Tuesday, June 11, 2013

5 Ways to Stay Disciplined and Motivated for the CPA Exam Review

 Hi everyone,

          Welcome to my blog that highlights my journey to getting my CPA license. As I have mentioned in previous blog postings, I have completed two out of the four E's of the CPA licensing process. I have met the education requires and the experience requirements for the state accountancy board of California. Now, I just have to pass the CPA Uniform Examination and fulfill the ethics requirements. The most difficult hurdle to overcome is the CPA Uniform Examination. There are extensive material to retain at once, so the cramming that is usually done by college students will not work for any of the sections of this exam. The exam review process requires a long term study program. During the days of review, some weeks I find myself not really reviewing as I should  be. I get really distracted by all the things happening in my life. I'm a family guy and I have children. I also work full time and going to school at Argosy University business school. I want to focus this post on how I try to maintain good study habits when there are tons of competing factors for my time and attention.

First thing in the morning
         The one thing that I have found that works well for me is to do my reviews early in the morning. I try to go to bed early at night so I can wake up early before my children wake up. Being up early means I have a lot of alone time to review the topics that I planned to cover that day. Once my wife and children wake up the madness starts and the chance of squeezing study time in my busy schedule becomes very slim. I can't say no to any of my kids and wife when they ask me for something.

Follow a set routine
       Another factor that affects my study habits is having a routine. I will forget to study some times before I developed a routine. This is good advise for anyone studying for a standardize examination. Get in the habit of studying for a set amount of time consistently. Let your friends and family know about your routine so that they will support your efforts.

Live a healthy lifestyle
      This is something new I recently incorporated as part of my study plan. When I was in the United States Marine Corps., I noticed that I was more efficient with my college studies because of the active lifestyle and getting enough sleep at night. The discipline of sleeping 8 hours every night will add value to your ability to concentrate during your review and come exam day. Eating right will also help. Additionally, I have started training for the San Diego Rock'n'Roll Marathon for next year's race. And I have also quit smoking cigarettes.

Have a reward system
       I'm a big procrastinator, especially if no one is holding me accountable for completing a task. To motivate myself, I set short, intermediate, and long term goals. After completing any goal, I reward myself with a healthy treat like going to the pool for a swim or going to the beach with the family. I try to keep the rewards as close to proportion as the task I accomplished--i.e., for completing a long term goal I will reward myself with something "big".

Measure your progress
        I know I work harder when I measure my progress. Whenever I realize that reaching my goals are possible, I tend to work harder to achieve them. Assessments bring a positive attitude that  gives me the confidence and will to tackle each new topic aggressively.

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