Taking the CPA Exam this year? We have your Game Plan! Tune into our 2019 CPA Exam Game Plan Webcast for study strategies and test-taking tips to help you pass. Watch as Roger Philipp, CPA, CGMA walks you through everything you need to know to pass in 2019, including:
- How to plan your CPA Exam journey
- CPA Exam Content & Structure
- The 2019 CPA Exam Changes
- How to Create a Study Plan & Stick to It
- Benefits of SmartPath Predictive Technology™
- Hello and welcome, welcome. I'm Roger Philip, President and CEO of Roger CPA Review. Today we're gonna talk about the 2019 CPA Exam game plan. We're gonna cover a variety of topics including planning your journey from step A to step CPA, step A to step Z, learning about the 2019 CPA exam itself, and the different changes that became effective this year. Creating your study plan, by creating your study plan, that means sitting down and getting into a routine because we've done studies and it shows that if you start studying the same time every day, you get into it much more quickly, becomes more effective, more efficient. Staying focused and asking for support. asking for support means support from your family, your friends, your co-workers, like hey, dude, I've got a lot of work to do, please support me in this endeavor. Using our new and exciting SmartPath Technology, and finally, applying for the CPA exam. Now the first step is, hey, let's plan your CPA exam journey. What that means is sitting down and saying, okay, what is my individual personal situation? So before you start the game plan, the first question is, hey, am I a first time candidate or I'm a seasoned candidate? Now, by a first time candidate, that means I'm either brand new to the CPA exam, so that means I've never taken it before, that means I still have all four parts of the exam to pass. A seasoned candidate could be someone who has taken parts of the exam, maybe they passed one, maybe they passed more than one, or maybe they failed several times with another CPA Review provider. Now, in looking at this first time candidate, which a lot of you are, you need to sit down and say, okay, which order should I take the exam? And that's a question we get quite often. And when we look at the four parts, those four parts I'll cover later being FAR, regulation, auditing, and BEC. FAR, which is Financial Accounting and Reporting, generally takes the longest time to prepare for. That includes your Intermediate One, Intermediate Two, advanced, government, nonprofit. And once you pass a part, there's an 18-month window to pass the other three parts. And FAR, since it takes the longest to prepare for, we generally suggest starting with FAR, then as a second part, between REG and audit, they take similar times, it depends on which one you feel more comfortable with, whether you just had a great audit professor in college, so it's fresh in your mind, or regulation, which is tax, law and ethics, professional responsibilities. And then finally, BEC is the shortest part, the thinnest book, which is great, and it also covers the most general broad information. So we generally suggest you take that part last. Now, again, if you're a seasoned candidate, then what that says is, hey, I've already passed a part so let's say I've already passed FAR, that obviously we'll start with one of the other parts. So again, we suggest that you follow this order because again, it will make your studying much more effective and much more efficient as well. The next step is learning about the 2019 CPA exam. Now what that means is we need to understand the structure of the exam. And by the structure we're talking about the fact that there's four different parts, audit, FAR, REG, BEC, but within each exam, there are five actual testlets. We'll talk about it later, Testlet One, Testlet Two, those are multiple choice, Testlet Three, Four, Five, those are generally what we call task-based simulations. We also wanna make sure that you scan through the blueprints, and we have those listed on our website. The blueprints, go through and list how each of the areas will be tested, it also talks about the way in which they're gonna be tested. In other words, are they focusing on remembering and understanding, application, analysis, or for auditing, evaluation as well? We also wanna check out the types of questions that are gonna be asked. That means are they gonna be multiple choice questions, which all exams have that, there's gonna be some task-based simulations, which are problems, you're gonna see that some problems, or some exams rather, have research, which is audit FAR and REG, and then written communication that would be included in the BEC exam, known as Business Environment and Concepts. As far as reviewing the pass rates, you wanna understand what's considered a passing score. So for example, what do I need to pass? Generally a 75 and above is passing. whoo-hoo, I'm a CPA. 74 and below, darn, I failed, time to study and start hitting those books again. Now, as far as the pass rates, we have the highest verified pass rate in the industry, about 91 plus percent, which we'll talk about later. Also be realistic, and being realistic in how many hours it's gonna take you to pass the exam. What that means is you've gotta restructure your life. So that says, okay, I need a work-life balance, figure out things like your social life, tell your family and friends, I love you, I'll see you in about three, four, five months. Also setting small goals. So that means I have my exam in six weeks, for example, then I need to set up a study schedule. And we have these great interactive study program, studies schedules we'll talk about, and I'm gonna sit down down and say, okay, what am I doing hourly, daily, weekly? And this is important to keep you on track, to stay focused. It also helps you to stay motivated, because it's a long process getting through all four parts of the exam, and we wanna make sure that we keep you motivated and excited. I remember back in my day, I had to study for all four parts simultaneously, where now you can study for a part, take a part, study for a part, so back in the day, I had to study all four parts simultaneously. So I would study the three parts during the week and on Friday as my hot exciting Friday night date night, I studied business law. Okay, that was fun for me. That's how I got through the exam. Now as far as the exam overview, what we'll also talk about are the basic parts of the exam. And the four basic parts of the exam are FAR, which is Financial Accounting and Reporting, auditing, and auditing includes all the different things that you may have seen in your audit class in college, BEC and regulation. As far as financial accounting and reporting, that is, and all of these exams by the way, are four hours, so financial accounting and reporting, which is four hours, that includes your Intermediate One, Intermediate Two, advanced accounting, government and nonprofit squeezed into a four-hour fun-filled adventure. Now, I like to let people know the CPA exam is not an IQ test, you don't have to be a genius to be a CPA, but it's a test of discipline. If you study you will pass. And that is our job is to motivate you for the hours it takes in order to properly prepare and pass all four parts of the exam. So that's financial accounting and reporting. Another part of the exam is auditing, and most of you may have taken an audit class, but that includes planning the audit, internal controls, substantive testing, IT, audit reports, statements on standards for accounting, review services, special considerations, governmental auditing. There's a lot of stuff in the audit exam and some of which you may have never seen in school, that's fine, that's where we come in. Our job is to properly prepare you and teach you for information you may have never seen before even in school. Regulation is tax, law and ethics. As far as the regulation exam that includes your individual accounting, that includes things like for example, so individual taxation, that includes S-corps, partnerships, estates, trusts, gift-exempt organizations, all of that is part of tax on the regulation exam, that could be up to 85% of the exam. Other parts of the regulation exam include ethics and business law. Now when I took the exam back in the day, Business Law was its own entire three and a half hour exam. Now it is about 10 to 20% of one part of the exam itself. We also wanna make sure that you're properly change for any, properly prepared rather, for any kind of content changes. Now, the nice thing about our course is, if there's a content change, your online access is automatically updated, your eBooks are automatically updated. So whatever when you log on and you start watching the lectures, whatever you see in front of you, is exactly what you need to know for your exam. Now there were changes in 2019 as far as the content, there were changes, big changes, in FAR and big changes in regulation as well. There's always slight changes as well in audit and BEC, and so forth, but the big changes for FAR, included things like leases. So it talked about things like balance sheet recognition, the financial statement disclosures, that we're gonna disclose a lot more information about the leases, the lease qualification, is what we call an operating lease, or is it a financing lease, we used to call it operating or capital, now it's operating or finance, more in conformity with IFRS, talks about lease payments, sale leaseback transactions, those were some of the big changes that hit the exam, January 1, 2019, and then it moves on forward. Regulation, you may have heard of something called the TCJA, Tax Cut Job Act, and that came out in 2017. Basically, it hit the exam as well, January 1, 2019. There were variety of changes as well, it increased your Section 179 deduction. So that means that if you're a small company, like my company, I could immediately expense certain things, million, 2 1/2 million, and so on. It increased the standard deduction and got rid of the personal exemption. So for example, your standard deduction, they updated to 12,000 and 24,000, and it goes up every year proportionally. New limitations on things like property taxes, state and local taxes, mortgage, all of these things, for example, the property tax and so on state taxes, that was something that they said, well, we don't like the blue states, so we're not gonna let those high-tax states deduct certain things that they used to be able to. So we used to be able to deduct our state taxes on federal, you can, but only up to $10,000. Same thing with mortgages, they dropped the amount down to 750,000 on a new mortgage, but you may be grandfathered in on the old mortgages. Also, they have a new QBI, Qualify Business Income, deduction. So that's for pass-through entities, so those are things that you can have as well. So, in other words, there's a variety of changes that occurred. Those are the things that hit the CPA exam. Now, the good news, no major changes to the way the structure of the exam is, for example, the question types, so still multiple choice, tax-base, the structure of the exam, the different testlets, or the scoring of the exam. So that hasn't changed at all. Now, when we talk about the structure of the exam, what does it look like? As I said, there are five different testlets for each of the exams. So when we look at an exam, you'll see here you've got Testlet One, Testlet Two, Testlet Three, Four, Five. Now Testlet One and Testlet Two, on all four of the exams, are multiple choice questions only. So with multiple choice questions, you might have 62 to 76, it depends on the part of the exam as far as how many questions there are. So you've got Testlet One, and you're sitting there. And when you take the exam, you go to a testing center called Prometrics, you've gotta leave everything in your locker, take your watch off, and so on. If you have a jacket, you either leave it in the locker, or you have to wear it the entire four-hour exam, so that you can't just hang it on your chair. And as you're sitting at your cubicle, there are cameras there watching you, there are cameras in the room, everything. So as you're starting your first testlet of multiple choice, you go through it, then at the end of the first testlet it says, hey, do you wanna take a break? No, you don't, because the clock keeps ticking. And the clock is the countdown clock. So you log in and you have these welcome screens, I accept, I accept, I accept, boom, four hours, 3:59, 3:58, and you feel your heart racing, oh my gosh, I should have started studying sooner and so on. So your heart starts to race, but the key is that that's what we're looking at as far as Testlet One. Then you go to Testlet Two, which are more multiple choice questions. Then do you wanna break, no. Testlet Three are your task-based simulations, that's where you're gonna have two task-based simulations. And a task-based simulation could be a problem, where you're going through you click on a box and it opens up different choices, or it could be more like we call it document review simulation, which is more detailed, where you have these exhibits or support documents that you've gotta read through in order to help answer the question. So you'll have two of those, then they give you a break. Now, this is a freebie, a free break. You get 15 minute-break. In my day, did they give us a break? I don't think so, right, but now you get a free 15-minute break. Take it. At that time, you can go, you can go to your locker, there are certain things, they give you a little tag, it's like yellow, I think, and that means that there's certain things you can and can't do. You could eat, you could take medicine, you're not allowed to look at your phone or look at your books or things like that. So you take a break, don't take more than 15 minutes, otherwise your countdown clock starts automatically. So you've got about 15-minute break, you take the break, go do what you need to do, check back in, sit back down and then you start on the last two testlets, Testlets Three and Four, I'm sorry, Testlet Four and Five. So Testlets Four and Five, those are going to be more task-based simulation problems and probably a research question as well, for audit, FAR and REG. As far as BEC, you don't have research but you're gonna have written communication. And a written communication, generally you've got like three of these essays, of which two are graded. Same thing with task-based simulations, you got generally about eight of them, of which seven are graded. So that's when I talk about the exam structure. Basically, with the structure, you've got five testlets for each exam, and you automatically get a free 15-minute break, why not take the break? Highly suggested you do. Now, as far as the breakdown on the exam, audit, FAR and REG, are 50% multiple choice and 50% task-based simulations. 50% multiple choice, so you might have 78 multiple choice, 76 multiple choice, then you've got these eight problems. And these eight problems would be task-based simulations, document review simulations, and research for audit, FAR, and REG. With BEC, there were significant changes to this and these changes were that we still have multiple choice, we still have written communication or essays, but they decided to add task-based simulation problems back into BEC. So you might have a question on budgeting, my favorite from college, remember cost accounting? Its back, right? And that could be a problem for example, in BEC. So BEC is 50% multiple choice, 35% task-based simulations and 15% written communication or essays. And that 15%, as I said, three essays, of which two are graded, task based-simulations, you'll have about four of those, and the task-based simulations again, are problems. Now, when I took the exam, they had those problems in BEC. BEC includes things like business environment, which is IT, Information Technology, operations management, financial management, cost managerial, so a variety of areas, professional responsibilities, as well. So you'll see that for audit, FAR, and REG and for BEC. As far as the exam-taking strategies, and this is important because the study time you do in advance really helps you as far as performance at the exam, but it's also important to understand what the countdown clock should look like. So if I'm looking through this and I'm saying, okay, I've got about 48 minutes for multiple choice for each testlet in FAR, I've got about 30 minutes for the tougher, 10, or 20 to 25 minutes for task-based simulations, if it's an easier one, maybe 10 to 15 minutes. That's important to do up ahead of when you actually show up to take the exam. So for example, let's look at audit here. What we say is you sit down and it says you can now start the exam, you're gonna get a little tablet, and you can write on there. And they're still trying to fine tune it, but it's a tablet, it's a white, or yellow, or green, and you, not green, but white or yellow, and you write on there and it's double-sided. And instead of scratch paper, that's where you write down notes, you write down your formula, you write down your memory aids or mnemonics that we're gonna teach you throughout the course, but that's where you jot it down. And they used to give you paper, but people would write notes and steal it, they don't want ya to. So now it's a big board that's gonna be kind of hard to hide. So they give you a board, if you run out of room, raise your hand and they will swap the board out for you so you have plenty of places to write. Our suggestion is write down on there the time you expect to finish. So if I'm gonna spend 45 minutes on the first, let's say, set of multiple choice for audit, that means I go four hours, I should be done by 3:15, I should be done by, and so on. So you jot that down, that way, it's you against a countdown clock. And you may not be familiar with, in life, we don't count down, I think I've got 318,227 days of life left, 1820, and so on. So the same thing here. So you gotta get used to what a countdown clock looks like, because you don't have a watch on. So the countdown, and there's no clocks on the walls at Prometrics. So the countdown clock will say four hours, and then maybe at 3:15 I should be done with the first set of multiple choice. And then maybe at 2:30, two hours and 30 minutes left, the next one, and so on. So you wanna jot that down. What we also say is, and the AICPA says this, remember we have five testlets, Testlet One multiple choice, multiple choice, Two, task-based simulations, then you get your break. Time wise, you should be about two hours into the exam, give or take a little bit so that if you get to that 15-minute free break, and you're in an hour 20, dude, you're going a little too fast, you might be making silly mistakes. If you're there at two hours and 45 minutes, you're not bad, but maybe a little bit slow, you gotta pick up the pace, because you've only got four hours to complete the entire part. And we don't wanna get to the point where you get to the last question, you run out of time. That's really important. So you've gotta watch, that's why this preparation up front is so important. As far as the multiple choice questions, figure you've got about a minute and a quarter per question. For your general task-based simulations, about 15 minutes, maybe 20 minutes. For the more complex ones, I'll call them like the DRS, the Document Review, where they have exhibits and support documents, maybe 20 to 25 minutes. For audit, FAR and REG, where you have research, the research, most of our students don't have too much trouble with the research questions, we all do Google searches all day long, so maybe 10 minutes per question there. Written communication, which are only in BEC, figure about 15 minutes per question. So again, the point here is to watch the clock, understand it, jot it down on the pad that you get from the Prometrics exam site, so that way you can stay on target because it's so important to follow this exam strategy, otherwise, you may run out of time. The next step is hey, choosing a study plan. How should I set it up? And this is so important because we're gonna help you set up that study schedule. In other words, do you wanna pass all four in three months, in six months, in nine months, in 12 months? Now a lot of you when you go to work at a big firm, they'll say hey, if you pass this exam within a year, you get a big bonus, which is awesome, right? You pass it in two years, maybe less. You pass in three years, a time to find a new job. No, they'll still keep you but the key is you gotta get the exam timely. And I've had students get through it in a month and a half, believe it or not, all four parts, crazy. They have no friends, no life, no nothing, that's great, but they got a CPA. I would suggest maybe a little more time. So in my day, as I said earlier, I had to take all for every six months, which means that you had to prepare for all four in about four and a half months. Nowadays, you can study for a part, take a part, study for a part and take a part. So it makes it a lot easier and adjusts and changes the nature and way in which you prepare. So what we have online in our course is we will set you up with a study schedule. What that does is you put in the date when you plan to take that part, and it'll tell you how much studying you need to do. And you can play with it at home, but basically, if I'm taking a part in three months, I got plenty of time, I'm taking it a part in three weeks, I'm gonna be studying almost every day. So let us help you with that planning because that'll help to take some of the pressure off of you. The other thing we found is you've gotta get into a routine. Getting into a routine, 'cause they've done studies and they say that if you do the same thing at the same time every day, it takes you less time to get into it. Let's say for example, and I'll tell students, hey, you got a job, congratulations. And you start your job at, nine to six, or eight to five, or whatever it is, or eight to six, or eight to midnight, but in the morning, you're fresh, 'cause a lot of people say I'm gonna go to work, I'm gonna come home, eat dinner and study. And I'm gonna study from eight to 10 every night. Well, you start to study and your head gets heavy and you start to fall asleep, but in the morning you're fresh. So what I did, and what I tell students to do, is get up at 5:30 in the morning, and I'm gonna study from 5:30 to seven, or 5:30 to 7:30, 'cause I'm fresh, and I'm gonna get a good hour and a half to two hours of study time in. And if I start every day at 5:30, the first day it takes 10 minutes to get into it, then eight minutes, then six minutes, and then by the fifth, sixth day at 5:30, I'm starting right away. So if you start and you do it at the same time every day, it helps. The other benefit is by six o'clock at night, I'm falling asleep at work, but I'm still getting paid, right? Sorry, just kidding, but the point is start early and study. Some people go, I'm a night person, I'm like that, I would finish work, go to the gym, get pumped up and then start studying 'cause I got the adrenaline, that's fine too. But try to set a time when you're gonna study again at the same time every day. So sketch out your routine so you can handle that daily or weekly, if you're studying two days a week, or four days a week, try to study in two to three hour blocks of time. So I'm gonna set up this time, I'm gonna study. While you're studying, maybe take a break, walk around, grab a cup of coffee, I used to drop and do like 20 push ups. And what's great is then at the end of this process, not only do I get my CPA certificate, but I got a nice chest and some good biceps. So just drop down, it pumps the blood or it wakes you up. But getting that mental break is a great way to kind of break it up so you can stay focused and get through it. The other thing we suggest is ask for support from your family, your friends, your coworkers let them know, look, this is my goal to become a CPA, I'm gonna put all of this time and energy in, don't take it personally, I love you, but I wanna become a CPA. So I'll see you next year, right? I'll see you at the holidays, I'll see you at Thanksgiving and so on, but kind of set that expectation, so they're not, like my parents would call me like three times a day. Dude, I love you, keep me in the will, but let's talk a little less often. Find a study partner, this worked great for me. What I would do is, I took the exam, actually my last semester in school, so I would, in the afternoon, meet with a buddy and we would sit and study our own parts. But what's nice is if I didn't understand something, he would explain it to me. If he didn't understand something, I could explain it to him. And a lot of times you think you understand something until you try to explain it to someone, right? Because they're like, why, why, why, why? Like my kids, why, why, why. So same kind of thing, they go well, I don't understand this journal entry and then you explain it and it helps you to solidify it, or you thought you understood something you didn't, therefore, you realize I better do a little bit more research on this. Now again, we try to teach in a way where you're not memorizing, but your understanding. And that's the way we want you to study, that's the way we want you to learn, that's the way we want you to prepare for the exam. Plus, it'll make you a better CPA in life. And I always tell students, in the four, five, six months of studying, you're gonna learn more with us than you learned in five years of college. Because in college, you study you take an exam, blow it out of your brain, this is the comprehensive final you've never seen in college. The other thing we suggest stay off the CPA exam forums, right? Because you get in there, and it starts to just suck your time away. It also can be very discouraging. I want you to stay positive and focused and do your push ups and do your studying and get through it, but what I would suggest is stay off those forums because all you hear is negativity, people complain, and so on, but I wanna keep that positive energy, I wanna keep you focused. Using our SmartPath Predictive Technology to help make your study more effective and more efficient. What we've done is we've set up this thing called SmartPath. And we've realized that not everybody studies the same way. What's nice about this is it makes your studying much more effective, but also much more efficient. And in doing so, it'll target and track your progress. So what it does is it tracks your progress towards the targeted results. So we sit down and say, okay, what are the results I wanna get? And we've gone through five, six, seven years of our past students, our successful students, and we went down and we said, okay, in this section, how many questions are there, what percent correct did they have to get right, what was their final score? So we've gone through and tracked hundreds and hundreds of past students, and we go through and we say, okay, what caused them to pass, how did they do in this specific area? Because some review courses will say we've got 15,000 questions. Guess what, doing more questions doesn't necessarily make you more prepared. Plus, you've only got so much time you spread yourself too thinly. Because I'm gonna study, over-study here and under-study here, what's great about SmartPath, it sits down and it says, okay, what is the best path to getting you through your goal? How can we get you from step A two step Z, the most effective way and efficiently? So as you're going through an area, and you'll see here where it says, okay, I've done these many questions, but I haven't gotten that many correct. Maybe I've done 90% of the questions, but I'm only getting a 60%, then I better do more work in this area. Maybe I've done 90% of the questions and I'm getting 85% right, I don't need to do all of 'em 'cause I've got this area covered. So it really builds confidence, and it's a clear, proven path to success. It also provides you a personalized learning experience because it adapts to you. So it is our predictive technology that makes your studying more effective and more efficient. And you'll see this as well where it goes through and it says, hey, you're done, you've accomplished this section, move on to the next, or here's an area where , you're kind of in the middle, you need a little more time, or here's another area where dude, you need more questions. So we're gonna have thousands of questions and hundreds of problems for you to work on, but I don't want you to do overkill. I'm gonna nail receivables and payables but I'm gonna blow off consolidations, I don't think so. So again, this is called SmartPath Technology, it is a proven way to make your study more effective, more efficient, and it's included in everybody's course for the Roger CPA Review course. Now, applying for the CPA exam, how do we go through and apply, and we'll cover this in class as well, but basically you either apply through NASBA, the National Association of State Board of Accountancy, or through your State Board of Accountancy website. About 33 jurisdictions use NASBA, and that process when you apply, you can get your notice to schedule in maybe two to four weeks. State board of accountancies may take a little longer. A lot of the state boards didn't wanna give up control to NASBA, 'cause they make a lot of money like California, so therefore you have to apply through the state board. Once I fill out the application and I send in my money, or I'm sorry, I fill out the application, then they give me what we call an ATT, an Authorization To Test, that means that I've met the requirements, the educational requirements, in order to take the exam. Then what you're gonna do is you're gonna pay for the parts you wanna sit for, and then you get this thing called an NTS, a Notice To Schedule. Now, the notice to schedule means that gives me the time to schedule the parts I wanna sit for. So let's say for example, I'm signing up for all four, but I'm in a state where the notice to schedule is only good for six months. That means I gotta sit for all four within six months. My suggestion is when you first apply, maybe only pay for two parts, and that way, I've got six months to sit for those two parts. If I get through 'em more quickly, then I'm a re-application, and that takes instead of four to six weeks, it might only take two days, because they already have my transcripts, they've already done the research on me, they've done the background search, they know that I'm qualified to sit, so it's just a matter of paying for those fees. So what I tell our students is, don't sign up and pay for all four, maybe sign up and pay for two or three, then if you wanna reapply later, instead of $100 application, it's maybe $50, and you just pay for that part. So that way again, you can sign up for it, and in some states, most states it's six months for your notice to schedule. Some like California, nine months, there's a couple that are 12, I think there's a few there are three. So again, you don't necessarily have to sign up and pay for all four at once, you can do that accordingly based on your schedule. Then schedule your exams at the Prometrics testing center, and the Prometrics testing centers are located all over the country, they're located all over the world, that's why you can take the exam globally now. And that way, like in Japan, or students don't have to fly to America, they can take the exam there. Now, you receive your notice to schedule after you pay for the parts. As I said, in most states, it's good for about six months. If you don't sit for the part you paid for within six months, you forfeit the money. Now the state board, NASBA's more than happy to take your charitable contribution, which is not tax deductible. So don't pay too much and then realize you didn't have enough time, and that's why I tell people sign up for maybe two parts. Now, make sure on your notice to schedule, the name has to exactly match the name on your photo ID. Let's say you did something crazy, you fell in love and you got married, okay? Well, if you change your name, you better make sure everything matches. And you need to bring two forms of ID when you actually go to take the exam at your Prometrics testing center. Now, as I said earlier about paying for the parts, there's an application fee of let's say, anywhere from 100 to $150, depending on the state, there's also an exam fee. And the exam fee is let's say, roughly $210, give or take. So that's for each part, so it's about 840 bucks. So for $840, I could sit for all four, but if I pay all 840, up front, then I've got six months to sit for all four and prepare for 'em. A lot of people don't plan on doing that, so that's where I tell you, for example, to pay for maybe two parts. Now, as far as getting your licensure, candidates generally have, in most states, about 36 months in order to finish up any educational requirements. In some states, you've gotta have them all done before you sit, in other states, you could have a degree or 120, and then you gotta get the extra 150 total by the time you apply for your certificate. Most states are 150 units in order to sit and get certified, again, 150 semester, which is 225 quarter. Again, some of these you can get the experience as well, because in a lot of states, you've gotta work for one to two years, and depending on the state, but you can get experience before, during or after. So let's say for example, I worked in college part-time as a CPA, as an accountant, but I worked under the supervision of a licensed active CPA, if I'm in a state where I need one or two years of experience, that could count towards my experience. In California, we had to fill out a Form E of experience and any experience you had before, during or after, that would count. You also need to take and pass an ethics exam, but it's a take-home exam. They give you a book about this thick, and it's a bunch of multiple choice questions. Generally, you've gotta get a 90% or above to be considered ethical and ready to pass the exam. As far as when can I, 'cause I can feel the excitement, the enthusiasm, you're sitting there going Roge, I'm excited about this, when can I sit for the exam? Generally, you can sit for the exam. And basically we take the year and break it up into four quarters, the first quarter, January, February, and through the 10th of March, you could sit for the exam. So when you wanna sit for the exam, January, generally Monday through Saturday, so January, February, through March 10, you could sit for the exam. So of each quarter, the first two months and the 10 days of the next one. Incidentally, I was just in a meeting with Prometrics and they said that the last three days of every window were always the busiest of the entire quarter. So that would mean like March 8, 9, 10 'cause everybody likes to what, procrastinate, so they put it off. That's why again, if you're gonna plan to sit at the very end, then you've gotta be flexible, because let's say I wanna take it in downtown on this day, but they're booked, then I'm gonna have to go somewhere else. So you wanna make sure you check the schedule accordingly, but that's as far as testing availability, when you can sit for the actual exam. As far as Prometrics, that's where you go and take the exam, and a lot of us, and they have taken GMAT, GREs, MCATs, whatever, at Prometrics, but when you go and you sign up and you show up, you've gotta bring your notice to schedule, you've gotta bring two forms of ID, and they've gotta be government issue like a passport, driver's license, and so on, make sure they're still valid. What you do is you go in there, you sign up, they fingerprint you, so they plan ahead like an extra half hour to do this, then you put everything in a locker, then they walk you in, you sit down at your little terminal, and you've got a keyboard and you've got your your monitor, it's a nice big monitor, and you've got your little pad to write on. Now as you're sitting there, if you wanna get up and have a break, you've gotta sign out, allow enough time to sign back in. As I said, just as you start the exam, write down the times you expect to finish each one. If it's 45 minutes, I'm starting at four hours, that means it's 3:15 I should finish this, and so on. So again, you wanna kind of write that down ahead of time. If you have memory aids or mnemonics, that we're gonna teach you, a whole bunch of these things which are great, you wanna jot those down as well, before you forget about them. You're allowed to bring soft earplugs, no wires or cords, but those are allowed. Talking to others during the exam, obviously, is cheating and strictly prohibited. As I said earlier, if you bring a jacket, you're gonna have to wear it the entire time. So I would probably wear a T-shirt with a light long sleeve shirt over it, that way if I get warm, I can open up the shirt, but you cannot take it off, okay, you cannot take off clothing, that would be a fun exam, can't be sitting there naked taking the exam, that's not a good CPA. Now, what are they providing you at Prometrics? You got headphones, or you can bring earplugs, they give you an on-screen calculator, they give that white or yellow board that you can write on, if you run out of space, raise your hand they will swap it out for you. Everybody asked me, when do you get the results? Now, in my day, the exam was twice a year, May and November. You took the exam in May, you had to wait three months to get your results. Now, when you take the exam, about every 20 days, so let's say I take a January 1, the first 20 days, they'll take those, grade them, and about 10 to 15 days later release those scores. So they'll do that three times in that window. Remember, the window was January, February through March 10. If there's an issue and it goes over, sometimes they have terrible storms and they have to close exams, then they'll go past March 10, for example, if they have to, so they may release the scores three or four times in a window, that's how it's set up. So eventually, they're talking about letting you, let's say, I took audit in January, I got the result I didn't pass I got it in February, generally you cannot take it until the next window. So you can take each part only once in that window. Eventually there's a chance you might be able to retake it in the same window, but as of today, 2019, you cannot. So therefore, if I don't pass audit in the first window, I've gotta take it in the second window, or third, or fourth window. For each part, you could take four parts in a window, you just can't take the same part more than once. Now, in order to start this life-changing journey, what do I need to do? You wanna make sure that you're mentically, mentically, mentally and physically ready. So I am ready to focus that on this exam. As I said earlier, it's not an IQ test, it's a test of discipline, it's really a mental game of strength. So that means I wanna make sure that I'm properly prepared. Now, when I'm gonna sit down and study, what does that mean? It means turn off your devices, turn off your iPad, your phones, and so on, unless you got kids or something, but most of these things can wait, right? I don't need someone texting me Roge, great party, you gotta come out. I don't wanna hear about what I'm missing, because I wanna pass this exam, become a CPA, so I can have fun later, right, but it's a time management thing. Meal preparation. I have friends at Sunday night that would sit down and prepare five meals ahead of time, so every night when they get home from work, they don't have to spend time preparing meals, they nuke it, sit down, start studying, put the hour and a half to two hours in, stay hydrated, mentally fresh, stay excited, stay motivated, try to get plenty of sleep, yeah, good luck with that one, exercise, as I said earlier. I would study, I start to get tired, I take a walk around the library, wherever I'm studying. If you're living with a place with roommates, or noisy kids, whatever, get yourself out of there. I used to go to the library, kind of lock myself up and study, study, study, all of a sudden two three hours goes by I'm like oh my, I get up, walk around a little bit, do my push ups, come back down and study. So it's important to kind of set that thing to get your blood flowing to get your energy flowing, but to stay focused. Also, reward yourself. Maybe Saturday night I'm gonna meet some friends at eight o'clock to midnight. But set a bud 'cause midnight, I gotta get home 'cause Sunday I gotta study again because my exam is next week. So again, set realistic goals, I do that in life. I try to set short term goals, medium term, long term goals. Same thing was studying, I see my exam is two months away, I've got two months 60 days from today to learn this stuff, stick it in my head for four hours of my life and take that exam, set those goals accordingly, reward yourself as needed. Again, we have the highest verified pass rate in the industry, about a 91 plus percent pass rate, which has increased because of our SmartPath Technology. This has worked for over 200,000-plus students. So 200,000-plus students have taken our course, accomplished their goal, which is to study for and successfully pass the CPA exam. Now it's your turn to make this your goal and get through the CPA exam. You can also check out #TaketheSmartPath because that's the SmartPath Technology that we're using to help you get through the CPA exam. You can also test it, you can do like a test drive, you could take our CPA review course by starting to practice with a free trial. So if you go on our website, rogercpareview.com, you can then look at the test drive, and that way you can test it for yourself to see how it works, to see how the SmartPath Technology is working, and to see how it's gonna fit into your life as well. Also, feel free to stay connected and follow us on social media. Also, as I said earlier, and I'm always quoted as saying, if you study you will pass, if you study, you will pass. Again, it's not an IQ test, you do not have to be a genius to be a CPA, but if you put in the hours, you will get through this thing called the CPA exam. And as I always tell students, I am so proud of my CPA certificate, when I die, I'm putting it on my tombstone, here lies Roger Phillips CPA, fully depreciated, right, 'cause there's no moss. Anyway, again, if you study you are going to pass. So again, thank you so much for your time, I appreciate it. Good luck in accomplishing your goal of passing the CPA exam and I hope to see you in class.