It’s summertime and you just graduated from college with an accounting degree. You’ve accepted a position and will be starting at a new firm in the fall. It might be tempting to sit around the pool sipping cool drinks over the next 3 months, but why not get a jumpstart on your career instead? Getting ahead of the game (and your colleagues) by sitting for and passing the CPA Exam over the next 3 months will be a huge game changer in your career trajectory. Here’s how.
Why sit for the CPA Exam Now?
There are many compelling reasons to take advantage of the summer months to pass the CPA Exam quickly before starting a new job at a firm. Many firms offer generous incentive bonuses for passing the CPA Exam, which decreases the longer it takes for you to become certified. Imagine how impressed your firm will be knowing that you’ve already taken the initiative and passed the CPA Exam before your start date, which will allow you to obtain the largest bonus possible. And, you won’t have to try to manage your time learning about your new position while studying for one of the most difficult professional exams.
Also, you’ve just graduated from college and there is a big advantage to taking the CPA Exam when you’re still accustomed to a study routine. Your knowledge from school is still fresh and you’re still very clear on topics that are tested on the CPA Exam. So, why not take it right away?
Finally, don’t forget, big Regulation (REG) changes are happening January 1, 2019, so it’s smart to avoid those changes by sitting for the Exam now, instead of having to learn all new material while starting your new career.
How Can You Pass the CPA Exam in 3 Months?
Passing the CPA Exam in 3 months is challenging, but feasible. If you have the drive and discipline to focus on the challenge, you will be successful. Take the challenge by following these steps:
Ensure you’ve met the requirements for sitting for the CPA Exam.
Obviously, this is the most important step because if you haven’t met the requirements, you won’t be able to sit for the CPA Exam, let alone pass in the next 3 months. Depending on your jurisdiction, you will either need 120 or 150 semester units to be eligible. Most states or jurisdictions now require or will require 150 semester hours of education for CPA licensure. Check what your state or territory requirements are to sit for the CPA Exam before beginning your journey.
Commit to passing the CPA Exam in 3 months (over the summer).
Envision what it will feel like when you have passed the CPA Exam and you’re walking into your firm on the first day, knowing you’re ahead of most of your colleagues. Think about the bonus you’ll receive and the time you’ll save sitting for the Exam before starting full-time work. Create a vision board for inspiration, showing what your goal of becoming a CPA will look like in 3 months. Mapping out your future is the most inspiring way to keep you on track over the summer.
Sketch out your CPA Exam Game Plan.
Now that you’re mentally prepared for the CPA Exam challenge, it’s time to prepare your CPA Exam Game Plan: a critical part of your CPA Exam journey. A CPA Exam Game Plan consists of:
Understanding the CPA Exam Basics. It’s important to have a complete understanding of what to expect on the CPA Exam. Look at the CPA Exam structure, scan the CPA Exam Blueprints, check out the types of questions asked on the Exam, review pass rates, and understand what is considered a passing score.
Be realistic about how many hours it will take for you to pass the CPA Exam in 3 months. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) recommends that candidates spend a minimum of 400 hours to study for the CPA Exam. That’s about 16.7 days of consecutive study time—needless to say, it’s a lot. Taking your study style into account and having the proper expectations on hours needed to study for and pass the CPA Exam is vital to your success.
- Set goals for yourself. If you’re planning on passing the CPA Exam in 3 months, then set small goals (e.g., hourly, daily, weekly) to help you stay on track and keep you motivated to continue to push forward as you meet these goals.
Create a Study Plan.
You get 18 months to complete and pass all 4 parts of the CPA Exam, and you’re going to do it in 3! Research has shown that students who have a study plan are more likely to stick to their studies and reach their goals. Therefore, a study plan can make all the difference between passing and failing the CPA Exam.
The good news is that the Roger CPA Review 3-Month Study Planner is included with all course packages. It not only fully incorporates the course syllabus but can also be downloaded for complete study customization. Even though passing the Exam in 3 months is not for the faint of heart, the 3-Month Study Planner allows for some down time as it accelerates you on the fast track to passing the CPA Exam this summer. And, don’t forget, when creating your Study Plan be sure to account for your personal life as well.
Get into a Routine.
It’s difficult to get into a routine during the lazy days of summer, but a routine will help you achieve your 3-Month CPA Exam goal and keep you on track. A partial sample morning routine might look something like this:
6:30 AM - 8:00 AM
Practice Multiple Choice Questions
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
8: 30 AM - 9:00 AM
Shower and get ready for the day
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sketch out your routine and keep it handy so you can refer to it daily. Also, remember to study in 2-3-hour blocks and always include breaks in between those times. Walk around, grab a coffee, or head to the park for a mental break. It’s imperative to give yourself breaks so that you’re fresh when you start the next block of study time. You’ll be much more productive and will retain information more easily.
Ask for Support.
Let family and friends know your short-term goal of passing the CPA Exam over the next 3 months and how passing will ultimately elevate your career path. Ask them for support during this significant, yet hectic time. This is the time to fully focus on your career goals and those who want you to succeed will be supportive. It might be a good idea to set expectations with close family members and let them know you’ll need them to step in more during this time to help with tasks you normally complete. The good news is that they will be able to celebrate and benefit from your success once the Exam is over.
Find a Study Partner.
If you’re lucky enough to know someone taking the same journey, try to meet with them, physically or virtually, to test each other on Exam topics or to discuss the Exam. A study partner will help motivate you and keep you focused on the task at hand. Plus, a study partner helps you realize you’re not alone during this challenging time.
Stay off CPA Exam Forums.
Not only are forums sometimes a time-suck, they can also be discouraging. Many candidates will vent on CPA Exam forums, which showcases their frustration and negativity about their personal CPA Exam journey. But, their pessimism isn’t a productive way to encourage others sitting for the Exam. Everyone has their own CPA Exam experience, so don’t expect their journey to match yours. Now is the time to stay positive and not be distracted by other experiences. Focus on your path.
Use a CPA Exam Review Course that provides exactly what you need to know to pass the CPA Exam.
Look, you have 3 months to pass the CPA Exam, so choosing a CPA Review Course that will help you accomplish this goal quickly and efficiently is essential. Roger CPA Review has recently launched SmartPath Predictive Technology™ within their 3 course packages to help CPA Candidates, like you, pass the Exam faster and more proficiently. SmartPath™ is a data-driven platform that provides you with targeted recommendations on where and how to focus your efforts by comparing your progress and performance to those that have passed the CPA Exam. We’ve done the work for you and have taken the guessing game out of CPA Exam review. Smartpath benefits includeYour study progress is tracked to targeted goals.
- Your study time is more productive because SmartPath™ mines user data to evaluate WHICH questions and HOW many questions CPA candidates need to pass. The ultimate result is more efficient study sessions, and less wasted time.
- Your Exam confidence soars because the guesswork of CPA Exam preparation is gone and instead you’re guided by a clear path to success - something you need when trying to pass the Exam in 3 months!
- Your learning experience is highly personalized. We know CPA candidates study differently, which is why SmartPath™ adapts to your individual progress, and serves you the questions you need based on your individual strengths and weaknesses.
- It works! Read our case studies of students who have quickly passed the CPA Exam using our predictive technology.
Start your 3-Month Life Changing Career Journey. Just begin.
- Turn off devices.
- Do weekly meal-prep to cut time during the week for meals.
- Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and mentally fresh.
- Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
- Get fresh air as much as possible.
- Exercise to keep your blood flowing (and help you sleep better!)
- Reward yourself with little triumphs as you accomplish daily or weekly goals.
- Think positively. Remember the CPA Exam is largely a mental game of strength. So, the more positive you remain, the more success you will have.
Finally, Remember, “A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” Passing the CPA Exam in 3 months is a challenge you can and will conquer if you believe in your yourself, put in the hours to study, and set yourself up for success!