The US CPA is a highly sought after certification that promises boundless opportunities, so a pertinent question that arises is how to prepare for the CPA exam?
What are the guidelines to follow? How much of time should we set apart for this goal? What methods can ensure success? Let us attempt to answer a few of these questions today.
When we talk about how to prepare for the CPA exam, the first thing we need to know is that the US CPA exam consists of 4 papers (Auditing, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Regulation, and Business Environment subjects) that can be completed in a period of 12 months. www.aicpa.org
Now that we have established the total time required for the course and the number of papers to be covered, let us examine the basic guidelines on how to complete the course in the set time frame.
- Right mentor:
The first thing to do is to select a mentor or training program that can help you achieve your goal in a timely manner. While there is no dearth of mentors or trainers for US CPA, finding the right one for you takes a bit of effort. Each candidate is different and whilst selecting a good program, special emphasis needs to be placed on the capabilities and efficiencies of the mentor or the trainers. Ideally the mentor should be a certified professional who has a fine understanding of how to approach the exams.
They should have a sound understanding of the program and be able to train the candidate in the skills set required to score well. The experience of the mentor would help the candidate in navigating the challenges that lie ahead.
- Proper Schedule:
The second thing to be done is to set a proper schedule. Find some time to exclusively devote for the course and set up a schedule for study. As there are four papers to clear for US CPA, the candidate needs to take into account how much time it takes to study for all the four papers to ensure that one can pass out in a 12 months.
A detailed schedule would include preparing a plan detailing which paper you are going to study for and how much time you would wish dedicate for it. For this you need to have a good understanding of what the syllabus is. Also, this would work better if we set a target deadline for completing each exam.
- Preparation and Practice:
Simulation of the exams in real time and practicing for the same is an important step in your preparations, when it comes to how to prepare for the CPA exam.
Commitment and consistency are the keys to success in this endeavor. One must make a concerted effort to answer as many questions as possible while also being well acquainted with the principles and applications. The emphasis is on comprehending rather than learning the subject. The candidate should be well versed with the Question paper patters and should dedicate a large part of his time towards solving sample question papers in a regular manner. The Wiley software has CPA training materials that will help in developing the skills and knowledge required to succeed.
- Group Learning:
Group learning offers many benefits to candidates appearing for competitive exams. Being part of a group of students preparing for the US CPA offers the student an avenue for discussing topics with a view to better understanding the concept, for clearing doubts and for gaining assistance on various matters. It is said that you are three times as likely to remember material, when you teach it to others and learn, versus learning it on your own. So, finding the right learning group can be a major game changer when it comes to how to prepare for the CPA exam.
A candidate who has the backing of the right mentor and a proper study schedule, who is willing to put in the required preparation time and practice incessantly and one who engages in Group study has a higher chance of achieving success.
However, one needs to devote a lot of care and deliberation towards choosing a program that will offer the candidate the right mix of options necessary to successfully clear the US CPA certification in the stipulated time period.
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