back-to-school-college-studentWith the 2010-11 academic year rapidly approaching, preparing to go back to school should be at the top your your list. It's important to be smart about what you really need to get done in the few remaining weeks before school starts. We've made a list of what students can do to prepare. (And it's not just for those who plan to take the CPA Exam.)

Step 1: Assess Your Situation

Think carefully about your living environment. Whether you are in the dorms or share a room in an apartment, odds are you are living in close quarters. Get organized! Spend a few days cleaning up your living space. Starting with small projects first, like desk drawers and closets, can leave you with a sense of accomplishment to take on larger tasks. You'll start the year with a fresh slate and a calmer demeanor. Also, remember to be as selective as possible with who you room with. It is hard enough to take care of your problems during the semester. . .why make life more difficult?

In addition to your living environment you should consider what supplies you'll need for the school year. Think wisely about what you need to purchase and what will truly help you stay focused and organized throughout the year. For example, having a dedicated place to organize all of your past college work will cut down on clutter. You might also want to consider an organizational tool for all of the new contacts you'll meet at mock interviews, firm tours, and career fairs. The best networkers take notes on conversations and follow up! Visit our Career Resource Center for more information.

Step 2: Plan Ahead

Research the various clubs and organizations on campus before school starts and get an idea of which would be a good fit for your career goals and schedule. For instance, clubs like Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting Association will recruit members during the first two weeks of school. It is best to get to know others in a group at the onset, rather than join when others have already made their friends or inner group.

In addition to your classes and academic activities, there are other details of daily life that you can plan ahead for as well, below is a potential to do list:

  • Do you live off campus and have to commute? Get a tune-up, oil change, or other maintenance before school starts.
  • Looking for someone to carpool with? Check out sites like to split costs and meet fellow students.
  • Have trouble getting into an exercise routine? Use the resources of your campus. Campus gym memberships are usually inexpensive. The benefits of exercise for students are worth pursuing.
  • Know the textbooks you need for class? Don't pay full price at the bookstore when you can order books online for less. Don't wait until the last minute on this as you don't want to pay exuberant shipping fees.

Step 3: Get the Final Word

Make sure you take time to meet with your Academic Adviser to review your transcripts and make sure you're on track. If you have an idea of the career path that you'd like to pursue it's important to make sure you are going to have the appropriate number of credits and the right classes on your transcripts to avoid taking an extra semester or quarter to fulfill requirements. Click here for a list of the CPA requirements by state.

If you're an accounting student and would like access to our study materials, visit of Free Help for Finals page.