Tackling the CPA Exam

Many students in the MAcc Program are currently preparing for the CPA exam. We have heard horror stories about studying for the exam, and I am here to tell you it is doable to take while in class. This was a main concern of mine coming into the program because I want to have the exam done before I start working.

For those who don’t know, the CPA exam consists of four tests (Audit, Regulation, Business Environment and Concepts, and Financial Accounting and Reporting). To become licensed, you are required to have 150 credit hours. The rules on when you can sit for the exam and what classes are needed vary by state so make sure you check the rules for your state. Once you have the requirements complete, you can sign up for your Notice to Schedule, which allows you to sit for the exam. You do not have to take the exam in the state in which you are getting licensed.

While balancing classes and studying for the exam is difficult, it can be done. Currently, I am studying for the Audit section of the exam and plan on taking it soon. My main strategy is planning ahead and giving myself more time than I thought was needed. At the beginning of the semester, I wrote down all the due dates of assignments and exams in my courses and then planned my CPA studying around that. I gave myself an extra week than was needed, and am very glad that I did, as a schedule never goes completely as planned.

While I am definitely more busy, don’t worry—the CPA does not control your life. Between working, classes, and studying for the exam I still have time to go out with friends, be on intramural teams, and have time to do things I enjoy.