“I Shouldn’t Be Able to Do This”: How Colbi Passed Her CPA Exams

How Colbi Passed Her CPA Exams

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In this SuperfastCPA podcast episode, you’ll hear how Colbi passed her CPA exams quickly and efficiently, even though she had a million things standing in her way.


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Episode Timestamps

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 03:07 Why Colbi Decided to Take the CPA Exams
  • 04:03 Did Her Research What to Get and Getting SuperfastCPA
  • 05:49 How Studying with the Questions First Approach at First Worked
  • 06:44 The Time it Took for Colbi to Realize That It’s Working
  • 08:19 Followed the SuperfastCPA Strategies
  • 10:46 How Colbi’s Study Morphed Through the Four Exams
  • 13:28 Passed Three Out of Three Attempts
  • 15:56 Finished AUD Exam in Less Than Two Hours
  • 17:14 Why She Had to Modify Her Study for BEC
  • 19:06 How Colbi Would Study on Weekends
  • 23:03 Reverse Engineering the Sims
  • 24:19 Covered All of the Material Before Scheduling to Sit for the Exam
  • 25:46 Constantly Reading SuperfastCPA Review Notes Throughout Her Day
  • 28:03 Colbi’s Process for Making Flashcards
  • 29:44 How Colbi Does Her Re-Review
  • 31:02 Still Able to Do Things Outside CPA Study
  • 33:41 Colbi Helps in Pageants and Still Able to Keep Up with CPA Study
  • 35:38 Studying for the CPA Exams Doesn’t Have to Ruin Your Life
  • 37:44 Some Information About Becker’s Review Course
  • 40:40 How Colbi Found SuperfastCPA
  • 41:29 Study Until Comfortable with the MCQ Scores
  • 43:51 Top Tips for People Still Struggling with the CPA Exams

Interview Transcript

Colbi: [00:00:00] I honestly didn’t think I would be able to do this, I work full time, I have a kid, I went to college years ago, I don’t have four hours a day, but you guys gave me a cheat code and it worked.

Logan: Welcome to another episode of the CPA Exam Experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Logan, and in today’s interview, you’re going to hear Nate and I talk to Colbi.

Now, Colbi has an awesome story, when she started studying for the CPA exam, she didn’t really have any idea what she was doing. She didn’t know what review course to go for. She didn’t know how to study.

She had just finished a few classes to be able to sit for the exam. And now she had to figure out what she was doing. So she was researching a little bit, what review course to use. And one day she got a little clip or an ad on Instagram, somebody talking about the experience they had with SuperfastCPA. And she went and looked it up and said, you know, super fast, that’s exactly what I want. So she decided to just go for it.

And as you’ll see in this interview, she absolutely [00:01:00] crushed it. She actually, at the time of the interview, had only passed three out of the four exams and she was waiting for her final score. And she let us know recently that she did get her final score and she passed all the exams. So she went four for four.

And not only did she go 4 for 4, she was able to still maintain her life and do cool things. She has a son that she was able to spend time with, and she felt like he didn’t feel like she was always studying 100 percent of the time. She felt like she was still able to be a mom to him. She also was able to go to a Taylor Swift concert, and she was also able to keep helping with beauty pageants, which is something that she’s passionate about. And again, she was able to keep doing that even though she was studying for the CPA exam. One of my favorite things that she talks about is in the morning, she’d be studying on her laptop in the hotel.

And then in the evening, she’d put on a gown and go to the Miss America pageant. Just really cool that she was able to maintain these awesome things that she was doing.

One more thing to look out for in this interview, she said that she finished her audit exam in less than two hours. So again, she obviously had the process [00:02:00] down and totally crushed these exams. I think you’re going to love this interview.

Before we jump into the interview, just a reminder about the SuperfastCPA training webinar on our website, superfastcpa.com.

It’s a free one hour webinar where we teach the key ingredients to passing the CPA exam. It’s something you don’t want to miss, and we will save you so much time struggling with the process just by going and watching that video.

With all that said, let’s dive straight into the interview with Colbi.

Nate: Okay. So, um, normally I pull up, you know, search your email, are you done with all four or where are you at?

Colbi: So I’ve passed three, I’ve passed three, I’ve passed REG, Audit and BEC, and I’ve got FAR, I’m ready to test. I’m just sort of dragging my feet because I really am not liking these testing windows. The way the scores are coming out is really making me nervous, so I’m kind of like, I wanna be the most ready that I’ve been before I sit for FAR, because I’m gonna have to wait like three months for my scores, so.

Logan: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Nate: That’s what we’re telling [00:03:00] everyone. It’s more important than ever to be real ready, or, I mean, over prepared if possible.

Why Colbi Decided to Take the CPA Exams

Nate: So, yeah, let’s just go back to the beginning. So when you started studying for the CPA, like where were you at in your career? What made you want to get the CPA and uh, yeah, let’s just start with that.

Colbi: Okay, so I graduated from college in 2017 and when I graduated, I wanted to get my CPA, but I didn’t, I really didn’t think I’d be able to do it. I just, I had heard what a nightmare it was and I just was like, I’m, I had a job. I figured I didn’t need it. So I just sort of was like, whatever, I won’t do it. Um, had a kid, life, all the things happened and my son turned a year old and I just sort of was like, you know what? I can do hard things. I’m just gonna see. I’m gonna try and if I can’t, at least I tried. So I didn’t have the 150 credits though, so I had to take like a couple of classes. I think it was three or four. So I started the process of that, and then in 2022 is when I applied to be able to sit. I got accepted [00:04:00] and then that, that’s when the testing process started for me.

Did Her Research What to Get and Getting SuperfastCPA

Nate: And, uh, so did you just pick a review course and start watching video lectures or what was it like in the very beginning?

Colbi: So I had no idea where to start. Um, and I was working full time. I have a child. I was like, I can’t, I can’t do this the way college students do this. I can’t sit and study all day long. I don’t have that kind of time. So I was sort of researching is there a way to hack this? Like, can I, I know you can’t cheat the system, but can I be Smarter, and more efficient with my time. So I was researching study processes. I was looking at, do I buy Becker, Surgent, where do I go? I was looking at Becker, actually, my sister actually works for Becker. Um, but I wanted a plan because there’s so much in Becker, so much, and I just didn’t know where to go. So I started researching and I found you guys actually on social media randomly and was like, I saw the Superfast and I was like, that sounds like what I want super-fast So, um, watched your PRO course and Was like, if [00:05:00] this actually works like this, this could change my life. So that’s, I bought the materials, I bought all of everything you offer, and just went with it and it, I mean, it worked so, you know, for three out of four, I guess so.

Nate: Awesome. Okay. End of story. So yeah. Uh, so you had us from the beginning then. So you watched the PRO videos before you really started the day-to-day study process.

Colbi: Yeah. Yeah. I started with your method point blank, the very beginning. Yeah.

Nate: Awesome. Okay. Yeah, we’re hearing that more and more often. Um, I mean, we’ve always had a mix of someone who starts with us from the beginning, I would say, I don’t know, like 70% of people figure out how hard it is and then go looking for something else, um, and then find us. But yeah, it’s more and more common.

How Studying with the Questions First Approach at First Worked

Nate: So, when you watched the, uh, PRO videos, what were the things that made sense to you? Do you remember specifically?

Colbi: Actually none of it made sense to me. I remember [00:06:00] being like, there’s no way this is gonna work, but it sounds good, so I’m gonna try it. I was very much the typical student in college. I read my textbook, I did all of the homework, like I did all of the things. I dotted my I’s and crossed my T’s. So I was like, this is not, I can’t do this, but I went with it. It didn’t make sense to me for a long time in the beginning, audit is where I started and every time I would sit down to do like my first set of multiple choice questions, I would be like, this is ridiculous. I’m getting everything wrong like, but I mean, you stick with it and it’s slowly the pieces get falling into place and you’re like, wow, this is actually working and I’m not watching videos.

I’m not, I don’t have a textbook. I had never have bought a textbook, so I haven’t done any of that, but it works, so.

Nate: Awesome. Yeah.

The Time it Took for Colbi to Realize That It’s Working

Nate: How long was that before? You know, you start, it’s confusing, but you just push through and follow the, you know, strategies anyways. And was it like three weeks or four weeks before you start realizing, okay, I, this is like working.

Colbi: Yeah, I would say [00:07:00] it was like three to four weeks. I started studying. I bought everything in the end of November, beginning of December is when I started studying, and I remember like the end of the year is when I was like, I’m getting good scores. Like on my re-review every day. I’m consistently getting seventies, eighties, and I’ve covered half of the material. Like, so I’m getting somewhere. And that’s when I was like, okay, this works. Like I’m just gonna roll with it. So, you guys know what you’re doing, so.

Nate: If I could just get, yeah, if I could just get every customer to do that. It’s, uh, you know, I, I say that in the videos, like, okay, so there’s, it’s like the riding the bike example. I’m gonna tell you how this works, but then you have to actually try it and stumble and, you know, wrestle with the whole thing for a few weeks until it like clicks.

Um, yeah. But then some people, you know, people, they hate feeling confused and.

Colbi: Mm-Hmm.

Nate: It’s easier to like watch the video And think, [00:08:00] okay, this, this makes sense. ’cause they just nicely presented this to me.

Um, but then the thing is people would get to the questions and realize they don’t, still don’t know how to answer the questions even though they watched the video.

So yeah, that’s, uh, I’m gonna, I’m gonna make a clip out of what everything you just said and make people watch it.

Followed the SuperfastCPA Strategies

Nate: Um, so let’s see. So did you, did you kind of follow it exactly like you studied in the morning and then used our study tools throughout the day?

Colbi: Right. So I will say my study process has definitely morphed over the four exams. Like what I’m doing now is not what I was doing with audit, but with audit, I was like, I’m gonna, this is gonna be my religion. I’m gonna do exactly what you tell me to do. And so I was getting up at 5:00 AM every day, doing my two hour study sessions, doing my re-review, and then throughout the day when I had time, which really honestly wasn’t that much because it was tax season at that point, or pretty close. Um, multiple choice questions, audio notes when I had, when I was in the car or when I was [00:09:00] exercising, whatever. And then the re-review, I would say the actual physical notes I read through the most is what I did be, uh, from what you guys offered, I guess.

Logan: Okay, so you printed out the Superfast review notes and read those through, uh, like physically. Did you like put it in like a three ring binder or is, is that what you’re saying?

Colbi: So I was on my phone. I don’t, um, I don’t think I’ve ever printed them out

or had like a fit, but on my phone I just constantly sort of read through. I actually would sort of give myself homework in a way of like, you need to cover through this whole note within, like, I would try to cover them all at least every week. You know, just constantly getting through it. I need to get through this many pages a day. Like I would have a daily goal for re-review notes, I guess is how I put it.

Logan: Yep, yep. Yeah, I, I did the, I did the same thing. I was like, okay. I mean, I wasn’t a very fast reader, so My goal might, might not have been very lofty, but I was reading like maybe 10 or 15 pages a day of the review notes.

Um, but yeah, [00:10:00] like setting that goal every day, it helps you kinda like having, have milestones so that you feel like you’re accomplishing something, you know.

Colbi: Yeah, definitely.

Nate: That that is huge. That’s, yeah. The people that get the best results almost always say something like that, that they’ll set be set benchmarks or milestones, I guess, actual things to hit so that you’re getting through things X number of times or, uh, I need, I know I need to do 10 mini quizzes a day, or 20 mini quizzes a day, or a mini quiz every hour.

I just, that’s a really valuable tip to anyone. listen, that ends up listening to this.

Instead of kind of just saying, I’m gonna try to use these throughout the day and, you know, however that goes. Just setting, yeah, things to hit.

How Colbi’s Study Morphed Through the Four Exams

Nate: Uh, well, so how did your study process morph? Like what were the, well, yeah, just kind of explain that.

Colbi: I, I don’t know that I’m getting a good example on this, but I will say like when I got my passing score back [00:11:00] from audit, I was like, I really don’t have to kill myself, so I’m gonna actually kind of scale back on this because it’s February and I don’t really have the time. So I stopped studying

in the morning with REG because it was high season for me, and I just didn’t, I couldn’t do it anymore. So I started studying at night, which I don’t really recommend. I think morning is more effective and efficient just for what you’ve got going on in your brain. But I was doing what I could do at the time and I sort of scaled back on the audio notes. I really don’t like, they’re just not my thing. I think paper works for me.

Reading works for me, listening, I’m, I’m like a music person. Like if I’m in my car, I would much rather be, have the radio on than listening to you talk to me. Unfortunately, I, that sounds horrible, but, um, but yeah, so I sort of switched gears on that. Um, but I really did stick to the method of, you know, you cover this much new material a day and the re-review, like re-review, re-review.

I can’t say that enough. Re-review is what got me because it not [00:12:00] only like you need to recover that material, but it also sort of reinforces in your brain, okay, I still remember this, like I can keep moving forward. You know, so I would say just time of day changed for me. BEC really hit me hard and I was sort of doing both night and morning because I don’t know why I struggled with BEC lot. Um, the material just wasn’t clicking for me and I felt like I was rushed because of the way the exam was changing, the deadline. Like I just didn’t feel like I had the wiggle room that I had with REG and audit, so I sort of had to put more into it. But now with FAR, I’m back in tax season. I’m back to studying late at night. Um, but I’m getting the same scores on my re-review, so I’m just like, it works regardless of what time of day. I think it’s just you do what works for you, I guess.

Logan: Mm-Hmm.

Nate: Yeah, Yeah, yeah, The big caveat with, like you said, I, studying in the morning is typically so much easier, more effective. It can be done at [00:13:00] night, you know, if you are making it happen and it’s effective, you know, then yeah, you can study whenever you want. I just think for most people that are somewhere already in the process and they’ve struggled to with any number of things, then studying in the morning solves a lot of problems.

Just that one thing. But yeah, if you’re making it happen at night and it’s working, then, you know, great. It doesn’t really, it doesn’t really matter.

Passed Three Out of Three Attempts

Nate: So, um, so did you, you passed REG during busy season, or I mean, you passed that attempt, obviously.

Colbi: Right. So I started studying for REG, I got my scores back on audit. So this is my thing. I’m not a continual study. I take the exam and then I wait for my scores before I move on ’cause I just mentally can’t do two things at one time. So I got my scores back and I started studying for REG, I think it was March-ish. I sat for REG the beginning of June and passed it on my first attempt. So it was like busy season and then finally like May came and I [00:14:00] was like, okay, I can get back to where I need to be. And that’s what I did for, to pass it in June.

Nate: So, so, you, you went three for three then on your first three.

Colbi: Right. Yep.

Nate: Actual attempts?

Colbi: Yep, which is very encouraging. Like I will say, like be just having that momentum, so.

Nate: Yeah, absolutely.

Logan: Mm-Hmm. Yeah. It, and I mean, I totally, you’re not alone with BEC thought it was way harder than than the other exams. Honestly, that one was like, I, I had just finished FAR and I was like, oh, I can do any, I can do the rest of ’em so easy. And I got to BEC and that one was just brutal that I was, yeah, I barely passed that one.

I got a 75 on that one. So you’re not, yeah, you’re not alone. I’m glad that, I’m glad we don’t have BEC anymore, honestly.

Colbi: My, my sister, like I said, works for Becker and she told me, she was like, if I were you, I would get BEC under my belt before the exam changes because those, [00:15:00] whatever you call them, I, I haven’t even looked at them ’cause they’re not my problem. Um, but it’s gonna be difficult. Like you would be much better to do BEC.

So I was like, okay, this is my goal now I gotta get this done by the end of the year. And everyone that I talked to, like all the people I work with, were like, oh, BEC is nothing like, you’ll be fine. And I just, getting through the material, I was not understanding it. I wasn’t, I don’t know why, I just wasn’t clicking for me.

I was having to watch lectures, read like I was, things that I never had to do with REG or audit. And I’ve never worked in audit a day in my life. I knew nothing about audit going into it, but it clicked for me. BEC didn’t, um, for whatever reason. So I just had to morph my study process to sort of get through the material alone. Um, and the exam itself, I didn’t feel, so with audit and REG when I walked out, I, I was like, I passed that. I felt really good with BEC. I was like, I, I don’t know. I don’t know. So.

Nate: Yeah. Uh, several things I wanna comment on what I was gonna ask this earlier.

Finished AUD Exam in Less Than Two Hours

Nate: So when you got your audit score and you said, okay, I think I overdid it. Did you like [00:16:00] score really high?

Colbi: No, I got a 83 on audit, but I, the thing that made me feel like I did too much with audit was I finished the exam in under two hours. Like I got to the end and I looked at the timer and I was like. Is this good or bad? Like I feel like I did well, but maybe I wasn’t paying attention. I don’t know, like, but I think it’s the MCQ thing, like practicing the multiple choice questions 30, like just over and over it.

You just get to a point where you just blow through them, I feel like, and which I do think is a huge advantage when it comes to simulations because you have all that time and you’re not like stressing to get it done. So.

Nate: Yeah. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. You’re just saying exactly what all my theories are. Yeah. So, uh, let’s see the other thing I was gonna say, so with BEC, uh, you start, like you said, you were doing other things, like you were studying the morning and in the evening, and that’s, that’s such a [00:17:00] key thing is just, uh, okay, on the surface, you know, our claim, like you can study two hours a day, and this can be relatively simple, but there will be times where, you know, at the end of the day, you have to do what you have to do.

Why She Had to Modify Her Study for BEC

Nate: And so I guess the question is, what was happening with BEC? Was it just your scores and your sets of 30 or what was going on where you just knew I’ve gotta put in more time or maybe watch videos here and there. Um, yeah. Just how did you know you needed to modify the approach for BEC?

Colbi: So definitely my re-review is like my gauge for everything. Like am I understanding the material? Am I maintaining what I covered a month ago? Like I just sort of follow those scores. Am I ready to sit for the exam? And I wasn’t doing well. My scores were not improving, things that I had covered over and over and over again.

I was like, I’m not getting this. It’s not clicking. I gotta do something. And then even my [00:18:00] daily new material, a lot of times with audit and especially with REG because I work in tax, I would just get through it and be like, yeah, I understand this. I can move on. Um, just from like the new material, I wouldn’t feel like I needed to go back over and over again.

But with BEC every day, I’d be like that, I didn’t understand that at all. Like I haven’t seen that in my day-to-day life. Like, I don’t know, I just needed something to help me.

Nate: Yeah. Okay. I mean, I mean, that makes sense to me and just it’s, it’s like sometimes I just hear things from people that are kind of, you know, it’s kind of like they latch onto the idea of the two hours or whatever, and they’re like, well, I’m doing that, but it’s not working. And it’s like, well, okay. I mean, you, you have to do what you have to do.

I mean, I don’t know. So I just wanted to point that out. That’s just this, this whole thing is kind of a skill where you have to constantly evaluate your own process, like how it’s going, um, being realistic with yourself. So yeah, that’s just a good [00:19:00] example of that where audit was really easy, but then you had to do more for BEC then not as much for REG. Yeah.

How Colbi Would Study on Weekends

Nate: Um, so what about on the weekends? Did you study longer on the weekends or how’d you treat the weekends for studying?

Colbi: Yeah, that this is when I’m like, you don’t wanna show my answers to this. I didn’t really change anything on the weekends. Um, like I, I’ve listened to the podcast and I hear people say like, I doubled up. I would do five to six hours. I have a kid on the weekend. I would do things with him. I would go to the birthday parties, I would, I would do exactly what I did during the week.

I never, I can’t say I doubled down or would sit for six hours. I just don’t have that with a 5-year-old running around. I can’t do that, so.

Nate: Yeah, but at the same time. that’s again, the big caveat. If what you’re doing is working, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing.

Uh, one of an interview we did, uh, yesterday, um, he was kind of saying that it’s kind of like you were saying, after the three first three exams, by the, [00:20:00] by the end, he just, his process just got so efficient that he was kind of just doing two hours in the morning, uh, three days a week, and then he would work out.

Two days a week in the morning, so he would only study like an hour. So I was saying, okay, so you, you were studying eight hours a week and you know, still passed FAR.

Colbi: Well, I.

Nate: It just, it all comes down to is what you’re doing working? Yeah.

Colbi: Mm-Hmm.

Nate: Oh, go ahead. Whatever you were gonna say.

Colbi: The time thing, like I, I’m not gonna say I always study two hours a day. Like I would get up 5, 5:30, 6, just depends on what I was doing. My goal every day was more about covering new material and making sure I got that re-review in. So if I got to a lesson, like with REG, this happened a lot where I just sort of like, yes, I know, I know this.

I can just move on from this. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on the new module or whatever and I would go into the re-review. Sometimes I would do more than 30 questions of re-review just ’cause I felt like that was more valuable to me. [00:21:00] Um, but I didn’t ever have like a, you gotta sit here for two hours.

It was more about did you cover the new material and did you do your re-review? Did you check those two boxes? So.

Nate: Yes. And so again, I’m guessing that if you didn’t get through the new stuff in that morning, you would. I mean, how, what would you do with that later that evening or that weekend or what?

Colbi: So new material is like the thing that I struggle with. I like doing the re-review. It’s just like something that I don’t dread doing. I, I will sit down and do that anytime of the day. So I would always start the day with new material because I wanted that off my plate. And then if I didn’t get to my re-review, I would do that in, in the evening, whenever, just, it would be done before I went to bed, even if it was midnight.

Like, I would sit down at my laptop and do 30 questions just to have it done.

Nate: Yep. So again, just another example of just this is what has to happen today and then doing it like regardless of the timing. Sorry, go ahead, Logan.

Logan: Uh, and, uh, I [00:22:00] mean, you can get to the point where like, like, you know, we’ve kind of talked about this already, that you’re, whatever you’re doing is working. So like you can make those adjustments to, around your life. Um, you know, a lot of times I think people might jump the gun with wanting to make adjustments to the plan before they’ve even passed any exams. Um, but you, you know, you had already passed some exams and you were like, okay, I’m, I’m getting this. So you were able to, you know, modify it and still make it work. Um, I mean, I did something similar. Like I just, I just knew I couldn’t sit there for four or six hours on a Saturday and a on a Sunday. Like mainly for focus reasons I couldn’t do it. Um, and I, I have two kids as well, so I didn’t want to like be gone most of the day. But, um, but you know, I like, I modified that and made it so that I had a, a long final review to still get lots of extra studying and, and I [00:23:00] kind of actually, you know, that kind of goes along with a question that I had.

Reverse Engineering the Sims

Logan: So since you weren’t doing like a super, a ton of studying on the weekends. We typically recommend, you know, studying sims on the weekends. What was your strategy with the sims like when did you study those?

Colbi: Hmm. Yeah. See I didn’t, I listened to the podcasts as far as simulations ’cause the first few lessons I did, I tried to do the simulations, and then I was like, Hmm, this is not, I don’t, I can’t, I’m not ready for sims. I’m not there yet. Um, so I just sort of ignored them with audit entirely until I got to the point where I was like I need to sit. I’m getting close. I need to have at least looked at some, but when I was listening to the podcast, I feel like a lot of people were saying it doesn’t matter because the simulations are not gonna be what you think they’re gonna be like no matter what you do, exam day is gonna be what it’s gonna be.

The only thing you can do is sort of know how to move through them. Um, so what I did was I would just. Sort of treat them like my MCQs, I would just click on an answer. I would [00:24:00] not try to solve them. I wouldn’t sit there for an hour and try to learn. I would just be like, just show me how you did it. Just show me how you got the answer.

And I would do that like for a few a day, like maybe for two weeks before the exam. But throughout the, just getting through the material, I ignored sims entirely.

Logan: Mm-Hmm.

Nate: Okay, so, uh.

Covered All of the Material Before Scheduling to Sit for the Exam

Nate: So it sounds like you go through new material and let’s say you get hypothetically 50 or 60% of it in your head, you’re also using the re-review to like improve on those past areas. And once you get to a certain point, so are you saying you would, uh, you would wait to even schedule an exam until you kind of were through X amount of the material and scoring a certain amount and then schedule it ’cause you’re like, now I’m ready.

Colbi: Yes. So I didn’t schedule audit until I had covered all the material and I was getting kind of ridiculously high scores on my MCQs. Like I was getting one hundreds every day before I was like. I’m ready for this. [00:25:00] I think I’m gonna schedule it. And I did the same thing with REG, I, I covered all the material.

I gave myself like an extra week or two to really get high scores on my re-review. Now with BEC, I felt very rushed, um, just due to the window. So when I finished the material, I scheduled the exam. Didn’t give myself that long time because I just thought, well, if I don’t pass, I need to know that I need to have time to reschedule it and get to the point of passing. So BEC, I hated the way I did BEC. It was not my normal system. I didn’t feel as ready as I normally did, but I passed on the first try. So I think in a way I do over prepare.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. Getting one hundreds on all your sets of 30. That’s, yeah. Pretty high. Yeah. You’re ready? Okay.

Constantly Reading SuperfastCPA Review Notes Throughout Her Day

Nate: Oh, I had another question about, so when you say you were trying to read the notes once a week, um, how would that actually break down throughout your day? Would you like any, would you do it in chunks as small as two or three minutes, [00:26:00] or would it mostly be in the evenings?

Or how would you actually, how would that actually unfold?

Colbi: So I am again, researching all this, uh, something I learned about was called habit stacking, where like you don’t necessarily plan when you’re gonna do it. You plan how you’re gonna do it. So like every day when I’m eating, I’m reading my re-review notes. So, breakfast, lunch, dinner. I’m reading my re-review notes and whether I sit and eat a five minute breakfast, or I sit and eat an hour long dinner because I’m on the couch and the TV’s on and my kid’s here, like I’m just reading the notes the whole time.

I feel like I do get the most done in the evenings, but as a rule, if I have downtime, if it’s the weekend and I’m waiting in line here, I pull my phone out and I just start reading and I always like, I would know how many pages there were in the total of the re-review notes, and I would say, okay, I need to cover, is it, is it 50 pages a day so that I get through all of them in a week or whatever. I feel like the most pages is FAR, I feel like I’m having to do the most reading with FAR for whatever reason, but.

Nate: Also our [00:27:00] 2024 updates are three longer than the previous ones.

Colbi: Yeah.

Nate: You probably noticed that.

Colbi: Yeah. Yeah.

Nate: Um, yeah, so, well that also, that is nice though, because you can be doing that anywhere. Like you kind of mentioned doing that over the weekend. If you’re out doing something, I mean, if you have your phone, you can be studying and racking up study time or extra exposure, whatever you wanna call it. Um, that just, I, I studied from my phone very heavily just be, just because of that fact.

Like I could go to the driving range and be listening to audios or all throughout the day instead of checking ESPN a thousand times. I could take quizzes or, well, I only used quizzes. I didn’t have any sorted notes or anything. But yeah, it just, uh, it helps to make up roughly half of your study time from your phone.

I think people discount the idea of how effective it can be to study 5 to 10 minutes at a time from your [00:28:00] phone, but it makes a huge difference. Definitely.

Colbi’s Process for Making Flashcards

Nate: Let’s see, what about any flashcards or taking notes or putting things in your own words, so to speak? Did you do any form of that?

Colbi: Yeah, so flashcards are big for me. I did use Quizlet or I have used Quizlet sort of exclusively. I tried to do handwritten notes in the beginning with audit, and I just found that to be really ineffective ’cause I didn’t have them with me if I didn’t remember to grab them. I didn’t have them, whereas with Quizlet, it’s on my phone.

So anytime I can just be going through it. And what I would do is every day when I did my re-review, I would have one tab open with my re-review questions and one tab open with Quizlet. And if I was getting something wrong consistently, I would force myself to be like, okay, make a flashcard, like you said, explain it to myself in my own words. And so my flashcards were, not things that, they were just things that I really felt like I needed to remember that I needed to go back over. But I have used them quite a bit.

Nate: Yeah, [00:29:00] I, again, that’s. Like the perfect, uh, the perfect explanation. I think if you try to take or make flashcards or even notes your first time through material, I mean, it all seems new. You’ll spend a huge amount of time making flashcards on everything. And, uh, yeah, the re-review is kind of the perfect time if, okay, I keep forgetting this calculation or this formula or whatever. And then as you make the flashcards through your process, you have your own weakest areas, but in kind of your own words in a way that you’ve made sense of. And then as you review ’em, you’re committing that to memory so, it all comes, you know, the stuff that fell into place without much effort is taken care of and then there’s the stuff on your flashcards.

How Colbi Does Her Re-Review

Nate: Um, I was gonna ask that again, or I mean, about your re-review ’cause you said that was such a key part and it is. So you do 30 questions and, uh, just, just what was your process? If you missed five or 10 questions, [00:30:00] would you re, re-work those right then, or what was your actual re-review process?

Colbi: Right, cause that’s something I sort of learned that I was doing wrong I feel like in the beginning, and that, well, I don’t know, it just changed for me. In the beginning, I would do the 30 questions and the way I did it, like if I got the question wrong, it immediately appeared on the screen like, you got this wrong.

Here’s the solution. I would just sort of glance at it and move on and not really take any time to be like, okay, why did I get it wrong? I would just sort of move on, and so I kept getting things wrong and wrong and wrong, and then that’s when I was like, okay, you need to go back and look at what you got wrong and figure out why you got it wrong so that it doesn’t keep happening. So what I do now is I go through the 30 questions and then I re, like I read through all of them again. If, if I got it right, I sort of click past it because I don’t really feel like I need to keep hitting that again and again. But anything I got wrong, I do rework through on a daily basis.

Nate: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Um, yep, I, that’s just exactly how we [00:31:00] explain it in the, the PRO course.

Still Able to Do Things Outside CPA Study

Um, what else? So, what about any, do you have any like hobbies or things that you made it a point to keep doing throughout this process? Just to, you know, not have your whole life be work and study.

Colbi: So, um, yeah, I have a 5-year-old, so like I said, I’m mom 90% of the time, and I feel like that’s the really nice thing about this is I don’t feel like my kid looks at me every day and is like, all my mom does is study. Like I still do all of the things with him.

Um, in the beginning I had a lot going on just personally that was like, just really cool things going on in my life that I was able to maintain.

My sister and I do pageants and at the time we had a girl that who had done a pageant with us. She went on to win Miss Maryland and then she went to Miss America. So I was going to Connecticut and spending a week in, watching Miss America every day and it was like the coolest experience of my life. But I was also studying for the CPA exam every morning in my hotel [00:32:00] room, like. And then over the summer, like I went to a Taylor Swift concert, which was also the coolest thing ever. Like just my life went on. I was able to still do really awesome things and I was also passing exams consistently. So that’s, I just feel like everyone needs to know this. Like your life can go on, it can still be your life, and you can still pass.

Logan: Mm-Hmm.

Nate: Definitely. Yeah. I mean, that’s the biggest, uh, yeah. I sometimes in like comments on our videos or, or whatever, people will be like super fast. There, there is no super fast with the CPA. Like if it’s not a nightmare, if you’re, you’re, if you’re not miserable, you’re not doing it right. You know? Um,

Colbi: That’s not true.

Nate: Like strictly about your strategy and yeah. Yeah. So, uh, I mean, I was, I was basically gonna ask you that to kind of get you to say something similar, but, but, uh, you, uh, yeah. So normally the way I phrase it is you are still able to kind of have a normal life. I [00:33:00] mean, as long as you nail the discipline side of, you know, studying when you need to. Um, this, I’m assuming this hasn’t felt just like an all consuming nightmare. You know, you can still do the things you want to do.

Colbi: Yeah, I don’t, I definitely don’t feel like this runs my life. I don’t feel like the CPA exam is my end all be all, like I’m still me. I still do all the things. It’s just there’s a habit that I have every day that is my study process and it’s just a part of my day. I do it and I move on. I don’t stress about it.

I don’t worry about it all day long. I don’t talk about it all day long and I’m sure there’s people that I know that don’t even know that I’m taking the exam ’cause it doesn’t run my life.

Nate: Yeah, that’s cool.

Colbi Helps in Pageants and Still Able to Keep Up with CPA Study

Nate: Um, I mean, not about the CPA, but uh, what do you, what do you do with the pageants or, I mean, I know nothing about, do you like help? Is it little girl pageants and you like help or something?

Colbi: No. So I started pageantry when I was a teenager competing [00:34:00] and sort of did that up until college. And then when I was, when I was in college, I started helping girls who were competing. So I guess you’d call that like coaching sort of, but it wasn’t official or anything like that. I would just know a girl and she’d be like, can you help me? And I would. And then my sister and I actually took over a pageant locally that we were running. And like I said, one of the girls that was in our little, it’s a small hometown pageant. It’s not anything big. She won and then when she got older and she went to college, she started doing state level. So she became Miss Maryland and she went to Miss America, which is, I mean, the hugest deal around here. So the fact that we were able to maintain that, and I’m still doing this, like I said, I was in my hotel room every morning on my laptop and then getting into a ball gown at night and going to Miss America, like just the craziest thing.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. That’s also good for people to hear ’cause I, I, again, I’ll get asked things like I’m going on vacation, you know, in between my, when I should be studying for FAR like as if it’s, you know, [00:35:00] impossible to, and that’s what I’ll say, like, well, I mean, just get up, uh, do the same thing like two hours, six a 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM and you’re done.

Like you can have the whole day. Uh, yeah. My daughters watch Dance moms, have you ever seen that?

Colbi: Yes. Not, that’s not at all what it’s like in real life.

Nate: That reality show?

Colbi: Yeah, it’s not that at all.

Nate: Yeah, I’m guessing because. Yeah. Yeah.

Logan: My wife has watched it and I’m like, you can’t watch this. You, you can’t watch this. It is just, it’s so horrible.

Nate: It’s,

Logan: Yeah. I’m glad it’s not like that. What you’re doing.

Nate: Yeah. That’s funny. Um, let’s see.

Studying for the CPA Exams Doesn’t Have to Ruin Your Life

Logan: Is there anything that, you know, you knew going into this that you wanted to talk about, that you wanted to mention that you haven’t gotten to, to say, or anything like that?

Colbi: I just, I will say I feel like even your methods, I’ve sort of been kind of lazy about like, I feel like people need to know you don’t have to be perfect. Like do you need to [00:36:00] be consistent? Yes. But do you have to be perfect? No. Like there were times when, like I went on vacation with my family in August and I didn’t study.

I just sort of made up my mind. I was gonna take a break. And you’re allowed to do that every once in a while, but you have to be able to get back on the wagon when you get home, go right back to it like it’s possible. You don’t have to just kill yourself, you know? And I did. I took breaks in between, like when I would get a passing score, I would be like, okay, I did that.

I’m gonna take two weeks off or something, and then move on to the next one. Like I took probably a month almost in between BEC and FAR, because it was December, I wanted to do Christmas with my kid. Like I didn’t, I just didn’t wanna have to do it. I was like, I’ll get on for the new year, whatever. And so it, it just doesn’t have to ruin your life.

I know I’ve said that like three times now, but like, I really just don’t, I don’t think people realize that. I didn’t realize that. I really thought it was gonna be the worst, most traumatic thing I’ve ever done. And [00:37:00] it’s not, it’s not.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah.

Logan: It’s, it really is like, it has this air about it, this um, this reputation of being like just the most horrible, like, nightmarish thing you can do, but you have to do it ’cause you gotta be in, you know, you gotta be in public accounting or whatever. But, um, it just, it, it doesn’t have to be that. And I feel like if I, I wish that there was a way to, to get the normal way of studying out of the way, like, so that people just never even thought to do that.

But it, uh, it’s still out there. Um, anyway. Yeah. It, it doesn’t have to, to rule your life like you were saying.

Some Information About Becker’s Review Course

Nate: Well, uh, with your sister working for Becker, I mean, with the, with the 2024 exams, aren’t they kind of their approach to kind of this question? First thing, I don’t know if you’ve talked to her about that at all, but I think that’s kind of the new thing with them.[00:38:00]

Logan: Mm-Hmm.

Colbi: So it’s interesting having done all of them, like I started before all this new stuff happened, and I’m getting to the end of it, like as everyone’s moving into the new, so I saw what Becker was previously, and I’ve seen they have a whole new system now. And what was really, really, really annoying to me in the beginning with Becker was when I would do a new multiple choice, like for new material, there might be 60 questions. Which I think is ridiculous because there’s only what, however, 60 some questions per exam. You’re not gonna get 60 questions on one topic like that. I just feel like that’s insane, and I would get frustrated because like, why would I spend this much time on one topic? But now there’s a limit to how many questions per topic.

Like I think it’s 25 questions, maybe is the maximum, like per lesson. Whereas before, I mean, it felt like there was no limit to how many, so they’re definitely changing the way that they’re doing things. And I’m not, it doesn’t match this, but I feel like they’re getting [00:39:00] there, like realizing it’s not working.

Logan: Mm-Hmm.

Nate: Yeah, I, I, I only kind of know that ’cause I saw, I mean, I just watched one of their webinars, um, as they were introducing their, I, basically their new approach or their new system and they kind of explained that you, now you use their questions as like your primary learning tool and you go to their lecture or their text, like if you need more info for that topic.

Um, but at the same time, it’s not really, nothing pops up that like explains that if you log into Becker, I don’t think. So, I don’t, anyways, it’s just that I saw that one webinar that explained it, but I don’t think people know that. I think people still just kind of start with the video and the textbook and you know, and then go to the questions.

Colbi: Yeah, actually it’s funny, they offer like a chat group, like an online Facebook group for Becker. Like if you’ve bought the Becker package, you can be a part of [00:40:00] their Facebook group, and so people are on there chatting and asking like, you know, what’s your, there’ll be people who will say, I’m new. This is my first exam.

What’s your approach? Do you do, do you watch the videos? Do you read the book? What do you do? And I’ll click on it just to see what the comments are. And 90% of the people are saying, yes, you need to read the textbook, and then you need to watch the videos. And then you need to do the multiple choice questions, and then you need to do the simulations.

And I’m, I just always wanna be like, no, no, no, that’s not, don’t do that, please. But I don’t know if I would get in trouble for that. So I just don’t. Um, but yeah, it’s, I don’t think anyone realizes that that’s not the, I mean, not the best way, maybe.

Nate: Yeah.

How Colbi Found SuperfastCPA

Nate: Um, oh, I was gonna say, we’re trying really hard ’cause we run a lot of ads, as maybe you saw, but actually you said you saw us on social media first, right? Just like a, a random post somehow.

Colbi: No, so I was looking for like, I don’t know, just anything as far as what people were doing for the [00:41:00] CPA exam. So I was just searching, I think it might have even been Instagram, like just CPA exam, studying, whatever, and like a video that you had posted popped up and I watched it, and I think it was somebody talking about like what they had done with you.

And I was like, Hmm. Maybe I should find this. So I just sort of Googled you really quickly and you were having one of those webinars, the one hour webinars, so I just watched it and I, I just immediately was like, okay, this, this sounds good. I’m gonna try it. So.

Nate: Yeah. That’s awesome.

Study Until Comfortable with the MCQ Scores

Nate: Um, so what are you scoring like a hundreds on your FAR re-review sets right now?

Colbi: No, I’m not there yet. I’m in the seventies and eighties, um, which is usually where I am when I finish the material. And then I give myself, like I said, a week or two to sort of really nail down, okay, what am I getting wrong? What am I doing? Um, and it’s different when you’re not covering new material every day because you’re getting more of that just, what’s, what’s a weak point for me type of thing. So in my normal method, I would probably sit next week [00:42:00] or the following week, but I’m just sort of really dragging my feet because I don’t wanna have to do this again in June, you know? So.

Logan: Mm-Hmm. Yeah, I mean, you may as well the, you may as well just, uh, extend it a little bit, you know, I mean, if you get to the point where you are getting like nineties or a hundreds maybe that might be the time. Uh, but yeah, I mean. Uh, pushing it as close to the end of March. I think it’s March 26th is the last day. I mean, there’s most likely it won’t hurt you, but only benefit you. Um, it’s definitely something that we’re telling a lot of people who are like really worried. They’re like, oh, I gotta gotta get this exam. And it’s like, well, yeah, but you don’t wanna have to wait till June to find out you failed, kind of a thing.

So it’s definitely, um, yeah, I, I totally get what you’re saying there.

Nate: I mean that, failing now will set someone back like five or six months because if they go in and take it with two months to get the score, find out it’s a fail. They haven’t [00:43:00] studied it for two months now, so they’re starting over. So they study for two more months. I mean, it’s like, it, it changes the whole strategy a lot.

And I really, I like what you’re saying where you just, uh, you’re just studying and until you, your, your daily sets of 30 are to a certain point, and then you kind of give yourself, okay, I’m basically ready, but with another like two or three weeks of review, I will absolutely be there. That’s kind of what I think we gotta start telling people.

Just that exact thing. Cause I think people now are still in the mindset of scheduling multiple ones or they don’t wanna, like, they save a little bit of money for purchasing multiple NTS’s, I think. But yeah, now it’s just a huge hit to, to fail one, um, way different than before. So anyways. Well, yeah, we’ve kind of gone through everything.

Top Tips for People Still Struggling with the CPA Exams

Nate: I mean, the last question we always ask is, what would be your top three tips to someone who is struggling with the process and how they could [00:44:00] turn it around?

Colbi: So I always sort of looked at it like with the PRO course you gave sort of like a checklist, like this is the method and so it consists of like the two hour daily session, the re-review, and the mini sessions like throughout the day. Um, and like flashcards basically for things you are not understanding.

And so, every time I hit a wall, like with BEC or even now with FAR, like if my scores aren’t where I want them to be, I sort of take a step back and I look at what I’m doing every day and I’m like, what, what am I missing in the puzzle? What piece am I slacking on that I need to? And sometimes it’ll be, it’s never re-review, that’s always been my thing, but sometimes it’ll be, I’m not doing enough of like the, the notes, the audio notes, the mini, like the mini sessions. A lot of times I will slack off on that if I’m busy or whatever. Um, but to me, like the, the value in what you guys do is you’re like the people who have taken the class already.

Like when you’re in college and you go to that really hard [00:45:00] class and you have a friend who’s like, I got your back. I took this class last semester. I’m gonna tell you exactly what to do. This is how you’re gonna pass. That is literally what you guys are doing. Like you’re saying, this is the method, do it and it will work. Now, yeah, do you tweak it a little bit here and there for yourself? Yes. But overall the strategy. This is the strategy and it works. Like I honestly didn’t think I would be able to do this. I work full time. I have a kid. I went to college years ago. I’m not fresh out. None of this is in my brain on a daily basis.

I’ve never worked in audit. BEC made no sense to me. I shouldn’t be able to do this. If I was doing the other way, I would, I can tell you right now, I would’ve given up there. I don’t have four hours a day, but you guys gave me a cheat code and it worked so.

Nate: That was one of the best, uh, two minute clips of all times. So you might see that going around on social media, but thank you for saying that. Um, yeah. That’s awesome. So, yeah, we won’t take up much more of your time, but I [00:46:00] appreciate you doing the call. That was very, that was very good.

This will be a great interview. A lot of good clips. Um, yeah. And you’re, you’re someone, you, you get it. So I will, uh, congratulate you in advance on being all done, cause I am positive you’ll pass FAR when you take it. Yeah.

Logan: We’ll be expecting email in June.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. I’m glad you found us and that it’s, you know, made such a difference. It’s awesome to hear.

Colbi: You guys are lifesavers. Like I really, I keep saying, I’m like, when I pass FAR, do I go get on the Facebook group and say like, everyone go to SuperfastCPA, keep using Becker ’cause you need it for like the daily lessons or whatever. I’m not saying don’t use Becker. My sister works there. I don’t wanna get myself in trouble, but like you need a strategy and I can tell you where to get it.

Nate: Yeah. Oh yeah, definitely do that as much, uh, as much word of mouth as possible instead of just me on an ad saying like, I can tell you how to pass this faster. So,

Logan: All right. That was the interview with Colbi. [00:47:00] Again, it was awesome. It’s amazing that she was able to maintain doing pageants, being a mom to a five year old, which is a ton of work and also be able to do some fun things like go on a vacation or go see a Taylor Swift concert. Her experience is a great example of how important it is to be efficient and effective so that you can still feel happy in your busy life.

I’m sure you loved the interview. Make sure to leave a rating in your favorite podcast app or leave a like and a comment on the video on YouTube. Also one more reminder to go check out our free one hour webinar training on superfastcpa.com. We will teach you how to pass the exam efficiently and effectively, and still have a life just like Colbi had.

Thanks for watching or listening, and we’ll see you in the next episode.

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