I remember telling my boyfriend, all right, seven pm and he goes, Didn’t you stay Central Time? And I was like, oh, crap, I got to wait till 4:00. So I worked until six thirty or so and then tried to make dinner and keep myself busy, checked my score, you know, a few minutes after 8:00. And I was so happy I was in tears. It was just such a relief and a sense of pride to have accomplished this for myself and my career. And it’s something that I can carry with me for the rest of my life and just be proud that I accomplish this.
Speaker 3: Yeah, it is it that’s awesome. Like everyone knows the financial benefits that come later, but once you start putting in all the time and effort, it quickly becomes the only thing you really care about is just being done.
Addison: Yeah, yes.
Speaker 3: Yeah. It’s just such a relief. That’s cool.
Addison: It is. You get to call your parents and share it with them. And I called my mentor at work and shared it with her and working at a public firm, it’s something to be celebrated because you need to it’s a big deal. You need it to move up and take it shows that you’re devoted to your career. And it’s nice when you see H.R. send out that email and you spend half an hour getting really nice messages back from people who certain things like welcome to the club or like we’re so happy for you. So it is really something to be celebrated. And I’m thankful that I’m in an environment at my company, even though we’re remote. Right. You can see my lovely work from Home Office. People still want to reach out and send you a nice message because they remember when they were there. And it’s a big deal.
Speaker 3: Yeah, it is. Well, congrats. That’s awesome. So what would you say? Even if it’s stuff we already cover, what would you say are your top two or three tips for people still working on their exams?
Addison: The top tips I have for someone working on their exams is that you want to be getting the CPA for you. And when you change your mindset and you choose to invest in yourself and your career and your studying for the right reasons, then everything changes. Then you start to respect your own time or you start to do meaningful studying. And I think the rest of the important parts of studying and why you’re studying fall into place when you make that choice for yourself and you commit to your own future in your own career, because being a CPA is not for everybody. And some people don’t know that until they are spending all this time studying and they have that realization. So for me, it was making the decision. That this is what I want to do for the rest of my life and this studying is worth it and it’s something I want to do and I’m going to make it a goal of mine and really get it done, whether that’s financial investment, it’s your time, it’s your mindset and your your commitment. And and it’s not being afraid to say that when I was able to stand up and say I’m not going to the get together because I’m studying and people respect your choice. And so it’s nice. Some of it is validation. Right. I need you to respect my choice to not attend this event and to put time into myself. I think no one is do it for the right reasons. Do it for you. Number two is don’t be afraid to change up your study style. It took me a few years to figure out the best study style for me, and it only worked because I didn’t give up and I kept going. And I had people in my life who supported me and said, OK, you are really close, right? What are you missing? You got a 70 for what could you have done better? And you’re constantly critiquing and improving your study style to make it work for you because you’re going to study different than your friend or your coworker. So I wasn’t afraid to try something new. And I think stepping out of your comfort zone to study and write notes or figure out what works for you, that’s really number two, is try something new because you just don’t know what will work for you.
Speaker 3: Yeah, that’s a good tip, I guess. One other question. Did you almost get where get to the point once you started studying it two hours in the morning. So you were done for the day, you know, and it’s nice and quiet. Like you said, your brain is the freshest. Did you almost get to where you looked forward to that time in the morning? I mean, I know you can’t I think it wasn’t maybe that I looked forward to it. It was more contrasting how hectic and how bad it felt to try and study at night when I just finally switched to the morning, just how nice it was and much easier, just all things considered.
Addison: Yeah, I may not have enjoyed my morning study, but I enjoyed being done with my morning studying and I started to see the benefits of morning studying really quickly because my evenings were about me, my evenings were about relaxing again, which is something that you lose, you lose really quickly when you try to fit studying it in the evening. So I think as much as waking up early is hard and it sucks, it’s worth it. And when it’s eight o’clock and I take a fifteen minute break and I’m done studying and I’m ready to start my workday, it was worth it waking up at six a.m.. Was it worth it?
Speaker 3: Yeah, that’s probably the better way of putting it. And I just feel like it’s like a momentum thing to it’s just once you get momentum again Study Hacks never fun but yeah once you get momentum you just don’t want to ruin it. And that I don’t know, it’s just an easy way of getting momentum. So.
Addison: Right. Once your clock starts ticking, that’s a good kick in the butt too.
Speaker 3: Yeah, that’s true. So three years, that’s a long time. But you also mentioned you never had thoughts of giving up. How do those two things work together? Like after three years and I’ve talked to people that their timeline was way longer than that. They took exams for almost ten years. Wow. Anyways, how did your mindset work? Did you ever start to waver after the two or three years or so?
Addison: I took exams over a three year period and there were definitely busy seasons, probably the second and third busy season where I decided I can’t take exams for these three months or four months because I really just need to focus on my career and and learn on it and spend my time on that. And I think throughout that time, I also saw my coworkers advance and I saw other people, parts that I worked with and I worked side by side with. And that’s really encouraging us to be in an environment where other people are studying and other people are taking and passing tests. And it was constantly a conversation at work during your annual evaluation. Right. It’s OK. You have to pass off or what have you passed? Let’s do a check in. What do you need to study? What’s working for you and what’s not working? So I think there were a few things that encouraged me throughout my three years of failing most of the tests passing on here or there, but never getting that momentum. And a lot of it was seeing people that I looked up to and worked with past tests. And that’s encouraging to just to be in that environment. Yeah.
Speaker 3: And just sound like just you wanted to stay where you were at and improve there in that company or whatever. And so, yeah, just kind of helps to you just constantly look forward instead of thinking, I’m going to stop doing this. You probably just felt like I’m I can’t stop. Right.
Addison: And there are definitely hard days. There are weekends where it’s so. Beautiful outside, and it’s the summer and you’re done with busy season and you really want to go to the beach or the lake with your friends, and those were probably the hardest days where I had zero test passed or I had one test under my belt and I really wanted to do something else. And I just had to remind myself, like, as much as this sucks, it’s going to be worth it and you will get through this. And sometimes I would call a friend and say, hey, I’m really having a hard day. She’d give me a pep talk and maybe that’s what I needed that day is for my college friend to remind me that this is important and that I can do this. So I definitely had very encouraging people in my life that supported me on this journey and and helped to keep me positive. The time.
Speaker 3: I think you actually mentioned summer coming up and your your little thing. Right. So thinking about that, this is what your first summer and four years where you don’t have this hanging over your head. Is that.
Addison: That’s correct. That’s nice to be able to go on vacation and not drag along a study book, you know.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Thinking back on my own thing, you even mentioned, like, my motivating thing to myself was like this new golf clubs, but in four pieces. Right. And I was taking my exams over the winter for the most part. And that was the big it’s like I win golf season comes around again. I do not want to be messing with this, so. Yeah, well, congrats. That’s for summer and for years, especially if you do stuff outside and you’re like, that’s a big thing to do. So yeah, that’s a big deal.
Addison: Yeah, for me it is. For me it is a big deal. So thank you.
Speaker 3: So yeah. Well yes. I’m glad our stuff could help. Thank you for doing this call. I don’t want to take a much more of your time, but people find these really valuable and you share a lot of good tips. So congrats on being done and. Yeah. Thank you.
Addison: Yeah. Thanks. I hope you enjoy your summer too.
Speaker 3: All right. So that was the
Nate: interview with Adderson. Like I said in the intro, I’m sure you found that very helpful and just very informative. She was very good at describing in detail just her thought process as she was going through the study process the first three years and then the breakthroughs, being able to look back and analyze, realize what the mistakes that she was making once she realized what she should be doing differently. So it’s just a very helpful episode if you are also trying to smooth out and master your own study process. So I would just ask two things if you found this helpful. First, do your friends or coworkers a favor that are also working on their CPA exams and share the episode or the podcast in general with them? I think these podcast episodes where you just have experience after experience from successful CPA candidates about the things they figured out. I think these interviews are the most helpful free resource anywhere available for people that are trying to figure out their own CPA study process. So take a second, share an episode with your friends or coworkers that are also working on their exams. And then if you have time, please take a second and leave a rating and review in the podcast app where you listen to these. So thank you for listening. And we will see you on the next episode of.

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