In this episode you’ll hear me speak with Richard Walsh, a New York attorney, a SuperfastCPA customer, and also now a CPA. We discuss his CPA exam experience, including some of the struggles he had early on and then some of the breakthroughs he had on his way to passing his exams.
He also settles the debate on the CPA exams vs the BAR exam. If you’re currently in the study process you’ll find this interview extremely helpful.
Note: The following transcript was auto-generated and might not be 100% accurate.
Welcome to episode nine of the CPA exam experience from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate. And in today’s podcast, we have an interview that I did with past CPA customer Richard Walsh, who is an attorney and now CPA in New York.
Richard has been an attorney for years and decided to get into specific types of tax work or kind of financial management stuff. He talks about on the episode. So he decided to get his CPA. You’ll hear us talk about what it took for him to study for and pass his exams, the process he went through from struggling in the beginning and then to the breakthroughs that he had when things started to click and he started passing his sections, talks a lot about his testing experience. And what was really interesting to me was his thoughts on how the CPA exams compare in difficulty with the bar exam. You know, because he’s an attorney and now a CPA is someone who has done both. So his opinion on that is worth a lot. That’s something I think accountants talk a lot about and kind of wears a badge of honor. And they want to say that the CPA exams are much harder. So you’ll hear Richard’s opinion on that. We talk through a lot of topics.
This call is just over an hour and I’m posting it essentially unedited because it’s just a lot of very valuable stuff. If you were going through the study process, and especially if you’re struggling a little bit with the study process, you’ll find this extremely helpful because we go through a lot of very specific study strategies and also a lot of mindset stuff, which, as you know, I’m always saying that’s just as important as your actual study methods. You’ll also hear him talk about kind of his first experience with super-fast CPA, which was the free training or he’ll mentioned the training or the free session. And that is the these free webinars that we do most days of the week that you can sign up for. It’s a one hour training where we just go through from start to finish our study process. And those are free. You can apply those strategies to any review course. So you can sign up for one of those trainings by going to super-fast CPA dot com slash training or just texting the word pass. Now as one word pass now to four for two to two. And we will text you back a link to register for one of those trainings. Those trainings are extremely helpful. And as you’ll start to see on a lot of these customer interviews that I’m doing, that is most people’s kind of first contact where they find out about super-fast CPA and they learn kind of our study process and they go from there. And. For a lot of people, it kind of ends up turning around there. Their study experience.
So let’s get into this interview.
The Challenge of the CPA Exams for an Attorney
So excellent. All right. So nice to meet you, by the way.
Nice to meet you again. And you know, it’s I was so elated when I just so, you know, before we even get into the questions. When I finally did get through that first section of the exam, I really have you to thank. And I really do mean that. I mean, it was so frustrating for me in the beginning. You might imagine, right. I mean, I’m a longstanding legal practitioner. I did do my MBA. And I’ll tell you the level at which the test required you to kind of get to know it. It just was. What should I say? It was a bit of a daunting task at first. And I’m sure that, you know, you went through the same thing, obviously the same thing. That’s right. You knew your course.
But it’s one of those things where it does challenge you to the point where, you know, you really have to believe in yourself and continue the process where it would be very easy to give up. I can see how people make it give up. Yes. I don’t think any of us for the most part, we’re not geniuses. Right. So, you know, we’re capable people, but you have to be driven. I would say to get through this process. It doesn’t matter how much talent you have. The tests will get you. If you don’t do the prep.
Yeah, definitely. And it’s a. It does it requires a bunch of elements like you have to be disciplined, but there are a lot of people out there that are just kind of grinding all this time into it and they’re just kind of missing a few pieces of like how they study and so.
Right. You know, they keep failing sections, people that are really putting in a lot of work. So it is there’s there’s different elements to it. So. So, yeah. Just to start at the top. How did or what made you want to cause you cause you’re an attorney, right? That’s correct. Yeah. And then you. There was a portion of tax work you want to get into.
Is that why you wanted to do the CPA? That was one element of it. It’s interesting. I felt like I had really accomplished a lot. I started my own practice back in 0 8 and right in the depths of the financial crisis. But I had always wanted to sort of try to find a way to get back to the sort of the business side of things from practicing law to, you know, maybe managing a business or being a product head for a company unit.
Reinvigorating His Career by Adding the CPA
And I thought that the best way to kind of reinvigorate my my my career and my potential prospects would be to actually go through the CPA, because in researching how many CPA there are in the United States and then, you know, combining that with getting some perspective on how many CPA is are also licensed attorneys. I thought that it would actually reflect well on me if I could make it through the CPA with the MBA and the and the attorney license that, you know, from a credential standpoint, I would be in a good place and that I would afford me opportunities that I otherwise would not have had.
I just continued on the path of really essentially being an attorney with an MBA, but not with a professional credential that says, hey, you know, this individual represents someone who not only do we not have on our team, but brings sort of a unique combination of credentials that when he signs off on something, that means that somebody who is a financial expert, essentially these, you know, some some regard and a legal expert has reviewed and signed off on something that, you know, we don’t necessarily get the same perspective from people who might have one or might have the other, but don’t have both together. And that was really kind of, you know, my own brainchild and, you know, whether over time that works. We’ll see. But, you know, I felt like it was the right timing for me to do it. And I you rarely get opportunities, I think, in your in your in your life where you can carve off the type kind of time that you need to set aside for this. And I feel like it’s like climbing Mount Everest.
I mean, in a way, as a professional, you get to get this. Actually, I view it as an accolade as much as a professional credential.
We both know what it took to go through this process. And, you know, there are other nooks and crannies, right. To to actually getting the license. You know, it’s not just getting through the tests, but it I mean, if you don’t have the wherewithal, if you don’t have it in you, the test will make sure to show you to the exit door pretty quickly.
And then I just had to face that I could bring together the other things that you had to bring together to get the license. I was not fortunate from the standpoint of the experience being recognized by necessarily all the different states.
I did get my license from New Hampshire actually just last month, and I had to take 20 credits of classes. I was sure 20 credits. And I I signed up with two different online colleges.
And in six weeks or was it seven weeks, I took 20 credits of accounting classes. And I’ll tell you, Nate, I mean, as an attorney and someone who prides himself on being organized, that’s probably the most disorganized thing that I’ve ever had to face in my life was that I was told that I was short for 20 credits by NASBA. When I say I passed all my tests and, you know, I paid for the interview because I actually was in charge of a serious audit. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of serious, but it’s a national security review of an acquisition by a foreign company. And because of the two years that I was the city council, the the review board at NASA allowed me to get credit for those two years because it was audit experience for those leaders.
But if you go to New York, right, New York would say, well, you know, who oversaw you, Pricewaterhouse for two years. Do you see what I’m saying? And so it was really fortunate in that regard. You and I both know, right. It doesn’t matter once you have the CPA license. I mean, it’s good pretty much, I think, across all 50 states. Right. Maybe there’s a few exceptions about how you carry it. But for me, in terms of the way I’m going to be looking to use it, it’s you know, it’s my pride and joy right now.
Yeah. I mean, yeah. Seeing my fourth passing score, that was.
That was up there like top three moments especially. It was just socially that experience that you must have had that first test when you failed, that when you missed it by a point, right?
Isn’t that right? I remember listening to your to your speech in the beginning. It was a great pep talk, by the way. It really drove me, actually. It really made me realize what I was up against. But that story, man, you probably it’s worth the price pain.
You just listen to that, because I’m being absolutely serious, because you know, that that was really in essence, you know, you explain to us what we’re up against and what we’re gonna have to do to conquer it.
I mean, it was really fascinating to me. And I’m so glad that I ran it. Do you do a good job, I guess, at finding ways to attract people for YouTube and whatnot? You got that down right here.
But but but, you know, more than anything else, was your practical almost. In your face, honesty. About, you know, how difficult this whole thing is. And it really is.
But if you get the right mindset, you’ll get through it. And you know, you made me a believer more so in myself than any of these other programs that are more driven around curriculum. Really? Right. I mean, you even said it as much yourself. It wasn’t you had events around one frame of mind that you need to be in.
Right. So so so how did you by the way, I wanted to meet you in Utah.
I went skiing last year and I did, you know, it was going to look you up. You’re in Utah.
Yes. Oh, yeah. You just sent me an email. I mean, I would love to meet you in person. Yeah, I ski Park City for a couple of weeks. Oh, yeah.
I mean, I that’s where we do like weekend getaway. You know, just a little weekend trips.
It’s awesome. Right? It’s such a nice place. It is. And it’s cool. Closing remarks out of foreclosure. There’s a large sound. But you guys were getting some good snow, weren’t you? Yeah, it was good. It was a good winter so far. So. Yeah. Well, excellent. Let me let me not interrupt you. You were about to say something.
The Beginning of the CPA Study Process
So what did you what did you do to start? Did you just buy a review course and just kind of start studying? How did. That’s exactly right.
So. So, OK, so when I first started, I was a little timid. You know, I had read some background literature on the exam and I said to myself, it sounds like far is the right is the right exam to start with, because that would seemingly be the most challenging.
Of the four, just just based on the fact that I’m an attorney and my inclination would probably be more towards the audit and read sections, and I my own personality is get the worst of it over first. And so I figured that was going to be far. And I I signed up with line just to take far. They had a special you know, they all had their specials going on and they said, well, it’s half office month.
And I said, you know what?
Try out one of these prep courses for one of the sections, because if it doesn’t work for that section, then you won’t you will not have wasted your money on the three other sections. But what happened when I purchased Gleim, the materials are excellent. I mean, they’re all excellent, right? I mean, you know, the book line was I was great. I mean, that you get a very thorough guide, you know, a very thorough look. There are lots of exercises. But I tell you, I was flipping out when I started because I was getting fifty’s on the practice classes. And I was like, I don’t understand. I read the material three times. I know I went through all like, you know, all the hoops. After reading the chapter, I went through there a little kind of modules because, you know, that was part of their thing where you would just kind of, you know, click yes or no, I guess, to some of the questions. And then they would get to like a little practical module. And in the beginning, this goes back to a point that you made in your course. I skipped the one part of all of it that would have actually helped me more had I actually done them. And those were the journal entries. So in other words, you got to a point in the review of the chapter where after the yes no questions which I could get one hundred on and feel good about, then they really got to practical skills.
Right. So they would kind of give you some information and they would say to the closing journal entries you to need to to to reflect what what’s just happened here. And I skipped them because I was like if I don’t, I don’t need to do that, you know? And then I just went on to meet to take the practice exams. And then I would get fifty’s, you know. Yeah. And I’m like thinking to myself, I’m an idiot. I don’t know. I’m not getting the material. I’m spending too much time on some of these questions. And it’s taking about three times longer than what I probably need to to be doing in order to pass the exam. Because you would lose, right. You would get all sorts of freaking out after four or five questions. You’re like, wow, there’s only eight on the shot clock. You don’t need me to get through thirty practice questions.
And so what I realized was that while I was superficially understanding at a high level the concepts, I didn’t really understand how to utilize them in practice, meaning like, you know, even though I could give you the definition of, you know, you could name almost anything. Right. And I could tell you what, in principle it means I wouldn’t know how to apply it. And yeah. And so that what happened was I wasn’t kind of bridging that gap with the materials because I wasn’t really being given the guidance to say, OK, this is really what you’re missing.
What you’re missing in this is that you can you can study something forever. But it doesn’t really mean that you’re necessarily good at applying it to to anything. I mean, it’s almost like you think about it, right? I mean, it’s like somebody knows a little bit about everything, but really nothing about you don’t need anything to the core. And so I wasn’t getting to the core. And to get to the core, that’s where you came in, because I was like, wow. I’m like, no way am I going to pass this exam with these experiences, because already I’ve got a bad mindset. I’m getting fifty’s on these. Even if let’s say I have a good day and I get a 60, that’s not going to get me to a seventy five. And so I was desperate. And I think I don’t know how I found like a link you were giving like a presentation or free presentation. Yeah, we do them periodically. And I listened to your presentation and you know, it really rang true to me because, you know, it was exactly what I was missing and that was that I was I was I was reading, reading.
Almost Reached a Breaking Point
But I wasn’t really learning. I was I was essentially absorbing. But then it was going in one ear and out the other. You know, I mean, like, I was I was constantly intimidating myself with material, but not learning the material.
I mean, it was just it was the most bizarre experience for me as a lawyer where, you know, I can write and synthesize difficult concepts and write and espouse unity of poetic, if united on on so many different levels.
But I just couldn’t make it work here. And it was frustrating me. And I I almost got to the breaking point until I saw your video and I’m like, all right, I’m gonna try him. And if if he can get me over the edge where I can at least feel like there’s a potential light or anything at the end of the tunnel, I’m going to. Do this because it became a personal challenge right at that point, I’m like, wow. So I’m an energy young. I’m an MBA. I’m an accomplished attorney. And here I am failing a college level exam. But they’re not. We both know they’re not college level exam associate. But what we did in college level, do you really frankly, college level about it? It’s very challenging. But, you know, you kind of felt like diminished only because you felt like, hey, I’m just not good enough. You know what I mean?
A Shift in Mindset
But it was really kind of almost like tearing yourself down to nothing and then rebuilding yourself so that basically you were a machine to me going through this stuff and nothing would throw me off after going through your course and getting into your mentality, which probably was the most important thing, actually. I wouldn’t let one question like stump me too long. Right? I just got it where I would I would boil it down to two guests and move on. You don’t need and like these. I’m like it’s really your hate ratio and it’s your hate ratio at a minute or less, you know, at any rate. And that was pretty much, you know, the way I started approaching it. And the fifty fifty five starts to go to sixty eight seventy one, you know, seventy four. And then I was like wow I might actually really do this. I mean but it was the most time consuming situation because I literally started studying on my way out west. I drove out west. I listened to tapes mindlessly, you know, 50 million times, not yours but somebody else’s. And I got back in February and I said to myself, wow, I better take a section of this test. So I signed up to take it in April before the window would close. Right. Because I guess you register and you only get a certain amount of time. We take your first test. And so I’m like February to April, I started to get nervous because I was getting fifty’s on the tests. And that’s when I ran into your into your video. And, you know, after that, I literally had to just do nothing.
But that’s, you know, I mean, for two months straight. And it was nerve racking because I never really had it to do. Do you see what I’m saying? I just got a little better. I got a little faster every day at it. Yeah. And then I think I told you, Nate. Thanks to you and what you were able to do through your course for me. I got an eighty nine on FA. And I’m a lawyer and I. I didn’t have I’m not an expert accountant. I mean, I I probably be the last person that I would want to do taxes like. Do you understand what I’m saying.
Yeah. Then whatever reason I was able to put it together that day. You know what I mean? And when I got through those multiple choice questions, I pretty much thought I slayed the dragon, if you know what mean. At that point, I’m like, even if you get 50 50 on those, what are they call them? Assimilation simulations. I said I got to be a seventy five. Right. I mean, you know, that’s what I was telling myself after the first break. You know what I mean. And I know that you didn’t make the break but boy. You know I was so fried if you know what I mean by the time we got to that point and I kind of felt like, you know, even if I didn’t do that. Well, coming back from the break, I probably still passed the exam. I wasn’t really concerned about anything but pass. I mean, like I wasn’t a person. Like, I’m looking to get one hundred on this. You know, I was looking for a seventy five.
Yeah. Exactly. That was that was the same as me. I just I wanted to pass as fast as possible.
Passing FAR and Then Audit
Yeah. I mean so I think. Does that give you a feel for kind of how that experience was and that and then you know, once I got through far and especially when I got the score, I was prepping audit. I went into audit after after far and I didn’t really know how I did. I still don’t know if I passed. I mean, I know that might sound strange, but you know, the eighty nine respectable score. But when I walked out of that was the most weird feeling I’ve ever had in my life. It was like, first of all, you felt like you went through like the equivalent of the bar exam. I mean, just for one of those exams where you’re just fried. I mean, like you, I mentally drained.
You are tired. I mean, it takes so much out of you. Right. Yeah. And and it’s a fight from beginning to end.
It really is. At least for me it was. And I got out of that. I’m like, wow. You know, even if I don’t pass this, I think I give it a hell of a shot. You know, I mean, that that’s kind of like the way I looked at it. You know, I felt kind of sneaky. Good, if you know what I need, but not related from the standpoint. I definitely get it. Get there. Started to notice much mission. Yeah. Right. But but that was it.
And then and then, you know, the scores never were as high as that I did in 80 for an audit. But I think that, you know, part of that was that I was a little comfy with that topic as a lawyer, you know, kind of spoke to me. You know, there was like a lot of stocks and stuff like that where it went back to like lawyer concepts in a way. Right. I mean, it wasn’t it wasn’t so heavy in the accounting. And then B C was one that I thought I failed. I’ll be I’ll be absolutely honest with you. I thought it was it was extremely hard on the multiple choice. And I I did something that I would recommend that people never do. And that was I had. A little bit of extra time on the Sims and I had the right answers and then I changed them to wrong answer because I remember when I kind of got into the car.
I mean, like, yeah, I did. And then I was checking things in the book because I remembered some of the multiple choice and the multiple choice questions were getting extremely hard. They were throwing out this weird stuff at me, like, you know, what’s Blitz Hyper Bolinger, you know, like those things you don’t mean about the different ways that people attack your I.T. system or whatnot. And they said what what’s what, what what section of the of the of the code means says this or that. I mean, it was getting really, really specific. And one night I’m like, wow, like these must be experimentalist, these must be experimentalists. You know, I keep on saying that to myself.
I sort of seen these, but they just kept getting worse and worse. You start acting like like I was like, wow, I’m like, this is crazy. I’m like, I don’t know if I’m going to pass this. I mean, I was really getting nervous. And then we got into the Sims and then I started changing answers. I knew that I nailed one of the Sims. It was on cost accounting. And boy, I don’t know how you get around that exam and not know cost accounting. I need that.
Right. It is a huge. And, you know, that was fine.
And then as a lawyer, I probably cleaned up on the essays. I got an eighty five and I honestly thought that I failed, that I honestly did. And I got on the phone with my wife. You know, after that exam and I’m like the second taken out that one, I was too deep into it to not kind of see it through. And yeah I got the eighty five, I thought I was the happiest guy in the face of the earth. I’m like, wow, that was the most dreadful experience of my life. And I got an eighty five. But people should not sell that section short. And I mean I it’s true. The most wicked.
Yeah. There is. It’s it’s very wide and all of the sections on it are very, very different, whereas audit is kind of like all the sections are different but they all kind of sound the same or at least similar. Right. But BEC, you’re going into completely separate topics. And it does it. And then.
Regular hot air right there. I mean, as a lawyer, I took too much for granted. Rankin really sneak up on you, you know, because there’s a lot of tax related stuff in there.
And if you don’t know that stuff, you’re going to miss a lot of questions on that, right? Boy, that was my worst score. I’ve got an eighty on that one. I thought I did better actually on that. But that just goes to show you how many guests, how many? I almost forgot how much I was guessing. You kind of see what I’m saying. Like once you get three and you’re poor, you kind of start to take for granted that if you pass the other three, like something’s really gonna go wrong. I mean, no matter that you should never be thinking that. But I think you do it just you know, I mean, I think it starts to become like a fait complete in your mind, you know, that you get through it. But I should have never had that mindset. And let me tell you something.
The Sims were pretty rock and hard to you know, I mean, write some ridiculous stuff.
They’re all tough, I think. I mean, especially if you’ve got my background, your best bets on it. But I think I did it in the right order for me. You know, I mean, like, you know, definitely you got to take our first time idea. It drives the rest study. You got to do that first iPhone. And then, you know, it’s kind of like, you know, you could do probably rag or on it. But I’d recommend audit because it’s kind of like a nice way to kind of get a breather from it.
And they are they are connected. So. Right. That is a that is kind of a good recommendation like FA for sure. So that you’re 18 months doesn’t start till that’s out of the way. But then audit does connect to far quite a bit. So. Yeah.
So we’ll see. Don’t sell it short. Yeah.
Making a Shift in the CPA Study Approach
Yeah, it is, it’s tough. So one of the things you said when you were struggling in the beginning and you felt like you were spending all this time kind of hearing the material or exposing yourself to the material, but you weren’t learning, right. What was the shift like? How did you study differently after that kind of helped you actually be learning it?
Right. So when I did get into your materials, I realized that while there were two things, the first thing was the flashcards I did. One thousand two hundred and eighty flashcards for FAR. That’s what I would do is every single question that I got wrong. Instead of just going on to another exam, I would make a flashcard about the concept, you know, whatever that concept was. And I would even start to make in my own mind either a question that was very similar or potentially identical to the one that I got wrong.
And then I would work out the answer as briefly as I could. You know the answer. So, you know, for some people, you know, it’s what your comfort zone is.
Importance of Creating Flashcards
But I felt like a flash card was a way to break it down, like read, you know, reconstruct what happened in the question effectively in your mind and then really walk it through so that every step like it’s almost like a step by step process for me to break down and break down the question and then how you put it together. That’s what the flashcard I thought was helpful for, because it really that was the learning. Actually, the learning was that the production of the flash cards. So the flash cards became the flash point for my learning.
Like in other words, you know, at the end of every day, it was the longest part of my day because I took stock of what I got wrong and I learned what I got wrong by making the flashcards about those questions or even, you know, it could have been like a review topic in the practical part of the review section of the main book.
And so I would just you know, I would just do flashcards. And so I had so many for far because I was failing every. And so I just you know, I really had to start from the beginning again, using your methodology with the flashcards. And then what I would do is every morning I would read a couple of clips from your book. I call it I call it a book. But you know your notes, right? I call them like flooded notes. Like I took your cliff notes, you know, and so, like, let’s say I was pieces.
I would take your section on leases and I would just read it like four or five times to try to just try to understand the core that, you know, that this substance really of what you really had to understand and to be able to break down a question.
The core of the logic behind, you know, what you’re supposed to be learning and what I liked about that was that it kind of just gave me a sense of how to how to start to look at questions from the standpoint of not over reading anything into them, but really relating to the core concepts that that they’re trying to test and not going beyond that, either to the right or the left, but just staying center st staying centered on on the core concept. And that’s where your your CliffNotes help me was just basically trying to stay centered on all these topics where I wasn’t going overboard in terms of, you know, the detail with which I was trying to learn it. But learning from this camp point of being able to practically apply it and focusing on just the core concept and not because I think that was another issue I had before I took your course was I was getting too caught up in the details. Like, in other words, you could learn all these little new details here and there, but that wasn’t going to help you pass the test. What was going to help you pass the test was understanding that the critical concept and then knowing how to apply it quickly. And the only way to do that was to take your book, you know, read your books for those core concepts, then take the practice exams and then do your flashcards at night. That. That to me was the recipe of how I got better. I mean, that’s that really is, in essence, what I did. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that that’s of totally.
Yeah, I. Making your own flashcards that is that’s an absolutely huge because you explained it really well kind of different than I’ve ever thought of it before.
But I do I have a video on that in the course of like you, you want to make flashcards on things that you keep missing or for whatever reason you personally struggle to understand. And then the way that you put the flashcard together is in a way that you know, you personally, because to write the flashcard, you have to kind of get to where you do understand it. Right. Kind of explaining it to yourself. You’re like, okay, I get how I done. The front is gonna be this. And on the back is this and that. Just as a way for you to connect things, you know, for yourself specifically to where you can stand it. Yeah. Yeah, so. And then a lot of people use our notes like that. Read them before, read the section before they go into their full lesson.
So. Yeah, that’s awesome.
Using the SuperfastCPA App
Yes. I mean, and then and then interestingly, I started to use your pop quizzes. You know, your your. Yeah. A little. Yeah.
And that was like a friendly way to test yourself when you didn’t really want to kind of grind it, you know. Exactly. Thirty thirty questions section. But it was a way to kind of like it was almost like a snack at bedtime. I mean not I mean I’m being kind of sick. I guess the way I look at it. But it was kind of like, let’s do a quick five, you know, like a quick five pushups if you’re trying to get it right.
And see, that’s that’s the exact idea. Like that is the exact idea is it’s just supposed to be. And people ask me a lot, you know, why? Why can’t I choose the topics or. Why? Why is it just five at a time? And I tell people, Mike, listen, just trust me. Use them.
Like I say, just open the app and just do five do a mini quiz, you know? Right. You can when you have like two or three minutes. And when you do that all through the day, it makes a huge difference anyways.
Yeah. Because I think you just made a really good point because it was the fact that it was so random. You know, I mean, it’s like, you know, you could ask something on, you know, the first section of, you know what? What are the requirements to to, you know, to ethically represent your client or whatever you like? You know, it could be something like that.
And all of a sudden, you know, you’re asking me a question about how to advertise on, you know, I mean, like, you know, like write a kind of like, that’s what’s great because, you know, that day, let’s say you just worked on on on on on bonds, you know, that topic that you covered four sections ago. A lot of that stuff is starting to, you know, not evaporate, but it’s not going to be fresh. And by doing the five question pop quiz, you go back to the front of the book, you’re like, why did I get that wrong?
You know what I mean? But it’s great because it just for you for like five minutes to bring it back to the, you know, to the front of your mind. And so you’re picking up points. That’s really what you’re doing, right? You’re picking up points on the exam because, you know, you’re either going to save your time because you’re not going to have to think too hard, you know, when you see that question, because you just saw it on one of your pop places one week before you walked into the exam room. And and or you just kind of maytree learned something that you actually didn’t really learn because, you know, your questions are worded in such a way where they’re not meant to be trick questions. They’re just meant to really kind of be a gut check as to Haiti. For the most part, to understand the substance of the topic.
I mean, let’s full stop. I mean, that that’s really kind of the sense of it that the level at which you were testing those questions. But that’s good, too, because, you know, once you start getting five out of five on those, it’s not that you’re going to necessarily ace the test, but then you use what you what you can start to get confident about by doing that. And getting the five out of five is that you get you’re becoming a well-rounded student. You’re becoming fairly well-rounded where maybe you’re not a servant at any particular section, but you got enough to give it a fighting chance. I mean, yeah, no matter what the before all. And actually if that makes sense.
Yeah. Well and that that was one of my big realizations is my first time around because I didn’t know any better. I just assumed that the test would be a bunch of the absolute hardest questions and the hardest topics. And so that’s why I spent this inordinate amount of time. And then you and then you get in there and there’s a lot of you know, there are simple questions. But you had to have really studied every lesson.
And so it’s that it’s that coverage of everything that you have to be good at. And a lot of people make that mistake of, you know, in their final review, they just go study the five hardest topics over and over. And then you go in and you might have three or four questions total on those five topics. So will articulate coverage.
Yeah. Yes. And the other point that I would make is that one of the things that was coming, should I say a psychological barrier for me was that I was never that fast at the bond questions.
I was never you know, I felt like I was losing too much time, like like, you know, playing around, fiddling with a calculator and like trying to get the answer.
And I I would I would do 30 bond questions and I would never finish them. I would literally never finish them. Not even, you know, at the very end of my studies. I got a little better 19. So I got I got pretty close. But I could never do 30, 30 minutes. And I realized that some of those questions were about a half a paragraph or a paragraph long. And so I said to myself, look, you’re never going to be as good as a guy that is, you know, an investment banker. You know, we’ve been doing this all of his life. Like, you need to know that you’re not going to get 30 bond questions on the exam. That’s what I. That’s what I had to stand back and say to myself what you need you need to have enough of an understanding. So even if you can’t get through the question because of time constraints, you at least can narrow it down to the point where you got a pretty good shot at guessing. Right? Right. Boiling it down to two of the four choices. And you know, that’s kind of what I said to myself. Just learn the concept. Make sure you’re comfortable that you know how to do the work to get the answer.
Don’t stress about the fact that this is taking you twice as much time as it is to answer questions that speak to your legal talents, that you should be riffing first.
In other words, one of the one of the other sections that gave me quite a hard time was government.
Government kept the government section was terrible for me for two reasons. One is as an attorney, I thought I thought I should ace that all the time and I was failing all the time and all the questions no matter when I eventually worked up to a sixty five average on those questions. And I’m like, this is pathetic. Here I am worrying about bonds. I’m getting sixty fives after killing myself on government. I’m like, what am I missing here? But it’s like one of those things where I was so thankful every time I saw government question indeed on the exam and I got quite a lot of them. I know that you’ll find this Naty bizarre. But they kept that from government, not profit at anything. But that’s what I said exactly is in the end.
Coverage vs Specific Topics
The only reason why you’re going to feel good and have a good chance of passing the test is to leave no stone unturned. And for me, especially given my background as a lawyer, I said you’ve got to get the government nonprofit questions you have because you keep don’t you make it stop too much on the ones that require more accounting, core accounting and math related skills, because that’s just not your sweet spot.
It killed me, but I did as much as I could into sixty five is good enough on average, but it was much more than that. In the end I was doing lots of flashcards. I was really learning a lot about the material and dry as it was. But you know, that saved me because the things that I was not getting right on the practice exams day weren’t getting to that level of detail on the actual words. So what I think some students might find is that don’t get too intimidated by the fact that I mean, I’m not saying that you could be feeling good about 50s, but if you’re in the 60s and you’re in the mid 60s, maybe 67, 68, and you’re really putting the time into the flashcards, don’t think you’re not doing yourself a service by keeping at it like meaning like, you know, mate, maybe as part of your study diet, those things that you’re weak on. You just throw a few in there, if you know what I mean, along with whatever your priority is that day. Just to try to build up a little more stamina on those questions. But do not ever think that because they say it should be ten to fifteen percent of the exam, that it couldn’t be 50 percent of your exam zine telling you, I must add 50 percent nonprofit and government questions on my multiple choice questions.
That is what I felt like my first there were I just felt like there were a ton. And like you said, I knew going in according to the blueprints that it was 10 to 15 percent, but I felt like it was higher than that by just again. You just you have to have it. It’s all about coverage of everything. Exactly. Not knowing how to value bonds like an expert. Like you said. Right?
I think of the other things that you did with your chorus, right? So we covered. We covered the. The quick quizzes. We covered the core written material and then your tapes. I mean, we left those out, right. I mean, the tapes. What was great about the tapes was that it was literally your book, your your cliff notes, if I recall correctly. Yeah, it’s based. Right. And so what was great about it was it wasn’t trying to, again, give you too much detail. It was just trying to hammer home the core concepts, you know, for each section. And, you know, that’s what really kind of builds you up.
It’s almost like base strength training, right? I mean, it’s like, hey, I gotta I’ve got to kind of get my balance right before I can lift the big weights. Right. I mean, there’s like stepping stones, right. To be, you know. And also ultimately fit person. It’s the same concept in terms of how you study. It’s like you got to build yourself up so that at least, you know, the core concepts inside and out.
And then you can start getting better at, hey, I could actually do the journal entries because, you know, I listen through this and it’s starting to make sense. And I’m really learning debit and credit. And, you know, that is the one thing that you also emphasize and that would say, please continue to emphasize. You gotta understand conceptually that debit and credit process, because they are gonna hit you so hard on that. And the simulations, at least that was my experience. Yeah, you don’t understand that. And it’s easy not to. Especially if you’re not an accounting major. I was not an accounting major. That is the thinking of an accountant. You know, it’s it’s it’s assets, equal liabilities, plus equity and then learning what that means from a debit credit standpoint. Did you kind of see what I’m saying? Left. Right. And was I was that simple. But, you know, it was that complicated. I mean, I guess that’s the best way to put it, was that I hadn’t mastered that. When when I was first studying before I got to your material, you gave me a push in that direction. I mean, if you didn’t like you didn’t you kind of took a middle line, but you did you did put it in there. But I would tell you, no more forceful on that. Go more forceful on. Guys, you really gotta get to the core of it. The core of it is assets, equal liabilities, plus equity. And how do I describe that in an accounting journal? You’ve got to be able to do that in your head and you’ve got to be comfortable with that. And if you’re not, you’re not going to get through the exam. That’s another point that I would make and I would hammer that.
Well, and that that something you said earlier when you were struggling in the beginning, you would you know, you mentioned you would like watch the video lecture, read, read all the chapter and then kind of ignore the the debits and credits, the journal entries. And part of that is, you know, when someone sits down and they have a few hours to study, you know, you’re learning this new stuff. It’s very dry, like you said, and it’s very technical. So it’s it’s new to your brain. It’s hard to grasp. And when you start with the video lecture and then read the entire chapter, you’ve and then you do those little truth. True or false? Right. Of diagnostic questions that I don’t think are that valuable. But what I’m saying is we only have so much kind of brainpower, you know, at any given time. And that just gets whittled down spending like two or three hours before you even get into the practice questions or the practice simulations. Yeah, I know for a fact. That’s what happens with a lot of people as they get kind of ground down mentally and just get mentally tired within the span of one study session. He asked is they’re getting to the most important thing, which is going through the practice questions and the simulations. And so that’s why I recommend you start it in reverse to get the context of instead of watching the whole lecture. This from this topic, this is the kind of question you’re going to see. This is how the concepts translate into a question and you do it backwards.
Right. And here’s another thing.
By going through that whole process of like doing the journal entries, you know, especially even at the end of every section, if you pay for the whole course, I’ll get to what I did after I got too far. But when I was in fire, I thought, you know, I bought the whole luxury package.
But they do do that. They do have you kind of go through that debit and credit thing, you know, like I described in the beginning. But that is the practice of the Sims. It’s not taking. This is the kind of funny thing. It’s not actually taking all the sims that make you feel like, oh, my God, I’m never going to pass this test. I mean, for me, they were so intimidating when I was taking Sims. But actually, in a way, the best way to practice the Sims was to get really comfortable with journal entries and understanding what was going on.
In those back end reviews. And that is preparing for the Sims, if you know what I mean like that.
Preparing for the CPA Simulations
To me, that was better than taking the actual sims themselves because you you had the critical thinking and that’s really what you need to be able to understand and appreciate. I think to be successful is that it’s just that comfort with the way you’re thinking. It’s like if you’re not a practicing accountant and it’s not know second nature to you, it’s just basically going through those motions as tiring as it can be to break it down to that basic equation. And, you know, I mean, again, maybe I’m overplaying it, but I don’t think I am in a way. It’s kind of like saying to yourself, you know, maybe other than some of the special topics, how does this all shake out in terms of how I would represent this in a series of journal entries? If you can’t get there in this material, you’re not going to get there on the exam, in my view. And in addition, I will say, if you can get there in terms of those back end review questions at the end of each chapter, you will get there that you know, that that that is my point of view. Maybe you won’t get it. High score, but you’ll get 75. But that’s another trick, too. And I know that you downplay the semmes and I agree with you. The Sims are so all over the board. Yeah, I think I think maybe there’s two or three topics that you should focus on with the Sims. But I think you could really lose critical study time by getting caught up in the Sims.
I agree with you. I don’t know if I’m over stating kind of your point of view on that, but I I would I would tend to think that your best value is doing the multiple choice and then doing your flashcards at night, because let’s face it, it’s just not enough time in the day to do it all.
And so where are you going to get your most value? Where you’re going to get your most value is doing those journal entries. I mean, we’re just talking about far, which I think is pretty much, you know, the big one learning those journal entries and the thinking. And that goes into understanding debit and credits and then focusing on the multiple choice questions and doing those flashcards at night and then doing your quick pace reviews as a way to kind of just put a little icing on the cake. And I think that’s the recipe right there, because, you know, people who go into those sims and they spend a lot of time on them, they’re not going to really help you learn. In my view, what you need to know to be able to actually get them right to begin with. And they’re just going to start intimidating you because you’re going to start to see stuff.
You’re like, wow, I I can’t make any sense of this and I certainly can’t do it in 20 minutes. You know, that’s not good. You want to see yourself getting better? Not in a deceptive way, but in a way that makes sense from the standpoint of broad coverage.
Incremental improvement. You know, for the most part across the board and understanding sort of the core methodology, I mean that that goes in through the way you do this stuff. That’s what you focus on. If you start getting too caught up in any bad set of sins, that is just bad energy. You don’t want that. And you have to be efficient about your energy. If you’re not efficient about your energy preparing for this exam, that’s another recipe for disaster. You really have to watch yourself, right, because you can’t go off the deep end on anything. And it’s easy. It’s easy to do that.
My son. Yeah, I was gonna say that when you explained kind of your test taking the test to experience and you do, you have to kind of go in there with kind of this shield around your mental.
I don’t know how to explain it, but knowing like, OK, I can’t freak out when I get in there. I’m not going to get stuck in a black hole on any given multiple choice question or or simulation. Yeah, you do. You just have to have a very clear idea of how you’re going to approach it strategically before you go in.
And here’s another good thing is like an unfortunate choice. You know, you have to size it in your course. And like I said, I agree with you. Here’s the other reason why. What do you see? First on the exhibit, you see the multiple choice. Yes, that’s nice. It’s going to set the tone. Psychologically, that’s going to set the tone.
Exactly. And it’s a huge time thing, too. You want to be done at least halfway, if not sooner.
And so I I was trying to get through those sections. I can’t remember some of that. Some of them varied a little bit in terms of the number of questions. But I tried to finish those first two sections in an hour and a half.
And I don’t know if that’s too slow or too fast, but I didn’t want to be there for more than an hour and a half. I knew I required that extra half an hour.
I mean, I on the sems to get myself a fighting chance, at least on those that I could potentially get more on, because also I think that if you spend too much time on those questions, it’s almost as if you’re you’re you’re hurting yourself, even if you get the point of one that you spend too much time on. You’re potentially sacrificing points that you would get later more readily, but you might miss because you got flustered and took too much time getting one of the questions. So I would say no more than a minute and a half to two. Make you choose pushing it, but no more than a minute and try to get through the 30 seconds. I mean, you can actually. There’s a lot that are like one sentence first, right?
Right. There’s yeah, there’s a lot of conceptual ones that if you know this stuff, I mean it’s like a 10 second total. Yeah. Yeah.
And don’t go back and change the answers. That’s true. Yeah. And I. Yeah.
I would I would tell myself that before there there is there’s something about the kind of your first instinct and at the same time you’ve got to read them very careful. And my own my other trick for that was going to the very last sentence, especially on ones where there’s like a paragraph prompt or whatever. The very last sentence. That is the actual question writing a lot of times multiple things said before that aren’t even relevant. Anyways, that’s an account that’s granular. So we kind of went through almost everything I had here. So besides what you described, what what did you do in the last few days before an exam that you feel like helped a lot?
Tips for the Last Few Days Before an Exam
What I did the last few days before an exam, I stopped drilling myself on tests.
So in other words, I did not. I did not like the last four or five days before the test. I literally weaned myself off of doing the review exams. If you know and when I see review exams, I’m not talking about a full length exam. I’m talking about 30 questions on the fly. And then what I started to do was really just go to my flashcards. Yeah. And so basically for the last week, I would say probably for the most part of the last week, I wanted to kind of almost like tail off the stress of going through exams and rather just really immerse myself in like enriching my brain with every little thing I could.
In terms of the vast number of flashcards that I create and you know what I would do? I would play around on quiz like I need my flashcards on Quizlet and there’s little games you can play.
You know, you’re shopping around. It sometimes doesn’t even make any sense, but it’s just kind of like fun ways to kind of like play around. And then it’s a weird thing, but you start gaining confidence if you kind of shut almost all the noise out from all like the, you know, the the gloominess coverage of the topics, you know, in the books and everything else. And just I kind of like the way you broke it down to learn it and just appreciate that.
It’s almost like you’re kind of giving yourself a pat on the back as you go into the exam. You’re like, wow, look, all the work I did, you know, you’re looking at all of these flash cards in your lights.
You know what?
Even if I didn’t pass this exam. Boy, did I do everything I possibly could have to pass it. And then that kind of thinking actually makes you more determined to pass it. Right. Because you’re not freaking yourself out anymore. Taking exams and then finding that you got one wrong that you should know of. And you took too much time on that one. Why? How did you get tricked on this one? No. All that is now becoming a memory. And what you’re doing is you’re building up your confidence because you’re learning what you already know and you’re at the same time. It’s coming fresher and fresher. You know, I mean, so that you’re getting faster in your own mind about how quickly you can rattle off a potential answer to a question. And you’re doing it your way. You’re not doing it their way or your way. You’re doing it your way. And you don’t need mean that’s that. That, I think is building a sneaky confidence up. Me and like as you get into the exam, that’s where you need to be.
Definitely. Yeah. And that was a that was something that I realized as well. Was. From a.
Like I always that when I was away from my test materials or whatever, just thinking about it through the day, I would think I kind of feel like I don’t really know this stuff. Like if I had to get up and lecture on it, but then as soon as I would open a quiz like close to an exam, I could answer like everything. And. And that is what you need to be able to do, you know, on exam day is just answer the questions. You don’t need to be able to give impromptu lecture on how bonds work. You know, that’s you you don’t need that level of like knowledge of how it intimately works behind the details. You just need to be able to answer the questions you’re going to see.
Yeah, and just knowing that that is what’s important. You do like you were saying, you get to where you feel really good about. I’m I’m passing this test.
Exactly. And that was the other thing, too, is that because you don’t leave any stone unturned. And when I say that, what I mean it is that you covered thoroughly every topic. You start to feel like, you know, hey, there’s going to be a number of bonds, right, and some other stuff that I’m not going to be really comfortable with. But chances are, well, let’s say that that’s four sections of 20 that that you’re not so comfortable with. Chances are they’re probably not going to focus on those four topics. Yes. You need to know them like you need to know all the 20 topics. Why try to just get faster on the other 16 so that you feel really good about those 16 topics and that you’re fast and that those four topics, you don’t go too hard on those, but rather you look at it from the standpoint that hopefully you will build in extra time because you’re so good at the other 16.
I mean that those four, when you do face them, you can get your extra 30 seconds or 40 seconds or whatever you need and still feel like you’re you know, you’re moving through the exam. Well, and that really is, I think, part of it. Part of it is always being able to have the perspective that no one and I know no one that’s walking in it take exams is going to feel great about all 20 sections. Right. But I think they should be feeling pretty good about these fifteen of the one. And I think you could probably say that about yourself when you went into the second time. I’m taken to say that, hey, you know, I’m feeling pretty good, at least about 15 of the 20 and I know enough about the other five where they’re not throwaways, but they’re certainly not areas that I thought that if if I put much more time into, probably going to get that faster at answering those questions or that I was really going to understand any better the core concept. And frankly, two months is not enough time to become an expert on any of these particular topics.
Exactly right. Any given topic or sub topics. There are people with their entire career based on being an expert, you know. So it’s just you can’t track it. Exactly. You can’t think I need to know everything about all topics because you can’t get there within the time span to be able to pass before exams.
And it’s kind of funny. It’s kind of like, you know, having a comfort level with how to apply the concept to a question. You have to have it, I think, for all twenty sections. But being necessarily gifted or not gifted. But, but, but extra comfortable, let’s say at doing that quickly. You’re just not going to get there in 20 sections. So what you got to go for is you’ve got to be able to at least understand the concept well enough that you can apply it to any question, how fast you’re gonna be and how comfortable you’re gonna be and each of the questions that are thrown at you, that’s anyone’s guess, but you’re bound to get pretty darn good at at least a majority of the topics.
So don’t let the minority of those topics where you’re not feeling so good wear away at your confidence because you just really need to focus on getting a comfort level that at least you know the critical concepts and you can apply it, meaning that you’re not learning it. Skin deep. You’re learning it to the core where you least know how to how to do it. But you also and this is part of learning learned like what you’re good at and what you struggle at.
So when you see those questions on the exam that you’re not so great at and you don’t feel like you have that much time. Yes. And just get to the next question. Yes. It could change your shuffle, but I’m not expecting that you’re going to do that a lot, but do it enough where you’ve got three or four lifelines. Let’s say for yourself and say three or four times, something’s not in my sweet spot. I’m Skip. I’m guessing I’m moving on because I don’t have time to this year. I mean, like, you know, in your head in a good way.
You know what I mean? It’s like I don’t want to get lots of I. I want to keep the momentum. I mean, that’s kind of the way I look at an exam. There are a few questions that looks really odd in the far. Who knows? Maybe I was doing so well on it that they started to throw a lot of experimental.
I mean, who knows? Yeah, but I didn’t I didn’t take the time to get caught up in it. I guess it moved on.
And I think that probably helped write because, you know, it is what it is. And I think that if I had tried a you know. Put a lot of effort into them. It may have cost me a lot of points because I may have actually started to put a time into it and it’s just that little bit of of energy wasted, if you know what I mean. That can snowball. You do a negative experience very quickly. That’s what I was thinking as I walked into that exam is I don’t want anything but positive energy as I’m moving through this thing. And I should know enough that I can just pretty much whip through, you know, the vast majority of the questions and those that look a little odd or, you know, like, hey, I’m not like absolutely comfortable with Jess and move on. Maybe what you do is you mark down, you know, a few of those questions where you kind of guessed and moved on because then you’re not kind of re trying to learn the question, know what you’re doing is you’re making sure you get through the whole set of questions and you’re marking three, four, maybe five questions. And that’s not that many. Right. And you think about the suite of questions that you get. And then when you get to that last question, you answer it and then you’re like, wow, I wanted to get through this thing and let’s say 50 minutes. But I got through it in forty two. I got eight minutes. EXELL go back five, give it eight minutes, you know, from the very beginning to the end.
And if you get far enough in any of them, you’re like, this is great, right? Because I’m I’m basically I’m basically getting points I hopefully don’t need, but I know they’ll just boost me a little higher going into the Sims.
But I didn’t kill myself and I most importantly didn’t compromise questions that I was more comfortable with because I got scared of time.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s that is that’s a lot of good test a strategy. So then at the. Just to end.
How about the day you found out your fourth score and like what? What was that like finding out you got your fourth passing score and then what do you do to celebrate? What was that day like?
It was interesting. Yeah, I was down visiting my parents in Florida, you know, and I got the result.
And I was just like it was so interesting because I was pretty sure I passed.
But it was almost like just a real sigh of relief that, you know, I could finally say, you know, I mean, that it was over even though was it I mean, I shared with you all the other things you have, you know, the hurdles to get the license.
But it was like a sense of like, wow, I’m like, I really did it, you know, and I can’t, you know, kind of thank you enough for it. Kind of that initial speech that you give about how seriously to take it. Because I have to say, I don’t know if at this juncture in my life, I really could have done it had I failed any of them. I know that might sound like, you know, you would have done it. But I mean, think about it. I have a wife and family, and it’s like if you’d put the kind of time into it that I did on far and then kind of came up short. I don’t know.
I mean, I don’t I don’t I don’t know if I would have, you know, gone through it all, because I think you can relate to this. Right. It’s a journey and it’s it’s a six month journey. I mean, that that’s really what it is. And you tell me. But I don’t see how you get through this thing and lessons for sure.
Yeah, right. And that’s I mean, you kind of have best. Best case scenario because you went for four for.
And but, you know, it sounds like the point that everyone has to get to is where the study process clicks. And as long as you can get to that point where you just feel like, OK, I know how to study for this. Like I know what to do day to day. That’s kind of the that’s almost a bigger hump in passing your first section on anything.
I think, Nate, I think the jam really with you in the way you outlined how to prepare is the flashcard. I think it begins and ends there. I really do, because. That’s your work, right? That’s you taking this bizarre material at times, right? It feels like it’s kind of bizarre stuff for all of us depending on the topic. Right. And like figuring out a way to metabolize you and that’s the flashcard mean. In essence, that’s the flashcard. Right. It’s like metabolising what you’re eating.
And I feel like that process is very different in a good way than just taking notes. You know, normal. That’s total. It’s a totally different thing. So I tell people that in emails all the time, I’m like, okay, are you doing flash in the lab while I do notes? And I’m like, no, not notes, flashcards. You write down the flashcards.
I recommend like something like a quiz slip because then it’s kind of like it’s easy that way. I mean, I think everybody’s on computers now, right? I mean, I you know, I think in the beginning I might have thought about that. You know, like E.T. writing stuff.
And that’s not like, you know, like you get something where it’s kind of like it’s very user friendly. And then, you know, I found that I was trying to perfect my for my own flashcards. You see what I’m saying? Like, oh, yeah, like I kind of adjusted it a little bit, but that’s part of the learning process. You know, it’s like you’re painting your own Picasso. Like like look at it that way. Right. Know, like strolling Mr. Spock there. You mean like, you know, kind of not up a little bit. I’m sure you got into that kind of a bit. You know, like just kind of like, I want to adjust this a little bit, but that, you know, that’s it.
That’s what it is writing. That that’s that to me is the part of the process where you’re like, wow, now you’re really going to you know, you got a really good shot at passing once you get to that point. Right. Because then, you know, it’s kind of like you’re adjusting the material just right so that it’s perfect fit for your brain. You know, I mean, that’s a that’s another way to look at it.
Right. So it’s like you’re synthesizing material in a way that relates to the way you learn. And that is the flashcard process. I guess, in essence, that that to me is the way to look at it.
And if you don’t do that and you and you and you rely on the way somebody else learns, because that’s what you’re getting when you read their book or go through their materials and their reviews. You’re not going to get the material to the point that you’re gonna be able to competently smite, but you’ll probably struggle on the exam day and you’ll walk out with 75 people that get 75 and higher confidence.
They take that material, they break it down, reconstruct it in such a way through the flashcard process that it collects in their brain. And then they take that and they get better and better and faster and faster. The questions. That’s the process.
Yeah, that’s exactly. I mean, I almost use those exact words when I’m explaining how to do Sim’s. I say break them apart, understand kind of what’s going on. You don’t just mindlessly do endless practice simulations, right. Look at them, break them apart and put them into flashcards. That makes sense to you. That’s way better than just doing a ton of practice, sims. So, yes. All right. Well, yeah, we we covered a lot that was really good.
I think this will be really valuable to anyone listening to this and I’d be happy to speak to any of your students or prospective students if they just want to get a feel for this process for them or, you know, it’s just something that they want to do. And like I said, I didn’t have a lick of it. And I mean, I did take one accounting class as part of a required NDA curriculum, but I don’t know what got into me, but I decided to take this on. I’m so glad I did. I mean, you know, it’s an accomplishment for us. All right. There’s not that. Yes. Right. I mean, it really is too late. I take somebody very seriously now, and I know there are CPA and I’m I’m serious. You understand? I say because, you know, you know what it takes it’s just kind of like, you know, somebody kind not at first on my list right here.
You relate to that, right? You relate to that experience. What did it take that person to do that?
Well, that’s a that’s an interesting question. My dad is an attorney. Now he’s a judge anyways. But for you, how do you feel like the exams compared to the taking the bar?
I thought they were the most challenging exams I’ve ever taken in my entire life. I mean, forget the bar. I mean, yeah. I mean, you cover effectively the bar in these four in these four books. I mean, you do really write, you know, contracts. You know, there’s a lot of legal concepts, all the bills.
Yeah, that’s true. Yeah, I mean, I would know, but I mean, that’s that is an interesting perspective, someone who’s done them both.
Oh, my God. And, you know, it’s like one of those things where, like, you can memorize the law almost. I mean, you do have to have a practical way to apply it to a fact pattern. But it’s not nearly as nuanced and as I think. Requiring sort of almost abstract intelligence applied, if that makes sense. You know, as this it just doesn’t it’s not a good comparison. I mean, it really. Because you can literally almost memorize like those legal concepts. And it’s not challenging you to get out of your comfort zone because really even the law school isn’t a great preparation for the bar. It’s not. It’s the way you think. Doesn’t have to change to pass the exam. And I really do believe that I had to change the way I was thinking and the way I was learning to pass these exams that make sense. And that only took it to a new level as it’s incredible. You know, I’m in my 40s and I took this thing on and. Well, what a way to wake up your mind.
Clint Eastwood Parallel
Yeah, forget it, I mean, you know what I always thought of when somebody asked me, like, you know, what was it like, you know, going through all this material? Did you ever see the movie Firefox with with Clint Eastwood where he steals the plane from Russia? Have you ever heard of that movie?
OK. I know. So I’ve got a generation or two on your body. So what happens is that you’ll laugh at this, right?
So he he they the Russians make this new fighter jet. OK. And so Clint Eastwood goes over there and he has to sneak his way in there so that he can steal the plane. That’s his mission to to steal the plane. And so he steals Firefox. He gets into it any. And he flies off. Right. And what do you think they do? They chase him, but their plane isn’t quite as good as it. Right. So, you know, they got one or two chaser planes, you know, here and there. But the funny thing was he had to speak Russian to the airplane, to, you know, to the Firefox. In order for the thing to be able to shoot missiles and guide him through. And he was struggling at the time to get it into his head. You know, like I got to think like a Russian. What? Know, like, well, you know, like, what would I say to make this door open for the torpedo, you know, for the missile?
And I kind of relayed that to a gentleman that I was at a party with. And I said I felt like I was Clint Eastwood sitting in the in this in this plane trying to say, think like an accountant. You know, I think, you know, like like like, what would you what would you do to be like? What would you do? What would you say to to get this done? And I’ll leave you with that. But I thought that was kind of an interesting concept myself, you know, because it kind of like, you know, you had to draw on the process of thinking all the time.
You don’t need to get through the exams. And it was foreign to me as a lawyer. It was a different way of thinking and looking at the world in a way, you know, going through these concepts and Dina to apply them.
But I thought that was a little funny anecdote. You know, it’s like, you know, like sitting there and you’re you’re like, you know, why isn’t this coming naturally to me? You know? Like what? Like what? How do I need to think? To be able to answer this question? You know, I mean, that that is that is part of it, too. Right. I mean, it really is getting into the thinking of the exam preparation person and and really thinking like an accountant. Right. I mean, that’s you know, it’s a different thing, you know, if you’re not an accounting by background.
Well, and it’s also a good point because people ask me all the time. You know, it’s been years since I was out of school or or sometimes I’ll have m.b.a.s ask, should I go and do a master’s in accounting? And and like you said, the CPA exams are their own thing. Even even when you’re straight out of a Mac or a mask, the master’s in accounting like it, it doesn’t directly apply. And so in a sense, everyone is kind of starting at the same spot with the CPA exams.
So, I mean, that’s just helpful for people to realize. I guess, like you don’t you don’t need to be right out of a bunch of accounting classes because they don’t necessarily apply.
Yeah, it’s a good point. I mean, maybe with the exception of some of the topics, I totally agree with you. Maybe I wasn’t at a disadvantage. I mean, maybe the fact that I had to kind of re learn it in the way that I would have to apply it on the exams, put me at a similar level to most people. But for some of the topics, you know, that’s that’s that’s a very good point.
Well, you know what it was this week, so. Right. There is some overlap, like I had these deep accounting or tax classes in my masters, but they would go very.
The class would go very deep on just one little piece of the regs section.
And so the Masters really did not help with the CPA exams that anyways. Well, yeah, again. Yeah. Thank you for doing this. It was. We’ve gone over our so. Yeah. I don’t want to take your time but it was a freak. Yeah. I’m I’m glad you know that we could help with your process somewhat. Thank you. And that concludes the interview with Richard. We kind of just chit chat it after that.
So I hope you found that really valuable. Like I said, we covered a lot of things that if you are in the study process currently, I think you would say that that was very helpful to hear some of his breakthroughs and things he figured out that really started to work for him again to register for one of the free trainings. That’s the best place to start with super-fast C.P.A to see how our study process works and see if these ideas make sense to you as with one of those free training sessions. Again, that’s at super-fast CPA dot com slash training. Or you can just text pass. Now one word to four for two to two.
Other than that, if you found this helpful in your current listener or subscriber, please take the time to go and, you know, leave a comment or in the YouTube comments or mostly at this point when the podcast is is new, like it is too great and leave a review on the podcast, specifically an Apple podcast or wherever you listen. So again, thanks for listening and watch out for future episodes because we’re doing a lot of these interviews with past C.P.A customer SuperfastCPA customers. And I think you will find a lot of these very, very helpful.