How Tyler Optimized His CPA Study and Passed

How Tyler Optimized His CPA Study and Passed

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In this SuperfastCPA podcast interview, you’ll hear how Tyler optimized his CPA study process and passed his CPA exams. You’ll learn the strategies Tyler combined to create a study process the helped him pass the CPA exams quickly and efficiently.


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Watch the interview on Youtube…

Episode Timestamps

  • 00:00 Actual Interview
  • 00:27 Intro
  • 02:22 Tyler Talks About His Background
  • 03:17 Why Tyler Got Into Accounting
  • 04:04 Tyler Talks About He Found SuperfastCPA
  • 05:55 What Clicked for Tyler After Watching the Podcasts
  • 08:01 Tyler’s Daily CPA Study Routine
  • 09:25 How Tyler Would Read the Notes for Review
  • 10:43 Tyler Was Still Able to Study While Working Full-Time
  • 12:57 Tyler Planned His Study So He Can Have His Evenings
  • 14:01 Tyler’s Study Routine on Weekends
  • 14:40 Tyler Doing MCQs Before, What Changed After SuperfastCPA
  • 16:21 Following the Strategies Tyler Felt That It Helped a Lot
  • 17:42 How Tyler Approached the Practice Sims
  • 20:55 What Tyler Liked Overall From SuperfastCPA
  • 21:21 How Tyler Utilized His Different Review Courses
  • 22:49 Celebrating After Passing His Fourth Passing Score
  • 23:39 Tyler Talking About What He’s Doing Now That He’s Done
  • 24:53 New to Flashcards, Tyler Incorporated It to His Study
  • 28:03 A Key Factor That Contributed to Good Grades
  • 29:56 Tyler’s Top Tips for People Struggling with the CPA Exams
  • 34:52 Outro

Interview Transcript

Tyler: But there wasn’t like, I wasn’t following a structure. I would go through like the areas, but that was kind of it. It was kind of up to me. And so when I kind of looked back, I was like, okay, well, you know, I obviously was kind of all over the place, so I need to, I need to figure something, I need to have, there’s something more that I’m missing and, and you had it so.


Nate: Welcome to episode 103 of the CPA exam experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate and in today’s interview, you’re going to hear me talk with Tyler.

So when Tyler started studying for the CPA exams, he actually started with a pretty similar strategy. That was mostly based on answering MCQs. And on his first exam, it got him really close. But not quite all the way there. And he had been seeing our YouTube ads all the way through his bachelor’s degree.

So he decided to watch one of the free trainings. [00:01:00] He got our program and he really found the PRO course valuable because it just gave a cohesive approach. That included all the different strategies instead of just focusing on one main strategy.

So in this interview, you’ll hear him describe what those differences were and the different strategies, how it all came together to help him pass the CPA exams.

Before we get into the interview, just want to mention two things first, our free study training, which again, Tyler mentioned this in the interview, but it was the first thing he came across. Or the first thing that he watched once he decided, okay, I want to see what SuperfastCPA is all about.

And so if you have not watched one of those free training sessions or free training webinars, that is the best place for you to start. You can sign up for one of those on our homepage at superfastcpa.com or the link will be down in the description.

The second thing is our free podcasts giveaway. So each month we give away three pairs of Powerbeat Pro headphones to [00:02:00] three random listeners, people that have entered their name and email into the giveaway. The idea behind that is mainly having headphones you can be listening or doing CPA study anytime, anywhere using our audio notes.

That link as well will be down in the description of this episode. So with that out of the way, let’s get into the interview with Tyler.

Tyler Talks About His Background

Tyler: I’ve, uh, listened to quite a few. So,

Nate: Nice. Uh, you a golfer.

Tyler: Uh, a little bit. Yeah, I try.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. I spend a lot of time with that stupid game. I just noticed your shirt.

Tyler: Yeah, I spend a, I get a little, uh, angry on the course sometimes, so,

Nate: Yeah. It’s, I know, I know, exactly. Um, so you are in, uh, your time zone. Are you in Arizona?

Tyler: Yep. Yep.

Nate: Nice. Where at?

Tyler: Uh, down in Tucson.

Nate: [00:03:00] Yeah, I, me and my friends usually do like a golf trip in the winter, but not to. Where’s Tucson in relation to, uh, Phoenix.

Tyler: It’s like two hours south.

Nate: Awesome. Nice. Yeah, that’s a great place for golf.

So you’ve heard a bunch of these.

Why Tyler Got Into Accounting

Nate: So how’d you get into accounting? You mentioned the military now, I’m assuming you’re in accounting. What’s, what’s, that story?

Tyler: Yeah. Well, I got outta the military and I needed to go to school so I started in business. I did good in accounting classes and um, you can do everything you can do with a business degree, with accounting degree. So with a little bit more so I went to accounting and looked up what the best accountant was, and that was a CPA and that was the goal, so.

Nate: Yep. Just, nice. Yeah, that’s, I mean, that’s close to, that’s pretty much my story was. Um, yeah, accounting was like, just what I got A’s in, without really any effort. It just, I don’t know, made [00:04:00] sense and, yeah like you said, it’s more specific than just a business degree so.

Tyler Talks About He Found SuperfastCPA

Nate: Okay, so you go to school, did you jump into studying for the CPA right after school or? Uh.

Tyler: Yeah, so I graduated. Yup, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree and then went and got my master’s, and then right after my master’s, like the same month, I, um, started studying for the CPA so.

Nate: Okay, and when you started, um, you probably just got a review course and started grinding through lessons.

Tyler: Yeah, so the master’s degree, uh, the school I went to came with Wiley. Um, so I tried to use Wiley. Um, I kind of scoured Ninja or read it a lot and they recommended Ninja and so I kind of just went into Ninja and used their MCQs a lot. Um, so I, I graduated in October of last year. That’s pretty much when I started studying, and [00:05:00] I took FAR the first time in mid-November.

Um, I don’t know if you’ve heard about the Lazy Man CPA strategy, but it’s kind of like a couple year old post on Reddit, but he is like, I just hammered MCQs the whole time. So that’s what I did. Um, I, there’s a little bit more strategy to it, but I really just hammered MCQs ended up getting the 65, um, in November.

And so like, okay, well, uh, my fam, we were moving outta the house at that time so took the holidays off. Um, well, I was waiting for the score and then we took the holidays off. But, um, and then from there I was just like, okay, I need to have more of a plan. I need to, you know, just kind of attack this a better way.

And you were on YouTube the entire time throughout, uh, my college experience. So, um, and then I started listening to your podcasts and that’s how I found you so.

Nate: Awesome.

What Clicked for Tyler After Watching the Podcasts

Nate: Okay. So from, uh, you know, from, from what you were [00:06:00] trying and then you got a 65, do you remember whether it was on a podcast or maybe our free, one of those free webinars? We do. Were there any specific ideas that you thought, Okay, that’s, maybe what I’m missing or just any ideas that really made sense to you?

Tyler: Yeah, it was, it was definitely from the podcast. Um, so, somehow I, I think it was from YouTube. I just clicked on your channel and found the podcast. But, um, I really liked how it sounded like you had just a little bit more structure and there was a, a game plan essentially. And I really liked how you emphasized utilizing your smartphone.

Cause that’s what I did. My entire, um, college experience was from my smartphone pretty much. So I really liked how you incorporated that.

Nate: Okay. And then I, I didn’t even, I didn’t look up your account before. Did you have our PRO videos or was it just the, uh, study tools.

Tyler: Yeah, no, I had, I, I used both. Yeah.

Nate: Okay. Okay. So [00:07:00] when you first got..

Tyler: I thought the PRO videos, they helped me out a lot personally. I feel like just, uh, getting the structure and just seeing the process, how it works, um, I think that helped. Obviously it helped me out a lot, so.

Nate: Yeah. Oh yeah. So, so just to sum up your, uh, so, so after you got our program, and you’re done now, right? You passed..

Tyler: Yep. Yep. I, yep.

Nate: Awesome. Okay. And did you just, it just started working for you and you just started passing sections, obviously, I guess.

Tyler: Yeah. So, yeah, I just, you know, you hear the success stories from, um, you know, from your podcasts and, you know, I, I, especially me, I’m like, I’ve never used flashcards in my life and I really don’t like ’em, but you know, I’m gonna, you know, it’s working for people, so I’m gonna trust it and I’m gonna dive in full bore.

And, uh, that’s what I did. And it just, it, it’s crazy. It’s like a domino effect and you figure out what works for you and it, it just works, so.[00:08:00]

Nate: Awesome.

Tyler’s Daily CPA Study Routine

Nate: Okay, so what would, what did like your daily, uh, study routine look like? Were, were you following exactly what’s in the PRO videos a two hour morning session, or how’d the whole day go for you?

Tyler: Uh, yeah, the first two tests I took, it was almost, it was pretty exact to the process I’d wake up. Uh, I, I was always an early studier, so I always woke up early, but it, it’s really, help me out to get that out, that just that big chunk right out, um, with the multiple choice questions too. So, um, pretty much when I first started the test, I would read through your notes.

That’s the, that’s the first thing I do. I would just want to know what I’m, I’m looking at. And then from there I would do the hour and a half of either a, at the beginning it was a new subject, and then the 30, and then I would just do a 30 question review. And then at the, towards the end, it would just be like an hour and a half of subjects that I was struggling on.

And then the, the 30 question review of the [00:09:00] whole, of the whole. And then the drives were just filled with audio. And then at lunchtime, I would have about an hour lunch. So I’d take 30 minutes to either review notes or flashcards, and then the other 30 minutes I’d try to decompress so. Um, and then I would usually do an hour in the afternoon of just either catching up on something I was struggling on or just reviewing the notes.

How Tyler Would Read the Notes for Review

Tyler: Um, I, I use the notes a lot, um, especially towards like the last two weeks of my process. I would probably read the notes almost once a day, just because it’s, that’s what you’re being tested on. And, and if you can get through, if you can look through the, I feel like if you could look through the notes and recognize everything that you’re reading, then you’re gonna be fine for the test so.

Um, and then I would, I, for, I took FAR and AUD first, and for those two tests I used the multiple choice questions on the phone a lot more. Um, but towards the end I started using my flashcards more.

Nate: [00:10:00] Okay. Yeah. Uh, just curious, when you, if you would read the notes from start to finish, how long did that take? If you did it all at once, is that like an hour or two hours?

Tyler: REG was a beast, so , so that one, uh, that one took a little bit longer and it wouldn’t be like, it, it, it would be more, I mean, at the beginning of the process, you’re, you have to read the notes, so, um, but towards the end you kind of know, you already know what you’re reading, so it would kind of be like skimming through because, it’s just, I feel like it’s just kind of trying to keep that recollection up.

So I get home and I just read through the note, okay, this is what that okay, that’s right. This is this. So just trying to, just trying to keep your head above water.

Tyler Was Still Able to Study While Working Full-Time

Nate: Yeah, and you, you were working during this time that you’re studying,

Tyler: Yep. Yep. So, um, I was, I, yeah, I work full time and then I actually pass REG during tax. I’m a tax account, so I pass REG during tax season. [00:11:00] Um, so that there’s a lot of hours put in there, but, um, but I feel like something I, I try to utilize too, especially with like FAR and, and REG, is I tried to incorporate what I was learning in my day to day tasks, so that way it was also kind of studying too.

Um, I know it’s hard like with audit, that was like the hardest test for me cuz there was just nothing I could, something I’ve never done. Just kind of a new subject. So,

Nate: Yeah. Audit is, that’s, uh, an interview I did earlier. Um, she was, uh, hadn’t even, she came up through like insurance, working in insurance and then was switching over to this role, taking the CPA. So she hadn’t done a degree in accounting or anything, and I was thinking like, that is hard and especially audit probably just sounds so weird to, uh, yeah, if you haven’t even taken any accounting classes in college, but not working in auditing. Yeah, auditing would be hard.

[00:12:00] Um, let’s see. So had another question there. So you would, Okay, so you would read the notes. Okay. You had, if you were gonna jump into, let’s say leases, you would read leases in our notes and then jump into the practice questions in your review course. And from there..

Tyler: So I would only, so I would, I would only read so that the mor- morning time was only multiple choice question time, so that was blocked out. So I would read the notes prior to starting anything, and then I would just do multiple choice questions in the morning and then, and I’d do that the one hour, 30 minutes would be dedicated to a new subject or a, or something I was struggling on, I do the 30 question review after of just everything. Um, and then the rest of the day was dedicated to flashcards pretty much. And, and reading the notes.

Nate: Gotcha.

Tyler Planned His Study So He Can Have His Evenings

Nate: And were you able to, uh, [00:13:00] kind of have normal evenings for the, in some respects, or were you studying again some, like two hours when you got home?

Tyler: Yep. So I would, yeah, so I do the, I’d do like two hours in the morning and then have like the 30 minutes at lunch and then kind of whatever I did throughout the day. Um, and then I would do, I would just read through for an hour. So I just gave myself an hour when I got home to read through and then I was done.

Um, so it’s kind of hard for me personally, it’s hard to, like, if I’m gonna do something, like a hundred percent of my attention has to be on it, so it’s hard for me to kind of flip back and forth. So what I do, just, I either stay at work or. Go home, dedicate that hour, and then that was it.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s nice though that you, um, you know, you’ve probably heard me talk about it on other episodes, but if your whole life is you wake up, go straight to work and then try to study four hours every night, especially if you’re trying to like have a family. It’s just, yeah, life gets [00:14:00] pretty miserable, pretty fast.

Tyler’s Study Routine on Weekends

Tyler: Yeah, absolutely. And um, and that’s with the weekends, I, I probably only did, I would do about the same amount of time. I think total during the weekdays would be like three and a half to four hours. And then during the weekends it would, I would only do about four hours too. Um, and then like maybe in the evening I’d flip through some flashcards and read the notes.

But, um, usually I try to keep it the same. So, and my wife, Um, she loves to, she loves to do activities, so it was, uh, definitely a priority in our schedule to, to make sure we were, uh, prioritizing things, so.

Nate: Nice.

Tyler: But she was, was amazing though, so.

Tyler Doing MCQs Before, What Changed After SuperfastCPA

Nate: Yeah. Um, there was something else in your little thing I was gonna ask about. Uh, actually, I wanted to ask more about the, what did you call it? The poor man’s approach, it’s like a famous Reddit post?

Tyler: The Lazy Man CPA, it’s like a three year old Reddit post. Um, he’s like.

Nate: On our [00:15:00] CPA?

Tyler: On, I don’t know if you type in Lazy Man CPA, like on Google, it’ll be like one of the first things that shows up, but it’s literally just a guy who did multiple choice questions for like 20 days straight and somehow passed, so.

Nate: Okay. Yeah, I haven’t, uh, I don’t think I’ve come across that. Um, and so with that, what’s kind of the, I mean, you just do the MCQs per each lesson. I guess what I’m asking is what from our program, what was different from that, that kind of, you said it gave you more structure or more of a strategic approach..

Tyler: Yea, so there wasn’t, so I didn’t really like have a good, I mean this is just a guy saying, pretty much from what I got, it’s just a post. So pretty much what I got from it and is stop wasting your time on everything and just do MCQs. And so I was so from there on it was like, okay, well I shouldn’t do that stuff.

But there wasn’t [00:16:00] like, I wasn’t following a structure. I would go through, I would, I would go through like the areas, but that was kind of it. It was kind of up to me. And so when I kind of looked back, I was like, okay, well, you know, I obviously was kind of all over the place, so I need to, I need to figure something, I need to have, there’s something more that I’m missing and, and you had it so.

Following the Strategies Tyler Felt That It Helped a Lot

Nate: Yeah. Um, do you feel like the, the daily set of 30 just helped a lot with, it kind of solves that retention issue? I mean, did you feel like that just really helped and it’s also a really good to get you, where you’re at?

Tyler: Yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s pretty crucial, especially, I mean, even in the beginning stages, like, um, if you’re only like two or three chapters in or sections in it, it just keeps that stuff in your head. And I think that’s the whole name of the game is, is reviewing and just consistency is more important than knowing the next thing.

So if you [00:17:00] can remember what you did last week, it’s, it’s better than learning one new thing today, I think.

Nate: Right, Right. Yeah. I mean, when you think about kind of the traditional approach you cover, I mean on FAR, you know, there’s literally over 200 things listed in the blueprints and uh, it just doesn’t make any sense to spend hours on each one. You know, mastering it for one day, and then the next day you move on to the next thing and re override your whole short term memory.

Yeah, it’s, I don’t know. It’s so obvious when you say it, but it just, that’s not how most people do it.

Tyler: Right. Yeah, I agree.

Nate: And we talked about the weekends.

How Tyler Approached the Practice Sims

Nate: So when did you work in practice sims, or how did you use practice sims in your overall process?

Tyler: Yeah so, I pretty much didn’t touch practice sims until the final review or the the “final review”. Um, I, I pretty much stuck to the [00:18:00] Superfast way of the final review. Um, the two eight hour days was kind of hard for me, so I might have spread it. I might have spread it between like three or four days, so I would do like four hour. I would do four hour days essentially.

But what I would do is I would pretty much do two, two hour blocks of the same thing. So I would do just like the morning sessions and so, and then I would dedicate either the day before or two days before, I would dedicate maybe an hour of each to going through the sims.

But I didn’t, I just went through the sims, like I just went, looked at it, okay, this is what it looks. What’s next? And then if I felt like I needed to work through it, then I would work through it. But I probably went through like 80 sims before each test, but I just wanted to see what they looked like just so I could see what I can expect.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a, I, I mean, that’s kind of right. That’s kind of the approach is I think a lot of [00:19:00] people, uh, on a per chapter basis, you know, generate the sim and try to take it like it’s a test. You know, they try to fill the whole thing out and it just takes a lot of time, especially if you’re unfamiliar with it.

And, uh, yeah, just the whole idea of reverse engineering them, like looking through, okay, this one’s simple, it’s classification of depreciation types or whatever. Like, okay, simple. I get that. So that took 10 seconds and then, okay, this one, this is confusing. And so clicking through, uh, reading the solutions and then figuring out, okay, this, they’re pulling this from this little document or this memo, and it’s just so much faster, obviously, to kind of reverse engineer how they work.

Tyler: Yep. It it is. And um, I think the one time I might spend time on a sim would be like on topic I struggled on, cause they just, you work through it more through a sim but, I don’t know. You get, [00:20:00] you get the same benefit with a multiple choice question. It gives you the answer and it gives you the walkthrough, so.

Nate: Yeah.

Tyler: I don’t know.

Nate: Yeah. And, uh, the, again, the, the daily sets of 30 I, I end up saying this exact phrase on every episode, like my, I get sick of saying it, but the, uh, those daily sets of 30, they just solve so many problems. Like, like you said, you could make the argument that simulations are really just a more tedious type of a multiple choice question, and then doing daily sets of 30, you just get very comfortable with multiple choice questions and you get fast at ’em.

And. And obviously that’s what you’re gonna be doing on test day instead of just spending hours on the, uh, video lecture hamster wheel.

Tyler: Yeah.

Nate: You get so much exposure to what you’re gonna be doing on test day.

What Tyler Liked Overall From SuperfastCPA

Tyler: Yeah. Well, and that’s why I liked, uh, how, how the SuperfastCPA, [00:21:00] I like the structure of it is cuz it, I mean it gives you time, like yeah, it gives you time to hang out with your family, but the time that you have to study is the time that you have to study. And that’s something that worked well with me is I’m okay, this is study time a hundred percent that this is what we’re doing.

We’re, you know, we’re not kind of sitting and eating chips watching a video. We’re, we’re working, we’re working through questions.

How Tyler Utilized His Different Review Courses

Nate: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yep. I remember that from my first, uh, attempt on FAR when I just spent eight hours a day watching every video. And yeah, it’s just, it takes so much time to check everything off, a hundred percent in the lessons.

Uh, oh, that was my question, so did you stick with using Wiley mostly through the process, or was Ninja kind of your main review course as you went?

Tyler: So I, yeah, I, I pretty much, I would say I used Ninja 95% of the time. It was the only time I would, I maybe did 30 multiple choice questions through Wiley. I just didn’t like it.

It wasn’t my [00:22:00] cup of tea. But they did have really good sims, though. I felt like the sims in Wiley were, were better than Ninjas.

So on the last, on those last two days, I would go through a lot of the Wiley sims.

Nate: Okay. Yeah. So you were just. And that’s kind of, yeah, how it is. I, I mean, a lot of people never experience two different review courses. But like, something like Gleim, Gleim has very detailed, like very good, uh, explanations, but they go like, they make every question really, it’s like overcomplicate. So it’s kind of like, it’s good practice.

But I think it also stresses people out cuz they’re like, Is this what this whole exam is like? Because every topic is the advanced version. Um, yeah. Yeah.

Celebrating After Passing His Fourth Passing Score

Nate: Uh, so did you guys do anything big to celebrate when you got your fourth passing score?

Tyler: Um, well that was kind of our, so we kind of had a ritual after every time I took a [00:23:00] test, the family would go out and do something. So we’d go out to like the zoo or the aquarium or, um, we’d all go golf, and we did, you know, we’d just, we’d, that would, we’d have to do an activity after I took a test.

Just had to happen and then, yeah, we had a little bit of a, we went out to eat and had a little bit of a party, um, just internally. So, but it was, it is definitely relieving though, though that score release was , was, was rough, so.

Nate: Yeah. Um, when did you get your fourth passing score? Was it recently?

Tyler: I think, I think it was June 14th, I think.

Nate: Of this month? So just barely, you just barely got your fourth passing score?

Tyler: Yep. Just barely. Yep.

Tyler Talking About What He’s Doing Now That He’s Done

Nate: Awesome. So are you still almost not used to not studying every day?

Tyler: Yeah, I, my, so my dad does ultramarathons and he’s already got me in it, so I’ve already signed up for a while.

Nate: That is nuts. I, meaning what? A hundred miles? 50 miles?

Tyler: He’s done, [00:24:00] so he’s done a 50 miler and I pace, I, it was like a year ago. I paced them for like 15 miles of it. So the most I ran is like 15 miles. So, and we signed up for 50 K, so about 30 miles. So we’ll see. We’ll see how that goes.

Nate: Oh yeah, I mean like ultra marathon. I mean, a marathon by itself is just ridiculous. 26 miles. So, so you haven’t ran a marathon, you’re gonna go straight..

Tyler: No, I, I haven’t ran a marathon. Yeah. I mean, I’ve done, I’ve done a lot, especially like in the military, but the most I’ve ran is like 15 miles. So I still, I have a few months to, I’m not, I’m not doing it tomorrow until, there’s no way I could do that. But, um, yeah, I have a little bit time to prepare.

Nate: Yeah. Well, good luck. That’s, that’s wild.

Tyler: Well, thank you.

New to Flashcards, Tyler Incorporated It to His Study

Nate: Let’s see. So we talked about, Oh, I was gonna ask you the flashcards question. [00:25:00] So that was new to you making flashcards, but you incorporated that strategy as well,

Tyler: Yeah that was, flashcards were a hundred percent, like, I never used them. I’ve never liked them. Um, so when I started using ’em, this is kind of like, oh, these are really useful. So I, so I probably had maybe 150 flashcards per test, but, um, really it was just stuff that I struggled on or stuff that I, I know I needed to remember.

Um, and they’re just so easy to flip through too. So they’re on your phone. You can just flip through ’em real, just 15 minutes in your room. ’em, so.

Nate: Yeah. I, I think that’s, it’s just absolutely critical if someone is, uh, emailing me and saying like, I’ve done everything. And I’m just not getting a passing score. What else can I do? That’s like the first thing I ask him. I’m like, Okay, how diligent are you about making flashcards? And do you explain it back to yourself out loud?

And do [00:26:00] you write ’em in your own words? And like, if you’re doing that, it’s easy to watch a video. Well even read an explanation and tell yourself, okay, yeah, that that makes sense. But then if you see it later in a slightly different format, . You know, it’s just easy to forget little details that could easily be on the test.

And if that happens three or four times within the same topic, you wanna stop, make a flashcard. And if you put that in your own words, that’s gonna come to your mind a thousand times easier, you know, than just trying to remember this one explanation, one time that you thought made sense at the time.

Tyler: Yeah, I a hundred percent agree and I feel like it’s also a, it’s, it’s a customized, weak points, you know, cheat sheet. Like you, you choose what’s on those and if you hit your weak points on those, you’re, they’re, you’re gonna be good to go.

Nate: Right. And I, I think it’s a lot more valuable in that respect than, I [00:27:00] know that all the review courses, now you have all this adaptive stuff and you know, you can just generate questions from your weak areas. And I think, I mean, that’s like valuable. Like you said, if you’ve done it through the whole study timeline per section, by the end, you’ve got your weak areas, but written in your own little explanation.

And it’s a totally different thing than just generating questions on your weak areas.

Tyler: Yeah. Yep.

Nate: So you used a digital one, it sounds like, like Quizlet..

Tyler: Yeah, I used, uh, I think it was BrainScape. Yeah.

Nate: Awesome. And then how would you organize the, the decks? Would you just get 30 and start a new one, or would you try to actually organize ’em per topic?

Tyler: I liked to organize ’em in the areas, like on the, in the four major areas of the test

Nate: Gotcha.

Tyler: That’s how I like to do it.

Nate: Okay. Yeah. Awesome. Well, I think we went through [00:28:00] everything. Was there any, uh, anything we missed?

A Key Factor That Contributed to Good Grades

Nate: Anything that you felt like was another key part of your success that we didn’t talk, uh, talk about.

Tyler: Um, I feel like the, one of the major things I feel helped me, I mean, I think it helped you, it helped me a lot was, um, I would read the notes the day of the test, so I would take, my test was at 8:00 AM every time. So I wake up at five. Read through for an hour. Hit my flashcards and then go take the test. I feel like that was, like you don’t go to a game and not warm up, so I’m not gonna go to a test and not warm up is kind of how I treated it.

Nate: Yeah, yeah, it is. I don’t, and in my opinion, there’s all the, just these little things that are all worth five to 10 points. And so if in the last week you do three of these strategies that are worth five to 10 points alone, you know, it’s almost hard to not get a passing score as long [00:29:00] as you’re, you nailed the process, you know, during it.

That kind of stuff fix crappy process, but it will just add on and, and that’s one of ’em, that’s exactly what I would do. I mean, I didn’t, I didn’t have our notes at the time I was taking the exams, but my flashcards, I would, uh, hammer those the last few days, just like what’s in that mega cram session video.

And then I would also get to the testing center like two hours early and just get through all of. And, and that was just, you get all your, like you said, all your weak areas, but written in your own words, floating around in your brain before you walk in. And it’s, that one thing is worth five to 10 points at least, I think.

Tyler: Oh yeah, easily. It just, it’s, it’s so nice walking. You just feel good, like you feel prepared. Walking in, it’s, and just put it down, so.

Nate: Yeah. Okay.

Tyler’s Top Tips for People Struggling with the CPA Exams

Nate: So last question I always ask, what would be your top, [00:30:00] even if it’s stuff we already talked about, what would be your top two or three tips to people that are really struggling with their process?

Tyler: Um, one of the biggest things for me on the test was, uh, taking my time on the test. The, the first test I took, I, I felt like I rushed the first, um, uh, testlet and it, I feel like I kind of carried through the rest of the test, I mean, obviously I got a 65, so I didn’t, you know, there’s still stuff I needed to learn, but, um, from every other test, I just took my time.

I had plenty of time at the end. I know some people are different, but that was a big key for me.

Um, and then you need to make sure you’re trust in the process. Sometimes it feels like, I don’t know, sometimes you get in your own head and you’re like, Am I doing enough? Do I need to do this? Do I need to do that? Just trust, just put your head down, trust the process, and it’s, it’s gonna work for you.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah, and I think the key thing is having a process, right? Like I, I think the trap a lot of people fall [00:31:00] into is just throwing time at this like blindly. , like you said, you can sit in front of your review course and just burn hours, pressing play on videos, but that’s very low impact or whatever. Um, yeah, having a process and then along with that, did you feel like, I don’t know, by like the second exam or whatever you, did you get to where you just really felt like, I have this process, I have this figured out.

Like as long as I do it everyday.

Tyler: Oh, oh yeah. Absolutely. You end up, I feel like you even, like for BEC was my last test and I feel like I spent less time studying, um, pretty significantly. I feel like you just, you just know how to learn. Like you learn how to learn and then you’re, you’re good to go from there. You’re just get so good at it, or so..

Nate: Yeah. Yep. It’s almost, it’s almost sad. There’s not like four more exams. Not really, but.

Tyler: It, it, it, it is sad, but I’ll take a pass.

Nate: Because then you, this thing you spent just months on, you know, hundreds of [00:32:00] hours is just done with, but obviously it’s awesome to have it done too, so. Well that’s awesome. Uh, thanks for taking the time to do this. Obviously people find these really valuable and I, I love hearing people’s stories, so I’m glad, I’m glad you found our YouTube.

Was it a YouTube ad you saw first? Oh, you saw ’em all through college, you said.

Tyler: Oh yeah, they were, your face was everywhere, so,

Nate: Uh, that’s annoying, but I guess it, yeah, that’s kind of the, that’s kind of the game with, I don’t know, internet businesses, so. All right. Well, uh, yeah.

Tyler: Yeah. Well, it, you know, it works, so.

Nate: Yeah.

Tyler: And the process worked too.

Nate: Yeah. I’m, I’m glad helped.

Tyler: Thank

Nate: like,

If you were to sum it up, what was, from what you were doing before, what was the most helpful thing overall that you got from SuperfastCPA?

Tyler: The most helpful thing for me was the pro- was the study process. That was just [00:33:00] learning, just, I don’t know, I wouldn’t even, I wouldn’t even say learning, just understanding how to attack the test is, is key to passing the test.

Nate: Mm-hmm. And, uh, just from what you were doing before, I mean, I, I mean I know this, but just in your own words, like cuz review courses don’t really come with a whole strategic plan, right? Was that kind of what you experienced? You’re just presented with all these lessons and cuz you don’t know any better, you operate under the assumption that you just need to learn every single thing in there.

Was that kind of what contributed to the first time where it just wasn’t really working?

Tyler: Yeah, I think, um, I, I feel like it was a little different for, cause I, I’ve always done things a little bit differently. Um, cause I’ve hated textbooks. I, I don’t know, I, um, so usually I have watched videos, so, um, so I really just kind of, I don’t know [00:34:00] what, what did it for me was. It just literally just kind of having that structure.

Um, not, I knew I didn’t need to do everything and it wasn’t gonna waste time on like, reading the book or, or watching the lectures. Cause I, I, listen to enough your podcasts not to, not to know that. So, um, once I had gave FAR my shot, I was like, you know what? This, you know, it’s, this is gonna be worth it for the rest of my life essentially, is what I told myself.

And, um, and so I did it. And, and when, when I do something, I have to do it all the way. I’m gonna give it, you know, I’m gonna give it as good chance. So that’s what I did and it carried me through so.

Nate: Yeah. That’s awesome. Good to hear. I’m, I’m glad


Tyler: Thank you.

Nate: Yeah. Yep, definitely. Yeah. Congrats on being done.



Nate: Okay. So that was the Interview with Tyler. I’m sure you found that very helpful. And if you did, please take a second share this episode or the [00:35:00] podcast in general with someone you know who’s also working on their CPA exams.

Because these interviews 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.

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