As you prepare to start studying for the CPA Exam, youll wonder, How long will I have to study for the exam?  Most of what you hear from others is 300-400 hours of study time.  Make no mistake, preparing for the CPA Exam is a HUGE commitment.  Some individuals can study less and pass on the first try and then there are others (like me) who might need just a little more study time, depending on real-life daily demands. Regardless, it is a lot of time, effort and work!

When I first started my CPA Exam journey, I would work an eight hour (or longer) day, go home to fix a quick meal, and then study while I ate my dinner. I studied about four or five hours a night before going to bed and then start all over the next day. On the weekends, I spent about ten hours studying each day. I wanted to get through the exam as quickly as possible. I spent about three months preparing for my first CPA Exam. About two weeks before I sat for the exam, my back started aching horribly from spending so much time sitting and studying in a chair. The day of my exam, my back was extremely sore. Sitting for the exam didn't bother me that much but standing up after the exam was extremely painful.

I knew I wouldn't be able to continue to put that kind of stress on my back, no matter how quickly I wanted to pass the exams. I didn't (and still don't) have the option to change my desk at work, but I was able to look into different options to use at home. I read several articles about the benefits of a stand-up desk. Since I wasnt sure how I would do standing in the same space for several hours at a time, I only invested $100 into a podium-style stand for my computer. However, the decision to buy a stand-up desk became the best ergonomic investment ever. Now I use it in whatever room I choose and the best part is I can take it outside in the warmer months.  I also invested in a really good pair of shoes!

Although my standing desk is a great solution for hours of studying, I continue to look for new ways to be more flexible with my study options. I love to walk so I listen to lectures on my phone and after my walk, I will re-listen to the lectures and use my book and note cards. Another handy study tool is using spiral-bound index cards. You can use them for mnemonic notes and theyre extremely portable! I keep them in my purse for when I have extra time on my hands or while running errands.

Who says you have to sit behind a desk to study? Try standing up and moving around while you study to keep your blood flowing and mind energized!

Donna Elish - guest blogger for Roger CPA Review