Our November 2016 Student of the Month is Tommy Marlier! Learn more about how Tommy passed the CPA Exam, what his favorite aspect about our course was, and the best pieces of advice he has to offer to fellow CPA Exam candidates.
Name: Tommy Marlier
CPA Exam sections passed: AUD, BEC, FAR, REG
Why did you take Roger CPA Review?
I purchased Roger in my 5th year of the Master’s program to begin preparing for the CPA Exam. During school, I was pretty unsure of what study material I wanted to use. I had a Becker rep and a Roger rep come to the University of Colorado and I felt that Roger would better fit my studying habits.
How did you hear about our review course?
Not only did I have a Roger rep come to my University, but my firm, EKS&H, also had a Roger rep come out to present the materials during my internship. My sister Rosie, who is 4 years older than me, also used Roger. Seeing her use it and pass her tests relatively quickly, I was encouraged to go the Roger route.
What was your favorite aspect of our course?
There were several things I liked about using Roger, but I would say that Roger himself was my favorite aspect of the course. Roger not only taught the material in a simplistic way; he continuously gave the best practices to help you on the day of the exam. In addition, the acronyms Roger uses are extremely helpful and easy to remember while in the middle of an exam. The best part about Roger is that he makes the lectures entertaining. I have never laughed so hard studying for an exam before. His bubbly attitude and enthusiasm for accounting makes a huge difference when you are putting in several hours of studying each day.
How has passing the exams affected your personal and professional life?
When I passed the exam, it was one of the best feelings in the world. Passing the CPA Exam is an unbelievable accomplishment for anyone in the accounting profession. While I was studying for the exams I had to sacrifice a bit of my social life, but now that I have passed them I don’t have to come home to study after work and I am able to enjoy myself on weekends. My professional career has now opened up much greater possibilities for the future. The value that three letters hold is astonishing. I thrive to be a CEO someday and having a CPA is absolutely essential if you want to reach an executive role.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Before you graduate, make sure that you have met your state's necessary requirements regarding education credits. The requirements to become certified are always changing, so make sure that the courses you think should count actually do. I would double check with your Career services and especially your State Board of Accountancy to guarantee you have taken the right courses before you graduate.
Any words of advice for those studying for the CPA Exam?
I have never been a good test taker, but if you set your mind to learning the material and knowing it like the back of your hand, you will succeed. Everyone has their own study habits, but if those habits aren’t working, don’t be afraid to switch those up. After failing the same two sections six exams in a row, I knew I had to do something different. I changed up my habits, took an entire week off from work and knocked out my last two sections a few weeks apart from each other.
I know it can be hard to give up things that you love to do, but if you really buckle down and get the exam done you will reap the benefits later on. If you are studying at night, try to push through the fatigue and try to study for an extra couple hours. The extra hours truly pay off on the exam since your score may be decided by a couple of points. With that said, make sure that you don’t over study as well.
Another thing I love about Roger material is that the sections are relatively short, which allows you to take periodic breaks. If you study for too long, you will not retain the information as easily.
The last word of wisdom would be to really understand the why behind Roger's practice questions. These questions are pulled from previous exams and have a ton of value. Instead of just answering the questions and moving on, make sure you challenge yourself to understand not only why your answer was right but why the other three answers were incorrect. This will help you eliminate answers on the test and increase the likelihood of you getting those tough questions correct.
"You must see the forest through the trees." – Roger Phillips
This quote had a weird irony that my sister shared after I failed those six exams in a row. While studying one night, Roger said the same exact quote. It really went a long way with me and I was able to pass those last two parts consecutively.