In this SuperfastCPA podcast interview, you’ll hear how Trisha used mainly MCQs to pass her CPA exams. She didn’t watch video lectures or read the chapter, she just used the questions-first approach to simplify her study process, and it worked. She also has a lot of tips on staying focused and motivated while you go through the CPA exam study process.
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- 00:00 Trisha Interview
- 00:53 Intro
- 03:06 How Trisha Started Her CPA Journey
- 05:25 Finding Out About SuperfastCPA
- 06:48 Things That Made Sense from the Free Training Webinar
- 09:52 Going Through the Questions and Not Trying to Master Them
- 14:04 When Trisha Would Create Flashcards
- 19:00 Made Reminders for Mini Sessions Throughout the Day
- 20:54 What Trisha Would Do on Her Mini Session
- 22:25 Something Trisha Wished She Did Earlier
- 24:07 Trisha’s Daily Study Routine
- 25:45 The Difference Studying Before and After SuperfastCPA
- 28:00 Having the Sense of Direction Studying With the PRO Videos
- 32:15 Why Doing Multiple Choice is More Efficient Than Doing Practice Sims
- 37:21 Consistency is Key Even on Weekends
- 39:00 Planning Her Study Around the Exam Days
- 41:18 Figuring Out How to Schedule Her Study With Her Main Review Course
- 42:20 Trisha’s Final Review Study Process
- 44:37 How Trisha Dealt With Motivation When Studying
- 46:26 Trisha Gave Herself Mini Rewards for Nailing Her Study Process Daily
- 49:03 How It Has Been After Finishing the CPAExams
- 49:57 Top Tips for People Struggling with their CPA Study Process
- 52:28 Top Benefits Trisha Got from SuperfastCPA
- 54:56 Outro
Trisha: But I was, I was studying the normal way, I was watching videos, reading text, um, and it just, it wasn’t clicking. It’s just a lot of information and making sure you remember the right information for the exam, so. Um, it definitely, I realized I needed a better study method, but, um, I didn’t, I didn’t find SuperfastCPA until after I took FAR the second time, I’d seen the ads on YouTube and then I did the one hour webinar that you had, the free one, and I was like, oh, this makes, this is my life.
Like this is how I studied during school. This makes so much more sense.
Why am I not doing that right now? Yeah. Um, and that was definitely, that was the main point that I was like, I just, at that point I was like, I’m just purchasing this because this just makes, this is, makes more sense than anything I’ve ever read anywhere else.
Nate: Welcome to episode 109 of the CPA Exam Experience Podcast from SuperfastCPA, I’m Nate. And [00:01:00] in today’s interview, you’re going to hear me talk with Trisha.
So Trisha has a very relatable story where she started studying for the CPA exams. She was putting in a lot of work, was doing everything in her review course, and it still just wasn’t working. She wasn’t passing sections.
So at some point she saw one of our YouTube ads watched our free one hour training. And she said a lot of things clicked. In fact, a lot of things from how she studied back in college. And it just kind of made her realize, I think I’m making the CPA study process harder than it needs to be. So she got our program and now she’s on the podcast so, you know how that went.
So in this episode, Trisha is really good at explaining kind of the nuances of the different study strategies that all added up to her, passing her exams. So you’ll learn a lot from her episode and her [00:02:00] strategies and how she describes them. It makes them easy to understand. And just makes it very logical.
So before we get into the interview, I want to mention two things. First, the free study training webinars, like I said, that’s where Trisha started and pretty much every person you’ve heard on this podcast, that’s the first thing they started with from SuperfastCPA.
It’s a free one hour webinar where we walk through our core strategies so that you can see for yourself. How this is so different from the traditional way of using your review course. You will still be using your main review course in your main study sessions, you just using it differently. So to sign up for one of those free training webinars, you can go to our site at superfastcpa.com or the link will be down in the description of this episode.
The second thing is our free podcast giveaway. So each month we give away three pairs of Power Beat Pro headphones to random listeners who have just entered the giveaway. It’s your name and email address, that link will be down in [00:03:00] the description as well. So with that out of the way, let’s get into the interview with Trisha.
How Trisha Started Her CPA Journey
Nate: So, um, when did you, when did you start studying for the first time for your CPA exams?
Trisha: Yeah, so I, I definitely, I signed up in 2019. I had finished, um, all of my accounting classes, um, in, in May of 2019. And then, um, I signed up for Becker, um, I think maybe the January of 2019. Um, that expired on me cuz I just never got around to it. Um, and I’d started working. in tax in, in September of 2019. Um, and then I just, it, life happened and I never got through, you know, to taking the exams and, um, I did purchase an NTS for FAR, um, and just [00:04:00] basically took it end of December, 2020 just to, you know, the pandemic happened and then all those, you know, NTS’s that expired. They, you know, they, they let them go for a little bit longer and took that, and that just didn’t pass it. Um, and I had purchased Roger in, in the meantime once Becker had expired basically. Um, which I liked, I liked that format a little bit better and I, I like those videos, um, better.
But I was, I was studying the normal way, I was watching videos, reading text, um, and it just, it wasn’t clicking. And when I had taken FAR the first time, I’d only gotten through half the material, so I definitely didn’t pass it. But I, when I took it, I was like, oh, well this is, this is typical. I, I know what this is.
I’ve seen this in school. I’ve been working on this. I, I know how to do this. I just, it’s just a lot of information and making sure you remember the right information for the exam, so. Um, it definitely, I realized I needed a better [00:05:00] study method, but, um, I didn’t, I didn’t find SuperfastCPA until after I took FAR the second time, so that’s kind of, kind of when I started that process. Yeah.
Nate: Okay. Yeah. I pulled up your, uh, kind of your final, I passed REG, I’m done post in the forum just to kind of, cause you gave some of your big difference makers, so, we’ll, we’ll get to those, what you wrote down.
Finding Out About SuperfastCPA
Nate: Uh, so do you remember what you saw first? Was it a YouTube video or how you found us the first time?
Trisha: Um, I think it was, I think I’d seen you, I’d seen the ads on YouTube and then I think I finally pressed on one of them, or might’ve been on like Facebook or something, some social media site or something. Um, and then I think I finally, and then I did the one hour webinar that you had, the free one, and I was like, oh, this makes, this is my life.
Like this is how I studied during school. This makes so much more sense. Like, let me [00:06:00] see if this will help, because not passing FAR twice, I was like, there’s, I’m not doing it right. Like there’s, I know the, the material makes sense to me. The questions on the exam make sense to me, but I’m just not passing the exam.
So I needed to find just something to get me over over that, so.
Nate: Yeah. Um, that, that’s an kind of a side, that’s an interesting comment just because I hear that from a lot of people when I’m doing these interviews. You know, like they’ll, they’re doing the everything in their review course, watching the videos, reading the text, and they’re, they’re doing the practice questions, which, you know, with our approach, that’s really largely kind of what it is. But for some reason it’s not, I don’t know, it’s not connecting.
Things That Made Sense from the Free Training Webinar
Nate: So if you, uh, if you can remember just from that first, the free training webinar, do you remember any ideas specifically that, you know, when you said, okay, [00:07:00] that’s that’s me, or, that really makes sense?
Do you remember what those were?
Trisha: It was definitely, I think doing the practice problems. Just do the practice problems and don’t worry about the lectures and don’t worry about reading. I’m like, well, that’s what I did in school. That’s how I went. That’s how I got through college. Like, once I figured out how to get through college, I was like, well, that’s what I did.
Why don’t, why am I not doing that right now? Yeah. Um, and that was definitely, that was the main point that I was like, I just, at that point I was like, I’m just purchasing this because this just makes, this is, makes more sense than anything I’ve ever read anywhere else.
Trisha: Um, and that was the thing that clicked for me. I was like, let me, let me get the material, you know, let me get the tools and the supplemental tools and let me start doing this.
Trisha: Um, this way.
Nate: Okay. Um, yeah. And so then did you, did you go in and watch the PRO videos as well? That kind of went deeper in the whole study process?
Trisha: Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah. And then, right, yeah, right after I purchased it, I, I, yeah, watched the PRO videos and then started studying for FAR that way. [00:08:00] I think I studied, I think I purchased, um, Superfast in April, and I took the exam in June. Um, so I, I, I only took a, you know, I guess like a month or so. Yeah, month and a half to study.
Um, and I passed and I was like, well, wow. Okay. This definitely works. This method works a lot better and I probably FAR was probably the one where it was, you know, the method I was doing perfectly, like as close to perfect as I could get. I think as I started taking the exams, they got, you know, certain things went away and had to like bring those back a, a little bit, so.
Trisha: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Nate: Yeah. And that’s, you know, that’s kind of how, how it works. Uh, I mean, you know this cause you were a customer but the main thing I try to get new customers to do is, okay, watch the PRO videos because that [00:09:00] will give you this very proven process to follow from start to finish and, and do it exactly for a few weeks, and then once, there’s watching the strategies and then there’s actually like doing them and having it click in your own mind like, okay, this is how this works. And then from there, you know, you can kind of customize and, and obviously in all these interviews, people have different ways of doing the different things, but the kind of the main pillars still have to be there, you know? Um.
Nate: But yeah, that’s, that’s totally how it works. Just your own process can kind of progress and change as you figure things out and as long as it’s working right. Like if you’re passing sections, who cares what you’re doing, you know?
Trisha: Right. Yeah.
Nate: Um, okay so one thing I wanted to ask you.
Going Through the Questions and Not Trying to Master Them
Nate: So when you, on your post again, it says, the difference makers for me, were going through the questions first [00:10:00] and not trying to master them. And so I, I mean, I know what that means obviously, but just for the sake of, like, anyone who’s gonna listen to this, uh, just kind of explain what you, what you mean by that.
Going through the questions, but not trying to master them.
Trisha: Yeah, so I think, um, Roger’s course, um, was definitely helpful in. It, it gave you, you know, the, the sub, the answers. It was for each, each question or each answer, you know, solution. It gave you like why that was wrong or why the other one was right. So you could definitely go through problems, read that, and just kind of, and get a good idea of why you, why you picked the one you picked and why that’s wrong.
And then why the, the one that’s correct is correct so I definitely, I try to do as many problems, get as many of those in, but als, you know, at a certain point you realize you might be memorizing them. So it was more just trying to make sure I, as I’m reading the solution, am I understanding what this is telling me?
And [00:11:00] it, that’s more important than, you know, did I get it right? Did I get it wrong? I stopped worrying about percentages. I stopped worrying about like how many I got, right? How many got wrong? Um, it was more, does this make sense to me? Is this, is this problem making sense to me. And, and is this information making sense to me?
And so it’s more just like if, I mean, I did take a little bit of extra time to, you know, maybe go through solutions or it, you know, maybe the two hours ran longer, you know, per day. And I actually, when I took the exams, I wasn’t working. Um, I had some family issues, so then I was dealing with that and I, but I was home, so I had the extra time that I could spend to, to work those out a little bit more.
But I also didn’t sit there and try to, understand everything. Exactly. I tried to understand what that question was asking and why, maybe why I picked the wrong one. Like what was my brain doing that made me think that was correct and try to, so it was really, it was just, it was an active learning more so than just like passively sitting there and just [00:12:00] reading through it.
Maybe not understanding, but making sure just. And then if I, you know, if it was something that was a little bit more complicated, I’m like, let me just do a few more problems and see if, if reading different solutions, because different solutions will give you some different explanations and sometimes that will click easier than just sitting there trying to like figure out what it’s trying to say in that one problem.
So just, that’s kind of, that was kind of my process of, of going through those, those questions. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah. No, that’s a, that’s a great explanation of it and the key thing you said, well, a few things, but forgetting about what you’re scoring or how you’re doing, um, that is another thing that I’m always trying to get across to people.
Like when you’re, when you’re using the questions from a lesson as like a learning tool, just like you would use the video lecture you how you’re, you’re not even worried about what you’re scoring. That’s completely irrelevant because you’re doing this for the first time so it’s not,[00:13:00] you’re, I don’t know, you’re not being tracked or there’s not, this isn’t test day.
But that’s like a, for a lot of people, that’s just really hard. They just, the video lectures, you know, it’s fine for them to use it when they don’t know anything about a topic, but you tell ’em to go to the questions first, and there’s just some mental block that like, well, I can’t do the questions yet because I, I don’t know this material, so, yeah.
And then, uh, the other thing you said was, basically what you described was letting the different questions in a lesson add layers to your understanding. So like what an explanation on one question might not completely clear it up in your mind, but you do a few more and there’ll be that thing that’s like, okay, that’s, now I get this.
That’s, you know, that is just the most effective way to learn a lesson or, or a topic, is through the questions for that exact reason. Because again, on [00:14:00] test day, that’s what you’re gonna be doing is answering questions.
When Trisha Would Create Flashcards
Trisha: Yeah. And I think, and using those, those questions to then, if I’m getting something wrong over and over again, then using that to create the flashcard.
Because then, then as you read, read it, you know, a few times you can then, um, make some, make a flashcard that’s in your own words. Which I had trouble with. I will admit I did. There was some copy and pasting happening again sometimes. Yeah. But, um, sometimes those copy and paste, you know, reminded me, okay, well that obviously didn’t click cuz I just copy and pasted.
So go back and figure out why that didn’t, how can I make that in my own words and how can I make that more understandable for me so, used it, yeah. The flashcards were a little bit of a, were a little tricky, but, but I, I, they did help. Um, just trying to, just going over and realizing which topics were, were difficult for me. Um, cause it’s usually the same ones that you just, over and over again, yeah, you got wrong, so.
Nate: Yeah. [00:15:00]
Trisha: Um, yeah.
Nate: Yeah. And so in your post here, that was your second point, making flashcards in my own words, and you bolded like in my own words. And so, uh, sorry to have you explain this, but again, for the benefit of people who listen to this.
Nate: So, when you said you struggled with making flashcards in your own words at first. Just how did, how did that go in the beginning? You know, you would, uh, when would you make flashcards? Was it after, during the daily sets of 30? And then what was your actual process for doing it.
Trisha: Yeah. Um, so I think the flashcards, in the daily sets of 30, basically during review, when I was reviewing those questions that I had practiced, um, either in the sets of 30 or, you know, sometimes in the practice of one section, you know, if there was something that needed, you know, I felt a flashcard would help me with that, i, that’s when I picked those out.
Um, and I think, and it was helpful, I, I stopped trying [00:16:00] to write it all out on note cards. Like I tend to get tired of that and then I just quit in the middle and then I lose the note cards. It’s just like, forget it. Um, but I liked, and that was the other thing I liked about Roger’s, um, review course was he, he had a way you can make your own flashcards in that review course.
So I didn’t have to go to like Quizlet or another, you know, source to, to do that. It was in the app. And then I could download the app on my phone and I had them on my phone, um, at all times. Um, a little bit, a little bit more, you know, you had to get into the Roger app and then go to the course and then go to placards.
It was a little bit more of a process, but it still, it was, it was easier for me. I, it, I felt it, it helped doing it that way. So, and then you could make however many flashcards you wanted. You could separate them out however you wanted, move them around. And so I felt that was, it was helpful for me to do it that way.
Um, I, I kind, I think I, when I made them, I made them by section and I think maybe REG was the only one I made multiple [00:17:00] sections cuz it was just like, it was a lot of, a lot of information with that one, so. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah. No, I mean that’s, that, that’s one of those things that’s like a pillar, whether it’s flashcards or some people have, you know, a note taking system they did since college. Whatever it is. Some form of putting things that you struggle to understand in your own words is just.
Nate: You know, when you, it’s one of those things that just makes sense once you hear it the first time, if you explain things in your own words that you struggle with through the whole process, then by the end you have your own weak areas. But In these explanations you’ve made in your own words, that’s obviously gonna be extremely helpful in the last few days before an exam. Yeah. Um.
Trisha: And I think, I think the flashcards helped me reduce it. It helped me reduce the amount of things I was writing. Cause if, when I was studying the normal way with the lectures and everything, I’d write down everything and then [00:18:00] it was like, well, that’s not all of this, half, this information’s not even on the exam. So it was helpful when you went to flashcards, it’s like, well, it’s a reduced, you know, you want a smaller amount of words, you want less information.
So it, it also just mentally got, got me thinking, how do I make this as succinct as possible? And just as efficient as possible.
Nate: Um, yeah, and I think, and that’s a good point because, uh, yes, if you’re taking. As you’re like watching the video lecture on a topic that is new to you, you know, everything will seem important or you’ll end up spending a ton of time writing out everything and then saving your note taking or flashcard making for the, um, sets of review questions is extra efficient because you’re only gonna be taking notes on things that appeared in question format. Um, that’s added benefit I hadn’t thought of before. So that’s, yeah, that’s what I do.[00:19:00]
Made Reminders for Mini Sessions Throughout the Day
Nate: So what about, oh, so then your third point was the mini sessions throughout the day, you said? I added reminders to my phone to do at least one mini session each hour. I took that advice from another post on the forum. Okay. So you set up alarms to just use the app throughout the day basically?
Trisha: Yeah. I, I, I didn’t realize I could do that until maybe, you know, the last session I was in. But I, I think that would’ve been something, it would’ve been nice to, if I had thought about it, maybe added that reminder, you know, throughout the day.
And, you know, I mean, I have an iPhone, so it’s pretty easy to set those mm-hmm. and like write down and, and, um, um, I was, I was talking to another coach who was like, write down why you wanna do it in, in the reminder, you know, write down why you, you know, at the point I was like, I need to move outta my house.
I need, I need to move out of, you know, I had, I need to get a job, I need to, you know, why. So sometimes those reminders of like maybe adding that initial, that also, um, reason why you [00:20:00] wanna do it. Cause I will admit I didn’t wanna always do them so.
Trisha: Sometimes, you know, putting that also in the reminder of saying do this because this is why might also be helpful to someone but.
Nate: Yeah. I mean, one thing I do even now, like the main goal I’m trying to work on, I will like write it in a, what does Apple call it? Just a note on my iPhone and then screenshot it and make it like my lock screen so that I see that. My little paragraph about whatever, what I’m trying to work on.
But yeah, the, the why behind things is, is huge. And I think people, when they’re starting, they discount that idea or it’s something they don’t even think about cuz they just think, I just study to pass these. But motivation quickly becomes like a major issue. You know? It’s hard to, to do this for months on end, you know.
What Trisha Would Do on Her Mini Session
Nate: So, um, oh, and I was gonna ask, what was [00:21:00] the form of the mini sessions, like every hour. Did you do the same thing or did you alternate between the review notes and then quizzes, or how’d you actually do it, or which ones did you use at what times during the day?
Trisha: Yeah, so the, the review notes, um, I used, I, I read, I actually read through those before I did, like, cuz I didn’t wanna start just questions sometimes.
So I would actually review notes, I’d go through, um, probably before each, each section. Just, you know, cause they’re only like maybe five, 10 pages at most.
Trisha: You know, for each section. And so that was pretty easy to get through. Read it a little bit, you know, refresh, basically wake my brain up before I start the questions.
And then, um, so that’s how I use the review notes. And then, and then I read through them, you know, maybe at night or something, just when I have a little bit larger chunk of time. And then usually throughout the day when I’m like on the run or something, those were mostly, I mostly did the questions. Um, those five questions were pretty, you know, easy to [00:22:00] get through and, and read the answers too. Yeah. Um, and then flashcards, I mean, flashcards were mostly, once I wrote it out and put it in my own words, I kind of remembered it. So I kind of never really went back to those until maybe like a few days before the exam.
Trisha: Um, but it was just writing them in my own words, just made it, it made it click and then I didn’t really look at them as much later.
Something Trisha Wished She Did Earlier
Trisha: Um, yeah. And then the, um, I kind of also, I wish I had done this earlier, but I, I started doing it maybe in this, you know, the last two exams was, um, listening to your audio notes instead of reading it myself. I’m like, oh, if I listen to it, it’s only, that’s only 10 minutes and he’s reading it pretty quickly. So then I don’t have to like, because then sometimes, you know, your brain wanders and then you’re reading the same page like five times. So I actually, I kind of wish I had done that earlier too, was read, read or listen to, listen to it instead.
I’m, I’m more verbal. I, I like to hear [00:23:00] things and say things out loud. Sometimes it doesn’t process if, if I don’t hear it verbally. Um, so I, I, I’d started doing that later and I was like, oh, well this. Forget reading it. Just listen to it. Like, makes my life easier, so.
Nate: Yeah. Now do you just mean listening to it or you would, uh, look at the notes while the audio was playing?
Because a lot of people say that. Is that what you mean? Or just listening?
Trisha: Yeah, listening. When I, like before I did a section, I would listen and follow through cause I’m sitting at a desk so I can follow through.
Trisha: In the, in the, you know, in the notes and I printed out the, the review notes. Um, and then if it was like in the car, then it would just be the audio.
Nate: Yeah. Gotcha.
Trisha: So, yeah.
Nate: That’s a good idea. That’s another, yeah, there’s all these different ways people use ’em, but, um, doing that listening and reading.
Nate: And, and you would use that for, to get a big picture overview is what you’re saying? Right? Before you jumped into like [00:24:00] leases or whatever you would read leases in the review notes.
Trisha: Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah.
Nate: Yeah. Okay.
Trisha’s Daily Study Routine
Nate: So what about your, just what did a day, what did an average day of, let’s say a weekday, uh, what did an average day of studying look like from start to finish? Did you study in the mornings and then anyways? What did a full day of studying look like?
Trisha: Yeah, so I, because I wasn’t working, I basically, I kind of had, I could rearrange my day how I wanted.
Um, and I was, I’m not a morning person. I’ve never been a morning person. So my day started kind of, you know, 10:00 AM, 11 a little bit later. Um, but I’d go for like maybe three or four hours just cause I could do that every day and, and take my breaks and, and go do other things when I needed to. And I wasn’t worried about work, which is its own, you know, it was just an added stress for a lot of people.
So, um, it would basically, I would kind of. Basically I would [00:25:00] block out when do I wanna take the exam? And then I would, and then I, I just printed out, you know, month sheets and I’d just say, this is when I’m taking it and I’m set up to take it, and I have my NTS and this is the date I’m taking it. So how do I get through all, like, how many sections do I need to get through and, and in what timeframe?
And generally I kind of followed that, um, process of just getting through those, those questions. And if I had extra time, sometimes I get ahead if I didn’t I, mostly, I didn’t get ahead. I just, I got through what I needed to in the right amount of time and there’s a little catch up happening later sometimes.
But, um, it was, you know, I basically, I based it on that, on that exam date and then what do I need to do each week beforehand? Yeah.
Nate: Um, yeah.
The Difference Studying Before and After SuperfastCPA
Nate: And then so what about, uh, what about before, so on your first two attempts on FAR, were you studying more each day or what was like the time difference between the two approaches?
Trisha: Oh my God. [00:26:00] So, because I was watching those video lectures and they were, I mean, even, I mean, even when Roger cut them shorter, they were still really long lectures to get through sections. Um, it was, you know, it was taking me the, I would do four hours of just lectures and then I wouldn’t even wanna do questions.
So I was, I wasn’t even doing questions because I was just watching these lectures and, and, you know, that would be, the questions are probably what I needed to do, but the questions were what was going away when I was studying the normal way. Um, and so just going, basically going into the questions, I could get the questions out of the way, done, reviewed, and then, and then I could do whatever I needed to the rest of the day and you know, and it made, it made life a lot easier. So even if maybe I spent the same amount of time, I was actually, I was just being more efficient and effective with the time that I was spending on studying, and then I actually felt like I was productive and learned something and remembered something. So it was, it was more motivating [00:27:00] than trying to sit there and, and listen to a lecture.
Nate: Yeah. Now that, that is a, that’s a huge distinction that, uh, yeah. Like when you sit down to do something and you’re having to like, like it’s not, it’s not fun and just easy, like watching a TV show. Takes no mental effort, no mental horsepower. You only have like a certain amount of that, almost like a, uh, hourglass or like a battery, you know, like actual mental brain power.
And so if you’re forcing yourself to sit down for four hours and you have to watch these videos, the videos themselves will just like reduce that. Like you said, you would watch four hours of videos and then just be so sick of it that you like, I am, I’ll look at the questions later or whatever you tell yourself, you know, but, uh.
Nate: Yeah. You don’t spend time again, it’s just that time spent doing what you’ll be doing on exam day.[00:28:00]
Having the Sense of Direction Studying With the PRO Videos
Nate: Yeah, what about, uh, I, I, you did kind of mention this, so the overall process, once you figured out this process, you knew it was working and it was pretty formulaic. You just had to sit down and, you know, do it each day.
Did it, I’m guessing it just removed a lot of the stress of just worrying about the study process in general.
Trisha: Yeah, yeah, definitely. And, and I felt like I had a plan. Like I had a better plan. I was, you know, it was, it was working. Um, and actually, I guess one of the other things that I, I noted that I realized I did, but I maybe never mentioned it in the forum was, um, between each section. Once I passed a section and was moving on to the next one, I would re-watch the PRO videos to kind of get myself back. Cuz I would sometimes, maybe I’d take that break cause you know you’re waiting for the score and maybe you’re not actually studying for the next one cause you’re waiting for a score.
Um, so in kind of in that time, and I always. I, I think all of them except for [00:29:00] maybe BEC, I schedule at the end of a, at the end of a, a, a block. So I’d only wait like maybe a week to two weeks max. And in that time, maybe I’d re-watch the PRO videos just to kind of remind myself, what is the process?
How do I do this, how do I keep going? And, and that would give me the motivat, like to reminder of, okay, well, and then schedule out maybe the next exam. Like when am I gonna take that and, and use the PRO videos and scheduling kind of in that same timeframe. Um.
Nate: That’s, I like that. That’s a good idea. And again, I, I tell people, obviously, I’m like, for your own benefit, I mean, you paid for this course, like watch those videos, but then also coming back around like after you’ve tried implementing it for a few weeks, watching it a second time, it will make sense on like a different level.
And then, uh, yeah, watching them, I guess you watched them three times after each section. Yeah. That’s, that’s smart.
Nate: Did you, do you, did you feel [00:30:00] like you got new things out of it, or it was more just a reminder of, I don’t know, do you feel like you understood things differently each time?
Trisha: Um, it was kind of just remembering why I was doing all of it and just how it was supposed to work. Because obviously sometimes in the middle of those, in some of those studying process, like FAR like I was, it was good. It was perfect. It was, it was, it was close to Burke first, cuz I was gonna get, but some of the other ones maybe, you know, things would fall off at, towards the end you get exhausted.
You know, after three exams you’re like, I’m done with this. Like, I just wanna be finished. Um, so sometimes it was just reminding yourself why you’re doing these things and that these things work, and then how to do it better because maybe you forgot to do something you know, the next exam over and you’re like, oh, I need to bring that one back, like I kind of, that one went away, so maybe.
Trisha: Um, so sometimes, you know, re-watching it was basically to kind of give myself that, that push of like, this is, this is why you’re doing it. And, and the, you know, [00:31:00] this is, this is the best practices, these are your best practices. How do you implement that, like, um, for the next exam because I mean, they are a little different, each of them, so it was kind of figuring out how those worked in each, each section.
Nate: Yeah, yeah. And then, uh, you, you kind of alluded to this, but, and I was talking, uh, I didn’t call earlier today, and we were talking about that same idea where, again, doing all these interviews, a lot of people have kind of mentioned that same idea where they feel like they were maybe a, things they let certain strategies slip or just their overall process like wasn’t as tight as like the first time but they keep passing sections. And I think you get really, you get really good and efficient at, at the study process to where you can kind of do that and it might even feel like you’re slacking, but you’ve just gotten good [00:32:00] at the study process.
And you, you just keep going in and passing sections and so yeah. Like the process itself gets easier because you’re just, you’re good at it after doing it 3, 2, 3 times.
Why Doing Multiple Choice is More Efficient Than Doing Practice Sims
Nate: Um, let’s see. I’ve asked you about, so how did you work, uh, practice sims into your process?
Trisha: So practice sims, this is gonna be a short answer because I didn’t do them at all.
Um, BEC, the written communication, um, I looked at one of the Roger videos, he explained it. I was like, oh, it doesn’t, I don’t need to be perfect on this. All right, cool. Now that I know what I’m gonna do, that’s set. I’m not gonna worry about that. Um, and then I think maybe I kind of wished REG I had done a few more of those sims just cuz those problems are super long and sometimes the multiple choice doesn’t get through all of, all of those.
I think Reg was the only, only maybe I wish I’d done more of the sim practices. Um, I did, I think that’s the only one I did a few [00:33:00] of because it, it kind of, it, there are a lot of math problems and it kind of helped the sims helps work through some of those long tables and stuff. Um, but I didn’t really, yeah, I didn’t really, I just did multiple choice once, once the multiple choice, cause it was, that was retaining, that was helping me retain all the information and the information.
The sims were basically just the information in another form and just, yeah, find the answer and plug it in. So, um, yeah, I know, I think a lot of people ask that in the forum as well, like, how do you practice for sims? Like, I didn’t really worry about it, I just kind of did it.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, I, I mean, a surprising number of people say that, um, you know, the way I describe it in the pro videos is you, you want to do like enough that you’re familiar with the different formats of them, so you know how to like actually fill it out, but they’re also dynamic. I mean, it’s, you’re going to see different [00:34:00] stuff on test day, so. It’s about kind of your understanding of the material and, and like you said, that’s kind of how you sum it up, is it’s really just MCQs in a more, I don’t know, comprehensive or different format really, is what it is.
Nate: So you honestly would not do them. Did you do like a full mock exam or you just, you didn’t do practice sims period, not even in your final review.
Trisha: Nope, just did, just did multiple choice. Just beat as many multiple choices I could. And that was, that was essentially it. Yeah.
Trisha: Yeah, it just, it felt more precise and just more efficient for me and, and, and just getting, you know, and I, you know, I think Roger has fewer problems than a lot of other, you know, courses.
And even then, I didn’t even finish all of them, but I just kind of went through them, you know, over and over again and just, you know, tried to make sure I didn’t, you know, I wasn’t memorizing answers, but [00:35:00] understanding the material.
Nate: Yeah. So, yeah, and that’s one thing, um, that people ask a lot about is they’re like, almost like they’re scared to go through the questions enough that they’re scared to see one twice.
And I’m always saying like, yeah, well you’re not, you’re not trying to memorize the questions obviously, but if you get to the point, You’ve seen the questions in your course or in our app like five times, that’s a good thing because you will be, you’ll be able to pick those apart on test day cause you’re just so familiar with, this is asking this and this one’s similar, but it’s actually asking about this and if you’re just like intimately familiar with the context of questions. Again, that’s what you’ll be doing on test day, so.
Trisha: Yeah. Yeah. And I, I think with, with, um, memorizing them, it was, there were a few, like, I remember because [00:36:00] I think, you know, sometimes I think there were a few repeats with audit, there weren’t as many questions.
So it was just, there was a few repeats in that. And I think for that, it was when I, it was ma- it was recognizing it as I was doing it, like a, as I was doing the problem, like I’ve, have I seen this again? Do I feel like I’ve seen this again? All right, well, I know that this is right, but do I feel like, do I, am I, would I have picked that on the exam day and then kind of recognizing, recognizing that, um, is it my memory or is it, and sometimes it’s just you’re going through it and you realize, all right, that’s memory.
But do I agree with what I remember or do I not? And then maybe figuring out why that instead, looking more at the, why is that the right answer instead of, um, instead of just picking the right answer.
Trisha: Increasing your percentage points in a review course isn’t gonna do you much on the exam, so.
Nate: Yeah. Um, yeah, exactly. It’s kind of that simple. I mean, like, yes, you maybe have memorized this question or [00:37:00] you’ve seen it four times, but as long as you know why it’s the right answer, it’s just always a good reminder or, yeah, it, I mean it just helps you if you just know something exactly cause you’ve seen it 10 times.
Again, that just helps you pick out things that might be worded slightly differently on test day or whatever.
Consistency is Key Even on Weekends
Nate: Uh, what about the weekends? Did you study any differently or longer on the weekends, or would you just kind of nail the same three to four hours and do the same thing?
Trisha: Yeah, basically try to get in at the same three to four hours. Um, because I was at home, um, there was a, a few disruptions that happened on those weekends. So sometimes, you know, maybe I, I didn’t, you know, study one of those days, or I didn’t get a chance to, to do as much as I wanted to. Um, I did try to do something every day, whether it was mini session, just reading through notes or something, just something to keep my brain [00:38:00] thinking about it even if I couldn’t sit down and do questions for, you know, a couple hours but I’m just trying to do something. Um, got t, it got tiring towards the end once you, once I got to that last exam, I was like, I don’t, I’m a little done with this, but yeah, I, it was also a little motivating, like, okay, this is the last one.
Just get it done. Just get it done. So, um, yeah, I, I, I, I, it was basically the same. I didn’t really have a different, you know, plan for weekends, um, of what I was gonna study, but I did just try to get as much, you know, and get through the material that I had set fourth that, you know, I made on my planner cause I didn’t wanna, I didn’t wanna move these exams.
I think the only one I moved was maybe the last exam and that was cause my brother got covid and I was like, yeah, we’re just, just moving that one cause
Trisha: Don’t wanna deal with this.
Nate: I saw, I actually, when I was looking up your old post, sorry. Yeah, I saw that. And so you, yeah. You just postponed [00:39:00] one.
Planning Her Study Around the Exam Days
Nate: Um, so you mentioned your planner. One thing I was gonna ask is, when you said you would look through the modules to kind of map out how long to set your test date. I was gonna ask like, what was your actual, did you do that in a spreadsheet or I guess maybe a planner you mentioned? How did you do that?
Trisha: Um, um, the sections, I kind of, I guess I have an example here. Um, let me see. What do I have? I just kind of.
Yeah. So it’s kind of, it kinda look like that. I just put it in there, just, oh, when is the exam date? And then, yeah.
Trisha: And then just, and then I, you know, put other, you know, if there was something that was happening family-wise, I’d put that in a different color just to keep note of like, is there something I’m gonna have to do?
And then, and then I just, any, any, all my study sessions and the review and the, you know, making the flashcards and the questions, what am I gonna get through? Um, so looking at it now, I [00:40:00] realized I did, so I did a section and then I did a review, re-review of the, you know, whatever all the sections till that date.
And, you know, sometimes it happened on two different days, so it pushed it a little bit longer. But in general, um, yeah, that’s kind of how I, I just kind of used a little calendar to plan that out.
Trisha: Didn’t try to take up, you know, didn’t try to sit there and say, how many questions am I gonna work on?
How many of this am I gonna do? Cause that just, that’ll take up a lot of brain power that you don’t need to waste just to figure out the sections you wanna get done each day. And, and that was really all I did.
Nate: Yeah, I mean, I’m, I’m a big advocate of just making things as simple as possible. And I don’t know if someone would’ve looked at my, cuz like every review course kind of does this tracking thing as you go and telling you how ready you are, um, based on this, like arbitrary things like if you watch the video anyways. My Wiley would’ve shown like 10% cause yeah, I would just go through the questions. [00:41:00] Yeah. As soon as I knew, like, okay, I get the general idea, move on. I wouldn’t like complete it or take the pre-quiz and the post-quiz to make everything you, you know, get checked off nice and green or at a hundred percent. Yeah. Just as, as simple as possible.
Figuring Out How to Schedule Her Study With Her Main Review Course
Nate: Um, and so, how did you decide for your Roger lessons, like how many to schedule on, on one day on your little calendar thing? Just based on the number of questions it had?
Trisha: Um, yeah, just kind of based on the number of questions it had.
Um, I, I kind of did one a day basically, or one every two days. Um, just based on, it just made my life easier. Instead of thinking about it, I just kind of, you know, if, if that ran into the date I was gonna take the exam, maybe I found the smaller ones and put those together. Or maybe, you know, sometimes you can just look through the, the sections and which ones make sense going together.
Sometimes there were the part [00:42:00] one, part two when you just did those together. Um, and so that’s kind of, that’s kind of how I figured that out.
Trisha: I didn’t really.
Trisha: I, I tried to spend as least, least amount of time on that.
Trisha: Cause, cause I, I could sit there planning forever and just never get started.
Nate: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. There’s a fine line for sure.
Trisha’s Final Review Study Process
Nate: Um, what about, let’s see, was your final re, did you save like a week for final review? Or did you just kind of keep doing the same process? Or what was your version of a final review?
Trisha: Yeah, so I, I tried, I did, I scheduled it in, I gave myself like at least two days if I was, cuz I was trying to make it into those blocks at the end of those blocks.
So sometimes maybe I’d only give myself a couple days because I didn’t, I didn’t get, you know, want to go into the next block and wait a whole month to get, to get an exam score. Um, so based on when I started studying and then kind of how that block landed. Um, and I think with FAR, actually, because it [00:43:00] was the first one, I was just learning the Superfast method.
That one I think I ran, I just, I had finished, I had just gotten up to the sessions and I didn’t do any, I didn’t even do a mega cram session at all because by the time I had figured out how to, how to do, you know, study for it, and then just stuff happened and it just basically ran up to it and I was like, I’m not passing.
I, I got through the material, but I’m not passing. And I, I managed, I was like, all right. I didn’t even review this and I, I passed the exam, so I was like, all right, I think, all right, let’s try to get, so I tried to get review sessions in, um, I think all of them, I got at least a day or two for, for the rest of them after that. Um.
Trisha: But sometimes, you know, life happened and I didn’t, you know, I wasn’t too worried about it cause I was like, I’ve been reviewing this whole time, so.
Nate: Exactly. Yeah. And that’s the, uh, that’s the beauty of I mean, I, I almost hesitate to say it was like my idea or anything because it’s so obvious, it seems so [00:44:00] obvious to just review everything, like dedicate a portion of your day to reviewing everything that just, you know, it just seems like obviously you would do that with, with content that covers so much stuff.
Um, so yeah, like doing the daily sets of re-review just solves a lot of problems in advance, including, You don’t have to do this big final review where you are in a rush to relearn everything because you’ve been reviewing along the way.
Nate: Um, let’s see, so we kind of went through everything. Was there anything that, oh, okay.
How Trisha Dealt With Motivation When Studying
Nate: You mentioned, uh, I was gonna ask you, did you do anything for the motivation side, like any just little. And it, it looks like in your post, you’d said you put sticky notes everywhere, reminding yourself.
Nate: So tell, tell me about that. How’d you do that?
Trisha: Um, so I definitely, I think after, especially after the Matt passing the first exam, I had the sticky note that said, you’ve [00:45:00] done this before. You can do this. Like, just do what you’ve been doing.
Trisha: You know, those positive, the positive reinforcement essentially because I, I can get in my head and it can, it can get negative real quick. So, um, trying, just reminding myself, I’ve done this before, you know how to do this. You, you’ve been studying, you’ve been preparing, you know, and I think the, the thinking positive, definitely if you’re sitting there doubting yourself, you’re gonna, you’re not really looking, you know, you’re not focused on what you’re doing.
So it definitely, I think post-its everywhere, you know, bathroom mirror in my planner, you know, on my desk, you know, my computer, um, just saying, you’ve done this before and, and, and you can, you can finish this. Um, yeah. And then of course the more, the more you pass, the more exams you pass, the kind of the, it’s a confidence builder, but of course towards the end you get exhausted cause you’ve been taking them, you’ve been studying for so long.
So it, it’s a little bit of both where you know, it definitely, you have to find those motivation points [00:46:00] and like, and, and what you can use, um, to keep yourself going.
Trisha: Because it can get tiring.
Nate: Yeah, definitely. I mean, everyone, everyone has their own little version of doing that. Some people don’t do anything on that side of things.
Some people have told me they put, uh, there’s even like these, a service apparently that you can sign up for that will send you like motivating texts, stuff like that.
Trisha Gave Herself Mini Rewards for Nailing Her Study Process Daily
Nate: Someone, I think a few people have told me that, but, or like setting reminders on their phone with kind of like, their own motivational thing.
Kind of like what you said, adding a wide to like why you’re doing a mini sessions right now. So yeah, I just think that side of things, like I said, is once you’re a few weeks or months into this process, you have to have some way of keeping your head in the game, so to speak.
Trisha: Yeah. Ice cream, you know, motivators at the end of the day when you’ve gotten through everything.
Trisha: You know, it’s just something, you know, a TV show that [00:47:00] maybe, you know, you watch after you’ve finished everything for the day. Just whatever you can do to get yourself, to keep going. Cause it, it, it after four, after, you know, after a few exams, it gets exhausting.
Nate: Okay. So that’s, so that’s interesting.
Would you do kind of actually tell yourself that like, if I nail my studying today, I can watch this new episode or have ice cream or whatever.
Trisha: Yeah. Yeah. I definitely, I think the ice cream was definitely a motivator toward, especially towards the end, that last exam, REG is a big one. I took that one last.
Trisha: Um, and I definitely needed something at the end of the night. I’m like, you know, alright, you can watch this or, you know, pass the exam and you can watch the entire show that you wanted. You know, but you watch the entire show you wanted.
Trisha: So it was kind of just something to, you know, and especially in towards the end of the day maybe eating some ice cream or you know, I found the chocolate ice cream I could actually eat. And I’m like, yes. Okay. Non-dairy.
Trisha: Like what I like, so.
Nate: That’s awesome.
Trisha: Yeah, so. [00:48:00]
Nate: Yeah, no, I like that. That makes, yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Trisha: Because I mean, the big ones, you, you know, I think in your, in your PRO videos you say set the big ones that you want after each section, but I’m like, I need some mini ones towards the end.
Like, I need, I need something at the end of the day. Like a pastry or, or something. Maybe something food related or something. Something small like, um, yeah.
Nate: So did, and how about the big ones? Did you set a big reward for yourself as.
Trisha: Um, yeah, so my mom got me a Coach purse and we did Thanksgiving, was actually in between BEC and REG, and we, we went up to Virginia and I got, I got a massage. So, you know, I got my.
Trisha: And my, actually, my, my, my, my big one was, um, I went to, I hadn’t seen my friend in Houston, my college roommate for like two years, especially with Covid and so I saw her at the end and I was like, yes. Got a week of, of a Houston trip in, you know?
Trisha: It was fun.
Nate: That’s [00:49:00] awesome.
Trisha: So yeah.
How It Has Been After Finishing the CPAExams
Nate: So, uh, have you not, I don’t know, not missed the study process, but having, having it over and having all your time back, I mean, how has that been?
Trisha: Um, it was really, it was, it was good to, it was amazing to kind of feel like I’ve accomplished something, knowing that I did it and I passed and I got, you know, got my wall certificate and everything.
It all looks nice. And, and then, and then I got my, and then I actually got a, I was, since I wasn’t working, I actually found a job like a month after, you know, actually, you know, a month after taking the exam. I was like, oh wow. Okay. That’s great. Actually I moved from studying to working, so.
Trisha: I have other things taking up my time now.
Nate: Yeah, definitely.
Nate: But at least you’re not messing around with trying to study after or you know, while you’re working, so.
Nate: Yeah. All right. Well we kind of went through everything. What about just, you know, last question I always ask, even if it’s stuff we already covered.
Top Tips for People Struggling with their CPA Study Process
Nate: What would be your top two or three tips to [00:50:00] people that are maybe really struggling with their study process?
Trisha: Um, definitely try doing the questions first. You know, you’ll, you’ll feel more confident doing them because you realize you’ve, if especially if you’ve been working, you’ve, you’ve been doing this forever. You’ve, you’ve gone through the classes, you know, everything. Um, some of those positive motivators, reminders, I think are really important to keep you going.
Cause eventually, even if you don’t maybe have a goal list or anything like that, just positive reminders that you know how to do this. You can, done this before that you, you’ll get through it. Um, I think those are really important to have, to keep you going. Um, and, uh, let’s see. Is there the third one? Um, try not to reschedule.
I think that’s a, I think it’s, if you put a deadline, I mean, even, I mean, I don’t, you know, financially it’s not great to have to take them again like I, you know, it was, it was hard. It was hard having to pay for [00:51:00] them. But I mean sometimes just taking it, realizing, you know, this material you just gotta to get back into, just get that material down a little bit better the next time.
I mean, if you can just take it and, you know, try to, try to keep that. Don’t give yourself months cuz you’ll exhaust yourself by the end, I think.
Nate: Yeah. So I think that’s a huge one and that’s, you know, again, that, that is what I tell people. Make it short enough that you kind of feel the pressure of it, that every day matters, and then, you know, if something catastrophic happens, that’s a different story.
But do not reschedule it or just don’t, don’t even let your mind, don’t even let yourself think that that’s an option. Yeah.
Nate: All right Trisha, well, we’ve kind of gone through everything and uh, I appreciate you taking the time to do this call. Obviously, people find these really valuable and hearing your version of how you did it is gonna be really helpful to somebody out [00:52:00] there. So, um, I’m glad you found us and that it seemed to help. I’m glad we could be part of your process. So congrats on being done.
Trisha: Thank you. Thank you. And the forum was always, always great to find some motivations. Every, there’s someone going through it with you so you feel like you’re not alone, and that, that also helps with that.
Trisha: Motivation part, so.
Trisha: And the encouragement.
Nate: Yeah, I know. Anything positive helps right?
Top Benefits Trisha Got from SuperfastCPA
Nate: I have one feedback question just in your own words. What would you say would were the top, like two benefits, the biggest helps that you got from SuperfastCPA?
Trisha: Um, the review notes definitely, I think cause shortening all of that and not having to read books. I think huge help. Um, and something I could go back to just to find that quick, quick answer or, you know, find that section. That was definitely, that, that was helpful. I definitely, I used that a lot, not having to do it myself because [00:53:00] obviously, you know, that could take up so much time.
Um, that was a big one I really liked through your notes, it’s the audio notes, um, for me. Um, and then, um, I think the forum definitely gave me some motivation and some, you know, meeting with some other people. And I know I like messaged some people and just that encouragement I think was good. Like, yeah, and having it off of Facebook have, not being able, not going on, like I deleted apps on my, on my phone and stuff just to reduce the amount of distraction and I think I forgot to mention that, but , um, and then I think, um, yeah, so not having it, that having that forum not on Facebook was definitely a huge benefit.
Nate: Um, okay. That’s, yeah. You’re the first person that said that. And I had this huge internal debate, whether because like Facebook, um, what do they call ’em? Like groups. That’s how everyone else does kind of their, you know, there’s a group for [00:54:00] every course or whatever. But.
Trisha: I did mentorship program that actually, yeah.
That had, that was on Facebook and I just, I’d go on there, I’d read it, and then I’d go search for a bunch. I’d sit there on a newsfeed for hours. Like I just, I, I’d just get super distracted and it was, you know, it was while I, I get it cause the circle, like, it’s, it’s not great on a phone. It’s easier on a computer to like, go through and, and read. So I understand why you’d want something easier on a phone, but it, it, I, I think it helped me keep it separate because then I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t even be on Facebook to like look at anything else. Um, so.
Nate: That’s a big, uh, yeah’s that, that’s a big point. And I mean, that was part of the thing and just not using Facebook’s. Anyways. There’s a bunch of reasons, but yeah, that’s, that’s good to hear. Yeah.
Nate: All right. So that was the interview with Trisha. I’m sure you found that very helpful and [00:55:00] informative. If you did, please take a second and share the interview or the podcast in general with someone, you know, who’s also working on their CPA exams. Because as I always say, these interviews really are the most helpful free resource available anywhere for people trying to figure out their own CPA study process.
So thanks for watching or listening, and we’ll see you on the next episode.