I received an email from NASBA this morning regarding the update to the CPA exam. In 2011, CPA candidates will be tested using the new Content and Skill Specification Outlines (CSOs/SSO). Which most candidates, including myself, already knew, but what is new is that the AICPA just released the sample exam on their website for this specific update. You can try out a sample of the new CSO/SSO’s and see how you like it. Just go to:
They have both the old and new sample tests up at the moment. I tried the AUD and REG. I didn’t see anything new on the AUD that was worth pointing out, but the REG portion had a sample tax return you needed to fill out. I think its a VAST improvement over filling in random questions. But despite the update I should remind people it looks like you may have to put up with the outdated software from the previous exams. You would think they would do a major overhaul of this exam when putting out an update like this.
If I do not receive a passing score on REG I might be subject to this, but at this point I am feeling pretty good about passing and I haven’t felt the need to continue to study. I also have another quarter to take the old exam before they release this update, so if I don’t pass I can try once more before the release.
Anyone tried this? Not talking about the live lectures in class. That would be mortifying and disrespecting classmates and the professor. But with the lectures on DVDs and online lectures, this is totally doable.
Or at least I do it! I get bored and drowsy sitting on my couch for hours watching/ listening to the lecturer. So, I practice yoga poses except for meditative ones. It helps me stay awake!
This photo is from last summer. My friend D. signed up for us to participate in Solstice in Times sqaure:Mind Over Madness Yoga event. I am not in the above photo, since I have yet to learn the head stand
Well, most people including myself, while working out, are either listening to the music on i-pod, or watching news/ whatever is on, or reading magazines. All I did was reversed it, I am working out while watching/listening to the lectures. Other things I’ve done while watching the lectures: fold my laundry & paint my nails. Multitasking!
However do not try the irish yoga while studying. Too funny! – I saw this sign on a t-shirt and I had to take a photo.
With the cruch time at work and the gorgeous weather I have been unable to study as much as I need to. Therefore I am undecided as to whether or not to take FARE at the end of this month. Anyhow, good luck to those taking the test this month.
They say if you really want to lose weight you have to write down every single thing you eat in a day (accounting term – food ledger). To save money—keep a detailed list of what you spend.
Apparently there is something to the act of getting the truth down on a paper that shocks the system into turning things around.
Why, not then, a comprehensive tally of your time and effort towards your goal of becoming a CPA. We’ll call this a performance ledger. And, all you need is an excel spreadsheet (what do you expect from an accountant?).
On an excel spreadsheet, I log number of questions I do every single day and hours I spend . This may sound time consuming but it’s not once you set up the excel spreadsheet with just three columns for: date, # of questions and Hrs. It is that simple.
Here is what mine looks like.
I do this to keep myself on track and to make adjustments to my plan. For example, if my goal was to do 80 questions everyday during weekdays (400 questions during the week) and about 300 questions during the weekend. Now, we all know that plans are just plans. So, say for some reason I only got through 50 questions 2 out of the 5 days during the week. Here comes Friday, I can look at this worksheet and know that I have to catch up with the 60 questions that I didn’t get through during the week along with the planned 300 questions for the weekend. On the other hand, you might overachieve your plan during the weekday and be able to get through extra 50 questions, which mean you slack on 50 questions from you weekend quota.
Also, when you have the truth written down- there is no way to cheat or trick your mind. I can’t say something like; I think I did study on Tuesday. This performance ledger is the evidence and is just a click away!
It’s very important during every stage of preparing for the exam to know oneself. It’s exciting to imagine passing the exam in six months and being done with it forever but there’s no need to rush. We are all different and should consider what is right for us.
The ideal approach, regarding time and money, would be to pass all four sections of the exam in a single testing window on the first try. However, that approach puts the mind and body under a lot of unnecessary stress.
In the past nine months I have graduated college, moved across the state to begin my career, had my girlfriend move in with me, and began the exam process. Banging out four sections in six months while adapting to all those changes going on in my life and staying true to who I am at the same time isn’t realistic. I knew what I was getting myself into and I planned everything accordingly so that it would be manageable.
It seems that quite a few advisors and candidates treat the exam as if it should be a “get in and get out” process. NASBA allows eighteen months between passing the first section of the exam and the fourth. Eighteen months provides candidates with the ability to maintain their desired work-life balance. My goal is to pass with six months to spare.
My advice for fellow candidates is to take the time to really think about what will work best for them. That advice holds true for every stage of the exam and you will see me repeating it often.
Overall, studying for the exam shouldn’t be a painful experience. If it is, perhaps you are being too hard on yourself and losing sight of what really matters…passing within the allotted timeframe!
Of course, once in a blue moon I’m just not in the mood to study and I endure some pain. So what I do when I’m not in the mood? Read about it in my next post here at the Blog where we Cram and Jam CPA style.