My CPA Exam Story: How I Stayed Motivated
Lecture, notes, flashcards, MCQs, repeat. As you complete the seemingly
endless cycle of preparing for the CPA Exam, you may experience feelings of
exhaustion, frustration and even self-doubt. Remember: you can do this! Here’s
the story of Kristen Cournane, a Becker student who overcame these feelings and
passed all four parts by staying motivated throughout her exam prep.
Read as Kristen shares her experience studying for the CPA Exam and her best advice for others embarking on the journey.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Why did you decide to become an accountant?
When I began college, I was nearly certain that I would pursue a
career in medicine. Upon discovering that a biochemistry major simply wasn’t
for me, I took an Accounting 101 class at the recommendation of my mom, who is
a CPA herself! I found it to be true that the apple doesn’t fall far from the
tree, and I immediately fell in love with the art and science of accounting.
Countless doors started opening for me – I joined and maintained
executive board positions in on-campus business clubs, networked
with other accounting students
and became fascinated with all social aspects of professional development.
I very quickly learned that accounting is not just math, and it is by no means monotonous. Becoming an accountant
is an opportunity to challenge yourself both intellectually and socially. It
was upon that realization that I dedicated myself to succeeding in this
you manage time with studying, work and life? What did your study schedule look
Studying, working part-time, going to school full-time and
maintaining a social life was definitely not an easy task, but it became more
manageable when I promised to make the most out of every minute of the day.
After classes or work, I would head straight to the library—no
excuses! I committed myself to studying for a minimum of 3-4 hours each day.
When I had more time, I would study more, and if I had an obligation for work
or class the following day, sometimes I would have to stray from my daily goal.
Studying should be flexible, but it’s important to set some sort of standard to
hold yourself accountable each day. Using
an Excel sheet to track your study hours can
help you to be visually aware of your study progress.
After you’ve met your allotted goal for the day, try to add
another half hour, and then close the book. Take a walk, call a friend, watch
TV or the best activity of them all, sleep! It’s incredibly important to unplug
from your studies once in a while and come back to your materials the next day
with a clear mind and well-rested eyes.
for getting motivated and focused?
motivated while studying for the CPA exam
can be difficult, but you must remember one thing—this is a temporary
investment for a lifetime of benefits. Sure, a year or two of pushing yourself
to study is not going to be on your list of greatest memories, but you will
thank yourself in the end for making the sacrifice.
What was your biggest challenge in preparing for the exam, and how did you overcome it? My biggest challenge was overcoming the menacing feeling of self-doubt. Some days I would sit down in my usual study spot and be hit with a wave of “Am I really smart enough to do this?” Trust me, you are. I’m a firm believer that everyone is capable of passing these exams if you tackle the Becker study materials with the right sense of determination and confidence. Remember, you can only fail if you stop trying.
advice would you share with someone preparing for the exam? Any tips that
Have you ever heard of this Latin quote: “repetitio mater
studiorum?” Me neither— but Google says that it means “repetition is the mother
of all learning.” When it comes to studying for the CPA exam, this quote could
not hold more true. Notice how the Becker materials, especially the multiple choice
questions (MCQs) and mock exams, are available for you to repeat over and over
again. Personally, I took each mock exam three or four times, worked through at
least 30 progress tests, and re-wrote all of my lecture notes prior to taking each part of the
you choose Becker for your CPA studies?
Luckily, my employer provided me with Becker. If I had the choice,
I would choose Becker all over again. Becker provides a comprehensive package
of resources to match just about anyone’s study habits. Whether you’re a
note-taker, lecture-listener, flashcard-flipper or all three, Becker provides
its students with the opportunity to personalize their CPA exam studying
experience. My favorite part of the Becker experience was learning from a
fantastic group of lecturers—Mike Brown, Angie Brown, Peter Olinto and Tim
Gearty not only teach you what you need to know to pass the exams, but also
cheer you on and make you laugh along the way. I am incredibly thankful for
Becker and would recommend this program to anyone who wants to succeed in
passing the CPA exams!
Are you ready to prepare for CPA exam success? We’re ready to help
you along the way! Get