Studying For Your CPA Exam- Things To Do To Make It Easier And Stress-Free

By on January 16, 2014

As a certified public accountant myself, I can attest to how difficult and how stressful it is to study for the CPA exam. Your future and your profession hinges on your passing and failing the exam! Pass, and you will be able to work. Fail, and you have to try again or, worse, give up and pursue something else.

There are ways, however, that you are able to make the preparation easier and free of stress. Take note that these are tips and techniques that I have tried myself, and ones that you should check out too! Hope these helps.

Download the Latest Materials

You start by downloading the latest in review material for your CPA exam. It is no use to stick with your old materials. The accounting practice changes every year, and new questions are added into the exam that you may not know about and thus you would be unable to answer during the test. So, be a good boy (or girl) and scout out the latest in review publications, and download them for your own use.

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Set Up a Study Plan

Preparing for any exam requires finesse and not brute force. You do not hit the review materials like a machete. Instead, fine tune your study by setting up a study plan that is well-suited to your schedule. This is very important especially if you are working and cannot review full-time. This way, you can avoid the feeling of being pushed to study because you have to and thus, avoid the pressure. Without the pressure, studying becomes stress-free as well.

Follow Your Plan

What’s the use of a plan if you don’t follow it? Enough said; when you have formulated a plan, stick to it as much possible. I say “as much as possible,” because there could be things that arise that would require you to be flexible. Being rigid does not help, does it? Which brings us to the next point…

Put the Review Materials on Your Smartphone

While sticking to the plan is important, flexibility is also necessary. This means that you should make it a point to download your review materials to your smartphone or tablet. This way, you can have access to these and still be able to study on the go! The wonders of technology these days indeed make a lot of things possible for everybody, don’t they?

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Get Plenty of Rest Everyday

With the flexible schedule that CPA exam reviewees enjoy, it may be tempting to sleep late to study or to sleep late to party after studying. Partying every once in a while is okay, but most of the time, you have to get plenty of rest so that your mind is able to refresh itself and be ready to receive new information the next day. I personally slept 8 hours a day during my review days, and party only on the weekends to unwind and take some of the stress off.

There you go. Those are my tips to making your CPA exam preparation smooth and stress-free. These are not absolute, of course, and you can find more tips online! The point here is – make the preparation stress-free and you can up your chances in passing the CPA exam. Good luck and may you pass your CPA exam!


Peter Thompson is a successful but retired CPA. He is now living in Indianapolis managing his business and putting his CPA skills to work. Peter loves fishing and watching movies. Peter is also a professional writer at, helping young aspiring accountants to pass the CPA exam.


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