Now that I am in the swing of studying, I have found a few things that work and do not work. The most important piece of starting this endeavor is developing a personally tailored routine and sticking to it. The structure of a daily routine will help you know what to expect and how to approach studying in a focused and direct manner.
After I signed up for my first Roger CPA Review course, the first thing I did was print out the 6 month study planner and tape it to my dining room wall. I now plan my social and workout activities around this schedule. Additionally, I let my family and friends know this new schedule not only to inform them of my new availability, but to get their support as well.
You will want to avoid study burn out by setting a pace that allows for maximum productivity. By studying for long stretches at a time, you will face diminishing returns. Avoid unproductive all-nighters and break your studying up into bite-sized sessions. One study noted that a company’s most productive workers had a pattern of taking regular breaks. The experimenters concluded that taking a 17 minute break for every 52 minutes of work resulted in the highest levels of productivity. Your brain is like a muscle in that it will get tired from repeated stress, so give it the rest it needs to maximize your productivity.
Sneak in studying throughout the day
One habit that I have developed is studying before work and during my lunch break. I have found that I am able to knock out around two or more lectures at a time this way. Roger’s lectures are so easy to incorporate while you’re on-the-go, and by studying in small segments throughout the day I am able to stay on schedule and stay motivated. It is a great feeling to have completed four lectures before 2:00pm and that progress will serve as encouragement to keep going.
Consider your personality type
You may want to consider your personality type when creating your perfect study plan. If you are more of an extrovert, you may excel at studying in a public place, enjoy studying with friends, or don’t mind background noise. An introvert, on the other hand, may favor studying in a quiet place like a library or at home, shy away from background noise, and prefer studying alone. As an extrovert, I love to study in coffee shops and with friends. The biggest pitfall of social studying would be the sessions turning into social gatherings. Stay on task by setting time expectations and sticking to them.
Review the multiple choice questions
Do as many practice questions as you can! Do practice questions until you’re sick of them. By practicing, you are reinforcing your knowledge. Try to sneak in practice questions whenever you can. Don’t worry if you don’t score perfectly on the questions your first few times around. Read the explanation to questions you miss to boost your understanding of the material.
--Shannon Neumeyer, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review