In this SuperfastCPA Podcast interview, you’ll hear how Logan passed his CPA exams studying just 2 hours a day, on top of being extremely busy from working full-time, finishing his master’s degree, and having a family all at the same time.
And he still had time for his favorite hobbies!
Master your study process by attending one of our free study training workshops:
Enter our free monthly podcast giveaway:
- 00:00 Logan Hall Interview
- 03:30 Beginning the CPA Study Process
- 07:00 Revamped His Whole Study Process After Getting SuperfastCPA
- 10:04 Difference-Makers in Logan’s Study Process
- 12:49 Morning Study Sessions Were a Game Changer
- 13:36 Using the Questions First Approach
- 17:18 Retention via Daily Re-Review Sets
- 19:23 Passing Quick Enough to Get the CPA Bonus
- 21:06 Logan’s Study Process for Practice Sims
- 23:01 Reading the Notes First Before Diving into a Lesson
- 23:49 Mini Study Sessions Throughout the Day
- 27:30 Using the SFCPA Podcast for Motivation
- 28:46 Knowing Your Study Process is Working
- 31:25 Balancing School, Work, and CPA Study
- 34:20 Convincing Other People to Start Studying for the CPA Exams While in School
- 36:53 The Feeling of Being Done with CPA Study Forever
- 37:51 Celebrating After Passing the CPA Exams
- 41:16 Talking About His Favorite Band
- 43:02 Logan’s CPA Study Process for the Weekend
- 46:02 BEC is Not Easy, Take Each Section Seriously
- 47:48 Logan’s Top Tips for People Still Struggling with the CPA Exams
- 54:30 Logan’s Ritual for CPA Exam Day
Logan: It’s amazing that I was able to do work, masters, CPA and I legitimately still, like I would occasionally still go do stuff with my friends.
Logan: I did stuff with my wife almost every night. I always got to see my kids every night. Like just the efficiency that SuperfastCPA brought me was invaluable in that, in that sense. Yeah.
Nate: Welcome to another episode of the CPA exam experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Nate, and in today’s episode you’re going to hear me talk with Logan. The first thing I remember from Logan is that he had posted in our members forum when he first joined Superfest CPA. And the title of his post was “Too ambitious?” with the question mark. And then he laid out his plan that his goal was to pass the four exams in four months, you know, using the SuperfastCPA methods and study tools.
Nate: And then each exam he would post, you know, that he had passed. And he did exactly that. I think it took five months total instead of the four months he had laid out. But he did go four for four and he’s a busy guy. He was finishing his master’s while working, full-time studying for the CPA exams and he had, has two kids that are young, I believe two under the age of three. So a two year old and a 10 month old, I’ve got his final post up right here. And he would still spend the evenings hanging out with his family. So he nailed the process exactly, he would do two hours in the morning, do the mini sessions from our app throughout the day, and that’s all it took. He passed all four on the first try in five months.
Nate: And so in this interview, you’re just going to hear exactly what he did, step-by-step. He had his own take on a few things, and he just has a lot of really good tips to share. And overall, you know, you just get a glimpse into, this is what someone was doing that passed in five months, went four for four, studying just two hours a day. You know, he still had, he mentions, still a time for hobbies. He still had a life, basically doing everything else. CPA exams, working full time, and finishing his masters. And a family with really young kids so you will learn a lot from this interview.
Nate: Before we get into the interview I just want to mention our free CPA study trainings. So these are one hour webinars where we walk through our six core study strategies. These trainings are completely free. I’ve even heard from multiple people over the years that never even bought our products because they watch this free training, and just got a few of the things immediately made them realize what they were doing wrong in their process, and that’s all it took. And then they passed, emailed me a few months later, you know, I’d never heard from them previously. And they were just saying, I just wanted to say, thanks, your free training was so valuable that it turned everything around for me, I never even bought your products.
Nate: So, these one hour trainings are extremely valuable, extremely helpful. If you’re wondering where to start with SuperfastCPA, that is the place to start. So the link to those will be down in the description of either this YouTube video or the podcast version.
Nate: So with that out of the way, let’s get into the interview with Logan.
Beginning the CPA Study Process
Nate: So, when you started studying for the CPA exams originally, how did that go? Did you just start, you know, the normal way? How was it in the beginning?
Logan: So, um, luckily, when I, before I had started my exam process, um, Parker, who you’ve met, uh, he’s my, one of my best friends, and we’re both in the accounting program together, and I was about to start my first semester of the MACC.
Logan: And he was, uh, thinking of starting studying for the CPA because I, he knew I was about to start. Uh, um, anyway, uh, so he saw one of your ads, I think on YouTube.
Nate: That’s right.
Logan: Um, and he watched, uh, one of the, uh, uh, I think he watched your webinar. And he, we were hanging out at one point after he watched it and he knew I was about to start studying and he was like telling me all about it like, he mainly just told me like the two hour idea and in my brain that instantly was like, that sounds a million, cause I had heard horror stories, you know, about people studying for four hours after work every day and then still failing exams and just, all this terrible stuff.
Logan: So, uh, when he told me about that, I was like, that sounds like the way to study. But I, uh, like, I went and looked at the, uh, at it, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy it yet. Like the, basically what I did when I first started is I did this strange hybrid, uh, study plan before I actually bought SuperfastCPA because I knew about SuperfastCPA, but I didn’t actually have the product.
Logan: So I… I was studying two hours a day, but, and I was trying to do what I understood of the questions first approach, which was, what I did is I would, I had the Becker, I studied audit first. And so I got the Becker book, and I would go to the questions and try to find the topics that were, that sounded like they were being tested well, but then I would only do that for a little bit, and then I would go watch the lecture and then I would, you know, like, it was just this kind of a strange hybrid from just based off my understanding from what Parker told me.
Logan: And, uh, man, I, I really did not like watching the lectures. Um, I might mention this a little bit throughout the, throughout this interview. But I have ADHD, and I found out I had ADHD after I started studying for audit. And, uh, anyway, that might come up a little bit more later, just like how much stuff changed with that.
Logan: But anyway, yeah, that was pretty much how it started, just this weird hybrid. It wasn’t the most effective. I was like highlighting the book like they were telling me to. I was watching the lectures, but then I was trying to do the questions first approach, so like… But it wasn’t like… I didn’t feel like it was extremely effective.
Logan: Like, I would still get to the questions after watching the lecture and be like… What? Did they just teach me this? Like, it, it didn’t, it didn’t click at all in my brain. Uh, so that’s kind of how it started anyway. That was how my process was.
Nate: And so did you do, uh, the whole audit exam like that?
Logan: Um, no. I got about, so, a little bit before getting about halfway through the material, and I was doing all the material.
Logan: I was doing the lectures, the sims, the questions. I was getting the 80% and above, you know, like you’re supposed to.
Revamped His Whole Study Process After Getting SuperfastCPA
Logan: Uh, and, uh, and I had at one point signed up for an email list of yours. Uh, I don’t even know where I found it, if it was on the app. Cause I’ve tried to find it. Again, later, like, to get on an email list, and I haven’t been able to find it again, so I’m not entirely sure where it was, but uh, you had a fall deal going on where you could get the whole package for $500, and I was like, I saw that and I was like, should I buy it, should I buy it, and like, I was going back and forth, and I was like, you know what, I’m just going to go for it and, and I, so I bought the whole package for that with the, which, you know, long story short, that was like the most important purchase of, uh, of my whole CPA, uh, journey.
Logan: But, um, yeah, so I bought that, um, after I was about halfway through audit and, um, but I didn’t actually get to start using my stuff because something was wrong with my account for like the first like two weeks of me, uh, buy, after buying it.
Logan: So I had access to.
Nate: I think I know what happened.
Logan: I had, I had access to the app, but I couldn’t watch the PRO course videos and I didn’t want to really use SuperfastCPA until I watched the PRO course videos cause I, I had already tried implementing my understanding and it wasn’t very good. So, um, so yeah. So I bought it, but then it took about two weeks for me to actually start using it. Um, yeah, so I bought it. Yeah. Or about halfway through audit and then, totally, I just totally revamped my whole study process.
Logan: Um, uh, I had been studying, uh, two hours, so maybe just a little bit of backstory will help so that you can, so that people can understand my, uh, uh, like my work situation. So when I, uh, I finished my undergrad, I got an internship at Eide Bailly as a tax intern. Worked there. I kind of forced them to give me a job early. They hadn’t decided on keeping any associates yet, but I had gotten an offer from another company, and I was like, listen, I’m gonna, I have, if there’s no guarantee of me staying here, then I’m gonna leave. Uh, but, so I kind of forced their hand, but they only gave me part time, so I was only working 20 hours a week, which in the end actually worked out great because of my master’s program, and I can maybe talk about that later, but, um, anyway, so I was only working 20 hours a week, so I would work 5 hours, and then I would go to school and study for 2 hours, and then I would go to class.
Logan: Um, and so I finally started, uh, doing the 2 hours, um, uh, effectively, once I popped the material and I like totally revamped my study process. Anyway, sorry, I feel like I’m, uh, rambling a little bit.
Nate: So, yes, well I got a, yeah, I’ve got a question.
Difference-Makers in Logan’s Study Process
Nate: So based on your, you know, hybrid version of whatever you were doing previously, and then when you watched the PRO course, the actual, you know, you actually got in there and watched it.
Nate: What were the main things where you were like, okay, that’s clearly different than what I’ve been trying. What were the big things that added on to what, like the halfway version you were already doing?
Logan: I think the biggest thing was my focus on the questions. Like, before I thought I was focusing on the questions first approach.
Logan: What I was really doing was just kind of trying to snip a couple, um, snip a couple topics from the questions and then go watch the lectures to see if I could find those topics throughout the lecture. Um, but once I watched the PRO course, I actually stopped watching lectures and I never watched lectures again.
Logan: I’m not saying that people shouldn’t, you know, I, I know you don’t say that you should never watch lectures, but for me it just was like, I was, I knew it wasn’t effective for me, so I completely stopped watching lectures, and just went, I just basically, for audit, um, I did all the questions and all the sims.
Logan: So I still did all the sims, I didn’t like, save them for the weekends or things like that. Um, but, yeah, so I just completely got rid of watching the lectures, and just, dove a lot deeper into the questions, was what my, what really changed in my brain, was like, this is my learning material. Not the book, not, not the, uh, not the lectures, it’s all these questions.
Logan: And, uh, yeah, that’s, that’s the biggest thing that changed. And then a little bit later, I started, um, printing out your notes, uh, on paper. And I would, I, like, would hole punch it and put it in a ring, three ring binder. And then, uh, that was great because then I had your notes, but then I started handwriting my own notes onto them so that all of my notes were in one place.
Logan: Um, and that also started really helping instead of just highlighting stuff. I was, like, writing down, like, okay, I’m getting this wrong, this is why, and I would, like, explain it to myself on the, um, on my notes. I did use flashcards a little bit, and we, and I’m sure you’ll ask a little bit about that, but not, not as much as I used my, like, uh, my physical notes that I was writing.
Logan: Um, and then, let’s see, I think I, there might have, I had another thought of something that changed when I, uh, I think that, yeah, but those were the big things that changed, was just, like, my focus on the questions was a lot great.
Morning Study Sessions Were a Game Changer
Logan: Oh, oh, and sorry. I eventually, so like I said, I had been work, I would work, then I would go to school and study for two hours, and then I would go to class.
Logan: And I eventually, it took a little bit because I was like, I don’t wanna like, I don’t wanna study first. I don’t know, I really don’t know why I didn’t want to. Cause I like getting up early anyway. It, it, it wasn’t a, that wasn’t the problem. But I eventually was like, no, I’m just gonna study first. And that also completely changed my study process, was studying in the mornings that come study two hours then work then go to school that, that also completely changed my process there.
Nate: Yeah So, okay.
Nate: So just for the benefit of anyone that’s gonna listen to this.
Using the Questions First Approach
Nate: Try to describe your, your actual process if you open up a lesson and you’ve got okay this topic has 40 or 50 MCQs. Would you actually answer all of them, or as you got through halfway, did you kind of think, start seeing the third and fourth version of the same types of questions, and so you wouldn’t go through all of them, or what was just your, your actual process for learning a lesson based on the questions?
Logan: Um, that’s a good question. So, pretty much, it was a mixture of trying to understand the questions, but also getting through the questions. Um, with, so I, once I finished audit, uh, that was when, after doing audit, which took me about three months, because I was still kind of figuring myself out, uh, FAR, BEC, and REG, I only did about six to seven weeks on each of those.
Logan: And so what I did for FAR, uh, was slightly different from the other two. I did two modules a day in Becker, um, which was quite a lot. I don’t, sometimes I’m like, how did I keep that up? Um, but, so that was how, that was how I went into the questions, was being like, I need to finish this many questions or this, these two modules today, um, if possible.
Logan: So that, uh, but then once I was actually in the questions, um, I would, you know, I did all the questions. I didn’t, I, uh, I didn’t do all the sims. Uh, I eventually stopped doing the sims really either, but I would focus, uh, I did all the questions in each module.
Logan: Um, I didn’t care if I got them wrong, um, I didn’t care about, like, the percentage that I was getting complete on each, uh, module on each section. I was just, in my mind it was, this is just, I’m just exposing myself to every single question that Becker could think to expose me to, and then my mastery of the questions is actually coming through my re, daily re-review and my quizzes and my audio notes and all that stuff.
Logan: That’s where I, like, am really, That’s where it’s really soaking in but really my study sessions were just about exposing myself to the questions. Just like seeing all the topics. That was pretty much my, my approach.
Nate: Okay, so if it was a topic with a lot of calculations, would you, so you look at a question, you’re like, okay I have no idea submit it and then try to kind of reperform it to make sure you understand how it’s actually working or not even that much?
Logan: Um, maybe not like extremely deep. Like I wouldn’t go like, I never did like, I usually wouldn’t spend more than like two or three minutes unless I was like really confused about something.
Logan: But usually it was like about a minute to two or three minutes depending on the question, uh, just doing it. And if I didn’t understand it, like you said, I would just, I would guess and then I would take notes on it and then move on. And the great thing was… That, with a lot of the content, if you see it once, you’re probably going to see it again.
Logan: So that also helps it start clicking like, okay, so that’s how you do that equation. You just, repetition just helps it really sink in. Um, yeah, that’s… Yeah.
Nate: Okay. Um, and so, so you would, you would do the set of 30 or whatever, like the re, you do 90 minutes or so of new material, new questions, and then, what, 30 questions of all previous topics?
Retention via Daily Re-Review Sets
Logan: Yep, I, um, with Audit and FAR I did, uh, well with Audit, excuse me, I did 30 questions for my daily re-review, but with FAR, BEC, and REG, I just was a little bit too slow to get, cause, cause I liked to, in that half hour, not only do the questions, do like 30 questions or whatever, but I also really liked to go through them all to see why I, if there was things that I was continually missing.
Logan: Um, so. I did 20 questions a day with FAR, BEC, and REG. But it was, because I wanted to be able to kind of dive into them. And I was just a little bit too slow, um, to do the 30 questions.
Nate: Well, no, that’s, that’s, I mean, that’s the most critical part, right? Because answering the, whatever, 20 or 30 questions is good practice.
Nate: I mean, it’s, that’s what you’ll do on test day. But, up until test day… Really, you’re still learning as much as you can, you know, you’re trying to figure out these problems so that they’re not a problem on test day. And so, yeah, if you’re going to do this set of re-review questions, it’s more important to have enough time to answer the questions, but also really understand why you missed the ones that you did.
Nate: And so, yeah, it’s, it’s much more beneficial to do 15 or 20 questions and carefully review and re-perform the ones you missed than it is to just go through 30 questions and not look at what you missed.
Logan: Yeah, and that’s exactly why I didn’t stress too much about diving really deep into the questions the first time I saw them, uh, which is why I think I was able to kind of get through material fairly quickly because in my mind I was just like, I need to see the material and then my re-review every day is where I’m actually like really learning it, like, deeply learning it.
Logan: So, that, I think that helped me. Go through the exams pretty quickly in doing it that way.
Nate: Yeah, that makes sense.
Passing Quick Enough to Get the CPA Bonus
Nate: Uh, so you said you were, you would do the sims, but then just a minute ago you said, eventually I kind of quit doing them. So, when was that and how did that work?
Logan: Yeah, so with audit, I did everything.
Logan: I did all the questions, all the sims, but I stopped watching the lectures about halfway through. And then, um, and that took, and I did about, took me about three months. Uh, to study for audit and with FAR, I was like, so the re, a big reason why I stopped doing sims was because they’re very time consuming and I had a big motivation to pass the CPA exam by April.
Logan: This like this, this April that we’re in right now. Because if I passed within a year of being hired at Eide Bailey, I got a $5,000 bonus. Um.
Logan: So that was a big motivation to me. So I was like, how can I trim my process to where I’m still really effective and efficient, but I can, you know, get through these exams fairly quickly.
Logan: Um, and so I stopped doing sims for FAR, BEC, and REG until I always did a two week review. I always would get through the material in about four weeks, get through all the questions so that I’ve seen all the, all the questions they could ask me. And then I would do SIMS every day for the two weeks leading up to the exam.
Logan: So I didn’t completely cut out sims, but I just, I wanted to get through the material quickly. And then I would, uh, kind of use the sims as a way to, uh, to, uh, cement my, uh, my learning.
Logan’s Study Process for Practice Sims
Nate: Okay, so when you get to that two weeks, would you, how would you go through the sims? Would you just… okay, day one of my two week review, here’s seven sims from module one and then tomorrow seven sims from module two, or did you constantly do random sets, or how’d you do that?
Logan: That’s a, that’s a really good question because um, so what I did was I had seen in somebody’s post in the forum at some point, I don’t remember who it was, but they said that they focused on the sims, so I really appreciate the, uh, what’s it, like you have like a PDF that shows, uh, these kind, these questions will be asked as multiple choice.
Logan: If it says this, it could be multiple choice or a sim. If it says this, it will be a sim. So what I did is I would go through my little note, my notes that I had from, from you. And I would, uh, find all the topics that, if they were tested, they were, they would be a sim. Like they were guaranteed to be a sim if they were tested.
Logan: And so what I would do during those two weeks is I would first study all, try to study all the topics that were guaranteed to be sims if they were tested. And then if I made it through those, then I would just do random, random sims. And I would do about, I tried to do about three to five sims every day.
Logan: I wasn’t perfect with sims. My main focus was the multiple choice every day. Um, so if I didn’t quite get, you know, three or five sims, I wasn’t too worried. But that was my strategy with the sims. Yeah. Okay.
Nate: Um, so you’re referring to the blueprints.
Nate: You would just pull up the blueprints.
Logan: Yeah, like a PDF to help with, yeah, like to help with the blueprint.
Logan: Yeah, yep. I actually use the blueprint quite a bit.
Reading the Notes First Before Diving into a Lesson
Nate: Yeah, so would you also kind of just read through the topic about, you were about to study? Just for kind of that extra content.
Logan: Yeah, I completely forgot to say that. Sorry. It’s been, it’s crazy how fast you, your mind is just like, I’m free.
Logan: I don’t want to do this anymore. And, so like, I’m sure I’ve already forgotten a lot of things. But, uh, yeah, once I had your notes, the physical notes, I would read that section before jumping into the, into whatever I was studying that day. Um, I took a lot of things from the podcast and from the forum. So my, my strategy is just kind of like a… A mix and match of all those things put together.
Mini Study Sessions Throughout the Day
Nate: Um, and so, okay, during the day, would you do a lot of the mini sessions? And what did you use the most, or how did you do that throughout the day? Yeah,
Logan: So, the thing I by far used the most, and I was like, almost perfectly consistent with this, was the audio notes.
Logan: I listened to those every time I was in the car alone. So, that added up to probably like, depending on the day, like a half hour to an hour, excuse me, of, of listening to the audio notes. Um, so I would get, I would get through those fairly quickly, um, depending on the section. And then, uh, I, it’s going to sound bad, but I did really good at first with, like, Audit and FAR with the, using my phone like the quizzes and the and the review notes, but by BEC and by REG I was really struggling to, it was just so hard to to take myself away from work. Even just for like a few minutes because like I said, I have ADHD so like getting focused enough to work effectively sometimes took a few minutes, and then like, taking myself out of that to like, go take a walk or, or do a quiz sometimes was like, the last thing I wanted to do.
Logan: Um, but I did, but I did try. Like I, what I did is, um, I made a little, uh, not a spreadsheet, like a little note page that had like a task, like I could check off tasks as I was doing them. Uh, I use Evernote. Uh, And I would say, okay, I want to do 5 mini quizzes today and read 10, 15 pages of notes. And I would like split it out to like, okay, at 9 o’clock, do a quiz.
Logan: At 10 o’clock, read 3 pages of review notes or something like that. And I tried. Like, I wasn’t perfect with that, but that was what I would do throughout the day was that I would… 5 quizzes was like my main goal. I know that’s not very much compared to some people, like some people I’ve heard on the podcast, they’re doinglike 20 mini quizzes a day, and I was like, I don’t think I can do that, but um, but that’s awesome that people do that.
Logan: But yeah, my main goal throughout the day was 5 mini quizzes, some reading of the review notes, and then definitely I always listened to the audio notes. That was my bread and butter with the audio notes. I always listen to that.
Nate: Yeah, yeah, audio is just so helpful because you can be, you know, doing it while you do other things.
Nate: I had a question in there. So you said you listen to the podcast as well. So, that’s one of the, uh, everyone who’s just been really successful with this, it just, once I talk to them, it just kind of sounds like they, and I know you were in the forum a lot too, so it sounds like you just kind of immersed yourself in everything.
Nate: You were either, I mean, you’re doing the morning studying, obviously, but then you’re either, uh, listening to audios when you’re in your car or listening to the podcast, you’re trying to do the mini sessions. So it’s just kind of on the top of your mind all the time. Um, and so I just think that’s a good, I don’t know, thing for people to realize.
Nate: It’s like anything, this kind of has to be your primary focus in life to a certain degree if you’re going to do well at it. And so it just helps or because it costs so much money, it takes so much time. You might as well do anything you can for every extra advantage. It’s basically how I looked at it.
Nate: Um, so yeah.
Using the SFCPA Podcast for Motivation
Nate: When, when would you listen to the podcast? Just, after or sometimes?
Logan: I would listen to it while I was working. Um, I, yeah, I think I probably got really annoying to my wife because I just was, I was, towards the end it was starting to like wane because I was just like I need to be done with this. But yeah for the large majority of it I just like I would talk to her about it every day and I was like a preacher at school, you know, like I I told everybody that they should buy SuperfastCPA.
Logan: And I was trying to convince everybody in my master’s program, you should be doing it now. You’re not gonna wanna do it later. Like, I was just like, I, I, and I know I, I know, uh, eight people and there maybe there’s more who are listening that have bought SuperfastCPA, because I was just like, no, you need it.
Logan: Like you got, there’s no other way to study. Um, so yeah, it was just.
Nate: That’s awesome.
Logan: I’m sure I was, I’m sure I was annoying, but I was just, I kind of became obsessed a little bit because I just, especially once I passed audit, I was like, oh, wow, this actually worked like I need to keep doing this. And so, uh, but yeah, it was always on the forefront of my mind.
Nate: And I was going to ask that.
Knowing Your Study Process is Working
Nate: Um, so you get the, you know, you watch the PRO course videos, you see how to actually, you know, really do the study process. And then I was going to ask like. Was it a few weeks into it and you could just tell things were working really well or was it really passing the first section that was the big confirmation that, okay, this, yeah, this works?
Logan: I felt like it was working before I passed my, before I passed audit. Um, because I had taken, like, two months to pass, sorry, to get halfway through the audit material when I was doing it my weird hybrid way. And then, uh, it took me three weeks to get through the rest of the material. Like, it just cut it, like, in half, and I was like, and I felt the same.
Logan: Like, I felt like my understanding was the same or better. Which, it was better eventually, but like, I was like, this, even if I’m understanding this, like, not as well as I think, at least I’m getting through the material really quickly, which was a huge bonus to me. And you know, I know that SuperfastCPA is not necessarily about getting through the material quickly, but, if you’re doing it effectively, you’re probably gonna get through the material quickly, which is what happened to me, I just… I felt like I really hit my stride, especially after passing audit and knowing that it was working. Um, you might remember on the forum, I posted that thing where I was like, Hey, I’m going to do this. I’m going to do two modules a day. I’m going to try to pass by February. Is that too ambitious? And you and some other people were like, oh man, like that is pretty ambitious.
Logan: And I didn’t quite hit that just because I, uh, I had to slow down just a little bit. But anyway, yeah, it just, uh, when you’re effective, it flows, and you just hit your stride and it, you just keep going, like I, I didn’t stop, I, I was one of those people who I started studying the next day after I took my exam, um, and I probably should have done this, but it worked out that I didn’t, I didn’t even restudy at all for what I had just taken.
Logan: I was like, I’m going to trust that I pass because I don’t want to waste any time, so I would just. I just went straight into it.
Nate: Yeah. And you passed in March though, right? I mean, you finished in March?
Logan: March 31st, so only like a few weeks past what I was hoping I was gonna do, but yeah.
Nate: Yeah, yeah. No, I mean it’s, that’s quick and you weren’t… so you would study in the mornings, so you were able to do normal stuff in the evenings for the most part.
Balancing School, Work, and CPA Study
Logan: Yeah. So my situation, it is, so I started studying on, on my birthday, which was also on the first day of my master’s program. Great birthday. Um, and uh, once I finally started doing that, like really changing my process to do, to do that, I would study two hours in the morning.
Logan: My first semester of my master’s I was doing part time work, full time school. So I had five classes. So I would work, then I would go to school and study. But then I flipped that, and then I would study, work, and then go to school, and then I would have homework, but, um, I’ve always been, like, pretty decent at school, like, I just.
Logan: Not that it necessarily comes easy to me, but I know how school works. So even if I’m not, like, the best at a class, I know how to do it so that I can pass. Like, it’s not, that’s never been an issue for me. Um, so I was… It’s amazing that I was able to do work, masters, CPA and I legitimately still, like I would occasionally still go do stuff with my friends.
Logan: I did stuff with my night, with my wife almost every night. I always got to see my kids every night. Like just the efficiency that SuperfastCPA brought me was invaluable in that, in that sense. Yeah.
Nate: Yeah. Um, well, and, and like you were saying before, when you kind of have a sense or you just you know that your daily process is working It’s a lot easier to stay motivated and do it every day like if you’re spending four or five hours a day, and it just feels like nothing’s really happening, and then you go and you fail sections.
Nate: That’s when it gets, that’s when people give up. Because it’s like, well, there’s no, why would I do this? I’m spending 40 hours a week studying in addition to work, and it’s not working. Like, so yeah.
Logan: Exactly. And the great thing was that it still worked when I flipped, so that in the semester that I’m still in right now, um, I’ve been working 40 hours.
Logan: Luckily they were nice. I work in taxes. But luckily they were nice and they let me work 40 hours because I have my masters and, and things like that. Um, and, you know, I was still able to working, working full time doing three classes, still able to do it. It just, it helps, it helps so much.
Nate: Yeah, I, I don’t know, when I was, when I was in my masters, um, I’m pretty sure no one was even attempting that.
Nate: It was just kind of viewed as, you’re not doing this and the CPA, or like nobody does that.
Convincing Other People to Start Studying for the CPA Exams While in School
Nate: But I’m wondering if that’s like changed, or how did you, uh, were a lot of people in your masters trying to do their CPA at the same time?
Logan: No, there, um, I think there was one other woman, uh, in it that was, she had already taken, so, I do think it has changed maybe a little bit, because…
Logan: There was one person in my master’s program who had already finished all of them. And I was like, good for you, like, he was, I was super surprised by that. Before he had even started his master’s. Um, but uh, and then there was one other lady who, uh, she had already taken one. And then she took, she took the other three, kind of alongside me.
Logan: But other than that, I feel like I was the one who was kind of like, pushing people in my program to be like, hey, we should just do this now. Where we have two classes that are totally focused on, on audit and then on FAR, like, why not do it right now? So I was pushing a lot of people to do it, like, one of my friends, she did all the exams, like, at the same time as me.
Logan: And, uh, and she passed all of hers as well. Um, but yeah, I, the thing that really motivated me is to, I was, I was already planning on studying for CPA, uh, start, when I started my master’s. Because multiple people in my firm, uh, they were just like, man, it just, it sucks. You should just, I wish I would have done it sooner.
Logan: I wish I would have done it sooner. And I just was like, well, if I’m gonna have a year of misery doing another year of school, then why not just tack on the CPA exam so that when I’m done with my master’s, I’m like, done. Like, totally done. So that was, that was my way of thinking. And I tried to, I tried to get other people to think like that, but a lot of people are like, eh, like, I’ll do it after, uh, it’s just, but to me it was really important because I have a wife, I have two kids, and I’m like, I am not wasting more time, like, I need to get this done, like, there’s no way, so.
Nate: Um, so now, are, you’re still, are you finishing your masters and you work full time?
Logan: Yeah, I, um, so, like I said, the way I did it, I did five classes my first semester. I’m, I’m finishing up three classes right now and then I have two classes left in the summer. But right now, yeah, I’ve been working full time and I’m going to continue working full time for the rest of…
The Feeling of Being Done with CPA Study Forever
Nate: So does life just, even, even that much, does life just feel easy now that you’re not, you don’t even have to study anymore?
Logan: It’s like… It’s glorious, honestly. It’s, I, it doesn’t feel hard. Like, school is a joke. It’s not really, but it feels like that, you know? Uh, and it’s great because I’m, I’m the kind of person who loves, not, I don’t love waking up crazy early, but I like to wake up early so that I can start work early, so that I can get home early, so that I can actually do stuff in the evening.
Logan: So, uh, now that I’m done with CPA, at least the exam, I still have to do the ethics and the state law exam. Uh, but now that I’m done with that, like, I, I start work at 7, I get done at 3, I leave before anybody else, I get to work before anybody else, and then I’m just, like, free. It just, it feels amazing.
Logan: Because before, I would start work at, like, 9, because I was studying. And so I, it was big, big difference there.
Celebrating After Passing the CPA Exams
Nate: Um, so did you pick some big reward or trip to go on for yourself or you and your wife?
Logan: Uh, so, we did a few things. We haven’t done anything like crazy big yet. Um, but, actually this is kind of a funny story.
Logan: My wife, she was expecting me to pass because I had already done well on the others. And I do taxes and REG was my last one. So she was like secretly like, he definitely will pass. So I didn’t know, but she had been planning with my friends and their wives that we were going to go out to a restaurant, but I thought it was just going to be me and her, and they were going to be there, and it was going to be like a surprise, and we were going to, you know, do fun stuff.
Logan: Um, and, uh, but I, but my firm gave me a gift card, a $100 gift card to the Cheesecake Factory. And I was like, we should go there instead. But she had already planned the whole activity. And she was like, uh, I don’t know, like, are you sure? She was trying really hard not to give away the secret. And I was just, I kept pushing her.
Logan: I’m like, seriously, like, why would we not go to the Cheesecake Factory? There’s no, I really don’t understand. And she was like, okay, you’re just making this impossible. And so she told me about the surprise.
Nate: Oh, you ruined it.
Logan: I did ruin it. Um, but uh, so that we did that. And then um, uh, I also went to, my favorite band is Metallica.
Logan: And uh, we went to, they had a global premiere in theaters of their new album that just came out. And so I went to that and like, we’ve done, I’ve done some small things. Um, and we had like a little ceremony for deleting the super fast CPA app off my phone. Uh, and I…
Nate: And did she say, okay, no more talking about CPA?
Logan: Yeah, pretty much. I still talked a little bit about it just cause I am not actually a CPA yet, but. Uh, and then I actually I’m planning on like in the summer. I have all of my, uh, all of my notes from SuperfastCPA and my, and the one book that I got. Uh, and I’m gonna go burn all of my super, all of my CPA materials, cause, like, for fun.
Logan: But, yeah, we haven’t done anything super big yet, but, yeah, it’s just been so nice to be done.
Nate: Yeah, the relief is like the biggest reward. It’s just, you just can’t even describe how good it feels to just know you’re done.
Logan: Yeah, I was expecting to be like jumping and whooping and screaming and I just when I found out my score I just felt like oh, I didn’t even say anything.
Logan: I just was like, I can’t believe like it’s over. It, it was only seven months total that I was that I started studying till I finished my exam. But like, it felt like an eternity. Well, it felt so good.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah, and even though that’s a short timeline I mean it is a long, you know, six months in real life is a long time. Yeah, so it’s a it’s a long time that you’re studying every day not really taking days off. Yeah, it’s a long time still.
Nate: Yeah, but at least you were passing and getting it done. Like I said, I’ve talked to a lot of people where this spanned like five or ten years where they were, you know.
Nate: Struggling with it.
Talking About His Favorite Band
Nate: You said Metallica?
Logan: Oh, yeah. They’re my favorite band.
Nate: What’s your favorite album?
Logan: Ah, ride the lightning.
Nate: Oh yeah, so that’s, that’s a legit answer. I mean, you’re, you’re like a young Metallica fan, so.
Nate: How’d you get, how did you get into that? Older brothers?
Logan: Uh, I am, I’m the oldest, but, uh, my dad, that, they’re his favorite band. But he never really, like, forced them on me growing up. Like, I didn’t really know who they were.
Logan: But ,when I was in high school, he gave me a CD of, like, some of his favorite songs, not just Metallica songs, just like Metallica, just just songs and Harvester of Sorrow from, from And Justice for All and Sad But True from the Black Album were on there and I just like, I loved those songs. And that kind of just started the journey.
Logan: And like, now they’re, I’ve, I’ve listened to every song, every album. I bought a cassette of the newest album, 72 Seasons. I just, they’re, they’re my favorite bands. And I’m actually, actually this is kind of another, kind of another celebration for CPA slash, uh, finishing the Masters when I finish it in August.
Logan: My dad and I are going to, uh, a concert of theirs in Phoenix, Arizona, in September.
Logan: So, yeah, I’m really excited about that.
Nate: Yeah, that’s cool. Yeah, I mean, I’m a big fan myself. Growing up in the, I don’t know, going to high school when I did, like in the 2000s. I’m, yeah, I still, I listen to a lot of metal, only when I work out at this point, not really in the car with my kids or anything, but, um, yeah, I love metal.
Nate: That’s funny.
Logan: It’s fantastic.
Logan’s CPA Study Process for the Weekend
Nate: Um, I guess, so one of my last questions would be, what did you, what’d you do different on the weekends? Did you try to study a little longer or what was it, what’d you do on the weekends?
Logan: So, uh, at first with audit. I would go to the library, uh, and try to study for like, four hours, I, um, and I would mainly, I would try to mainly focus on, I would do my normal two hours, and then I would do, try to do what you say, like a two hour session of the sims, and I tried to do that for Audit, and then I, uh, it kind of, there’s a lot of, there’s not a lot, I don’t know if that’s the right way to say it, but there’s multiple things that, I think work for a normal person, but I just could not sit there for more than two hours, usually, and even that was pushing it sometimes.
Logan: I just like, so, like, like example, for example, the cram session, I tried so hard, like, I was trying so hard to do it because, you know, I knew that that was part of the Superfast strategy, and I just, I never could make it even, I couldn’t even make it past four hours, like, and let alone six or eight hours.
Logan: So I, I just kind of, I had to look in the mirror and be like, this is not how I function. So I, I stopped doing extra studying. I still just did two hours on Saturdays and two hours on Sundays. I did start going to my work on the weekend, because I had a key and nobody else was there. So like, it was just a place to study in peace and quiet.
Logan: Um, like, um, and that’s what I, that’s where I studied every day, was at work. I could not study at home with my family. It was just like, there’s no way. They’re just two, a two year old and a ten month, an eleven month old, and it’s just like, no way. There’s no way I’m going to be able to focus. Unless I wake up at like four, which I was not willing to do.
Logan: So I just went to work and I did the same thing on the weekends. Yeah, not, not too much different by the end, honestly.
Nate: Yeah, and that’s, I mean, just overall an example of, there’s the whole strategy or the study format and all the strategies or whatever. Um, but as you get into it or I mean, anyone, as someone gets into it and things start to click, you can make little tweaks or, you know, there’s been people on the podcast that have said they took the weekends off, which, um, to me, you know, it’s like, I can’t make that a blanket recommendation because I don’t think that’s the best thing for most people but, if you’re passing sections, you can do whatever you want, right?
Nate: I know, like it doesn’t, yeah. Yeah, once you get it processed down, um, whatever that is, if it’s working, you can obviously keep doing it. So, yeah, that sounds like it worked.
BEC is Not Easy, Take Each Section Seriously
Logan: Yeah, that’s how, that’s how it felt like. There were even days where I’m like, you know, I didn’t have a very good study session today.
Logan: And like, you know, I’d beat up on myself, but I was still passing sections. So I was like, you know what? It’s working. It’s fine. Um, the one I was most nervous about was FAR. And then the one I was most unsure about, like, it could go either way, was BEC. That one I got a 75, it was like, whoo! BEC, by the way, BEC is really hard. Whoever’s listening to this podcast, don’t let people fool you, like, that for me, was my bane, like, I, I had just come from passing FAR, and I was like, psh, I got this. I just passed the hardest one. And I was like, I’m gonna do BEC in three weeks. And then I started doing it, and I was like, there is no way I am doing this in three weeks.
Logan: And I extended my study process another three weeks, because it was just like, there was no way that I was gonna understand the material that quickly, because BEC was just really hard for me. Um, so yeah, don’t, take every, take every test seriously. That’s a, that’s a, that’s a tip I would give.
Nate: Yeah, definitely.
Nate: Um, and it’s, there’s a lot of people that for whatever reason, just one of the sections is, they’re extremely hard for them. And a lot of times it’s BEC. Or if someone never really had an auditing class, or never, I mean, especially never working in audit, then audit can be really hard. Cause it’s, it all sounds exactly the same, but there’s obviously all these little differences.
Nate: Um, well, yeah, I think we’ve gone through everything. So as far as your tips, like you just said what, last thing I always ask.
Logan’s Top Tips for People Still Struggling with the CPA Exams
Nate: What are your top three tips for people still trying to figure out their own study process?
Logan: I would say the first tip would be, if, at all possible and I know that not everybody does this but I would say the vast majority of people would benefit from this. Study in the morning. Find a way to make that your first thing that you do. Because, for me, like, that actually, towards the end, this was not the case, because I was just so tired, but, for the most, for the majority of it, that actually turned into my favorite part of the day, was studying, because I just felt so productive, and so, I felt like I was really accomplishing something, like it was, and, and that started, and then, and then, you’ve mentioned this hundreds of times.
Logan: I felt like the rest of my day was, whatever I did, no matter what I did, even if I didn’t listen to audio notes, even if, which I always did, but even if I didn’t, even if I didn’t take a quiz, even if I did nothing else, that, if that two hours in the morning was golden, then the rest of my day was perfect.
Logan: Like, it was, and that, that just, once I got into that rhythm, and uh, and kind of along with that, find a place where you can be, just get into that zone. Like, for me, I had to go to work every day, even on Saturday and Sunday, just to have a quiet place to study. And, if your house is like that, even better. Uh, but yeah, find a place where you can make a golden two hours every morning happen. Um, so that’s probably my first tip. Uh, second tip, we kind of just mentioned this. Don’t be afraid to modify the process, uh, for yourself. Like, I think SuperfastCPA is amazing, and I’m very grateful for what you’ve created. Um, because it’s just so comprehensive and so helpful.
Logan: And the re, and the great thing about it is because it’s so comprehensive in some like, with audio notes, physical notes, quizzes, like so many different ways that you can use SuperfastCPA. Find something that works for you and, and, uh, apply it. Like, it’s, this process is not about being a SuperfastCPA clone. It’s about taking an extra tool, which is SuperfastCPA, and using it to improve your, your process so that you can pass the exams.
Logan: Because that’s what it’s all about in the end. It’s about you passing the exams.
Logan: Um, and then, third thing, I would just say, um, consistency is key. Like, I’ve talked to people throughout the process that they start studying and then they kind of fall off and then they start studying again and then they kind of fall off. And you just have to, that’s, that’s why, that is exactly why the CPA exam is the horror that it is.
Logan: Because people don’t take it seriously enough. Um, or if they do take it seriously, they’re not effective, which is why, which, you know, go see my first tip. Um, but, uh, yeah, take it, take it seriously. The more serious you take it, and the more you work on perfecting your process personally, the faster it’s going to go, the better it’s going to be, just, um, and be consistent.
Logan: Most people, the vast majority of people do not work well with studying a few days and then not studying a few days. Studying a few days and not studying like, it’s just not effective. It’s not effective. And I think that’s really what SuperfastCPA helped me to accomplish for myself was efficiency and effectiveness, and that was really what it was about for me.
Nate: Yeah. Yeah, and going along with that.
Nate: It’s, uh, it’s all kind of related I mean when you’re, to your second point, when you spend the majority of your study time working on the questions, which is what you need to do on exam day, you’re just so far ahead where it, because other people that they don’t realize it. But if you’re spending 80% of your study time, just kind of zoning in and out of a video lecture, and that doesn’t even really translate to answering the problems anyways, it’s just largely such a waste of time, but you’re taking the same amount of time away from stuff you’d rather be doing.
Nate: Like you’re spending that time. And if it’s not effective, like we were saying earlier, it’s really hard to stay motivated and be consistent. But then also studying, just aiming for a two hour main study session is twice as easy as aiming for a four hour study session every day. It’s just really hard to find four, even three, three or four consistent hours a day.
Nate: But with some little adjustments either to your schedule or just when you go to bed or whatever, pretty much anyone could find two hours a day. And uh, and then when you’re, when your strategies are more effective, it’s just basically about like stacking advantages on, or layering advantages on each other throughout your, like your routine, your strategies, how you spend time, I don’t know.
Logan: Yeah. It, uh, uh, I, something I want to say, and I don’t say this as being like, look at how amazing I did. I say this as like, I hope this can be hopeful to people if a, if a guy who’s doing his masters.
Logan: Like, I passed them all in a four and a half month period. If I can do that, just about anybody can do it if they can figure out their two hour effective study session. Like, seriously, just about anybody could do it. Um, so, yeah. I, I, I think that, um, this is the product. Like, obviously, you need your main study course, you have to have that, but anybody who doesn’t know about SuperfastCPA, I pity them. Cause man, I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
Nate: Well, yeah. So, I mean, I appreciate you saying that and you, yeah, you did, you crushed the exam. So congrats to you. I’m glad you found us and I’m glad it was helpful.
Logan’s Ritual for CPA Exam Day
Logan: Yeah. I do have to say one more thing. I did have a, an exam day. Uh, what’s the word? I totally forgot the word. Uh, ritual. Um, I wore the same shirt to every exam, and it was a Metallica Ride the Lightning shirt to every exam. Uh, and, uh, so that, you know, that, that’s actually why I passed, was, that’s actually why.
Nate: Yeah, maybe that’s what everyone needs, their favorite band t shirt, or maybe that exact one.
Logan: Yeah. Anyway, yeah, that, that’s all. Yeah.
Nate: All right, so that was the interview with Logan. I’m sure you found that very helpful and motivating, and he just had a lot of really good tips. Again, overall, you just get to hear exactly what someone that passed in five months was doing to pass in two hours a day, and they were extremely busy, otherwise.
Nate: So it lets you know, that it’s possible, also strategically and tactically, what Logan was actually doing, just a very valuable interview, and collectively I say this every time, these interviews, if it’s you or someone you know who’s working on their CPA exams, these interviews collectively, if you just listen to them, you know, whenever you have downtime or when you’re driving, these are the most helpful free resource available anywhere for figuring out a highly efficient study process for your CPA exams.
Nate: So please take a second, leave a rating and review in the podcast app where you found this or leave a comment, you know, like it, if you’re watching on YouTube, all the things that you know helps spread the word. Most of all, you could directly share this with someone, you know, whether it’s a friend or a coworker who is also working on their CPA exams.
Nate: So thanks for watching or listening and we’ll see you on the next episode.