How to start on CPA preparation in one step

Even the longest and most difficult ventures have a starting point – Laozi

Today marks the five months since I have completed my CPA and what a relief it was when I got done with the exam. After struggling for 5 years without seeing an end to this exam, it felt surreal looking at my score for the final part of the exam. There were some painful memories of failing that part many times but in the end the joy of seeing it through was immense.

However, many students around USA and in many countries where CPA is offered are still struggling to pass this exam. I have friends and colleagues who have given up on passing this exam because of the long journey they have to undertake and unwilling to make small changes in themselves to make this even a possibility. I have heard many excuses and some of them look like this:

Friend: “I am so busy these days at work. These reports take so much time and I get so overwhelmed with all the extra work I get from clients.”

Me: “Why don’t you come early in the morning so you have little bit more time to finish your work and use the extra time you get from beating the traffic by studying for CPA in that time.”

Friend: “No can’t do. I was up late night watching the “Breaking Bad” series on Netflix and I cannot wake up early in the morning to beat traffic.”

This is a typical conversation that I have with my peers and it breaks my heart that these people can achieve so much by just sacrificing a little bit of time. However, making complete lifestyle changes can be overwhelming and therefore people should start with something which will be small and easy to win.

For my readers, I would have a suggestion which would only take few minutes to implement but will have a huge advantage when pursuing this journey. This is the exercise that should be done:

  • Determine the smallest number of questions that you will do in a day to count it as successful. Any number of questions is good but it should not be that many that you will have to think twice about doing it.
  • The number of questions has to be done in one sitting. So no breaks people and no distractions.
  • Find time during the day to do those questions.
  • Do it for five days and keep track of results.

Personally, I chose to do 5 questions which was a number I was comfortable with and something my small attention span can handle. This would take less than 5 minutes for me to finish and gave me any excuse that I cannot find 5 minutes of time during an entire day to finish this exercise.  I figured that I would undertake this exercise thirty minutes after I reached office. This would be a time after I have settled down at work and ready to start my day.

Let me know how this exercise goes for you in the comments below.