In this SuperfastCPA reviews episode, you’ll hear how Jason passed his CPA exams after years of struggling with the study process. Stories like Jason’s are some of the most helpful, because he has so many insights into the study process and the mental battle of going through years of ups and downs while trying to pass his CPA exams.
- 00:00 Jason’s Interview
- 00:53 Introduction
- 05:30 Jason’s CPA Journey
- 09:37 How Jason Discovered SuperfastCPA
- 13:53 Jason’s First Study “Breakthrough”
- 15:48 “It Was a Huge Relief…”
- 24:42 How Jason Found Out He Finally Got It
- 26:38 How Jason Managed His Study Time
- 28:04 How Jason Mastered Topics He Struggled With
- 31:23 Hardest Part of the Study Process
- 33:28 From Scoring in the 50s to Passing Sections
- 36:04 Building Retention into the Daily Study Process
- 42:47 Tips for Those Who are Struggling
- 47:31 Benefits Jason Got From SuperfastCPA
- 52:29 Jason’s Great Tip on Choosing Your Test Date
Nate: So what was it like finding out you’d you’d finished after all that time?
Jason: Oh, man. It was like a weight lifted off. Like I was so happy. Like I started crying a little bit because like, for me at that point, that was like eight or nine years of the process, you know, on and off, like mentally, like, you know, sometimes giving up then jumping back into it.
So the journey felt like exhausting, but to finally have it done and like, you know, they knew how much I was, you know, studying and putting in and the late nights and stuff like that. And it was just kind of a big relief to finally have it done and, and be able to, you know, progress it and go forward from there.
Nate: Welcome to episode 72 of the CPA exam experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate, and in today’s interview, you’re gonna hear me talk with Jason. Jason is one of our customers and he has a longer, you know, CPA journey, which a lot of people on our podcast, you know, have had the experience where they really struggle with the exams.
They go through a period of thinking. Maybe I’m not even going to try to finish these exams. Maybe I’m just going to forget about the CPA. And then they come back to them when it does finally click meaning the study process, when it finally clicks and they have a breakthrough like, okay, this is finally working.
I know how I know what to do for every lesson. I know how to manage my time and they’re able to spend less time studying because they finally have the study process really nailed down and then they start passing sections. They typically have a lot more insight into the overall process as far as mistakes being made, you know, the first time around what to avoid doing. And Jason has one of those stories and it’s, it’s heavy on the motivational side because as you’ll hear, he went through a lot of ups and downs in his CPA journey. But again, that makes for a better experience to listen to because he just has so much insight into what was really working for him, times when he felt like he was going to give up on the exams, and then what brought him back and what kept him going after previously having that kind of an experience.
So there’s just a lot to learn from Jason’s story. Before we get into the episode or the interview, two things I want to mention first, if you have not yet, make sure to sign up for one of our free study training webinars, you can do that at our main website at superfastcpa.com. It’s the main thing at the top of the homepage.
That is the best place to start. If this is the first thing you’ve come across from SuperfastCPA, we take one hour and we walk you through our core study strategies so that you will learn how to use your current review course much more effectively, much more efficiently. The second thing is make sure to sign up for one of our free podcasts giveaways.
You can do that at superfastcpa.com/enter or there should be a link down in the description. If you’re watching this on YouTube. Each month we give away three pairs of Powerbeats Pro headphones, simply for registering for the giveaway and the idea behind giving away headphones is that, the big thing with our audio notes is that you can be racking up study time as you do other things throughout your day, that you would normally be doing like washing the dishes, working out, going on walks, just sitting around the house. I mean, whatever it is, there’s all this extra time that you can be improving your scores by always listening to our audio notes. So with that being said, let’s get into the interview with Jason.
So have you heard any of these other, or have you heard any of the podcasts episodes before, you kind of know how these go?
Jason: Yeah, a few of them, my friend was on one.
Nate: Oh really who’s that?
Nate: Oh, nice. Yeah. Sharon. Yeah. Whenever I’m reminded of a certain one, I’m like, oh, that’s one of the best ones, but I really, really like, they’ve all been, they’ve all been pretty good.
Um, that’s awesome. Do you work with her? How do you know her?
Jason: Uh, we worked together, uh, when I first started out, she was at my first job, so we started working together and then I had introduced her to using SuperfastCPA,
Nate: Oh, really? That’s that is funny. I think you said that on the, on the call,
Jason: She said her friend, she was talking about me.
Nate: Awesome. That is cool. Okay. So, uh, yeah, I just pulled up your, uh, I don’t know, the little form thing and you’ve passed three so far. Is that right?
Jason: No, I passed all of them.
Nate: Oh, you’re done with all of them. Okay. Okay. So here’s what, okay. You’ve said that I retook FAR three weeks ago. Oh, you must have just been referring to the fact that you’re now done.
So you, yeah. Okay. You retook FAR recently?
Jason: FAR was my last one. So that was the one I had retook, and then that was the final one that I needed to pass.
Nate: Okay. So yeah, let’s start. Uh, well, let’s start at the very beginning. How did you even get into accounting?
Jason’s CPA Journey
Jason: Yeah. So I started out, I changed my major, like three times before I got to accounting. Um, but my father had a history, um, in working in finance. So I’ve just felt like business and, I was pretty good at it, so that’s why I ended up choosing, um, and staying in accounting.
Nate: Okay, nice. At this point, like how, how long have you been out of school or how long have you been working on the CPA exams in total?
Jason: Yeah. So my last year of college, I took like a good, I think my last semester I had like 20 something credits cause I wanted to make sure I had the 150 so I can, once I graduated, I can just go in and take it. So I graduated in 2012. So 2013 I started working. Um, and then that’s when I started the CPA journey, essentially.
It was right at 2013 while I was working.
Nate: Okay, and I mean, how’d it go in the beginning? You just had a review course. You were trying to go through the lessons. Like, what was the whole thing like?
Jason: Yeah, it was rough. So, you know, starting out like that was like my first, I had a little job, but that was like my first real corporate job or whatever.
So I was, I had a study material. I forgot who it was. I think I did like Rogers or something like that. Um, so I would try and wake up at like five or so to try and study for a few hours before I went to work. Um, and then, you know, do some, a little bit after work too cause I was single at the time. So I was just, you know, my, my mentality was like, let me just try and pass everything the first time.
And you know, everybody thinks that, you know, it doesn’t always work out that way, but you know, I spent, the hours trying to just basically read the book and just study basically.
Nate: Okay. And it wasn’t working?
Jason: No, no, no. I just ended up, um, taking a few tests, but I didn’t pass them at all.
So yeah. And after kind of doing that, it ended up just kind of being… One, I had to pay for everything myself. So, you know, I didn’t really have the financial help of, you know, the work, the job I was at. They wasn’t really helping, so I would have to pay everything. And then, so, you know, if you fail the test and you gotta to pay again for the fees, like it kind of gets, you know, demoralizing,
Nate: Right. Yep. Yeah. Very common story. I, so did you go into a period where you just kind of put the exams on the back burner? Or did you just keep trying through the, through the years?
Jason: Yeah, so like I said, I was paying for everything and then I wasn’t passing. So I stopped studying for a while. Um, I, you know, I did the study for probably like a year and a half and I took like two or three tests, but I didn’t pass them.
Um, so I stopped studying, I think I tried again and like, like 17 2017 or so 2018. Um, and then, you know, at that time, my circumstances changed, so I was married, I just had a child and I was trying to study with that along with working, you know. I’ve been in public accounting while I was in public accounting, you know, I’m working long hours, split a family and trying to study.
So at a certain point, I was like, you know what, this is not working. And like, you know, you started to think like, man, maybe it’s not worth it. You know, I could still try and just, you know, go somewhere else without getting it. But you know, at that time, especially being in public accounting, they really promote, you know, you need your CPA to move up or move forward.
How Jason Discovered SuperfastCPA
Jason: So I kept returning back to it to try and at least, uh, pass it. But yeah, there was breaks in between.
Nate: Okay. At what point did you, what was the first thing you came across from, from SuperfestCPA? Was it a YouTube ad?
Jason: I think it was, or, yeah, I think it was that because I think I logged into like giving my email to get something, so it was like an opt-in thing.
So I think I started getting emails. Oh yeah. I think it was like 2018 or 19 that I saw it.
Nate: Okay. And how’d you, how’d you end up starting? Were you like applying our strategies or did you just get the study tools? Like what did, what did that all look like?
Jason: Yeah, so I was using Surgent as the study material and so first I started, I think there was some videos that talked about how to study. Um, and that’s what really intrigued me the most because I was working so much, I was like, how do I pass this without the time? Um, and family and all that stuff. So I was searching for something that helped me, um, pass while taking all of these while doing all of this work.
And so I was still using a Surgent but which that’s like more question-based naturally. Um, but I started using the methods of studying, um, being like you focus on the questions and the answers and not so much on reading everything and then trying to remember, cause that’s, you know, like most people that’s, what you run into is like you do all this reading and then you don’t remember anything by the time the test comes.
Um, so yeah, I started applying the study strategies into using, the study material that I had.
Nate: Okay. So you’re talking about our, uh, strategy course. It was probably called the Study Hacks course at the time. Is that what you mean?
Jason: I think so. Yeah. So it was, also, you know, having the app and stuff like that helped out a lot with the notes,
cause, I think what made me want to go with a Superfast, as opposed to other ones like ninja and things like that was the questions, um, and the app because it helps you retain so much more by having those little quizzes throughout the day. Um, so it helped, you know, tremendously to have those that really was separated from everyone else, you know, with the notes and audio and stuff like that.
Other people have that, but having those questions really helps cement the information. Um, you know, as you’re going throughout the day, because everybody’s looking at their phones, so it’s might as well see, you know, study while you’re doing it.
Nate: Exactly. Yeah. I mean, that’s what I’m always preaching, obviously.
So you would just, you would do that, you would do your main study session and then you would just use our app throughout the day, whenever you’d normally just kind of look at your phone.
Jason: Yeah. And so, you know, I was, at that time when I started doing this, I was still in public accounting, so I would more times than not, I try and study in the morning, like before work.
So I was getting, I was like probably the first one in the office, so I was getting into the office and then, you know, study for an hour and a half or whatever it is, um, to get all of that. And then, like you said, I would read the notes later on through at lunch or, you know, do the quizzes here and there throughout the day.
Nate: Nice. Okay. And, uh, so you start doing this and is that when you passed your first section?
Yeah, so I passed the first section. Um, in January of 2020. Yeah. That’s where I, uh, I passed the first session and, you know, one thing that, you know, I talked to friends and stuff like that about, you know, they’ve been hearing about me throughout this journey and everything.
Jason’s First Study “Breakthrough”
Jason: And one of the things that helped me a lot with passing that finally, like at that point I had taken like six or seven different tests or whatever and passed. Um, but I started using the material and like I said, I was doing those study things. But the other thing that I started doing was making sure that I understood the terminology.
Um, so I started, you know, as I was taking the quizzes and reading the answers, I would take notes on certain words that I didn’t understand because when you start, when you know what the words mean, it allows you to process the question a lot faster, rather than you trying to guess what the question is saying, and you’re trying to get the answer. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah. I don’t know if you have, remember me saying this and like, sometimes I’ll say stuff, uh, like in those strategy videos, and then I’ll think that sounds so obvious. Like, it sounds dumb to say that, but you, you just said it word for word, like, I’ll say that in these videos, I’m like, okay, as you’re going through questions, think about what the words mean.
And like this will all start to click so much faster. Um, yeah. Yeah, because people have kind of like a general idea of, of like what the word, you know, what they’re seeing or whatever. But like you just said, there are words in there that if you had to really say, like, what is that you don’t really know.
Nate: Anyways. Yeah. That’s, that’s funny you say that.
Jason: Yeah. It helped out a lot. So that was definitely something that helped me to pass my first test.
Nate: Yeah, so especially when, like, you know, if someone goes in and they’ve studied for a few months, they pass their first section. Like they think it’s awesome, obviously, but it’s not like a huge victory because they don’t have like this years of struggle behind that.
“It Was a Huge Relief…”
Nate: But where you had spent years, like what was passing that first section like?
Jason: It was a huge relief, like to, you know, like when you finally pass one section, psychologically, you’re like, okay, I need to finish now because you feel like you have something to lose and it’s a big hurdle when you haven’t passed it, because it’s a lot easier to walk away from even studying in front of tests or trying to get it because you feel like, man, I haven’t passed anything now. So it doesn’t make a difference, but you know, it puts a more sense of urgency to want to finish the test when she finally pass one and you, and it’s encouraging because you, you like you realize I actually did it like, okay, I passed one part. So if I can pass one, I can pass the the other ones.
Nate: Yeah. That’s a, that’s a great point. Okay. And so do you remember what, what section was that your first one that you passed?
Jason: That was BEC.
Nate: All right. So you pass BEC and then. At that point, did you kind of feel like your study process, you kind of knew what you were doing at that point?
Jason: Yeah. So at that point I was using the strategies and things like that. I felt like I had a good grasp of how to actually study and how to go about it, you know, for the other, other tests. So, um, yeah, so that was in January that I passed that. So I had started studying it for the next part, but then, you know, this was like I said, it was the beginning of 2020.
So a lot of life circumstances, I ended up getting let go from my job. So once that happened, I kind of had to reevaluate like what I was going to do. You know, I didn’t know what path I was going to go, cause you know, there was, you know, not really hiring at that time. So I was trying to figure out, you know, do I stay in accounting? Do I go somewhere else? Do I try and finish this?
So I ended up not even studying for the next couple of times because you know, the cost and everything that comes with that, you know, like I said, I had a family and everything, so there was a, there was a period of time when I stopped studying after I passed that first test.
And then, yeah, there was a period of time that I stopped studying. And so at a certain point, I think it was about maybe August when I was like, or July, um, I was like, okay, you know, I already passed this one part, one thing for me that I’m really determined.
Like I’m not just going to let something beat me. And that’s why the reason why I needed to pass the CPA. Like, I didn’t want to feel like this is something that defeated me essentially. And so I was like, I already passed a part, I only need three more. My mindset was always like, let’s try and get them done as fast as I can.
So I, so the way that I schedule my tests, I typically looked at the release dates of when I get the scores. So then I can take the test and get my score fairly quickly to know if I needed to retake it or not. And so, you know, I schedule it out my test, um, the next three, you know, my goal is to pass them all by the end of the year.
Um, so from July, I started studying again until the end of the year. So that was my plan was to finish the rest of those by the end of the year.
Nate: Awesome. And you, and so how did the, how did the remaining three go?
Jason: So, um, so at that time, like I like, again, I started studying, but I also started my own business and accounting, you know, with my father, he had a business and we started working together at that point.
And so I passed the next part, which was REG. And then I have FAR, no, I took a test and I didn’t pass it. And then the next one I took was REG. So I finished REG probably at the end of the year. And then going into 2021, I had two tests basically remaining. And so I took FAR and Audit. And I was looking at the timeframes, so I was trying to finish it because I was getting at that point, you know, I had lost six, seven months. So I was beginning to run against the clock of losing my first part, which was June. I think it was, was that 18 months, something like that. It was like June. And so I needed to kind of put a lot more pressure on me to pass them.
So I remember I didn’t pass audit, and then, I ended up after I failed it. So at this point when I was not passing the test, it wasn’t like before I was getting like 50 and stuff like that. At this point I was getting like 70 or 72 or something like that. So at that point it becomes more frustrating because you’re like, man, I’m right there.
Um, and so, you know, I’m missing this by like a few points. And so at that point is when I started seeing your review about, um, retaking tests and how the study to retake the test. And so that’s when I would take, after I found out my score, I tried to retake it as fast as I can, um, before going on to another one. Sometimes rarely did it like overlap as far as the timing of studying for two tests that happened once, but mostly I could just retake it. So I think it was, audit that I ended up taking it, failing it, and then I retook it like three, two or three weeks later. So I just, at that time, I just kind of hunkered down and, and started studying to try and pass that part.
Nate: Yeah. And so, yeah. And so you got that done. And then you, so you had passed REG and then you just, FAR was your last one?
Jason: Yeah. Okay. And so that was, that was the most difficult, um, mainly because I had to, I remember at that point I was, um, I was getting against the clock. So when I failed it, I had basically one to two more times to pass it before I found out that my first test got, um, taken away.
So I, so the way that I did about this was it was kind of crazy, but I found out that I failed it and then it ended up being probably like six days. By the time I found out the last time to take the test was like five or six days later. And then if I didn’t make it to that one, I only had one more chance to pass it.
So my mindset was like, look, let’s just spend the next three, four days, like going off as far as studying. So I found out I didn’t pass out on a Tuesday. And then I registered and took it again that Saturday. And, you know, I ended up finding out that I passed it. Nice. That was the last one that I had to pass,
Nate: I, okay. I think that’s what your, uh, you’d said in the form is I used Nate’s suggestion on retaking the exam within a few days and got a 75 and passed. Was that FAR?
Jason: Yeah, I think, yeah, that, that was FAR that I did it on.
Nate: Yeah. Five-day restudy. That’s uh, that’s funny. That’s cool though.
How Jason Found Out He Finally Got It
Nate: So what was it like finding out you’d you’d finished after all that time?
Jason: Oh, man. It was like a weight lifted off. Like I was so happy. Like I started crying a little bit because like, for me at that point, that was like eight or nine years of the process, you know, on and off, like mentally, like, you know, sometimes giving up then jumping back into it.
So the journey felt like exhausting, but to finally have it done and like, you know, even talking with my wife and my, my family and stuff like that, like they knew how much I was, you know, studying and putting in and the late nights and stuff like that. And it was just kind of a big relief to finally have it done and, and be able to, you know, progress it and go forward from there.
So, yeah, it was, it was a lot of weight lifted off. Yeah. Yeah.
Nate: That’s awesome. Well, congratulations! That’s that’s uh, it is, it’s, it’s huge, especially when you have put in so much time and effort over over years, so, yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah. And the other thing is, it sounds like when you finally started passing, it was in your life, was the busiest. Like, like you said you had kids or I dunno, one kid still one kid is, I know at one kid is like, um, yeah, but yeah, you were, yeah, you were married.
You weren’t like single and had all day every day anymore. Right? That’s a, that’s a big accomplishment. How would you deal with that? Like, uh, you said you would do your main study session in the morning, and then I’m assuming after work in the evenings, you didn’t have a ton of time to like study. So what is your, what kind of full day look like?
How Jason Managed His Study Time
Jason: So I’m working for myself essentially. So me and my father, we ran the business. So I can control my schedule a little bit more. Um, but I would basically spend the first half of the day studying and depending on how work would go some days. I would stay up later, um, and do work because at this time, you know, everything that was like, shut down everything, my son was at home all the time. So if you have kids, you realize like they don’t give you time to think or anything like that.
Yeah. So I would either at that time, I’ll either stay up later and study and like late into the night after he went to sleep or I would go to like the library in the mornings and study.
It was just really just trying to find the time to do it. You know, it wasn’t, I couldn’t make any excuses, you know, like I said, the clock on it was running down. So I was like, I was just trying to find time whether it’s late at night after my son was asleep or if I went to the library and study for a few hours to get it in, um, then that’s what I would do. So it’s whatever it took to really finish it.
His Strategy to Review for Topics Which He Struggle
Nate: And then you mentioned your, uh, your note taking, would you just do kind of standard notes in a notebook for the stuff you didn’t really understand or you’re trying to put stuff in your own words or did you use flashcards? What was your process for that?
Jason: Most of the time I would, I would just take notes on the answers and stuff like that on certain things. So I would take, as I was doing the quizzes and stuff, I would write down certain topics that I was struggling with. And then I would, um, focus on those areas that, um, I wasn’t answering right. So whether it’s looking at the answers, um, and then taking notes based off of the kind of blurb that they gave, um, then that’s what I would do.
Honestly, I didn’t read at all, maybe a few times, like on certain, like extremely hard things that I wasn’t getting, but most of the time I wasn’t reading anything, I would watch some videos to kind of get clarity. But for the most part, like, I really just made sure I was answering the questions and getting an understanding in the, in the midst of it. So that’s why I was really doing, as far as helping get an understanding. Like I said, the definitions, I would go back and read and stuff like that.
Nate: Okay. And what about practice seems like how did you use those in your process?
Jason: I was using Surgent so the way they grade the practice sounds are really weird.
So it’s not really, doesn’t help you get like an accurate view of what you’re doing, but I would, I would take them just so that I would get used to it. You know, one of the things that I always did before the test was I would go through and do the practice exams for the practice of sitting there for four hours.
Because like, for me, I would, I would get tired. Like if I did, I would get tired by like two and a half, three hours. And then I’m like, just like exhausted of trying to answer the question. So I would at least do a couple practice exams before the actual exam. So I would get used to sitting there and answering the questions and being on a clock and, and especially getting the timing of how long I’m taking on these questions.
Cause I know a couple of times when I took the test, I was running out of time because I didn’t properly set out the time to leave more time for the practice there. Oh, well for the simulations in the actual.
Nate: Yeah, that is, and that’s huge. And, and that’s why, you know, learning, you kinda mentioned this, but spending so much time on practice questions in your study process, instead of spending most of your time reading the text or watching videos, you’re learning the material in the same context, you’re going to see it on tests.
Which is one of those things that sounds obvious once you say it, but that’s not how most people spend most of their study times. And then it also solves a lot of problems on test day in advance because you get, you just get good at answering multiple choice so that you can finish quick, like finish quickly and leave a bunch of time for exams.
Hardest Part of the Study Process
Jason: Yeah. Right.
Nate: What about, let’s see, we covered, you kinda mentioned multiple ways. Like, one thing I ask is like, what kept you motivated when you really wanted to quit, but you kinda, you kinda covered that. What would you say was just overall the hardest part of the study process for you?
Jason: It was probably the timing. Um, well, the time to study, uh, like I said, I had a lot going on, so I had to find time to study and you know, it wasn’t always at the same time every day, uh, I tried to do it in the morning, but at a certain point, you know, I just had to find time to do it, whether it’s after I had, you know, I still have found this, I have to spend time with them.
So, you know, once I spent time with them, I would go and study at, you know, 11 o’clock or midnight or whatever, just to get some type of study time in. Um, and you know, everybody’s schedule is different, you know, depending on what they’re going through or what they’re at in life, but it’s just really making the time to study, um, and just, you know, pushing through it because a lot of times I, I schedule my test in shorter window.
So that I wasn’t spending so much time, like getting lost because until there’s like a clock, most people don’t push to get things done. So I kind of put that internal pressure on me to, okay. I only got three or four weeks to study, so I need to put everything aside and make sure that I’m getting this done.
And so that’s kind of how I put my tests so that I made sure I forced myself to get the time in to actually study.
Nate: Okay. So if we kind of divided your, like your CPA journey into two segments, like the first few years where, you know, you’re spending a lot of time, but it just wasn’t coming together.
From Scoring in the 50s to Passing Sections
Nate: And then the second segment where you start passing the sections, what were the top two or three? Just kind of breakthroughs? Like what are you, what do you think just made the difference finally?
Jason: Yeah. So I think one is understanding how to study, um, so that you can retain the information because the first, if you, you know, like you said, a break in that half, the first half, I think I took like five or six tests and didn’t pass. And I think I got a 70, like once. And then the second half after I started using Superfast, I took, I pass the four parts and I think I only took it six times, so I didn’t pass like twice, but every time it was at least 70 or above between 70 and 75.
So it just kind of shows that I was more prepared to take the test, even if I didn’t pass, I was still closer to it because I had learned how to study. So I think that’s one. And the other one was, I think, just realizing that I pushed as hard as I could to make sure I start, I passed one. And once you do that, you get a different sense of accomplishment to keep going.
So if beforehand, you know, I had a more drive to finally just pass one part. So if anybody’s, you know, going back and forth, like at least do as hard as you can to pass one part, because once you pass that, you kind of get a different perspective on taking a test because now you’re not looking at, I hope I can pass it.
Now you have a greater sense of confidence that okay, now I can pass the rest of it. And so you get a different drive to finish the test. So that was a really, um, you know, breakthrough for me was once I finally passed the test, I felt more, energized to finish it.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah. It kind of validates that your, your study process is working.
And so then it just kinda, at least you don’t feel like you’re like wasting your time because it gets real hard. Like motivation gets real hard if you’re putting in a bunch of time and effort every day and you’re just, you know, not passing the exams. It’s like, why obviously it’s like, why am I doing this?
Building Retention into the Daily Study Process
Nate: So one thing you said on that first breakthrough, just shifting your focus to retaining the information like as you went, what, what did you use to actually do that kind of build retention into your daily process?
Jason: Yeah, the first thing was shortening the windows of studying, because if you put it six, seven weeks out, like is very hard to keep remembering everything. So I put, you know, a shorter timeframe so that I study one area more intently. And so I was what’s helped with the retention was, you know, like I say, taking the questions and reading the answers, but also, um, listening to the audio.
And then going back and answering questions on that topic. So, you know, if it’s talking about leases and FAR, then I would listen to the audio or read the notes and then go and take questions on it. And then, you know, vice versa, I would go back to it because once you like hear or read something and then you say go apply it.
When you go back to read it again. Now you have the questions or the answers that you did on the questions in your mind as you’re reading or as you’re listening. So you retain it a lot better because now you have that example to go back to, um, when you’re studying. So that was a big thing that helped me to start retaining a lot more.
And then, yeah, just making sure that, Uh, any area that I was like struggling in, I would make sure that I spent a little bit more time on, uh, so I, you know, kind of went through everything, uh, whether that’s how your study I’m talking about. Cause I know you said you would take questions, you know, to take questions in a certain area and then make sure that you’re doing the random worth, because now you’re still, uh, answering questions maybe on a topic that you studied a week ago.
So that helps with retention with continuing to do the random questions for that. You still getting questions from, you know, other topics other than a one that you’re focused on.
Nate: That’s yeah. It’s huge. Uh, and you described it really well. You it’s almost like when you watch a movie four or five times.
I don’t think I’ve ever watched a movie I like movies that much. I’ve never watched a movie five times, but you pick up new things, you know, each time you watch a movie and, uh, yeah. Constantly rehitting everything there is, you know, you want to improve your, your weak areas, but you also, you don’t want to neglect just those random sets of 30 that just cover everything.
And that’s why our quizzes, there are no options. You take a quiz and it’s pulling from the entire section, uh, right. For that, for that reason, it just, it’s kind of like, it’s like a workout for your, your memory muscles or whatever whenever you want. Yeah. Well, awesome. Did you do anything big to celebrate when you passed?
Jason: Well, we were planning on it, but some things kind of ran into, so I couldn’t do it. Um, we still we’ll, you know, we’ll still do it, but, you know, I was just, you know, everybody was really happy, you know, once I told my family and stuff like that, cause it’s a, you know, a huge accomplishment. Um, you know, it’s, it’s funny that, you know, you get the CPA, but most people, a lot of people like my brother, when I told him he was like, oh, I thought she was already a CPA.
And I was like, just cause I’m an accountant doesn’t mean I’m a CPA. It was like, well, now you can officially tell people that, you know, um, you know, they didn’t really understand it at all, some people, but it was, you know, still a joyous thing and you know, we’ll do something at some point, you know, I, for me, I’m not always a celebrate, celebratory person.
Like, you know, I’m always like pushing to see what’s next and everything, but I did take the time to like, I appreciate, you know, what I had accomplished and what I had done. Um, and so, you know, it’s, from that standpoint, you know, that, that was what happened.
Nate: Yeah. The, the sense of relief is the biggest thing.
I mean, you can’t, you can’t, nothing, nothing beats that. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well, uh, yeah, I’m glad you found us. Let’s see you, you found us somehow, and then you told Cheryl about it, right. If that’s what you said, not Sharon, Sharon.
Jason: Yeah. So I’ve, I’ve told several people, so it’s cool because, um, you know, people who have I’ve worked with and has seen like me start my journey.
Um, you know, I’ve been talking to them. I still stay in touch with them. And it’s actually inspired them to want to go. And, you know, I had another coworker, she went and bought it and started studying. And it’s good to share your journey because it inspires other people. Like after I passed my first test, um, that’s when I talked to Sharon and, you know, she got excited about it and because it was a new way of studying that you felt like you could actually pass it.
Like you felt like there was hope to actually get it rather than, you know, everybody’s kind of been through the journey or heard about it. And it’s so long and not many people do it, but when you start to see, you know, people, you know, start passing it and being able to converse and talk with them about it, it inspires you to want to go and want to do it too.
So, you know, I tell I’ve shared my journey with, you know, different friends that started, You know, either get got it or about to get it and just, I help them as much as I can to share what I’ve learned to help them kind of curve all of that failure. That’s because you’re going to go through tough times, but just as much as you can, like save you from having to go through all the stuff that I had to go through.
Nate: Yeah, definitely. Well, um, yeah, I appreciate you telling people about it, but I really enjoyed hearing your story. That’s a, yeah, that’s a long time to be working on them, but that’s the thing in the end. It doesn’t matter how long it was. I mean, you, you got them done. That’s that’s really cool. Yeah.
Jason: It’s great.
Tips for Those Who are Struggling
Nate: So I basically already asked you, my final question is always like, if you were to tell people that are in the struggling phase, your top two or three tips. I mean, I think you kind of answered that already. Is there anything else, any other, uh, things that really helped you that you want to mention?
Jason: Um, one, I think is I got, I mentioned, but you know, to have that determination to want to finish, um, because at the end of the day, you know, it’s for you, it’s an accomplishment for you.
You know, it may lead to different jobs or different things like that. But if the accomplishment that no one can take from you, um, and realizing that you’re one of the very few people in the world that will have that certification that will show the determination that it takes to actually pass that. So, you know, it shows like when I talked to friends, the biggest revelation for me was I grew in understanding faith into trust and to believe like anytime that I was taking a test, I kept repeating to myself like I already passed this. I already got this done, you know? And there was times like when I was in the test, like I had to start repeating it to myself. I was like, Jason, you’ve done this, you’ve studied. You already passed this exam. Just go in and take it. I remember one exam when I was literally like, I don’t know what happened, but I was like freaking out, like the first, I don’t remember the questions in the whole first Quizlet.
And I was like, I didn’t come down until I, the second one. And then I was like, okay, you know, let’s go, I don’t know what happened, but I ended up passing that one still. Um, but it was, it was like a faith journey. Like I had to understand like what it really meant to have faith and to just trust that, you know, from the beginning I believed and trusted that I was going to pass it.
And then I just did the work to make that a reality. So I wasn’t going through the test, hoping that I would pass. I had to go through it with the mentality that I already passed this, you know, I’m already done with it. I’m just walking it out at this point. And it helped me to have a different sense of it.
Um, as I was going in. Those practice exams going into the exam. Wasn’t always great. But you know, I would also say to trust yourself, when you’re getting ready to take it. Like, you know, I don’t know if everybody, if hardly anybody, like going into exam feels like totally prepared, but you have to trust yourself that what you’ve been doing has prepared you for the exam.
And don’t like, second, guess everything that you’ve been doing, or second guess, you know, all the studying that you’ve been doing, you know, as you’re doing the exam, you’re trending in the right direction. I think most, um, studying material kind of tells you that, but like for Surgent, they want you to be at like 80%, but I, I never hit 80%.
Um, as far as like the reading one, I was like seven, but I trust it as I was answering the questions. One thing that helps is for you to answer it before you read the synopsis or whatever it is so that you’re starting to understand what the question is before you see the answer. Um, because that will tell you how ready you are.
Like you were saying with the definitions, like, if you can, if you’ve got a question, if you’re, you know, what the word is, is what it really is. And you probably don’t really know it. But as you start to answer the question that you feel that confidence of, okay, I’m getting this right. Like even if I get it wrong, I was on the right thought process of answering it.
So you feeling like you’re trending in the right direction. So those were some of the biggest things that helped me. And I would tell people, I do tell people like that’s what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. And it was like a personal journey that really helped me become a better person at the end of the day.
Nate: Yeah, that is awesome. And yeah, those are, those are all good tips, especially the, kind of, I don’t know if you’ve read, um, what is the guy’s name? Brian Tracy, he’s got a bunch of like motivation, productivity books and courses, but he talks about that when you do like positive affirmations, you always say it in the present tense as if you’ve already accomplished what you, whatever the goal is.
Benefit Jason Got From SuperfastCPA
Nate: So, yeah, that’s a good point. If you decide to narrow down, like, what was the biggest benefit you got from our program? What would you say that is?
Jason: The biggest benefit would probably be the sense of direction of how the clarity of what I was doing, because like just going the traditional way of doing things, it put a lot of stress to try and remember everything. Um, so just to have the clarity of what or how I should do it and it actually working, um, it helped a lot like tremendously.
And that’s why I felt like this was so much different than anything else. Cause it helped me to save so much time when I didn’t really have it. And so, yeah, that was the biggest benefit.
Nate: Okay. So, so, so more so the strategies than even the study tools, then like the, we call it the Pro Course now, but like the strategies just showing you.
Like, listen, you don’t have to use everything in your review course and memorize it all, like, this is what you do.
Jason: Okay. Yeah. Cause I was like, like I said, like I was, I was like reading the book and trying to take notes off of the book. But the biggest thing that I realized with that was that the stuff in the book didn’t translate directly to the question, read something in the book.
And then I take a question on the same thing and it’s felt like anything that I read was not even relevant. Like I was, I didn’t have nothing to do with like what I just read. It seemed like it’s totally different because of the way the question is formed. So I was like, man, like finally just focusing on the questions and the answer, reading it, understanding from the answer of the question.
It saved me so much time and just understanding, um, rather than spending time reading that didn’t either really translate.
Nate: Yeah. Awesome. Well, yeah, I’m glad it was helpful. Um, what about any feedback with our study tools or the strategy videos? Anything we could improve, even if it was something small.
Jason: Not that I can think of. I mean, the videos were pretty concise as far as like what to get out of them. Um, and especially the review related to, um, after you fail a test and like understanding like the score range of what you should do, depending on what score range you were in, that was really helpful.
I think more people should look at that video too. Um, because that’s a common question after you, like, well, what do I do now? And it’s understanding like, you should not move on because I did that once when I, I got like a 70 and a test and then I think it was before I knew about your videos, but, I ended up not doing it.
I moved on and I was like, man, I should’ve just retook it when I had, you know, most of that stuff remembered. Cause once you get done with the test, you don’t remember a lot of it because there’s so much that you just trying to answer, but just to, you know, I think more people should focus on that part too, of just what to do after, you know, because you’re not, everybody’s not going to pass everything on the first time.
So being able to go back to that video or those, um, study habits really helped to have more people pass right after. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah. I think now in the new videos, oh, sorry, go ahead.
Jason: Oh, you can go here some different, you can go ahead.
Nate: Uh, I was just saying, I, I believe in our new videos, we have added that as part of like, so that it’s in there so that they know that’s all I was saying.
I think we have added it into the new course.
Jason: Nice. Yeah. Oh, I was gonna say, um, I don’t remember. Do you have like something on kind of recommended way of scheduling out your test? Like not necessarily like which one to do first, but like the timing of it.
Nate: Yeah. I talk about that in one of the videos, I basically say like for FAR and REG, so, so all the stuff you said, I say those in those videos, I’m like, oh, put pressure on yourself.
Like, this is a thing where you just it’s like, when you write your 10 page research paper, the night of in high school, like, it’s that same idea. You put enough pressure on yourself, a short enough timeline where you feel the, like the reality that every day, every single day matters. Um, so make it short enough.
Anyways. So as far as timelines, I usually tell people six to seven weeks for for FAR and REG, and maybe like four to six weeks for BEC and Audit. Is that what you’re asking?
Jason’s Great Tip on Choosing Your Test Date
Jason: Yeah. Cause I know for me, I typically I schedule my tests based on the windows, cause now you can redo them. You know, you don’t have to wait to a whole blackout window and stuff like that, but I typically try to do it around finding out my test score.
So I knew when to, if I needed to change my study timeline to retake a test.
Nate: That’s actually, that’s, that’s a super good, I’ve never heard anyone say that. That’s a great tip because that is a huge thing that people run into. They’ll fail an exam or no, they’ll take an exam, they don’t get their score for a month, and they’re like, what do I do? Do I don’t feel like it went well, but I don’t know if I failed it. Do I keep studying this or do I move on? I get asked that all the time. I’ve never thought of that answer. Um, that’s a great tip because then it’s only a few days or something to know exactly. Like whether you move on or re study.
Jason: Yeah. And that’s how I did it so that, you know, like when I said I retook it like five days later, I knew, or I took it two weeks later, whatever a case. I knew if I, I think it was like, if you take it by the 15th consomme was shorter than others. So it was like, if you take it by the 15th, you’ll get it by the 22nd or something like that.
Or you take it by the first, you’ll get it by the deal. So I knew like after I took the test, I could find out my score and Dan figure out, okay, where do I go from here? Do I need to retake it or do I keep studying? And that’s why I said sometimes like maybe once or so once or twice that it overlapped because it was like one of those longer wait windows.
So I was like, okay, I could start doing it, but I’m not so far removed that I couldn’t retake it. So I didn’t always, you know, for me personally, I didn’t always like actually scheduled the exam until I was closer to knowing when I was going to take it. So sometimes I didn’t want to like schedule exam like three months out.
And then, you know, I run into that phase of like, well, now I gotta retake another one and I got this other one scheduled like two weeks. So I kind of, I don’t know if it’s good depending on the person, but I kind of waited, like I have my notice to schedule by weighted to take the test, like the schedule until I was like maybe two weeks out.
I saw like, to be able to say, okay, I’m going to take it, you know, in two weeks. But I was studying with the mentality that I was going to do it at that day, but I would, you know, just make sure, um, that’s when I was scheduled. So it’s just really beneficial to be closer to the date of finding out, uh, when you’re going to get to your scores.
Nate: That’s yeah, I’m going to start, I’m probably actually going to make a clip of just you saying that and like have that on its own page cause that’s such a good, uh, that’s a great tip because that’s, I guess it’s all the time. Yeah, I get, I get asked that all the time and I’m always like, well, I dunno, maybe like do half your study time on the one you just took and half, but yeah, that’s such an easier way.
Jeez. Yeah. All right. Awesome man. Well, yeah, it was awesome to meet you. I’m glad our stuff could help. I appreciate you doing the call. People find these really valuable and especially these like motivational ones, like are the ones, people like the most where like someone had a really, you know, like you had, you had a long journey and I dunno people really like these kinds of episodes.
So yeah. I appreciate you doing the call and congrats on being done. Thank you.
Jason: It’s really great to be done. I appreciate it, man. You know what you guys do and being able to have that, it helps out so many people, and like I said, I tell everybody that I run into, you know, the use it because it works. And if you can tell by the change from what I was doing before and then what my results were after.
So it’s been an extremely beneficial and everybody that I know that’s used, it has, it’s been helpful for them too. So I appreciate you guys.
Nate: Okay. So that was the interview with Jason. I’m sure you found that very helpful and motivating and inspiring. If you did find it helpful, please take a second to share the episode with someone, you know, who’s also working on their CPA exams. I maintain, or my big claim is that these interviews are the most helpful resource available anywhere for people that are trying to figure out their own CPA study process.
And again, if you have not yet, take the time, take one hour to watch one of our free study training webinars at superfastcpa.com. It is the most helpful one hour you can possibly spend. This is one hour that will literally save you months and months of time and frustration from having to try to figure this stuff out on your own.
And as you’ve heard on the episodes, there are so many people out there that are just spending months and even years grinding away at these exams. But once they hear some of our strategies, several things click, light bulbs go off and it completely changes their experience, and they end up passing all four sections pretty quickly after that.
So sign up for one of those free trainings. And then the second thing is if you’re listening to this, you might as well sign up for one of our free podcast giveaways at superfastcpa.com/enter, or there should be a link in the description below. Each month we give away three pairs of Powerbeat Pro headphones.
So thanks for listening or watching, and we’ll see you on the next episode.