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CPA Exam Failure: Three Things you Should do to get Back on Track

CPA Exam Failure: Three Things you Should do to get Back on Track

January 12, 2010

Wake up an hour and forty-five minutes earlier than normal…the first 30 minutes will be spent stumbling around, hating life, cursing the exam, and making coffee. The next 15 minutes will be spent checking e-mail and Twitter. You know you’re going to do it, so plan for it. This clears the way for a solid hour of studying.

1 extra hour a day Mon-Fri = 5 hours of studying a week

Bring your lunch to work…eat for 15 minutes…and study the next 45 minutes.

45 minutes at lunch Mon-Thurs (eat out with friends on Friday) = 3 hours of studying per week

Studying at Home:

If you’re single, your schedule is much more flexible and you could feasibly study 4 hours a night if you wanted to at home. If you have a significant other or a family – the following applies to you:

If you have kids – get them in bed by 8:30 (many times a laughable proposition with the repeated requests for drinks of water, needing one more hug, too hot/cold, and the sudden urge for them to declare their birthday wish list even though it’s still 10 months away – but still try for 8:30)…watch an hour of TV or whatever with your spouse…study from 9:30 to 11:00. This still puts you in a prime spot to get to sleep early enough that you can get up early as mentioned above.

1.5 hours studying Mon-Thurs (Friday is a night off of studying) = 6 hours of studying per week

Grand total for weekday studying: 14 hours


You don’t have to kill your weekends in order to be a good CPA candidate. You also don’t have to be AWOL from your family and friends. Three hours a day each day on Saturday/Sunday is all you need to get 20 hours of CPA Exam study time per week.

If you have kids – spend time with them in the morning…study during nap time (if applicable) and you have the rest of the evening with them as well.

That’s 20 hours a week of studying for the CPA Exam and you barely had to alter your schedule or lose out on time with family and friends.

Following this study plan, you could conceivably be ready for:

FAR in 6-7 weeks

REG in 5-6 weeks

AUD in 3-4 weeks

BEC in 3-4 weeks

It sounds simple – and it is. It’s the schedule that I used to finally pass the CPA Exam and if you have failed a section and are looking for a new approach, I recommend that you give it a try.

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