He who seeketh, findeth

May 22, 2009

Blogging away the CPA exams!

Filed under: AUD,BEC,CPA,FAR,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 5:30 pm

I have decided to start blogging again. This time around, instead of blogging about Chess or God or some other things that really interest me, I will blog about … my efforts towards passing CPA exams. I will try to keep my posts short. I think it will be my way of tracking my progress and keeping myself motivated to study. To stay on the path to passing and getting certified. I have some pretty good records of how I have studied so far – good or bad – but the records are there.
So, briefly, here is what has happened so far.

I sat for Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) on 4/20/09. I felt relieved after the exam. I thought the exam was not as tough as I expected. It was tough, but mainly because I didn’t prepare the way I should have. I had studied really hard for about 2 months, and then I burnt out. I didn’t study for almost 3 weeks and then I had to cram 3-4 days before the exam. I think I slept for about 16 hours in the 4 days before the exam. Not the greatest way to study. My take from the exam… if you know the fundamentals or basics of everything, you should be okay. For example, given some information, can you work out a statement of cash flow using the direct method and/or the indirect method? Can you break down the information into operating, investing, and financing activities? Similarly, do you know the main categories of governmental funds? How about the types of funds that fall under each category? etc. The volume of material to remember is great, but it is not undoable. I thought I managed my time well: 45 min, 60min, 75min, 35min, and 25min for the 5 testlets. Did I pass? I don’t know. I would like to think so. Some results came out over the past couple of days, in wave 1, but mine was not part of it. I think it is a good thing, that way I can focus on preparing for Business Economics and Concepts (BEC). How is that? Well, if I passed, then may be I would relax a little bit and waste a day or two along the way. On the other hand, may be it would give great motivation to pass BEC and then pass the other two (Auditing and Attestation (AUD), and Regulation (REG)) next quarter. May be. If I failed, may be I would be disturbed and not be able to study for a day or two. May be failure would give me the drive I need to focus on BEC so that I don’t go 0 in 2! I don’t know.
What I can tell you is that I have spent the past 3 days checking result-related information at the State Board of Accountancy website, at NASBA, at CPAnet, at another71.com, and a few other places. Today, I have come to the conclusion that, as I had originally hoped, my result for FAR will come out around June 21st.
How has my prep for BEC been? Not great. I should say there has not been much preparation at except the past 3 days. What is my explanation or excuse? I have been pretty busy with work. I have been stressed out about work – will I have a job tomorrow, next week, next month? I am not as stressed this week week as I was about 2-4 weeks ago. I will not go into the details. The other explanation/fact, but not an excuse, is that I have just been avoiding studying. No motivation, no drive. I would not look at this explanation separately from the first one. They may be linked. Anyway, so what am I doing going forward?

Well, first off, I was supposed to take the exam tomorrow – 5/23, but I moved it (two weeks ago) to next Friday, 5/29 after I saw that I was so busy at work with month end close, and even after that, I could see a hellish week or weeks preparing for Auditors. I am not moving the exam again. I have been off work since Wednesday and I have done some decent studying. I think I will be prepared to take the exam by the time 5/29 rolls around even though I am working every day next week. I will try to get out of work by 6 pm so that I can have at least 4-5 hours of study before I sleep.

This week I will be using Gleim’s test prep software to go through the study units. Today I have finished unit 4 and I am half way through unit 5. I have only 15 to go! I have been averaging about 71. The recommended is 80 and above so that you can feel “assured” that you will get a 75 on the actual exam.

I have written more than I intended to, but it was a quick summary of what I have done so far and where I am headed.

It is a wonderful life.

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