How to Reduce your CPA Study Time by 75 Hours

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How to Reduce your CPA Study Time by 75 Hours

If you’re focusing on how to pass the CPA exam fast, this article offers some valuable insights on effectively pressing the fast-forward button.

Next to studying for your bachelor’s or master’s degree, preparing to pass the CPA exam is a big commitment. Unlike your graduate degree, you may also have other obligations besides education. For example, you may have a full-time job and have extra family responsibilities that make studying that much harder than the traditional classroom format.

To help you make the most of your available study time, we explore how long you should study for the CPA exam sections and how to pass the CPA exam fast. And, by fast, we mean at a quick, but still achievable pace.

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How to Pass the CPA Exam Fast: FAR First

Ask anyone how to pass the CPA exam fast, and they’ll almost certainly give you the same advice: take the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) CPA exam first.

There are several ways in which taking FAR first helps you pass the CPA exam fast:

1) By studying for the FAR exam first, you acquire useful information and knowledge to help you in the AUD and REG exams (reducing your study time for those sections)

2) By getting the most difficult exam out of the way, you establish a good study plan and rhythm that you can apply to the rest of your CPA exams

3) If you’ve only just graduated, studying for the FAR exam first makes sense, as you’ll already be familiar with many of the financial and accounting concepts

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, you may have acquired specialist knowledge in one of the other areas (e.g., having worked in an auditing firm). In this case, it may be best to sit the AUD exam first as a quick win before moving on to the other CPA exam sections.

Know how Long to Study for CPA Exam Sections

One thing’s for sure. Whatever order you decide to sit the exams in, you’ll need to know how long to study for the CPA exam sections.

To give you an idea, as the largest section of the exam, FAR typically involves 150 hours of study time and has quite the reputation for being the most challenging.

By comparison, studying for Auditing and Attestation (AUD) has an industry average of around 100 hours. As you’ll find when you make your CPA exam notes, a significant amount of material featured in AUD can also be found in FAR.

Next is Regulation (REG), which takes around the same amount of time, if not a little longer than AUD. As with all four exams, REG is tough, but with a rigorous preparation routine, it’s relatively straightforward to quicken your pace of study (more on this in a moment).

Lastly is Business Environment and Concepts, known as BEC. Although it’s the easiest of the four tests and usually taken last, the average person will spend around 100 hours studying for it.

Now, these are the typical study times, so how do you get those hours down to 120 hours for FAR and 85 hours for the remaining three (a saving of 115 hours)? Crucially, how do you pass the CPA exam fast without compromising your learning?

Schedule Your Exam First

Before we jump into what makes a good CPA study plan, we’ve got to stress the importance of having an exam schedule.

Before you start working on a strategy to pass the CPA exam fast, you must schedule your exam so that you know precisely how much time you have to prepare. That way, you can spread your study time evenly across the weeks leading up to your test day.

Remember, though, you must schedule your CPA exam at least five days in advance to be authorized as eligible to take the test.

Create a How to Pass the CPA Exam Fast Study Plan

Once you’ve booked your CPA exam, you’ll want to create a compact study plan, especially if it’s only a month or so away. So here are five tips to help keep you on track.

While the Universal CPA Review Course has a built-in visual study guide (eBook) as part of its visual CPA preparation toolkit, only you can keep to your schedule. This means being honest with yourself about what’s possible. For example, if you already know that three hours on a Monday night will be too much, try two instead.

Practice makes perfect when mastering how to pass the CPA exam fast. There’s no better way to test your knowledge than to answer a series of multiple choice questions. At Universal CPA Review, you’ll find more than 3,100 and if there are any questions that you struggle with, there’s a step-by-step video explaining the answer.

Don’t forget to keep track of any problem areas by making CPA exam notes. You can watch our video lectures and write CPA exam notes as you go – perhaps even in the form of flashcards to help you commit your learning to your memory.

Daily might be a bit of a stretch, but if you can, try and set yourself a stretch- target of practicing a set number of multiple choice questions each day. By answering 20 or 30 questions daily, you’ll know exactly how far along you are in your studies. You’ll soon notice your pace quicken.

Visual learning must feature heavily in your studies when it comes to knowing how to pass the CPA exam fast. Visual materials have been found to improve learning by up to 400 percent. After all, videos and graphics affect you, as a learner, on both a cognitive and imaginative level enabling you to process information faster. This is one of the reasons why those studying with Universal CPA Review’s visual study tools report an overall score improvement of 17% after using a different CPA review course.

Choose the Best CPA Review Course for You

Our single biggest piece of advice for how to pass the CPA exam fast is to invest in a CPA review course that suits your learning style.

Whether you prefer textbook study (there is a small percentage who do) or prefer something that’s visually interactive, there’s one thing that you must be sure of. Your study materials have to be up to date. Where textbooks will date, a digital CPA review course mapped to the latest AICPA blueprints will not.

When choosing your CPA review course, make sure it covers all testing formats too – multiple choice questions, tasked-based-simulations, written communication tasks, and real-life sample tests.

Some CPA review courses are self-paced, while others follow a strict timeframe. To avoid feeling locked into a set study pattern, it’s a good idea to choose a CPA review course that gives you complete flexibility over when and where you learn. So, if you want to take a week off and power your way through preparation videos, questions, and simulation tasks, you can.

Likewise, if you’re working full-time, you might want to study during your lunch break or in the evening. An online CPA review course with instant unlimited access to visual learning materials will give you this.

Start a Free 7-day Trial Today!

You'll receive access to video lectures,
study guides, and practice questions!

Try Before You Buy

The best way to know whether a CPA Review Course will help you pass the CPA fast is to trial it first.

At Universal CPA Review, you can sign-up for a free 7-day trial where you can view video lectures, electronic study guides, multiple choice questions, simulations with video explanations, and access the Ask Joey Q&A.

You don’t have to give up your credit card details unless you decide to pay for a monthly subscription, purchase a lifetime access package or pay a one-off fee for a single CPA exam section.

When it comes to the CPA exam, we like to keep things simple!

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