We get it: no matter how close you are to your CPA exam, sometimes it feels like there’s just no good time to get some studying in. This goes double when you’re already employed as an accountant (or in a related field) and you’re working full-time.
Even if you really love your job and can’t wait to pass the CPA exams so you can advance in it, it’s still hard to avoid feeling burned out by a 40-hour week and unable to commit the energy to hitting the books and making sure you’re prepared for your upcoming tests. It can start to feel like you’re working two jobs, which nobody likes doing, and by that point you might be too tired to focus on your long-term goals like you should be. If you need a little help balancing your current job and your studies, we’ve got a few tips here from people that have already walked that path once:
- Figure out your ‘runway’ – the time you have until the test. A pretty big CPA test tip is to schedule it well in advance so you know how much time you have to study. When trying to maximize your time around a full-time accounting job, figure out where you are in relation to your CPA exam date and figure out how much of that time you can devote to studying. Life will always get in the way, but knowing how many days you can spend studying between now and the exam will help you schedule the rest of your education needs properly and effectively.
- Split up the reviewing into small, manageable tasks. Hopefully you’ve done this already, but once you get an idea of how much time you can spend studying you can then figure out how much of that time you need to spend on each section of your studies. There’s no hard-and-fast way to figure out how to spend this time, but managing it effectively will help prevent that dreaded “my test is this weekend and I have 500 pages to read” feeling.
- Find the right materials. Using the right CPA review course is crucial, especially considering the flexibility you’re going to require. If you don’t have a course in mind yet, check out some CPA exam course reviews to see which one can offer the materials best for your timeline and method of studying – especially if you can get one that offers phone/mobile apps so you can sneak in a little reviewing on your lunch break or whenever you have time.
- Be ready to prioritize. It’s hard enough trying to maintain a social life while working full-time, but adding studying on top of that is a recipe for stress. As the test date looms, prepare yourself to have to make sacrifices in seeing friends, other hobbies, and anything else that might come up to take your attention from studying. It won’t be fun at first, but they’ll all be more than happy to hang out with you after the exam when you come to them with the good news that you totally aced it thanks to your studying.
- Don’t study until you drop. Of course, on the flipside of that, you need to make sure to not push yourself too hard. No good will come of you pulling a week-long coffee-and-Red-Bull bender to make sure you cram your material in all at once. Not only is this going to mess you up physically, you’ll probably wind up forgetting more than you studied and might be worse off after the fact. Take care of yourself, set a schedule, and stick to it – you’ll be glad you did when it’s all said and done.
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