The AICPA recommends 300-400 hours of studying to successfully pass the CPA Exam. So how do you determine the right amount of study hours for you? See what the profession’s leading CPA Exam instructor thinks you should take into account when strategizing your study schedule.
Roger Philipp, CPA presents:
HOW MANY HOURS SHOULD I STUDY FOR THE CPA EXAM?
Now, I can feel the excitement and enthusiasm. You're all saying, Rog I'm excited, I'm motivated, almost as excited as you. Rog, what does it take for me to get through all four parts of the exam?
Basically, depending on your background it could be anywhere from two to 400 hours of prep-time. What does that mean?
You'll see for example, let's take financial accounting and reporting. So, financial accounting and reporting is, let's say, about 40 hours of lecture time. So, for 40 hours you're going to walk through the details.
IFRS versus US Gap, talk about accounting standard codifications, going through the balance sheet, talk about cash, receivables, inventory, fixed assets, and so on.
So, we go through all that detail, while you're watching we're going through actual CPA Exam multiple choice, actual CPA Exam task-based simulations, so, that could be, let's say 40 hours. So, you're spending 40 hours watching this lecture.
Then, you need about two to three hours of study time for every hour of lecture time. What are you doing in that two to three hours? You're reading the material. You're then going through actual released AICPA questions and solutions, you're, also, then going through task-based simulations, and you're working through the questions. Where you're working through the material. You're working through the software, so, you're comfortable with it. You're working through the written communication type questions for BEC. You're practicing your research and so on.
So, you can see here, that let's say the whole course is 120 hours, that means two hours is 240 hours of studying. Three hours is ... what'd I say? It's 360 hours of studying. So, it is a major ... I had to use the word ... commitment of time in order to properly prepare for all four parts.
So, it's important to make sure that when you're getting ready to sit down and prepare that it is the right time for you as far as allowing enough time.
That's why we'll set up a three, six, nine, 12 months schedule for you, so, you can make sure that, okay, I want to pass all four parts in three months. That's great.
For myself, I remember I graduate college in May, spent the summer studying, passed the exam, started working in September. Other people will take some parts in between, go travel through Europe, and so on.
So, it all depends on your schedule. How you want to do it? The main thing is it's a major commitment of time. You want to make sure you set it up properly, but I want you to walk away realizing this is defiantly a doable exam.
It is probably one of the most difficult professional exams in the country, but it does take a lot of preparation. Therefore, you got to make sure that you've setup that schedule in your life.
The other too is realizing that, yes, I just graduated from a great school, and I have a great GPA, but there's still stuff you may have never seen in school that yes, in fact, does show up on the exam.
That's why it's so important to make sure it is the right time for you as far as properly preparing for what? The CPA Exam.