In this SuperfastCPA reviews episode, you’ll hear how Mitch used the SuperfastCPA study strategies to turn around his CPA study process, get his evenings back, and pass his CPA exams.
- 00:00 Mitch’s Interview
- 00:51 Introduction
- 05:12 Study Training & Podcast Giveaway
- 06:49 How Mitch Started His CPA Exams
- 07:39 Going to College… Twice
- 09:39 What Mitch Focused on in the Beginning
- 10:42 It Took 6 Months Just to “Watch Everything”
- 12:23 See a SuperfastCPA Ad
- 14:13 “Spend Time Doing What You’ll Be Doing on Test Day”
- 16:00 No More Video Lectures for Mitch
- 16:28 Daily Cumulative Review Was a Game-Changer
- 18:36 Mitch’s Daily Study Routine
- 19:55 How Mitch Got His Evenings Back
- 21:08 How Mitch Used Practice SIMs
- 22:02 How Mitch Used Flashcards
- 24:00 How Mitch Studied on the Weekends
- 24:37 Making Mini-Sessions A Habit: Daily Milestones
- 28:23 Why Mitch Stopped Focusing on the “Dashboard”
- 29:28 Motivation is Much Easier When Your Study Process Works
- 32:10 Studying from Your Phone Can Be the “Missing Link”
- 34:48 Mitch’s Top Tips for Current CPA Candidates
- 37:22 Watch the PRO Course First to Save Time in the Long Run
Mitch: The first couple or five, six months of doing FAR, I dreaded it, like it was miserable. I had no free time. Like I mentioned before, I’d wake up. go into my office study until work starts, sit at my desk. after work was over, I might, hang out with my wife for 30 minutes while we’re making dinner or something or eating a dinner, it’s like, and got to go back to study,
sorry, I can’t hang out with you tonight. So I did that for five to six months, and it was just miserable. I felt like I was being a bad person if I wasn’t studying, and then, once I started on this, it’s a lot easier to get motivated whenever, it’s just a couple hours before work in the morning,
and then just the 10 minutes of doing little, multiple choice questions on your phone. that’s not that scary. That’s not that bad. So it was like night and day difference. That’s when some of these podcasts really helped and
Nate: welcome to episode 70 of the CPA exam experience podcast from SuperfastCPA, I’m Nate, and in today’s interview, you’re going to hear me talk with Mitch. Mitch is a SuperfastCPA customer, and I can confirm that he is now done with his CPA exams. At the time of the interview, he had just taken REG I believe, which was his fourth exam.
And he didn’t know at the time if he had passed it, but since then, he has emailed me and told me that he passed. And I believe, he said in the email, he actually got that score on the same day that his first son was born. So congrats to Mitch for numerous reasons. But Mitch has a really good experience to share on his interview. Because, the first five to six months of his study process, it was a really big burden,
it was putting a lot of stress on him because he was working full time, and, then he felt like outside of work, he had to spend every spare minute studying. But anyways, his first five to six months, it was a really burdensome process. It didn’t even lead to a passing score, and so the three things that you should listen for on this episode is first his overall experience and the transformation,
the relief that can happen by figuring out the right tweaks to make to your study process. Because once Mitch had these specific breakthroughs that you’ll hear on the interview, it really freed him up, it gave him his evenings back. He could spend less time sitting in front of his review course each day, when he did sit down to study, it was a lot easier and it was more effective.
And of course he starts passing sections, and it’s not taking him five or six months in between sections. So the same person, the same brain where he felt like he was really struggling in the beginning, just by a shift in his study strategies when he did sit down to study how he spent that time, the strategies he focused on.
He, and anybody, specifically you listening to this, can get dramatically better results by making some of these shifts in how you study. And that’s basically our whole message at SuperfastCPA is, when you make the right shifts, this whole process can become much, much easier and take you less time every day and give you your life back, so to speak, even as you go through this process. So that’s the first thing is just his overall story. The second thing to listen for is how Mitch would use milestones on a daily basis. So instead of just saying, I’m going to study for two hours, or I’m going to study for three hours a day, and that might turn out to be really ineffective,
if you end up rewatching the same video lecture, eight times, you might not have really accomplished anything, even though you spent three hours. So Mitch talks about how he built specific milestones, how he would use a certain number of multiple choice questions,
and he had a milestone for the number of mini sessions that he would try to get through each day.
And then the third thing to listen for, specifically the importance of getting your study process figured out so that you can completely shut off your brain from any thoughts of CPA study for a few hours each night, and how beneficial that is for your, mental health, your overall wellbeing as you go through this process, because what happens with a lot of people going back to Mitch’s first five or six months, every spare minute of his day,
if he was at work, he was worrying about CPA study in the back of his mind. And when he was off of work, he felt like he couldn’t even spend time with his wife in the evenings because he was just so behind or just had to spend every spare minute working on CPA study. If your life is entirely, if you’re awake, you are worrying about CPA study to some degree, your life gets miserable pretty quickly.
So the importance of figuring out your study process so that you can nail it each day and it’s working, and then once you do that and you’ve nailed it for the day, you completely shut your mind off from thinking about CPA study for a few hours every evening and just the, the huge difference in your overall wellbeing that provides.
Study Training & Podcast Giveaway
Nate: So three things really quickly before we get into the interview with Mitch. First, if you’re just coming across our YouTube channel or the podcast for the first time, make sure to subscribe either on YouTube or to the podcast or both because we have a lot more of these interviews coming up.
These are the most helpful free resource available anywhere for figuring out your own CPA study process, because you get to hear successful CPA candidate after candidate, and the ins and outs of their entire study journey, the things they struggled with, the breakthroughs they had, and what ended up really working for them.
The second thing is to watch one of our free study training webinars if you’ve never done that. It’s one hour training where we walk you through our cohesive study approach, how to use your current review course much more efficiently, much more effectively, and it’s the basis of all of the strategies you’re going to hear Mitch talk about on this interview. There’ll be a link in the description for that,
or you can just go to superfastcpa.com, and it’s the main thing at the top of our homepage. The third thing is to enter our podcasts giveaway. You can go to superfastcpa.com/enter, or again, there should be a link down below in the description if you’re watching this on YouTube. Each month, as part of this giveaway, we give away three pairs of PowerBeats Pro headphones to our customers and to our not yet customers that are listeners to the podcast. All you have to do to be eligible is to enter that giveaway on that page. So with all that being said, let’s get into this interview with Mitch.
yeah. So have you heard any of these other interviews? Do you know how these go?
How Mitch Started His CPA Exams
Mitch: Yeah, I, I listened to almost every one of them that you put out since I, bought your was I bought my first bundle I guess.
Nate: Awesome. You’re all done or you’ve passed three, and you took your last one and you don’t know yet?
Mitch: Exactly. So I took my last, test, hopefully, with was REG, on this past Monday. So a couple of days ago. So I’ve passed three. I think I’ve got the fourth one passed cause REG is what I do for a living.
So I feel pretty good about it.
Nate: Yeah, I’m sure. I’m sure you nailed it. If you passed the other three and you work in tax, that should be a, should be a done deal. let’s just, we’ll start from the beginning. How long have you been out of school? How long have you been working? And, what brought you to doing your CPA at this point in life?
Going to College… Twice
Mitch: So it’s so I’m 32. So it’s kinda been, a longer winding road than a lot of people seem to take. The first time I went to college, I graduated in 2011, with a bachelor’s of finance. And so for a couple of years, I was a financial advisor at a school,
and I didn’t really like it. cause it was just very salesy and that’s not really my personality. My wife is in big four accounting. Her mom, so my mother-in-law actually, runs a smaller CPA firm. And, she offered us to take it over, once he retired. So I wasn’t really feeling the whole financial advisor thing,
and I was like, sure, why not? I took two or three accounting classes the first time I went to college, I did pretty well in them. I’d been enjoyed them. fast forward, quit my financial advisor job and went to work for her remotely. so five years, I’ve been working remotely before it was cool with all this Covid stuff. So she was like, you’ve got to get your bachelor’s in accounting and I want you to sit for the CPA. So I did that. So I had to go back to school to get my, I think, 150 total hours. So I had to take a lot of accounting classes online and, I graduated again for the second time, like early.
Early on, I guess the second semester of 2020, or 19, my years run together. But then shortly after that, I took a couple months off and then dove into the CPA, which was… fun.
Nate: Yeah. when you started by saying the first time I went to college, I was like, okay, I can’t wait to hear this.
Mitch: Where’s this going? Yeah.
Nate: So you have two bachelors then?
Mitch: Yep. finance and accounting.
Nate: Nice. the, just the little prompt you put in here, you said, SuperfastCPA completely gave me my life back. It took me roughly six months to pass FAR without it. So let’s go to that. What was your six, sorry, your first six months.
What Mitch Focused on in the Beginning
it’s very similar to the stories that a lot of people on your podcast have. So I, I did Becker, because that’s all I’d ever really heard about. and I was actually listening to your last podcast last night, to just kind of refresh myself how these went, and the lady was like,they have this really fancy dashboard where you can track your progress and everything.
so like I was very focused on having all my… they do like a proficiency rating on all these things, I was very focused on getting everything just in the green. So what that meant is you just watch all the lectures, and then after you do the lectures, which ranged from half an hour to hour and a half, then you do the skills practice thing, which can be anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, and then you do the multiple choice.
Mitch: So I would want all of my proficiency bars to be green, or there was like three stars that you can fill out. I want them all to be green. And so like you do all these multiple choice questions until you got them all right, and then you’d do the SIMs. So I was like waking up at 5, 5:30 in the morning, trying to get through a module or whatever they were called.
It Took 6 Months to Just Watch Everything
Mitch: And it just took forever. And so then I go to work, and then after work, I would, study another three, four hours doing the same process for six months or however long it took. And it was just brutal. I had no life.
Nate: So that’s just how long it took to just get everything checked off into the green, fill up all your stars, that just the whole dashboard thing to just basically consume every single piece of content or resource in the material? Or in the, in Becker’s course?
Mitch: Yeah. You listen to the lecture, like you gotta know this stop and study this until you, you know it forwards and backwards.
So it was like, I had not taken a test yet. So I thought I had to do that. Becker is like what everybody talks about, so that’s what I have to do. They know what they’re talking about and it just took a long time to do so.
Nate: Okay. And, but you did go in and pass FAR that first time after the five or six months?
Mitch: I did not. So I actually started in, I’ve got some tabs up here, because the dates run together, I started studying for FAR October of last year. So 2020. I took my first test in, December 22nd. So the first one, it didn’t take a long time, but then I failed that one, I think a 68 or something.
And, in the middle of all that, like my wife’s grandpa died, I ended up like moving the test back to March of 21. And then I passed the second one. But so from beginning to study for FAR to actually getting the passing score, it was like six months.
Seeing a SuperfastCPA Youtube Ad
Nate: Gotcha. Okay. And, do you remember the, what the first thing was you saw from us?
Probably a YouTube ad?
Mitch: Yes it was a YouTube ad, for sure. The internet is weird. How you…start searching things. They automatically magically start popping up as ads. like I had been seeing like all kinds of different, CPA, supplemental material for awhile.
And it was actually after I passed FAR, I sat down like that next, it was like a Monday. I started… for audit is what I did next. And then I, I started to go about the same way that I did,for FAR, So I was like watching the lecture and the first morning, it was like an hour long lecture. I’m like, I can’t do this again…
And so I remember I was like, there’s this SuperfastCPA thing. the guy said you passed… four in a row or three in a row or whatever it was within a couple of months, and so like the next time your ad popped up. I just, I like actually I didn’t skip it. I actually listened to it. I said, of what the heck, I’ll just give it a try.
And, I forgot when that first, like that hour long or whatever video was. So yeah, it was a, from a YouTube ad, then I said man, what have I got to lose? I don’t want to take two years to do all these tests. So I tried it and then it like everything you were saying in those, the videos just it’s like I could have written myself, if you were like talking to me directly, So that I bought the audit bundle and I tell everybody about it since then, so.
Nate: Okay. So yeah, I that’s awesome. I’m glad it was that helpful. Besides the study tools or whatever, just what were the key ideas that resonated with you that helped you just make your study process more efficient?
“Spend Time Doing What You’ll Be Doing on Test Day”
Mitch: Well, it was just the whole idea of spending your time doing what you’re actually going to be doing on test day.
like with the Becker format, you spend, I lose track of how many hours of the day, like watching the videos and stuff like, and I can only lock into a video for five, 10 minutes, that’s on a good day. I was a little skeptical about doing like jumping straight into the multiple choice thing at first, but after a couple, I think it took a week.
Mitch: I was like, oh, all right. That’s all right. This actually works pretty well. but yeah, it was spending like your, spend your time more efficiently doing this stuff you’re going to be doing our test day was what really drove it home and make it all that other stuff like, I look back at my FAR book and they had you like underline stuff, watch the video and underline stuff.
And I never went back and looked at that and it’s just like a lot of stuff just kinda seemed pointless. So…
Nate: Yeah, I mean, I get the position or the idea of like a review course. It’s like, all the info is there, but, they have to have some way of trying to guide people through it, so they build all these checkpoints into their software, but it really does just work so much better to view it as here’s a set of tools and, the idea of do what you’re going to do on test day sounds so obvious, but it’s obviously not how most people spend their study time. They spend 80% of their time
like you just said, watching videos, highlighting stuff that’s very like passive learning, learning methods. So maybe 5% gets in. So a real low payoff for the time you’re putting in, whereas, going straight to the questions and then if you really need the background info, it’s like a topic you’re not familiar with at all, then you can go back and use the more resources it’s just, yeah, it just works so much better.
No More Video Lectures for Mitch
Mitch: Yeah, and actually after I started with Superfast, I don’t think… I tried to watch one lecture after that and I couldn’t get through it. And I just, I did like flashcards or something. Like I made myself understand it in a different way.
Like I, I never watched a video or opened the book after I started on audit…
Nate: and then another, we have a one second delay. So I always, I started talking before, but yeah.
Daily Cumulative Review was a Game-Changer
Mitch: And then another, one of the tools that really, I don’t know, it’s not necessarily a tool, but like a mindset was the like little bits of cumulative, like review every day.
Like whenever you’ve got a break, use your app and a Becker actually had a, an app that I used. It was like a game, it was dumb, but like I still used it. and just throughout the day, like that changed stuff, changed things so much for me, like it really helped…
On the first time through FAR, it takes two and a half months to get through all the material and that, I didn’t do any cumulative review and then they have like this final review thing that I did.
And I was like, I forgot all of this stuff, so, it was like… I panicked.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah. Basically trying to relearn everything in two weeks. It’s just, when I took FAR the first time, I did the same thing, I was studying, I don’t know, seven, eight hours a day, went through everything and I get in there and start seeing questions.
And there was just so many seemingly very simple questions, on topics I’d covered, obviously I’d covered it, but I just could not get the… recall the specific piece of information. And like I had the distinct idea during that test, like, okay, the secret to this is doing re review on a daily basis.
Not this final review that you don’t look at everything for two months and then do a final review. So yeah, that idea really is just, again, it seems so obvious once you hear it, like constantly review the stuff you’ve been through because you’re covering literally, 200 topics.
Mitch: Yeah, so many. I remember having a very similar thought, like in the test taking FAR, it’s this is like way easier of a question, but I can’t remember. It’s like, why can I not remember this? Like this? It was so frustrating. Yeah.
Nate: Your first five or six months you would study before work and after work. So once you adopted our whatever strategies or study framework, what did a day of studying look like after that?
Mitch’s Daily Study Routine
Mitch: Well, I’m more of a morning studier anyway, so it was very easy. I just kept my alarm the same, got up in between 5, 5 30, but,just, followed your kind of guidelines. I just did jump straight into the multiple choice. first I would read your review notes. I’d try to find it in the notes, the section that corresponded to what I was doing in Becker that day. So I’d read the notes, it took maybe five minutes and then I’d go into the questions and like how you say, if you get it wrong, it’s not so much, get it getting a 75% on your multiple choices that day. Actually I think you say “capture the understanding”, make sure you read and understand what they’re saying, because it’s just weird how this all clicks because you’re right.
if there’s four or five topics that they just hit on everything. Like reading the book in Becker, you think you have to know 20 things, in every lesson and that, they only ask questions on like five. Yeah. so I would do that in the morning for two hours or for an hour and a half, roughly.
Mitch: And then I’d do the cumulative set of 30 at the end that kind of closed up my morning session, I work from home, so it’s very easy to, while I’m working my regular job to just play the audio notes, which I would do a lot. I used, like I say, your review app to do questions and then Becker also had that game.
How Mitch Got His Evenings Back
Mitch: So just studied throughout the day. And then after, after work, I could put it down because I felt good about what I had done. Like you say, you get more out of less time doing it this way than you did before. So I felt good about, you know, not having to study in the evening.
Nate: Yeah, that’s awesome.
Mitch: So it, it freed up countless amounts of hours in the evenings so I could hang out with my wife and family and friends and all that stuff, so…
Nate: Yeah. That’s I know thats…
Back. That’s a huge thing. And it, I think that, that’s a benefit in itself. It just makes this whole thing not as stressful. There’s probably something I’m not a brain scientist, obviously. There’s probably something to given your brain like a break as well, just taking a few hours, and because I think even if people take the evenings off or whatever, whenever they’re not studying, if their study process is frantic and all over the place, and they just have a sense that it’s not really working, they’re always like worrying about it.
Whereas, when you know what you’re doing is working, as long as you nail it,The first part of the day or whatever, then you can not worry about it.
Mitch: Yeah. Sort of turn your brain off for a little bit to rest. Yeah.
How Mitch Used Practice SIMs
Nate: Yeah. So you use the study tools throughout the day. When did you work in, or if you did you, how did you use practice SIMs…?
so I would do that more so, save those more so for the weekend, like Saturday, I would, I think I would do two sets of 30 multiple choice, and then I do a handful of SIMs, and that’s so I more work those in on Saturday and Sunday, and then the closer I got to test, I started to do a little more SIMs, because… those are hard.
Mitch: So I just like more just so I could see what they look like.
Mitch: More than anything, but like really trying to memorize how to do every single SIM that’s out there, that’s pointless and impossible. So then you’re just more so see what I might see something similar to on, on the test day.
Mitch: So I didn’t do a ton of SIMs throughout the whole thing, but I just hammered multiple choice questions.
How Mitch Used Flashcards
Nate: Yeah. And then you said you made flashcards as well, or some form of putting stuff in your own words kind of?
Mitch: Yep. So as I was going through each chapter, I tried to do this, like sparingly and not go overboard, but like it’s so chapter one, I would have five to 10 flashcards of some of the main topics.
I’d do that for every chapter, and then I’d try to leave two weeks at the time I’d finished all the material. And, whenever I do my test, I would I’d have this folder called like MCQ issues. I would just, and I would like if I do my cumulative sets of 30 or whatever it was, if there was stuff that kept popping up, I would just put those in that folder.
And like I said, like these say, rewrite them in your own words that you can understand. just kind of explain it, how you explain things to a five-year old. So I kept trying to say, yeah, so then I would do a, I would like the couple of days before a test, I would really hammer the flashcards.
Nate: Yeah. Again, that’s just, as long as you do that through your process, you have your weak areas, but, you’ve written it down in an explanation that you came up with, and it’s just a totally different thing than, uh, you know, I know you can generate like a testlet from stuff that your review course identifies as your weak areas, which could be helpful, just for actual practice on questions again, but having those flashcards are just, that was another thing for me that I did after failing FAR. Somehow I got the idea, like, I just need to put this stuff in my own words. And my flashcards wouldn’t really have made sense to anyone else.
Mitch: Exactly. Yeah. in the bundle that I got with Becker, because I got it because they had flashcards. Cause I’d always use flashcards, like in college and stuff.
And it seems like they rewrote the book on those things and it’s it didn’t really help at all. Yeah, doing my own was very helpful..
How Mitch Studied on the Weekends
I think you basically mentioned, I was just going to say, did you do anything different on the weekends? I’m guessing you would just kinda knock it out in the morning and then take the rest of the day off or how’d you do a, study on the weekends?
Mitch: Yeah. I let myself sleep in like another hour later, but it was the same process, except I just mix in a couple of SIMs, at the end of,so I did, I would do the two 30 multiple choice and then two to five SIMs, just depending on how I did or how I felt that day.
And I’d do a couple of them. And if I felt good about where I was, I wasn’t behind in my course or anything, but yeah, that’s what I, that’s what I, that’s what I would do.
Making Mini-Sessions a Habit: Daily Milestones
Nate: So one question, this keeps getting asked in the, PRO forum, did you have any type of reminder set to, to actually do the mini sessions throughout the day?
Or would you just kind of do it? whenever, how did you keep that in mind to just pull out the review notes or even use the Becker game you were talking about? Just what did you do to remind yourself to do that continuously throughout the day?
Mitch: I didn’t really have any like specific thing to like to remind myself, but,
I was, it was just like a game that I’d play with myself in my head. He was like, I enjoy having my evenings off from this stuff. So every time, like before I would jump on Facebook or after I would like to use it as like a punishment for getting on Facebook or Twitter or whatever, I would make myself sit down and do either like a five from your app or, play one of these games in Becker.
So I kept, I had kept a spreadsheet. of all the multiple choice questions that I did throughout the whole, whatever section I was taking, I would try to get to 150 or 200 a day. And I would just it would always be up on my computer in the background. And if I, make lunch or something, I’d do try to do 10 or 20 of, just a little short bursts and try to get, to try to get to those numbers.
So I could like “earn” my evening, so to speak. So I didn’t have any like real reminders or anything said, it was just like a constant, like effort throughout the day to try to get it, get to my goal number that I set of questions.
Okay. but that right there, and that’s funny because, on this new, we’ve only released two of these, like the new interviews or I mean the current ones we’ve been doing.
and if for some reason, I dunno, five or six of you guys have mentioned kind of the number of a hundred MCQs a day, and I’ve never, I never really aimed for that, but multiple of you guys, just in the last week that I’ve interviewed have said that, and I mean, that’s, I maybe not so much the number, but just the idea of it’s like a.
Nate: A quantity. What am I trying to say? It’s like a checkpoint that you’re trying to hit each day. That’s based on a number instead of like, well, I watched my two hours of videos, so I’m good. which doesn’t mean anything. So yeah, I mean…
Mitch: right. So it almost in a weird way, I mentioned like I was obsessed with having all three green stars in Becker,
it was almost like, so I would, I never thought about this, but like whenever I would get to like my 150 or whatever questions for the day, I’d color it in green. And I guess I was obsessed with that somehow. so yeah, I didn’t actually think about that until just now.
Nate: Yeah. I think that’s just a really good idea for people.
Whoever ends up listening to this episode, cause I’ve heard different forms of people would, for their main study session, several people, again, that I just interviewed recently, they only used our stuff with a test bank. They didn’t have a full review course, and they would just aim for like a hundred questions that day and they divided up the entire section into the number of questions in their Gleim test bank or whatever. And then they just broke it down by day and that’s just what they would hit. And then they would aim for like 10 of the mini sessions throughout the rest of their day. But I think just having some number is obviously something that you’re shooting for that just shows or would indicate real progress.
Nate: Like you’ve done something that’s more than just, spinning your wheels for three hours sitting in front of your review course.
Mitch: Yeah. something to show that you actually put in the work that day, keep hold yourself accountable to it.
Why Mitch Stopped Focusing on the “Dashboard”
Nate: Yeah. So I was going to ask about the dashboard again. So after you switched your studying, I’m guessing you didn’t really worry about the Becker dashboard anymore?
Mitch: I don’t think it ever got above 35% completed for anything. Cause it was just like, all I would do was just the multiple choice for everything, and then maybe touch on a couple of SIMs throughout that chapter or whatever. yeah, I got over that real quick in Becker.
Nate: Yeah. I remember when I studied, I was using Wiley and they had color coded circle bars and stuff. And mine was just red, says, you’re like, you’re way behind all the time. Every time I logged in, there’d be like this warning. And I just, I didn’t use that whatsoever.
Mitch: Yeah. After cause like it would always be stuck on like chapter one, module one you’re like 30% done is what.
Yeah. And you log in and what you have to do today, and I’ll be done with all the material doing cumulative reviews, like a week before. And they’re like you’re… you’re not done with the first chapter yet Mitch, go back and… go back and watch our lecture to you.
Motivation is Easier When Your Process is Nailed Down
Nate: Right. Did you find, I think I know the answer to this, but, so that your first five or six months, did you ever struggle with just motivation or just the, whatever you want to call it? The mental toll of trying to study that much. And then did you find motivation coming much easier once you switched and knew you had this process nailed down?
Mitch: Absolutely. Yeah. cause what I’ve ended up the first couple or five, six months of doing FAR, I dreaded it, like it was miserable. Like I had no free time. Like I mentioned before, I’d wake up. go into my office study until work starts, sit at my desk. after work was over, I might, hang out with my wife for 30 minutes while we’re making dinner or something or eating a dinner, it’s like, and got to go back to study,
sorry, I can’t hang out with you tonight. So I did that for five to six months, and it was just miserable. I felt like I was being a bad person if I wasn’t studying, and then he, once I started on this, that you just it’s a lot easier to get motivated whenever, it’s just a couple hours before work in the morning,
and then just the 10 minutes of doing little, multiple choice questions on your phone. that’s not that scary. That’s not that bad. It’s. Not much of a pain. So it was like night and day difference. there were times that using Superfast, I would struggle , like anyone does, it’s not fun to study all the time, but, and then that’s actually, when some of these podcasts really helped and you listen to all these people’s stories and that like when they’re doing the same stuff, so you’re on the right track and it helps a lot.
Nate: Yeah. That’s the main thing we hear about the podcast is like the motivation factor. I didn’t consider that when we started doing these episodes, but that’s the main thing we hear about it. So your, again, your first attempt or your first five or six months, did you study from your phone at all then?
Or was it strictly just using your full review course?
Mitch: I would say 85%, it was strictly from the main or the course. And they’ve got, so the Becker has these two apps. one I tried to do was basically just, completely, it was just like the main review course was on the internet. It was like it had to download it.
It was all of the lectures and video and MCQs and SIMs, and to do like a big giant SIM on your phone, it was not really an option, because it was impossible. And then I would use this other game that I keep mentioning. but I didn’t use it as nearly as much as I did with this, like I, this is the screen time on my phone was like insane throughout the last seven months or whatever I did with Superfast, because, any spare time, I would… do five questions.
Studying from Your Phone Can Be the “Missing Link”
Nate: Yeah. so that brings me to my, basically my question then is, cause one thing I think the people discount is the idea of studying from your phone in whatever, three, five, ten minute chunks, they think how effective could that really be? Were you surprised at how effective that is?
And I’m not like looking for you to say how good our study tools were. I’m just saying like in general, recalling the information several times throughout the day. even though it was just from your phone, could, do you feel like you could tell a huge difference as far as the retention aspect that that gave you?
Mitch: Yeah. I definitely could, because I wasn’t perfect. Like I would always, or not always, but I would occasionally like skip a day or two on the weekend. And then that Monday I would come back and my, where I wouldn’t do like the weekend. I wouldn’t be in my review course, I wouldn’t be on my phone doing anything.
We had a party or I was on a trip. like I wouldn’t look at it at all and my, like without fail, almost every time I went back into it, I got worse scores just because I wasn’t doing that recall stuff. And it would take me a day or two to get back up to the level of scores that I had before.
So I could, yeah, it definitely makes a difference, but you wouldn’t think of it, like you said, like three to five minute small five question MCQs, but yours are so they’re so simple and straight to the point that they just keeps everything fresh.
Nate: Yeah. And that, that, that idea, the, the review course apps, it’s cool to have it on your phone, but then it’s also, it’s a review course in mobile format. So it’s it’s not that feasible to use if you’re out in line at the grocery store. That’s what I found with when I was studying wildly had an app and they had a quick quiz, which was actually awesome.
You back then, you could just press one button and take five questions. Now they’ve made their app really… It’s not complicated, but it takes 30 to 60 seconds to actually get into a quiz once you’ve checked all your options. but anyways, that was one thing that I’d be, I’d get this full strength question with an income statement and a balance sheet and,
trying to scroll through, and that would just stop me a lot of the times. And so that was, a key idea for when we actually came out with an app, okay, we gotta have questions that you can actually just do in your head. You don’t have to try to, write stuff,
Mitch: Get out this tiny little calculator in the yeah, no.
Yeah, they were great. look as like my wife is pregnant, so we will, we would go to doctor’s appointments and everything like that. And just waiting in the lobby. I could just do your over and over and over again and not have to, have a scratch paper on the side to write down. Do calculations of some of these questions.
Mitch’s Top Tips for Current CPA Candidates
yeah, so we’ve gone through everything. So usually the last thing I ask is, even if it’s something we already covered, what are your biggest two or three tips for people that are currently studying or maybe people who were like doing it the way you did it the first time, what would be your biggest tips to them?
I think you might’ve mentioned it at one of the pro videos or one of these podcasts, but I think everybody puts this test or these tests way up on a pedestal. It’s you don’t have to like, teach a course on all this stuff. You just have to pass a test. So like I would it’s, it makes it immediately like a lot less intimidating.
Mitch: Like you don’t have to recite word for word what they’re saying in your review course. So as long as you stick to the, the kind of format that you’ve laid out,you’ll cover everything that you need to like, you might not be an expert on… you know, like everything,
so once I found or discovered that after the first couple of times of taking FAR, it made the whole idea of passing these things seem a lot less intimidating. So definitely keep that in mind at all times. And then just, be diligent about it. Like you said, do your multiple choice question as often as you can.
Mitch: Those, it keeps everything top of mind, and then I don’t know. It just, it is all kind of clicks. It’s really weird how it happened with this, but…
Again, it’s it seems just so obvious, almost like dumb to say, but like spending 80% of your time doing what you’ll be doing on test day.
Yeah. There’s like the, the elusive obvious is what I actually call it. That’s just such a simple idea and it just leads down to how you would actually study on a daily basis instead of how most people study. And it’s a lot easier, way more effective and it doesn’t have to take over your life.
Mitch: Exactly. I would get to the point on tests. Like the one I took on Monday, I was done, it was REG, so 38, two things of 38 questions, I was done within an hour. So I had three hours, on the last couple of, or the SIMs, so that in itself helped.. So the whole process. Just great. I tell everybody, like my wife is in accounting and I tell all of her people who are doing it. I was like, you should try this SuperfastCPA study, they’re going through it, you can tell. Whenever somebody is studying for these things, I was like, just try it. Like it’s great.
yeah, I appreciate you telling people about it. So you had the PRO course as well then?
Watch the PRO Course First to Save Time in the Long Run
Nate: So you had the full, like our strategy videos you went in and watched all those?
Mitch: Yeah. I watched those first before I really dove in…
Okay. Yeah. That’s another thing that we, one of my biggest frustrations is, trying to get people to watch those all the way through, we have these welcome emails and we say if you, if the ideas on the training made sense, go in and watch those videos.
Cause I’ll get a lot of questions too, but stuff that’s answered in those videos. And it’s like the whole sharpen the saw analogy, like just take the four hours to watch these videos and you will be able to like slice through lessons, it’s just so much easier. So I thought when you said you had the audit bundle that maybe you just had the audit study tools for in the beginning and not the pro course.
Mitch: Yeah, I, yeah, I had the PRO course. But yeah, I definitely watched those before. cause I was like, I don’t want to miss any of this stuff. Like I don’t want to take any longer time taking this than I have to. So like I was there for any tips or tricks that you had
Nate: Awesome. Well, yeah, Mitch, it was fun to chat and hear your story. I’m I’m glad our stuff could help and kinda give you your life back, let’s say congrats on being done in advance. Make sure to email me when you find out though.
Mitch: I definitely will. I definitely will.
Thank you, for coming out with this stuff.
Nate: Yeah. I’m glad it was helpful.
Okay. So that was the interview with Mitch. I’m sure you found that very helpful. That was a great interview. He just had a lot of really good tips and insights to share. And again, the overall message, which is essentially. The same as many of our other past interviews, you take a person who is really struggling with this process.
And once they just figure out the right strategies to apply, when they do sit down to study the results, they’re getting completely changes. it’s the same person with the same brain, the same IQ or whatever it is all about. The strategies. When you sit down to study, what do you actually do?
Going along with that? Okay. If you want a deeper dive all in one cohesive presentation about how to use our study strategies to get much better results in less time from your review. Sign up for one of our free study training firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to subscribe on YouTube and to our podcasts.
So you don’t miss future episodes. And then also sign up for our free podcasts giveaway with the link in the description, or by going to Superfest cpa.com/enter. So thank you for listening or watching. We’ll see you on the next episode.