December 8, 2009 at 5:37 pm #156983samanthajmontgomeryParticipant
Ok so I’m brand new to this site, and blogging in general. I took AUD this fall and got a 65 (I know thats not very good) and just took FAR without much more hope. Something has GOT to change. I live in a rural area and don’t have access to live Becker courses so I have the at home version. Any advice on what I should do to turn this thing around? I’m not sure what to do next?Should I study then schedule? Schedule then study? Any advice/help would be great. Thanx
December 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm #210288AnonymousInactive
I'll give you my study schedule, although I think it's a little different than what most people have been doing. I worked fulltime and studied at night and on weekends forgetting that I had any type of social life. My wife was very supportive and helped by giving me the time I needed.
For me it all came down to seeing the material four or five times before I would feel comfortable with it. I would either read the entire chapter first then watch the entire four hour class on DVD or vice versa. It's tough to say which choice was the best place to start because either way you're going to feel lost in the detail. Every chapter seems to feel more overwhelming than the last.
From there I would hit the questions. I would answer all of the HW questions first scoring only between 30 & 50% correct. Then I would go back over the answers I got wrong however many times it took to get them 100% right. The next day I would go over the questions a 2nd time scoring in the 50 70% range and marking any that I felt were problem areas. Then I would skim the simulations focusing most of my attention on the detailed areas of the simms that you dont really see in the M/C questions. Then I would tackle the supplemental questions. When I finished all that I went through the HW questions a third time and made sure I read and understood the correct answers to the questions I got wrong scoring in the 70 90% range. Id also click the show text button and read up on the areas I really struggled with. I would also keep a notepad next to me and write down only the main points I was missing and then maybe study up on those areas if I had time (which I usually didnt because Im a procrastinator).
The week before the exam I would make sure I had one or two days off to cram and go over all the HW questions one last time scoring in the 70 90% range. If not I went over that section of questions again.
This may seem like a lot of work, but going through the questions and reading the correct answers AND wrong answers is what helped me survive all this. It would take me at least 20-30 hours for each chapter.
Day 1: Read chapter or watch the class
Day 2: Watch the class or read the chapter
Day 3: HW questions
Day 4: HW questions
Day 5/Friday: Party like a Rock star and forget about stupid Becker and this horrid exam experience
Day 6: Simms and Supplemental questions
Day 7: HW questions and review of problem areas
If nothing else, the most important thing, and the only reason I passed FAR around 10pm the night before the exam, QUIT. Stop studying, stop fretting about it, and start preparing for the exam mentally. Get out of the house, hang out with friends and talk about anything but the exam. Drink a beer or two (no more) if you do that. Get to bed at a decent hour and sleep in the next morning. Relax before the exam and only skim some notes to get your mind headed in the right direction. Ten minutes before walking into the test center sit in your car and pray/meditate/take a bunch of deep breaths/whatever you do to slow your mind down. Youve done everything you can to prepare yourself. Worrying at that point isnt going to help at all. Walk in and take the best possible test you can and dont let the questions you cant answer get you down. Select B for Becker and move on.
Also, I would always call my favorite Accounting professor the night before for a pep talk. I cant thank him enough for helping me through those last few hours.
Good luck to you, I hope to be finished when my Audit score is released in this next second wave.December 9, 2009 at 3:24 am #210289AnonymousInactive
I also use Becker, I agree with many of the points that people have pointed out. I will just add a few points. First you need to know how you learn whether it be reading or watching. I am a audio/visual so I watch the lectures over versus reading the material but only you know the answer to that question. I just want to put an emphasis on another's comment that in Becker you need to be sure you understand why you got a right answer as well as an incorrect answer. Be sure you learn the concept of the question or you might end up memorziing answers instead of learning the concepts. It is very easy to do with Becker. RichardCPA made many good points. Also, you need to determine how well your test taking is. Some people know the material but are really awful at taking test. Develop a study plan, for me it is a must. Determine your exam date and work backwards on your study plan. Becker recommends 100 hours for BEC, AUD and REG and 125 hours for FAR. Keep track of your time, plan for 2 hours a study session more on weekends any less and I really am not able to focus or retain the information. For example, I must have put in 175 hrs for FAR over a 10 week period and passed using Becker. If you put in the time and learn the concepts, this will give you confidence in that you have covered the material sufficient enough to pass this exam.
Good Luck, we are all here to support each other through successes and failures.December 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm #210290AnonymousInactive
I also used Becker and I work full time and have three children and 2 grandkid running around. My method was to listen to the a lecture on Saturday, answer questions for about 4-6 hours on Sunday, reading the answer/text on any that I missed. Then each weeknight, after a quick dinner, I would study for about 2 hours – reading the text and taking notes for important concepts pointed out during the lecture – basically anything that I was told to highlight or star and the passkeys. Then I would rework any questions that I previously missed and write the answer to the ones that got wrong. It was about a two week process for each chapter. As I moved on to the next chapter, I would review my notes for about 2 hours each weekend and I would also rework the supplmental questions for each chapter. I also ordered Gleim questions for Auditing after not passing the first time and again for my retake of BEC. I always took Friday nights off.
It's a painful process but well worth it. Good luck!December 9, 2009 at 2:57 pm #210291AnonymousInactive
your gpa doesn't matter I had a 4.0 ..I still studied like 75hrs for Audit 85hrs for BEC..250hrs for REG and 100hrs for FAR(not counting the extra time I spent restudying while I wait for my grade)…..I guess it is how well you focus and perform of test day
if you fail you just doubled or tripled your study time…………
10-20hrs is a 1-2 on a scale of 1-10; that kind of effort might only produce 60's even with a strong knowledge of AuditDecember 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm #210292mposey84Participant
Something you might try is to watch lecture 1 and 2 on Monday and Tuesday, do the homework questions for lecture 1 on Wednesday, the homework questions for lecture 2 on Thursday, you might not finish all the questions by Thursday but once you do, move on to lecture 3 and 4 the same way. If you can complete two sections a week then that's great. My goal was 4 hours of study per day but didn't always meet that. After I make it through all of the lectures and homework problems, I go back to the homework problems I missed and wrote most of them on to my yellow pad of paper. Once that's done, I go through, usually 10-15 sheets of yellow paper and write each note on a note card. This helps you look them over a few times Try to go through the practice exams the week before the exam.
You may not like note cards, but for me every concept, problem, formula I had trouble with or wanted to go over several times I would make a note card for them. For each test you should have a few hundred note cards. For FAR I had like 5-600. I'm working full-time, too, and gave myself a couple months for each exam. Just gotta live the CPA exam for the next year to pass each section. You'll do it. My GPA was the same as yours.
Once you start passing sections, be sure to get it done within 1 1/2 yrs. I have some co-workers that lost credits.December 10, 2009 at 8:58 pm #210293samanthajmontgomeryParticipant
Hey everyone, WOW what a response, I just thought I might get an idea or two and now I have 21 responses. I really found every post helpful in some way. I think I might give the schedule presented by richardcpa a try using some of the advice from other posts as well. I'll keep everyone posted, its great to know from a small Idaho nowhere that theres so many others facing the same challenge out there. thanks again!December 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm #210294Patrick909Participant
This is what I did. Keep in mind, I have no wife and kids, but do have a full-time job.
Early AM before work…..hit Starbucks for 1-1.5 hour, run through multiple choice
Lunch…..grab something to eat, hit Starbucks for 1 hour, run through multiple choice
Sometime later in the evening, watch 30-60 min of lecture, maybe run through a couple questions
Spend about 2 hours per morning running through multiple choice.
As you can see, I'm not the kind of person who can sit around for 6 hours on a Sunday afternoon with CPA review material. And I'll be completely honest, when I wanted to go out……go out to eat or even go to a bar to drink beer all night, I certainly did so.
As with most things in life, I think consistency and quality are more important than sheer hours spent.