Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ways to Avoid Exam Preparation Burn Out

Hi future CPAs,

It is easy for CPA candidates to become burnt out after intense studying and reviewing of CPA Examination material. I have to constantly remind myself to take it step by step. I make sure that I get some leisure active in my life and look at other subjects besides accounting, auditing, business law, taxation, etc. Its a good thing I have my family members around me that drags me away from my studies, they sort of remind me to chill out and enjoy life too.

Today I got up early and did the usual Wiley Testbank multiple choice questions and simulation questions. Afterwards, I spent the day enjoying my time with the kids. We swam a few laps in the pool, read some books, and did some shopping. Then we ate a nice dinner at Olive Garden. Some days you have to take it easy to avoid being burned out from the stress of  over studying. After spending a lot of time reading about the same subject, it feels relaxing to discuss new interests with others.

I view the CPA Exam as a marathon. Just as beginner marathon runners have to train up to the point where they can run 26 miles none stop, so too CPA candidates have to train themselves to be able to sit in for sections of the exam lasting for hours. Most beginning runners must train for at least six months. As part of their train regiment, they would include a great diet, good sleep habits, consistent gradual training. I don't think the mind is any different from training the body. Adequate rest and nutrition are very important for both a person's body and mind.

Make sure to enjoy your summer by including frequent breaks and leisure activities during your exam preparation. This would most likely make your study session more robust.

Some ways to avoid exam burn out:
  • Study in different places (beach, pool area, park, library)
  • Take frequent breaks and dedicate some days out of the week for rest days
  • Have a support system (i.e., supporting family members, study groups)
  • Socialize more often
  • Do leisure activities that are fun to you
  • Don't stress yourself by trying to take multiple sections all together--space them out.

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