Preparation strategy for all CPA exam sections. Learn the study tips from Anoushka
The first and foremost key to cracking this exam is committing to it seriously. Make a schedule that can be followed everyday. Daily studying helps maintain a flow of efficiency. Make yourself accountable to someone you fear and won't lie to about your progress. This exam demands your time—seriousness, dedication and patience.
I started my preparation in the same sequence as the Becker product. I did the skills practice, MCQs and Simulations for every module. If you have time, I'd say take one module each day so you can grasp the concepts very thoroughly. Watch Simandhar Classes for better conceptual clarity too.
Practice tests are the BEST feature Becker has provided for its students and it's the quintessential factor in nailing this tough subject. But the trick to giving the practice tests is to provide them with the next week of studying that unit. So if for week 1, you are doing R1, make it a point to review it in week 2 and give a practice test on the weekend of Week 2. This ensures that the points, rules remain fresh in your mind till the very end. Repeat this procedure for all the modules, increasing the number of units each weekend you give a practice test for.
Once you're done with the Becker process of lectures, MCQs and Simulations, give the first Mock. This is very important to determine the stage at which your preparation for the subject stands. Review the mock report and highlight the areas in the book where you had difficulty answering questions or solving Simulations. Give sufficient time to review your weak areas before you give Mock 2 and 3.
While you are reviewing Mock 2 and 3, after reading a module, making your own notes somewhere is a very good tactic to imprinting the most important points about that topic in your head almost permanently. Make charts, tables, flowcharts to make it interesting to study at a later stage before the actual exam.
Simulations in REG and for chapters like Federal Taxation are very typical, so make sure you practice them necessarily. Repetition is KEY. The skill-based videos are very helpful in making clear the path to take in solving simulations.
If you're facing issues in Individual Taxation, watching the Tax Form Videos of Becker helps frame a picture/outline in mind and understanding the placement of adjustments in the Form in question.
Use the Authoritative Literature to confirm the rules in the actual test. This builds up confidence in answering the questions.
If there is a time crunch on studying for Business Law, you can watch the Skills Practice videos from Becker for those modules. The professors do a fantastic job of giving you a good review of all the main focal points in these theoretical modules.
FFAR is a vast subject and takes the maximum time to cover. Its best prepared when done in Becker suggested sequence. FAR 1,2,3,4 are the MOST IMPORTANT units in this coursework. They are to be done with perfection. They establish the base for most of the questions in the subject. Modules like Revenue Recognition are covered in less detail but take up a major chunk of the complex questions overall. Make sure you watch Sripal Jain's videos in this module especially. He's done a fantastic job in explaining the concepts with examples.
Understanding of FAR is established wonderfully with writing/making Journal Entries as you go. This applies to both at the time of reading the concepts and solving questions. This is specially true in case of FAR1,3,7,8,9,10.
Mark the questions you find difficult at every stage of solving them so you can review them at a later stage. Make notes of those questions you repetitively do wrong and repeat them a week before the exam. Chapters like Bonds, Leases take up a lot of time, so make sure you assign a good amount of time in your schedule.
Understanding Governmental Accounting can be done by making your own notes. The concepts are typical and new, so assessing them and understanding them through your own notes is the best strategy.
Mocks are crucial in progressing in the right way in your preparation.
Audit is all about the language. It all seems similar, but the questions trick you in the actual exam solely with the language. So reading the question twice is key to cracking this exam.
Use authoritative Literature while solving Simulations. This needs to be practiced beforehand because you can easily panic in the actual exam midst all the Exhibits.
Make a flowchart of all the Operating Cycles because that helps in multifold; in solving Management Assertion Questions, in understanding Test of Controls and Test of Details. So this provides the base for a major portion of the subject.
Written communication tasks are not to be taken lightly. Practice and understanding the structure is utmost important.
Since BEC is a mix of Economics, Costing, FM and IT, its important to constantly give practice tests to be in the habit of seeing a mixed bunch of questions in the actual exam.
Go to the very basics of the concepts in Costing and FM and make sure to mark difficult questions alongside for later practice.
Ratios can sometimes cover a major part of the actual exam, so make sure you're through with them.
Mocks aren't to be missed.
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