In this SuperfastCPA reviews episode, you’ll hear Richie’s story about passing two exams, then failing the next two, and then figuring out what went wrong and finishing his CPA exams.
- 00:00 Richie Interview
- 03:26 Introduction
- 04:08 Originally a Math Major
- 08:40 How Richie Started the CPA Study Process
- 10:03 Passed First Two with the Traditional Approach
- 10:58 Why the Traditional Approach Didn’t Work Anymore
- 12:35 Difference After Using SuperfastCPA
- 14:30 How Self-Written Flashcards Made the Difference
- 18:06 “I Started to Remember Things Quicker, Faster, and More Efficiently”
- 22:14 The “Passing Formula”
- 23:42 How Richie Used Practice SIMs in His Study Routine
- 26:48 The Key to Time Management on Exam Day
- 30:46 “It Just Makes So Much Sense…”
- 33:14 How Richie Used the Study Tools
- 36:42 Most Helpful Part of the Program for Richie
- 38:48 Richie’s Top Tips to Those Currently Studying
Richie: Yeah, and then that’s why your notes really helped me, you know? I felt like I was down so many times after reading so much, well, before I found your program. Then after I found out I just kept reading your notes, I was like, oh, this makes so much more sense. And yeah, I just kept going from there.
And also, I also wanted to mention your podcasts as well. When I was feeling down, I just like listened to your podcasts or like other people’s success stories.
That’s a good tool to help people motivate and read success stories and understanding or hearing other people’s success stories. It just motivates you want to do more in your life and want to be somewhere that you should be, or if you can do.
Nate: Welcome to episode 75 of the CPA exam experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate, and in today’s interview, you’re going to hear me talk with Richie. Richie passed his first two sections studying the traditional way, but like some of our other interviews, it was taking so much time, basically all of his free time.
And it was so burdensome. And so time consuming that he simply looked around on YouTube to find a more efficient way of studying. And that’s how he came across SuperfastCPA. He got our program and I could quickly tell during the interview that he had very clearly watched every single pro video, because he was basically reciting back to me strategy by strategy, the entire framework.
And from there he passed his next two sections pretty quickly. In this interview, you’ll hear him talk about three strategies. One specifically that he credits as being the big difference maker. And one thing that’s interesting, and this has happened with, again, a few of the other interviews, is he, he did mention that when he was studying the traditional way, he still had a very heavy, multiple choice question focus, which of course our study process does as well.
But as I always talk about, there are a few just small tweaks that anyone can make that will get you much better results out of the time that you’re already spending. And that’s the strategies that Richie will talk about on the interview. So before we get into the interview, want to mention two things. First, if you have not yet the best place for you to start the most helpful free resource that you can use besides these interviews in themselves would be to attend one of our free study training webinars.
That is a one-hour training where we will walk you through our study framework, how to use your review course much more efficiently, much more effectively. You can sign up for one of those at our main website at superfastcpa.com.
It’s the main thing at the top of the homepage, or there should be a link down in the description if you’re watching this on YouTube. The second thing since you are watching or listening to this is our free podcast giveaway. So every month we give away three pairs of Powerbeats Pro headphones to three of our listeners.
The idea behind that is these are my personal favorite headphones. I use them constantly. I’m of course not studying for the CPA exams anymore, but I listened to podcasts and audio books and other just trainings constantly. Anything I’m trying to learn about, I get it in an audio format and I just listened to it as they go about my day.
I can do it if I go to the driving range to hit golf balls, I can do it when I’m making dinner for my kids or whatever it is. So to enter the giveaway, you just need to go to superfastcpa.com/enter and put in your information and that’s all you have to do to enter. Or again, there should be a link down below this video if you’re watching this on YouTube.
So with that out of the way, let’s get into the interview with Richie.
Nate: so yeah Well, it’s nice to meet you man, I’ve seen your posts in the forum and I think we’ve sent a few emails back and forth and you’re all done, right?
Richie: Yeah. Yep. I’m already set.
Nate: That’s awesome. And Pacific time, where are you located?
Richie: I’m currently located in California.
Nate: Is that where you’re from originally?
Richie: Correct. Yeah, I am.
Nate: Cool. Well, yeah. So just in general, kind of, where are you at with? Like how long out of school are you? Where are you in your career? How long have you been working in whether it’s industry or public accounting? Just what’s that all look like?
Originally a Math Major
Richie: Yeah, so originally I’m actually not an Accounting major. I actually pursued math first. So after I’d gotten my a four year degree in Math, I tried to find a job in the math, the math sector and it was too difficult.
The only way you can find a job with math is either you become a teacher and get your PhD or masters, or you go into the actuarial field, which is very difficult to get in, in where I live in. So after that I decided accounting was better. And then, that’s where I pursued my associates in accounting.
And I actually landed while I was in school. I landed a job as an Accounts Payable Processor for the State of California. So I worked there for a little bit and I received my, after I graduated or got my associates, I decided to go into public accounting. So I’m currently an auditor for the State of California as well for different department And yeah, that’s, that’s pretty much my, my background for the most part, the gist of it.
Nate: That’s kind of funny. I don’t know if you ever look on like the accounting forums on Reddit, but that’s like a big joke that, or with accountants in general that their family always just considers them good at math because they’re an accountant and accountants are always like, No, we’re not good at math.
We just, we can add and subtract. But in your case, you are a math wizard probably in the background.
Richie: I guess you could say that.
Nate: Yeah. That’s funny. An entire degree in math. Wow.
Richie: I was just going to say that in my opinion, I thought math was harder than accounting and it’s funny because I think math is harder than accounting, but in terms of like understanding and things like that.
But accounting is a lot easier to find a job, which is crazy. Actually.
Nate: That’s true. That’s again, that’s a good point. It’s just interesting how different industries work, I guess. Oh yeah. I would say for sure math is, I mean, math, cause if you did a degree in it, you probably got, I don’t even know what the levels of you probably did, like five levels of calculus or something like that.
Richie: Yeah. Some, they, we go into something called proofs like theorems and you have to like proof stuff and it’s not fun. Yeah. It’s not like straight calculations, like in accounting or like lower division math. Yeah. It’s not, yeah, not pleasant.
Nate: Yeah. Well after doing that, auditing is probably like really simple.
Richie: Yeah. auditing enough, more fun. I think auditing is actually more fun as well, you know? It’s, it’s interesting because when you get the financial records, I like dealing with income statements and balance sheets and stuff like that. I think it’s interesting trying to put the pieces together. And you know, it’s and almost like the debits and credits and trying to balance out on the certain equations.
I think it’s more interesting than math, to be honest.
Nate: Yeah. Right. Like kind of, like you mentioned in my experience, kind of in my bachelor’s degree is kind of formed like where I was headed. My accounting classes were the ones that I just kind of effortlessly got A’s in. And I just, at the end of the day, like there’s always the right answer. Not once you get into practice really, but in accounting classes, that’s just what I liked is there’s always just this right answer that logically makes sense as long as you kind of understand how it’s supposed to work. So, yeah. So, so you’ve been a California auditor.
I could have figured this out based on what you said, but how, how long has that been?
Richie: I’m currently an auditor for a year and two months so far but I’m planning to go, I want to venture out because I have my CPA and well, I’m a CPA in I have my CPA in progress because I still had to take that, do some other stuff.
But I’m planning to go into the big four accounting. I want to do yeah. For Deloitte, I actually have an interview next week with them too. So yeah, hopefully I get a position with them and become, you know, go from there and venture out and do whatever it is I do over there, not sure yet, but yeah, that’d be a good challenge.
’cause I know the State of California, they don’t value the CPA as much as private accounting firms do. So I want to be in a place that’s valued or not values the license.
Nate: Yeah. Right. Well, and especially, you know, you, if you went through all the hassle to like, get the CPA and if that’s the case and yeah.
How Richie Started the CPA Study Process
Nate: So, yeah, let’s, let’s go into that. So when you started studying this, what did you do when you first started studying for the CPA?
Richie: Right. So I just did the traditional pathway. You know, how you listen to the lectures first, you do all the MCQs after that, you do the simulations, or I would do the simulations.
And like at the end two weeks before to be at two weeks before taking the actual exam, I would do the review, the three tests. I forgot what they’re called now, but they’re just three tests, correct. Yeah. And it’s just so time-consuming. I felt like I wasn’t being efficient enough, somehow I did pass them.
I’ve passed two of them my first try before finding out your program on YouTube. I was just searching randomly how to be more efficient and then your program popped up and I attended your live session. And I thought it was pretty interesting. And after that, I just signed up for the program and everything works because before signing up I also took audit and regulations and I failed it.
I figured out, I think I was doing something wrong, you know, so I went on with your program that I passed it first try out to that and you know, all your condensed notes, your the app to do the mode of MCQs they all helped really well. Yeah.
Nate: That’s awesome.
Richie: Doing it with a routine.
Passed First Two with the Traditional Approach
Nate: Yep. Okay. So you, so you’ve passed your first two with kind of the traditional approach, is that right? And then you’ve failed two, is that what happened?
Richie: Okay, correct. Yeah. After that. Yeah. And then I figured out, your, program. Yeah. I use that and then I passed the first try after that. So yeah.
Nate: What would you say? That’s kind of enter I mean, it’s, that’s not that unique. I’ve heard that story like people pass one or two and then for some reason, like the third one they take, or maybe the next two are like hard form.. Which two did you pass first?
Richie: I passed FAR and BEC first.
Nate: Okay. So you passed the hard one.
Richie: Yeah. Yeah.
Nate: Okay, you passed the first two. The first one that you failed was Audit?
Richie: The first, yeah, after that, yes. Correct. The order was a FAR, BEC, Audit and then a REG. This tax is the hardest thing.
Why the Traditional Approach Didn’t Work Anymore
Nate: Gotcha. Okay. And so I guess that’s kinda, my first question is, you do the normal approach. It works for FAR and BEC, what do you feel like, why do you feel like it didn’t work for audit for whatever reason?
Richie: I just felt like it didn’t work for audit because I think I was reading too much and reading too much into it. And, I didn’t at the time, I didn’t, I wasn’t taking any notes as well. I, I just, you know, just hammered a bunch of MCQs per day, like 200 per day in a bit like five simulations per day as well.
And I think on the test when I took both REG and Audit, it was different because you know how there’s like the best answer or it is a good answer and then there’s a better answer. I always get messed, I always mess up by picking the good answer over the best answer because sometimes I always narrow it down to two of them.
And then just one of them is better. And then I choose the good ones that have the best one, stuff like that. Yeah. And then I think also the reason why I don’t think I did well because at the time it was during busy season as well. So, for us, yeah, it was busy season for us as well. So I kind of had to like, kind of work over over time and I didn’t have enough time to study or, or to focus ,put dedication to the CPA at that time as well.
So I decided to take your program and use the condensed notes, which helped me a lot better. In this case, instead reading the entire, the book which the jargon they use it didn’t really help me as much as your notes. Yeah.
Difference After Using SuperfastCPA
Nate: Yeah. I mean, like, obviously I’m a big believer in our products and everything, but what’s interesting about what you said is that you were still doing a ton of multiple choice questions which is more or less kind of our approach, at least how you do your main study session. So were there any, once you watched our training and maybe watched our pro videos or the strategy videos, even though you were doing multiple choice a bunch before, was there anything that changed or any ideas from our strategies that made a difference in that?
Richie: Yeah, there’s so I didn’t wake up like super early in the morning, like how your program recommended, like the two hours?
I, I would wake up like five. Five in the morning 5, 5:30 depending and spend two hours doing MCQs and making notes of when why I was struggling like on the flashcard like you’ve suggested. After that, yeah, this, the flashcard definitely helped a lot with the concepts on the, or retaining the concepts and also doing the, the 30 overall review questions. The 30 MCQs that reviews what I’ve learned prior so I won’t forget.
Richie: Because sometimes I do forget when time passes and there’s a lot to remember, so that’s definitely why I didn’t in the morning and then I would start after work by 4:00 PM. I mean, during the work day I would use your app, the program on your app and just hammer the MCQs per hour and also read the lecture notes as well, which also helped throughout the day.
Whenever I had time during lunch, that’s what I would do as well. Just MCQs and reading your notes constantly. And during, also after work out, I would be going back to kind of like my own, like, well, I adjusted a little bit. I used your study notes and your review notes, and I kind of tied it back to my lecture notes as well, also to flashcards as well.
How Self-Written Flashcards Made the Difference
Richie: And also the flashcards really helps and I liked it because I wrote it in my own words like you suggested. So I would sit, sit there, I would rehearse or not rehearse, but it kind of repeat what the, what the the explanation on the training program, but what Becker would say for the MCQs and would write it down what I just rehearsed to me, like a crazy person in my room.
So yeah, that’s what I did it. It helped a lot especially, fun to review. You just do a bunch of MCQs at the end using your software as well as Becker, also reading and your lecture notes. Beginning to end like two times a day.
And then I would also take the test on a Monday, the following Monday. And I also that’s what you suggested, you know, taking two days as Saturday and Sunday, and then taking it, taking the test on Monday which is what I did. Yes, and I passed somehow, I didn’t expect it, but I passed it. Yeah.
Nate: So you obviously had our PRO course and watched those videos as well? Cause you like you’re following that it sounds like. Smart man. Smart man.
Richie: Yes. Yep.
Richie: From beginning to end always. Yeah, no, no shortcuts.
Nate: Yeah, man. That’s one of my that’s one of my biggest frustrations is I’ll get emails from people and they’ll ask me, like, how does, how does this part work?
And I’m like okay, I just please go in, if you paid the money to buy like this program, just watch the videos first because that will just enable you to make so much progress. Like everything in there to pass quickly and efficiently is in those videos. So I’m glad to hear that.
And also, so my original question was the first time you were doing a ton of multiple choice, which is a huge part of our program anyways, but then it sounds like essentially just the idea of adding in re-review, constant re-review of everything is really what kind of made the difference?
And like it sounds obvious when you say that, but that’s not really part of the traditional approach where you kind of just do one by one and then a big final review. Whereas this, it’s just more, you build that rereview into your daily process. So yeah.
Richie: Yeah, yeah. Like I forgot to mention that. Because after work I was so exhausted also,
so I’ve noticed that my retention wasn’t as well as it was as compared in the morning because for some reason yeah, cause I’m a morning person. And then when I study in the morning, I felt, oh, I noticed that I’ve started like getting like scores in MCQs is a lot better like compared to in the afternoon or evenings when I tried to study it, because I feel like it’s not going in as much when I studied in the morning.
So yeah, I would definitely recommend people to study in the morning, like you said. Yeah. Cause it’s a, a lot better retention at least. Yeah.
Nate: No, I think that’s a, I mean, I think that’s like a proven thing with brain science or whatever, like our, our ability to just do meaningful like, process complex information or do high level tasks is like finite. And it obviously, on a normal day where you’ve slept normally, like it’s at your peak in the morning and it just kind of goes down. And so when you go to work all day and then you save, you know, your big study session for at night, when that is like down to this much, it doesn’t work that well.
“I Started to Remember Things Quicker, Faster, and More Efficiently”
Richie: So also for the the flashcard strategy, I forgot to mention that too. I also use, I also just took 30 minutes of my time. I’m reading them before I go to bed. Some for some reason, like that actually helped me as well, you know, if we’re going to bed and then in the morning I would kind of like take like five minutes just going through them real quick and kind of reciting.
And then I noticed that I’ve starting, I’ve started to remember them like quicker, faster and more efficient. I’ve started to be able to recite them faster as well what I written on the flashcards too. Yeah, and I really helped the flashcard method. Before I didn’t do that. So yeah. I’m glad that that helps.
Nate: Well, again also, yeah. When you, when you think about that, if you just kind of do that throughout the process and you’re making flashcards for things that you personally struggle with, you know, there’s the one thing you can do every review course has the ability to like flag questions or also, I think Becker, probably all of them, they just kinda keep this in the software it’s built in where stuff you’ve missed repeatedly. Like they can serve it to you. You can generate a test list from like your weak areas and that’s good. But if you have throughout the process, as you go through topics, things you keep missing, you write it out. Well, like you said, the first part is to explain it back to yourself until you can come up with an explanation in your own words, that like make sense.
And then you write that out. That’s I don’t know, 10 times better, 20 times better a way of keeping track of your own weak areas. And then consistently reviewing your own flashcards, like you just said is, that just solves that whole issue of like weak areas really.
Richie: Yeah, yeah. Those flashcards have basically like gold to you during the review phase or during your final days of review. Yeah, because it definitely came in clutch when I took the test the second time and yep. And read through it or pass it. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah, yeah, no, I specifically remember. I mean, I didn’t have any magic way of like making my own flashcards. I would just do that like make stuff, make flashcards on things I kept missing or forgetting and I would I mean, I think it’s in those pro videos. I mean, I would do the two day crazy cram review or whatever, and then I would also drive to the testing center an hour early and kind of have my weakest deck still based on the, because I think I was using like Quizzlet, and as you went through them and they’re color coded on how well you know it. Something like that.
So anyways, I would review what was still like my weakest flashcards and sure enough, I would just start getting questions that were just straight off my own flashcards every time. So yeah, it was like, obviously super helpful to do that.
Richie: Yeah. And then the flashcards and Becker, I felt like I wasn’t being efficient enough because as I was going through, I told myself, I already know all this, am I supposed to do or do flashcards on the things that I don’t know of. And yeah that’s where your method came in. Just doing it reading, reading the explanation, saying, repeating in my own words and writing it down by myself on the my own flashcard on Quizlet.
Yeah. It really helped them. I think that’s the biggest thing that helped me to be honest.
Nate: Yeah. I mean, right. Yeah. When someone emails me and you know, they either failed a section or they’re just, you know, they’re saying like I’m putting in all this work but I am scoring like fifties or whatever on my sets daily sets of 30.
That’s almost always what it is. I mean, that’s the first thing I ask them is, are you making flashcards or notes in your own words for stuff that you keep missing? Because everything else, you know, it’s like I say, it’s like a recipe. There are key ingredients like moving through the new material is obviously you have to do that at some point.
Re-review in the form of the daily set of 30, and then using the study tools just all throughout your day, those are both forms of re-review. And then the other key ingredient is putting stuff that you struggle with in your own words. And if you’re like doing those three general things, it’s hard to go wrong.
The “Passing Formula”
Richie: So that’s the passing formula. I was gonna say on your notes, condensed notes that you wrote. It’s definitely a lot easier also. Yeah. During final review when I was reading it and comparing it with them by how Becker wrote it, it’s a lot easier to understand, especially with final review because I don’t know. For some reason, Becker, they use a lot of jargon that doesn’t really, doesn’t really help most candidates prior to the exam, whereas your notes, you know. Just reading through it, it makes so, so much sense, so much clarity. And it’s just helped me remember a lot of stuff a lot easier before taking an exam.
So that’s something I would like to thank you on that.
Nate: Yeah. I mean, I’m glad I could help. And yeah I say this and I think people and in fact, I’ve gotten like comments, you know, YouTube, the haters come out of the woodwork on YouTube because some of our videos, people say stuff like, well, of course you recommend this idea of mini sessions because you sell study supplements and I’m like, well, yes, that’s true.
But these study supplements are like literally created on how I like what I wish, what I wish I would have had like to a “t”, these notes that are just I mean we made those by going back through thousands of exam questions per topic, that’s why they’re so direct and we get all these comments about people saying like I got in, I don’t know how you come up with these notes, but I got in there and I saw stuff like word for word on the exams.
How Richie Used Practice SIMs in His Study Routine
Nate: And it’s because we, we based them off questions, not just trying to create a summary of everything. So, yeah, I appreciate you saying that. And what was your approach for practice SIMs in your study routine?
Richie: So after I found out like a program, I actually stopped doing practices.
I just hammered multiple choice because now that I think about it when I do practices, practice sims are kind of like a more detailed version of the multiple choice questions. So I felt like I was wasting my time doing this. Because most of the sims that I did during my practice sims didn’t even show up my real exam anyways.
So and multiple choice, I think kind of helped me attack the sims a little better because the explanations on Becker or yeah, on the sims actually sometimes it didn’t really help at all because they still long and hard to read and understand. And yeah. And then not only that you can’t really go back for me, for I’m talking about for Becker at least.
And you can’t really go back to the lecture yet you actually spend time going back to remember where as compared to the multiple choice questions at which you can just click the button to see lecture, button new, take you right there. Yeah. So it, so in essence, sims I kind of stopped doing it. It’s just during the final review, I did do it a little bit just to have like some sort of understanding of what the format, just to know what to expect.
And that’s basically it, I didn’t really focus on sims as much as the most of the choice. I just kept hammering multiple choices. Yeah. MCQs.
Nate: Yup. Yeah. That’s essentially the whole idea. You want to do enough of them. I mean it’s basically, it’s just what you said.
You want to do enough of them where you’re comfortable with the formats you’re going to see. So you know how to actually kind of fill them out and open the different little exhibits on those types. So you need to know like how they appear and how they work. But then the other side of that is to just sit there and go through hundreds and hundreds of practice Sims.
Yeah. It’s kind of, there’s very diminishing returns because on test day, it’s going to be so different anyways than what you’ve really seen.
Richie: And then not only that, like you keep doing the sims, I mean, if you have a job and you worked over time, you’re not going to have time to keep handling sins as compared it’s not as efficient in my opinion as doing multiple choice questions. If that makes sense. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah, it does make sense. And the other thing is on on test day, the best thing you can do for the sims is to just leave as much time as possible. Because again, the ones you see on test day, there’s going to be some real tough ones in there most likely, especially on FAR and REG. And so you just need to leave as much time and so going back to your daily process, like doing so many, multiple choice is like the best way to learn the material in the context of questions. But at the same time, you’re also getting very good and efficient at answering multiple choice.
And so that it will kind of just solves that in advance for test day, the time management aspect.
The Key to Time Management on Exam Day
Richie: Yup. I forgot to say also like. That’s why I also noticed as well from my mistake in which I failed my first exam for audit and REG as well, I didn’t leave enough time and that’s the big thing. You need to be fast hammering multiple choice. You need to get those out as soon as possible because you need time dedicated to the exhibits. And I’ve noticed that the more, the more time I had on those, I was able to get through them in a time efficient manner, you know, like give myself time and I knew I wasn’t in a rush or anything.
So yeah, definitely finish your multiple choice questions as fast as possible. You do not want to be spending too much time on those and during testing.
Nate: Yeah, and the like the panic aspect. That’s a big thing that I, again, if you have that solved in advance, you get through the multiple choice and you just have, you know, two plus hours to go through the sim.
Whereas, if you only have an hour, kind of like half of your half of your brain is just consumed with kind of this feeling of panic. Like you’re just freaking out that you’re trying to rush through it and you make mistakes or, or you just have to rush through it and submit stuff before you want to.
Richie: Yep. Yep. That’s exactly right. Yeah.
Nate: I was going to ask about your test day experience, but after doing it this way, I’m assuming you were just really quick, the last two times on your MCQs and then you had plenty of time for the Sams, right?
Richie: Yes. Yeah. I just hammered. Because well, I’ll explain it or I’ll give a little backstory about how I, one of my, I took my first exam for audit and how I felt fit. I think I only gave myself like an hour and 30 minutes. I spent too much time on thison a multiple choice questions because I didn’t know.
I thought I would passed it actually the first time, but I didn’t. I didn’t know it was going to be that extensive on the sims. The sims are very scary. And you should not, I think I over-thought on some of the multiple choice questions, but you think about it the multiple,, I mean, the entire exam is kind of weighted in a way, so yeah, you shouldn’t be spending too much time on one multiple choice question.
You just, I just, I learned that from my second or from my experience at the failing it the first time to just, you know, finish it out as fast as possible. Just leave as much time as you can for the sims. Yeah. Those are scary. Yeah. In that sense. Yeah.
Nate: And so would you say the audit ones, so the audit ones kind of came across harder to you then, because again, you had already passed FAR which most people would say is the hardest exam.
Was the audit one just more just more difficult to you for some reason, just in your experience?
Richie: I think for FAR it was easier because there were more calculations on there, in my opinion. There’s not like there was more of a better, I felt like I could kind of zone out the better answer, like because there are one numbers, in my opinion, as compared to words, because I’m not good at, I can, I’m better at visualizing numbers and understanding like numbers for some reason, compared to like words.
Yeah, that’s basically the only difference to why I think I passed FAR compared to audit. Yeah. There’s a lot of reading on audit and it’s just more calculations on FAR. That’s the math majors, I guess.
Nate: No, that makes sense. It’s true. All the stuff you learn in the, like in the undergrad. Oh, well you did a math undergrad but for in like accounting undergrad, it’s kind of all financial reporting type. That’s what accounting is. And then audit really is kind of a separate thing. And most people at most have one or two audit classes versus like, I don’t know, 10 to 20 accounting classes. So it is just a different, a different thing.
And there’s so much, like you just said, there’s so much word and verbiage. And so much of it sounds very, very similar, but it’s obviously it’s very different, like different modern reports or this paragraph goes before this paragraph. So yeah. A lot of people say that.
“It Just Makes So Much Sense…”
Richie: Yeah, that’s exactly. You’re 100% right about that.
Yeah. And then that’s why your notes really helped me, you know? I felt like I was down so many times after reading so much. Well, before I found your program. Then after I found out I just kept reading your notes, I was like, oh, this makes so much more sense. And yeah, I just kept going from there.
And also, I also wanted to mention your podcasts as well. When I was feeling down, I just like listened to your podcasts or like other people’s success stories. Oh, that motivated me to actually study more and not being you know, lazy sometimes. I sometimes got lazy in studying, so that’s a good way,
that’s a good tool to help people motivate and read success stories and understanding or hearing other people’s success stories. It just motivates you want to do more in your life and want to be somewhere that you should be, or if you can do
Nate: Yeah. Yeah, no, that’s awesome. We hear that a ton about the podcast.
I’ve started kind of mentioning that on every episode, but that was never, I never thought of it as a I’m going to do all these interviews to make this kind of motivational resource for people studying, but that’s kind of the main thing we hear about the podcast it’s just.
I mean, it makes sense. It’s such a struggle for people to go through the study process and then to hear to be able to just listen to other people’s stories from start to finish and most stories had this period of struggle then they start to figure it out, then they pass. So it’s like, it’s like, okay, I can, I’m going to get to that point.
Richie: Yes. In a way I would say your podcasts actually helped me pass the CPA exam as well because it actually motivated me to study. Yeah. That’s a good way to listen to them when you are down or you think you can’t do it, or you know, your like your confidence, like you saw this thing at a confidence a little low.
I would say I definitely listen to those podcasts because they definitely brought my energy back up to study.
Nate: Right. Yeah. No motivation is a huge thing. I know I’ve said that before on podcasts or emails, like the best strategies and the best study tools or the best review course, it doesn’t do any good if you can’t get yourself to sit down and study, right? It’s just, this whole thing is just like this combination of like your study strategies, keeping yourself motivated, like keeping your head in the game. That’s yeah. It’s just like this cycle.
Let’s see. So we kind of went through everything. We talked about your daily process.
How Richie Used the Study Tools
Nate: And then you with our study tools, I mean, you basically mentioned this as well. Did you use all three? Like you’d listen to the audios, you do the quizzes, the review notes. You just kind of used them whenever it made sense to use the different ones?
Richie: Yeah. So for the review notes, whenever I would drive to work whenever I had to, I would also always put on the audio notes.
So I’ll always put those on wherever I go. Whenever I have it take like quick walk for like exercising and just clearing my mind. Audio notes really help with that kind of helped me retention, retain a little bit of information along the way, and it keeps adding, you know, I’ve been using that. So, yeah, I know I used your multiple choice questions on the app a lot.
I used that a lot for sure. And same thing with your lecture notes. I read that throughout the day or whenever I had time. Yeah, there’s they really came in handy. I believe that really helped me my study process.
Nate: Like for me studying from my phone was huge. That was just, I don’t know, after I failed FAR the first time. And then I was working full time. And at one point I was like reading ESPN, and it was like 10 in the morning. And just in these little, you know, five minute chunks, I’d already read like every story that day on ESPN. And I was just like, and it like dawned on me.
Like I look at this stupid phone all throughout the day. I should be trying to like study. And so I got some stuff like these PDF’s focus notes and nothing that I could find was actually made to be like used from your phone.
So I had to like pinch and zoom and it was really annoying to read, but even then it was still super helpful just because again, you have your phone all day, that makes up like two to three possible hours of like extra study. And so yeah, having everything work right inside the app, I think people discount the idea of studying from their phone.
Like their first thought is how effective can this really be to study for two or three minutes, but across six to eight weeks, you know, 10 or 20 times a day, that’s it makes a huge difference.
Richie: That’s right. Yeah. Before I found out about your process and supplements, I would like to do a lot of time wasting stuff, you know, like just go on YouTube, watch some random stuff.
After I found out about your program. And then you, you told me or told your the customers to use the the app and reading, your notes and listening to audio lectures throughout the day, I found that such more like the time efficient use of my time or a more efficient use of my time and you know, it just helped me throughout the day. And I noticed progressively closer to the test date that I was learning a lot more than I actually thought I would.
Nate: And I, the other thing it does is back to like the motivation idea. It just kind of helps you, it, it just helps you feel like, okay, I like, I made a little bit of progress.
And then just even in again, even these little three to five minute chunks, it starts to be, you just gain a sense of momentum to where you want to do more of it. You keep doing it each day. And then, like you said, a few weeks in you realize, okay this is all really like starting to, this is all really starting to click and studying each day is a lot easier when you feel like it’s working, than if you’re studying hours every day then you do like a practice exam or something and you get a 50 and you’re like, man, I am just wasting my time apparently.
Richie: Yup. Exactly.
Most Helpful Part of the Program for Richie
Nate: So if you had to if you had to just narrow it down, what was the most helpful part of our program to you?
Richie: So I would say the most helpful throughout my studying is definitely the condensed notes throughout the day for your supplements, at least, and you’re talking about your supplements and definitely that, you know, it’s compared to me, the MCQs, in my opinion, the more you do the MCQs I felt like I it’s kind of second nature to me, like the lecture notes,
I kind of forgot some stuff. So when I read through it, it’s a little easier to digest. I mean, yeah, it was overall. I mean, it’s easier to digest and understand the general idea of most of the concepts, especially for studying the multiple choice or when I take the multiple choice during my exam, I noticed that the general understanding kind of gave me hope, I guess some on the questions and it helped me narrow, narrow down the best answers and gave me a higher chance that some of the questions I had been, I didn’t even know how to answer. So yeah, definitely your review notes. Your condensed review notes throughout this study process.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I try to tell people if, when you’re doing the mini sessions, try to aim for like a 50 50 split between the quizzes and the reading the notes. And like, most people just want to do the quizzes because they are like, they’re very simple and people get used to it and it’s just, you know, you tap through answers, and then getting people to read the notes is almost like telling my kids, they gotta like eat broccoli. Like it’s easy to get them to eat chicken nuggets, but the broccoli is like, like, listen, just trust me. This is good for you. Like eat this broccoli and that’s yeah. That’s how the review notes are.
Richie: Yeah. At first, I was doing 50 50 at first. Now I’m noticing the multiple choice, I started like getting them like four out five and five, five out of five on a consistent basis. I kind of adjusted my studying routine a little bit and read, or I use more of your review notes. I started like doing like set like 60-40, and then like 70-30 after that.
And then yeah. Like something like that, but yeah, it definitely helped though. Yeah. Your review notes.
Richie’s Top Tips to Those Currently Studying
Nate: Well, awesome. I think we kind of went through everything. The last thing I kind of ask is I guess maybe two things, even if it’s something we already covered, what would be your top two or three tips to people currently studying? And then is there anything else from your own process, any breakthroughs you had that we, that we didn’t cover or that you haven’t mentioned yet? Just anything on that?
Richie: Well, my first tip for sure would be to hammer out as many multiple choice questions as you can throughout the day. You know, or find time whenever we have spare time, free time, during lunch break whenever before you go to bed, do like try hammer like 10 or five. But before you go to sleep, like throughout the day, try to get as many as you can because after you’ll start to notice it that it’s, that it to build your knowledge before test day, or getting close to test day they like, you’re starting to understand more and understand.
Yeah. I started to understand more and same thing with reading the explanation front and back as well. So, or beginning to end yeah, you don’t understand it and make sure you read everything. So that’s my first one. And the second one is making flashcards because I felt like that was the biggest impact, in my opinion using the flashcard method, like you mentioned, try to explain it in your own words first and then put it down to a flashcard because I think before, when I was just reading it or reading and it’s kind of like a reading the explanation and not repeating it back to myself. It wasn’t helping me at all, compared to you saying in your own words, because thinking in your own words obviously makes it means that you understand it.
Understand the concept at least. And just go through all your flashcards throughout the day, like a little bit throughout the day, like give yourself like 10 to 15 or 30 minutes before you go to sleep. And yeah, you’ll see a dramatic difference in your studying and you, you’ll be more competent and more prepared for test day.
Yeah. So those are my two biggest tips. The MCQs and flashcards. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah, definitely. And that is a key point when you said when you’re doing whatever it is. If you’re doing multiple choice and it’s something that, you know, you’ve kind of struggled with, but then you see that explanation. It’s easy to think like, oh yeah, no, I do know that I just forgot it for a second, but then you’re going to do that again on test day when it’s a slightly different or, you know, but it’s stopping and making sure that you know it, by telling it back to yourself out loud and writing that down.
That’s just like this other level of making sure you understand it. So yeah, it’s just a huge, huge thing.
Well, yeah, so I appreciate you doing the call. I’m glad you found our stuff and that it was helpful and yeah, congrats on being done. That’s awesome.
Richie: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me, Nate and all your supplements as well. They really helped.
Nate: So that was the interview with Richie. I hope you found that very helpful. And if you did, please take a second to share this episode or the podcast in general with somebody else that you know who’s also working on their CPA exams. And again, if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to sign up for one of our free study training webinars,
that is one-hour that will literally save you months and months of time and frustration. And make sure to sign up for our free podcast giveaway. You can do that at superfastcpa.com/enter or again that link should also be down in the description if you’re watching this on YouTube. So thank you for watching or listening, and we’ll see you on the next episode.