Most successful CPA exam candidates have found the means to make their studies enjoyable in some particular way. Here are a few suggestions on how you can make studying for the CPA exam a bit more bearable:

  1. Get Motivated - I've found that the best way to make myself want to do something is to actually be hyped for it.  Find what it is that is driving you to put yourself through this exam and ride that thing out.  For me, it is my ego, money, and the opportunities that will arise upon completion of the exam.  I've never let anything get the best of me and I wont let it happen now so I must pass the CPA exam.
  2. Change your surroundings - This may not work for everybody but over the summer, I found that going to a park on a Saturday or Sunday morning was a nice change of scenery allowing me to focus.  I would find a nice remote location where it was quiet and study for a few hours.  I found that by studying outside, I didn't feel as if I was giving up my day for the exam.  As weird as it sounds, it was almost like I went out (sad, I know).
  3. Incentives - Reward yourself for putting in the time and effort to study for the exam. After watching the lectures and reading the textbook, I would take small 20 question quizzes.  If I scored a certain percentage, I would take a small break or even allow myself to take the night off to relax.   One night, I was taking a 30 question quiz. I broke it up into 3 separate sections.  After every 10 questions, if I did not get at least 8 of the 10 right, I would have to do 10 push-ups.  Believe me when I say that when 11pm, 12am or later comes around, you will not want to do push-ups.  Therefore, you tend to remember why you got questions wrong so you dont get them wrong a second time.
  4. Keep Moving Forward - I have a quote that is taped to my bedroom door that states "Greatness is not some precious thing; it is no more unique to us than breathing.  We are ALL capable of it."  This quote helps remind me that anything is attainable.  You just need to have the want and desire to make the difficult decisions to help you along the way.  Everybody has been where you are; things that come easy to us dont bring us as much joy or satisfaction once you've completed them.  The CPA exam is hard, but the feeling you get after each passing grade is worth every hour devoted to the exam.

These are just 4 ways to keep you going during your studies.  Hope these help those of you who are questioning why you've decided to begin this journey.

Happy Studying,

- Chris Boate, guest blogger for Roger CPA Review