Becoming a certified public accountant is a career move that just about every accountant strives to complete. When you become a CPA your world is opened to a lot of new and wonderful things. Off the bat, you will make 10%-15% more in salary for doing the same job, or you can move up to other higher-level positions that were previously out of your scope of attainment. Taking the CPA exam is your way in, but you have to pass the exam to get the license. It takes many an accountant a long time to earn that license, but if you prepare for the test in a smart way, you will have no problems passing right away. Here are a few tips on how to pass the CPA exam on your first try.
Find a Test Prep That Works
Of course, you can study without any help, but if help is out there and you want to pass this test right away, finding and working with test prep is the way to go. Finding one may be difficult as many accountants usually weigh Wiley vs Becker as to which test prep is best. You can research the test prep all on your own and find which one works best with your skills.
When you find the test prep that is right for you, get to know the materials and the style of learning then get to work planning out how you are going to tackle studying.
Manage Your Time Effectively
Now that you have the test prep materials, manage your study time so that you can really look everything over and plan when you are going to study. The trick to being able to learn all the material in a time frame that won’t cause you to leave everything to the last minute is to start early and give yourself the space you need to absorb all the material.
When you start studying early you can study one or two days a week and still be on schedule to learn all the information before the exam takes place. If you wait too long, you are going to be cramming everything into a few weeks, you are not going to be able to retain all of the material, and you are going to get flustered before test day and not do well on the exam.
Don’t Leave Anything Out
When you get all the study materials you need to prepare for the test, look everything over. There may be sections on the test that you will look at and think, “I know this already, I don’t need to focus on this.” Well, you’re wrong. You need to look over everything whether you know it or not.
When you look over all the material in a concise way, you are going to realize that some things you think you know may be wrong, and you have to learn the proper information. Also, when you look everything over, you will have a fully comprehensive and fresh view of all the questions that may be on the test, and that will give you more confidence when you are sitting in the exam room.
Trust Your Instincts
When test day comes, trust your instincts. A lot of times people take exams and second guess themselves only to find out that their original answer was the right answer. If you have studied enough and studied well, there is no need to think twice about answers. Trust in your test prep and in your abilities.
Because there are so many rewards from getting the CPA license, a lot of people taking the test will allow themselves to get overwhelmed when they don’t need to. Stay calm. You have retained all the knowledge. All you have to do is apply it.
Take Your Time and Read
Read every question thoroughly. Don’t speed through the test. You will perform better when you take your time and really understand what you are reading and what your answer is going to be. Reading too fast may cause you to misunderstand the question and then you will be more likely to put down the wrong answer.
Feel at ease when you are taking the test. Take a few breaths or meditate beforehand. The calmer you are, the clearer your mind is going to be. A clear mind passes tests on the first try. The cluttered, worried mind is setting itself up for failure. You can do this. Good luck.