He who seeketh, findeth

September 5, 2009

Test Taking and Adaptation

Filed under: CPA,Fun (Jokes etc),Happiness,Meditation,Thoughts and Reflections — Steve (Chessiq) @ 12:55 pm

I was reading some an interview that the Atlantic did with one of the participants in the “Harvard Grant Study”. The participant is Ben Bradlee, who is quoted as having said, “I haven’t been unhappy in my life“. It is amazing to read about people’s lives. Here is an except, one of the many parts of the interview that I liked:

“And I graduated so sloppily. As a matter of fact, I got out and “graduated” and then they told me that I hadn’t, which I knew, I hadn’t taken one exam that was required of people who majored in English, which was the English, Shakespeare, Greek exam, there was a special exam you had to take in all three of those subjects. So, when I was on a destroyer in the second war, and my dad was anxious that I graduate really, he arranged to have the exam sent to me on my destroyer. I got it right after the Saipan campaign was over, and we were coming back, we had been hit in Saipan and we were coming back, so I took the test and I was in the Captain’s state room all by myself, and the entire ship knew I was taking a test. At one point there was a knock on the door, and some seaman came in and said, “The officer of the deck presents his compliments and the shortest verse in the Bible is ‘Jesus wept.’” And that was the message. But, I mean it was considered a great joke. So six months later or whatever it was I got word that I had passed.And then I got my degree.”

Here is the full interview.

Here are more links about the Harvard Study.

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August 25, 2009

CPA Exam REG – rougher than AUD

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 9:17 pm

I took the Regulation (REG) section of the CPA exams today. I think I had a rougher time than I had with AUD. I don’t know if my “complaints” that the exam was tough are “dependable” any more, since I have had something to say about the earlier 3 exams and luckily, I passed them. But I had said AUD was rough, and I barely passed it with a 77. I would be surprised if I hit 70. Well, I may score 65, or 90. I overstudied this past week (and yes, up to today) and I confused myself along the way. At times during the exam, I had to dig deep. I closed my eyes with my hands to focus and try to remember some things a few times … and I came out blank one too many times! I am attempted to look up the things I was not sure of, but I think I will not. As I came out of the exam and I was talking to one of the ladies at prometric, I mentioned to her that I would start studying for REG again tonight so that I can be ready to retake it. She said, “no, just wait, it will be okay.” Well, I thought, she could be right. I worried about AUD, and it came out okay. May be this will come out okay. Like Auditing and Attestation, there were times when I was mad at myself for not being sure about what to do. I knew I had read the stuff, I had worked on a multiple choice question similar to that question, but I could not remember the concept/idea. When I study, I almost always go for the idea. I don’t care about the figures, rates, etc. I can “back into” the rates or figures if I know what needs to be done and I have only forgotten what percentage or rate of something. Anyway, this time around, I think I stuffed my brain with too many concepts in a short time than it had to process them and come in handy. I did my best during the exam. I cannot say I did my best in the preparation, except for the last 10 days or so.

I did not like the fact that I waited almost 30 minutes before I could start the exam, but that’s okay. It was a busy day for the people at the site, and they were nice as usual. Anyway, after the fingerprinting, picture, emptying pockets, … came exam time. I logged in, and clicked through the first couple of screens, and then I stopped just before the last screen (before the exam starts) to write up how much time I would spend on each testlet and the start times. According to the Gleim Audios, the recommended start times were 3hs 0 min, 2hr 25 min, 1hr 50 min, 1hr 15min, and 0hr 40 minutes. I was two minutes behind on the first testlet, and that carried through to the second testlet. I think by the time I finished the third multiple choice testlet, I was 5 minutes behind schedule, which was okay. It was okay because I had 5 extra minutes (overall). I spent quite a bit of time on the research tab of the first simulation, may 20 minutes, which was not smart at all. I had planned to spend 7 minutes on each tab, and then move on to the next tab. So, I spent 8 minutes on the written part. That’s writing and reviewing. I spent may 2minutes, 4 minutes and 5 minutes on the other tabs… and then a huge amount of time on researching something, that I am sure I got wrong. I actually went back to it after completing the other tabs and researched some more! Urrghh! I was smart enough to just choose something and move on. I had may be 25 minutes for the other simulation. So, I guess I spent more than 20 minutes on the research, which is more time than I have spent on any exam question through all these exams. I think I was frustrated that I had spent sometime on the Wiley 14.0 simulations last night (or this morning between 1am and 4am) and I was able to find all the required IRC sections being asked. Anyway, I was lucky to find my research response within a minute on the second simulation, so I made up for some of the minutes lost earlier (6). The other tabs were as okay as the multiple choice testlets – which means, not great. I did what I could. The essays were the easiest part of the whole exam for.

Lessons learnt

Know the fundamentals

I was going over the notes that I wrote in my trusty moleskin notebook after FAR, BEC, and AUD exams – and a constant theme is KNOW THE FUNDAMENTALS. I think my problem is that I get the gist of the matter, but I also want to know the details so that I end up “being lost” in the details. So, if I am going to retake this section, I will focus on the fundamentals. What are fundamentals? Well, my definition of it is, it is something on which everything else seems to rest. The foundation, the common them. If you are reading a study unit, you can see that almost 80% of the questions are addressing a particular theme in one way or the other. Once you get that, everything thing that comes your way, has to be looked at from that point of view. Similar to a frame of reference. Ethics for example, the theme may be Google’s motto – “Do no evil” – of course, you can add a phrase or two, for example, “Do no evil, in reality or in appearance”. If you are talking about Property, you have to understand Basis, Adjusted Basis, and how everything else flows from there (gains and losses). All the exceptions and limitations are just details. If you are talking about Gross Income, knowing some of the definition may help… “from whatever source derived” etc. Well, that’s what I think. That’s what I think will work for me if I have to retake the exam. I think it worked enough today. We just have to wait another month to find out.

Last minute preparation helps, but it also sucks!

I got a few points from the work I did last night and this morning and up to an hour before the exam. I think that even if I had prepared well all along, I would still have put in some more hours of work yesterday, last night, and this morning. There was nothing more important to me to do in the last couple of days, up to the time of the exam, than study and prepare for the exam. So, if I have time, why not use that to study something or take another 20 multiple choice study session?

The part that sucks is that if you see something that you have not seen all along and it looks important, on the one hand, you are glad you have seen it. On the other hand, you are wondering what else is out there that you don’t know about, and may show up on your exam! It can demoralize you. I want to say it can also mess up your memory, for example, if what you are seeing contradicts what you studied and believed you understood. Should you change a month’s or a week’s work because of a moment’s glance?

Pace yourself

What can I say? I need to spread things out. The problem is not that I do things last minute. It is that when I start doing something, I go all the way, intensely, and then when I burn out or decide to give myself a break, I take a big break as if I am done with the thing. Of course, sometimes I am actually done with it! Whatever the case, the intensity is not sustainable for long periods of time. So, going forward, on my next big goal, I will spread my effort around.

Do it all

The exam tests a lot of material at the same time. You cannot study it all at the same time, even if you have a 10 day plan like I did. You have to “do it all” just like the exam does. What I mean by that is that every day or every other day, you have to do, say, a total 30 questions from all the chapters. That is about a question or two from each chapter. This keeps part of you on the whole picture and you don’t forget the things you studied a couple of days ago.

Master Taxation

In the exam, I noticed that I had an easier time with the third testlet which had more business law questions that tax questions. I only had 3 items that I really needed to review, and I think I totally guessed on just one of those. I think part of the reason is that I had done most of the business law when I started studying for REG, and then I stopped for a couple of weeks, and then went back to it and the rest of the stuff. So, I went over business law (obviously, excluding tax) a couple of times. This was not smart, considering that tax is (over) 60% of the exam! What can I say? [Hopefully, the third testlet was not “easier” because I blew the first two! Well, you know what I think about those “myths”.]

Summary (What next?)

Overall, it has been a nice experience taking the CPA exams. I hope I will not have to retake REG. If I do, I am confident that I will do much better. I will try to do it the way I am proposing here and I think it will work.

I have a few other posts that I intend to post up regarding the CPA exam, and those will come when I am done with it all.

I think next week I will study for the Ethics exams so that if I have passed REG, then I can just go ahead and apply for the license.

Sweetheart, Chess, family, friends, books, blogs, dreams, success, happiness, righteousness, … all ye, here I cometh! 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+6 =?

It is a wonderful life!

[update: I failed REG, 74, and retook it and passed, 89.]

August 23, 2009

CPA Exam REG prep continues … 8/23/09

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 4:54 pm

Here is my rough guide to living the next 2 days with regard to preparing for the CPA exam’s Regulation (REG) section:

Chessiq's CPA exam - REG prep last 2 days

It is a wonderful life!

August 22, 2009

Passed AUD

Filed under: AUD,CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 2:00 pm

Praise be to God in the highest and peace to His people! I found out about 20 minutes ago that I have passed the CPA exam’s Auditing & Attestation section! Barely passed; 77.

Chessiq's CPA exam AUD results

Thanks to all the people who helped me in all sorts of ways. Thanks for the faith and encouragement. Thanks for the prayers. Thanks for reading the blog. Thanks for the comments. I am at the library studying REG which I am taking next Tuesday, so I have to get back to studying so that I can be 4 in 4! That would be exciting! I have to believe!

It is a wonderful life!

August 21, 2009

CPA Exam REG prep continues … 8/21/09

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:02 pm

Last night after I got home, I decided to work on one more module.

12:30am – 1:08am Regulation of Employment and Environment 37MCQs.

12:30pm – 1:29pm Partnership Taxation MCQs 1-20

7:00pm – 8:54pm Partnership Taxation MCQs 21 – 46. Took about 5 minutes break. A little tired. I think decided that starting tomorrow, I will try to sleep at least 7 hours, and on the night before the exam, I will shoot for at least 8. I hope that I will stick to that plan!

This is 9:19pm. I have spent the last 25 minutes or so, reading a couple of pages I photocopied from my Wiley Book that I use to track the Modules completed, and do a quick “review” of the topics that are covered in the MCQs. I had photocopied some pages that talk about Researching Tax Issues, Examination Content, Taxes on the Regulation Exam. I just didn’t want to carry the whole book around, so I have about 13 pages that I carry around with me. Of course, I [always] spend a couple of hours reading the first couple of Chapters in the CPA review book, (the introduction to the CPA exam stuff.) I believe that those non-technical matter chapters have excellent information that is essential in understanding the exam. That is, the CPA exam as a concept and how to approach it. So, I will give those chapters another, probably on Sunday or Monday.

 Today, I challenged myself with the 3 challenges from yesterday. I have not done great when it comes to “sitting up straight” or “no touching face”, but I have done great with the “no Internet until 10pm” challenge. Another 33 minutes, and I will get to surf the net and see if AUD came out. I think I will stop here, and start working on Gift & Estate Tax. I am not sure if I will take a break before I finish that module to go on the Internet, or I will try to finish it first! Yesterday, I mentioned that I would talk about the benefits of not going on the Internet (for me) later on. Well, I can say that I feel like when I don’t get on the net, I get more accomplished, or I feel like I have accomplished something great. Part of it is because I am getting the studying done, the other part is that I am proving to myself that I can “live without the Internet”, albeit for a few hours. I am not sure whether I would be able to live without the Internet. I live without watching TV, but I was never a great TV watcher in the first place (except for watching soccer). Internet on the other hand, I am almost addicted. I have experienced some withdrawal symptoms these past couple of days! Time to go!

 9:35pm – 10:43pm Gift and Estate Tax. 36MCQs. I thought the treatment of this chapter Module, at least in the Questions Database, was weak. Most of the questions focused on Tax Return Preparers (which I knew a lot from having done Professional Conduct related chapters with Gleim TestPrep CD.

 I am not sure if I have mentioned that what I like about the Wiley study module MCQ “test bank” is that it has “text links” which you can use to read “excerpts” from the book dealing with the question. Some of the text links are several pages long, which can take long to read, but at the same time, makes up for (my) not reading the book. Gleim on the other hand, does not have text links, but the explanations to the questions are pretty detailed (or detailed enough). The fact that Gleim has a ton of MCQs, at least double what Wiley has, is a winner for me, especially if you have time to go over them (which I did for FAR and BEC). My plan is to compare the number of questions in Gleim to those in Wiley for Individual Taxation, and I will go with the higher number. I intend to do Individual Taxation and Corporate Taxation tomorrow. It will be a long day!

 Here is how my “progress spreadsheet” looks.

Chessiq's study progress 08.21.09

 It is a wonderful Life!

August 20, 2009

CPA Exam REG prep continues … 8/20/09

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:13 pm

Last night (or this morning),

12:30am – 12:50am Bankruptcy MCQs 1 – 3 (I also “printed” a PDF file of the whole session, the questions, answer options, answer questions, and testlinks. I found out that this was quicker than printing and saving a question at a time and then combining the files later on. Duh! The only problem is that it is not focused on the areas that I would like to review. Anyway, may be it’s best that I save time now, and then pick and choose what I review later on.)

7:00am – 7:30am Backruptcy MCQs 3 – 10

Lunch with team.

5:56pm – 7:31pm Bankruptcy MCQs 11 – 45. Done with it. I will probably need to review the “exceptions” e.g. what a trustee cannot do, what cannot be discharged, etc.

7:50pm – 8:39pm Commercial Paper MCQs 1 – 22

Break to walk-around, grab something to eat, read the Wall Street Journal. Learnt that the SEC is playing catch-up, technology-wise, when it comes to the advances in trading.

8:58pm – 10:44pm Commercial Paper MCQs 23 – 65. Done with it. Need to review Holder in Due Course (HDC). I think I will be okay even if I just read the summaries on “real defenses” and “personal defenses”.

Today, I decided to give myself three challenges:

1 – No Internet until 10pm (unless it was work related and even then, it had to be something that was critical to my work, for example, printing bank statements to reconcile cash.)

2 – Sit up straight.

3 – No touching my face.

The last two are a problem, especially when I am thinking or focusing and I am burrowing through the monitor! I would say, I was 75% okay on the last two, and 100% on the first one! It was not easy at all. I will try to repeat these goals tomorrow and may be until I take the exam. I will elaborate on the benefits later.

Now, let me check my email and other blogs before I head out!

Here is how my spreadsheet looks:

Chessiq's study progress 08.20.09

It is a wonderful life!

August 19, 2009

CPA Exam REG prep continues… 8/19/09

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:35 pm

Got home around 12:30am last night or this morning because I left (this conference room) around 12:00am. I decided to study some more when I got home because my stomach was killing me. I had a banana on the way out, and for the past couple of months, my stomach has not been taking bananas well. Anyway, I decided on Module 31, Property.

According to my spreadsheet, this is supposed to have 43 MCQs, yet it has 53 in the Wiley Testprep CD/database – which is good; the more the better. I only managed to get through 10 questions, and I had to sleep because the stomachache worsened, and I was also tired. My reward for studying tonight is reading this post: http://www.personalfinanceplaybook.com/2009/08/only-a-business-owner-can-sell-like-a-business-owner/

 12:45am – 1:22am Property (Module 31) MCQs 01-10

2:24pm – 3:24pm Property (Module 31) MCQs 11-31 (while having lunch)

6:50pm – 7:44pm Property (Module 31) MCQs 31-53. Now I know about Mortgagor and Mortgagee’s rights, deeds (execution, recording, types), Property types, and rights. My favorite has been various State laws regarding recording deeds, Notice, Race, and Notice-Race! I noticed that I was taking almost 4 minutes a question (average) but it is because I was reading all the text links on the questions regardless of whether I got the question right or wrong. I am studying, not just test-taking. If I found the information useful or reviewable, I was printing it, PDF, and saving the file to folder on my desktop. At the end, I combined the pages into one file. Here I have 50 pages to review! There are some pages that have only 5-10 lines, so it is not too much.

 Okay, dinner break! I went a Japanese Restaurant. That’s all the info I can give out right now. I got Chicken Teriyaki, Vegetables & Steamed Rice – YUM! It is kind of nice to shake off the hunger and sleepiness with some “not-home-made-food”. I talked a little bit with the guy who was making my food, Pablo, and he mentioned that a few weeks ago, I used to go there (to the Japanese restaurant) frequently, but I now, it is “long time no see”! I tried to explain that I was busy with work and school, and I am studying during lunch… but I am not sure he understood since his English is not as good as his Spanish. It is people like that that make me want to learn Spanish… so that we can converse. It was kind of nice to know that he remembered me going there frequently, months ago. Anyway, let me eat and get back to studying. May be another 10 minutes? Start at 8:30pm? Deal!

Well, I am one minute over, because I was reading Todd’s interview of Michael Gerber, and I was consumed! I have stopped about one third of the way in. It is really nice. So far, I feel that sometimes you see successful people and you “envy” them, and then you hear them talk… to hear how they got where they are, and you are just inspired to be better at what you do, to some day be able to tell a similar story, and hopefully, somebody will become inspired by your story,… sort of PAY IT FORWARD.

Now, study!

I forgot to mention that I like classical music, so the past couple of days I have been listening to ClassicalMusicAmerica on iTunes, and it is one of the best classical music radio stations I have ever listened to. When I become a CPA, I will probably send them some sponsorship/thank you money!

 When I want to smile or laugh, I sometimes go to this awesome site: http://1000awesomethings.com/

 8:49pm – 10:56pm, done with Module 24: Sales. Now I know remedies available to buyers and sellers, product liability, risk of loss and title, how the UCC statute of frauds is different from the “regular” or “general” statute of statute of frauds. This reminds me of the first time I read business law, I think it was 11 or 12 years ago at PAEC. I haven’t touched anything similar to it since. I thought accounting was way to go then, and then I changed my mind, and now I am back with it, but I don’t know for how long. I am not sure if I want to be an accountant for life. My goal is to be certified, become really good at it, (which I think I am getting there in the real world) and then become a consultant (IT & Accounting). After doing that for a couple of years, I would love to play chess professionally. Why am I saying all this? I don’t know. I just thought I should put it out there.

I am going to drive home. I think I will make it home by 11:45pm. I will probably put in another hour or so and then hit the bed. I think I am doing okay on my studying. The items highlighted green are ones that I have done in Wiley 14.0 this week. The ones highlighted turquoise are the ones that I did a couple of weeks ago in Gleim TestPrep CD. .The ones that are unhighlighted or highlighted red are the ones that are not done. [Red because they are too big and too important!] I will get there!

chessiq's study progress 08.19.09

It is a wonderful life!

August 18, 2009

CPA Exam REG Prep Continues … 8/18/09

Filed under: CPA,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:48 pm

This was inspiring to me today:

 To Write or To Commute?

http://www.thomasjstanley.com/blog-articles/25/To_Write_or_To_Commute.html#

How long did it take me to write The Millionaire Next Door?  I wrote the entire 477-page manuscript in about 180 days, or 43,200 minutes.  I wrote on average for four hours each and every day, about 240 minutes a day.”

Studied my notes in the car at lunch

7:42pm – 9:22pm Finished Transactions in Property. Took a break to prepare dinner (soup), change printer toner, create an Evernote template for the day, etc.

 No need to write notes. It’s slow and it is taking up study time, which I don’t have. I am just printing the questions and notes that I think I will need to review. I am also trusting my brain to recall anything that I have seen, reviewed, heard, skimmed, or made a mental note to remember! (Sounds like “The Secret”, but I really believe that statement. It is part of my “mission statement”.

  9:25pm – 9:42pm – break: checked another71 and twitter to see if AUD is out. It looks like it is not out. It was interesting just reading the comments of all the people who have passed, failed, or are still waiting for the results! You see that you are not alone in the thoughts and emotions that go with taking the exam. My advice to myself is, put in the time, that way you don’t have to work on stuff last minute, and you don’t blame yourself that you had the potential but you didn’t take the chance! I hope I won’t (blame myself). I was wondering if, say, I found out that the results were out, would I have the discipline to wait and stay away from finding out? I would like to stay away, but I can see myself thinking, “I will log in, but I will not click the Examination Score Inquiry  and then current exam results”! Ha ha! I just tried it for fun:

 AUD - playing with fire ;-)

Of course I cut out my AICPA ID# and EXAM DATE… Phew!

Enough rest, let’s study.

9:45pm – 10:12pm Insurance 11MCQs. Taking the Getting Things Done (GTD) approach: Will this take more than 2 minutes? If the answer is no, do it now. In this case, this Module was small enough to be done in no time. Who knows, there could be a question on insurance 😉 Now I know what 80% co-insurance on property (buildings) is: an “incentive” for insured to maintain insurance equal to 80% of FMV of insured property… Of course this does not apply when property is totally destroyed. Yay! I like the formula for calculating the maximum that can be recovered in case of partial damage. Oh, well, next module!

 10:20pm – 11:24pm Debtor–Creditor Relationships Done with Module. Need to drive home now. I took a break to check on my boss who has travelled from USA to India for work.

Now I know about Sureties and Guarantors, personal defenses of a debtor, co-sureties, and their rights (contribution, exoneration, reimbursement, and subrogation). Some of the things are not necessarily new, because I have listened to them a bunch of times when I was driving and listening to the old (2007) Gleim CDs. However, recalling and applying that information is a different ball game. I am happy with my progress these past couple of days.

 Chessiq - Evernote CPA REG 08.18.2009

Tomorrow I will shoot to do a couple of things:

A 24 MCQs test, 2 modules with less than 60 questions, and then start on Individual Taxation.

 It is a wonderful life!

August 17, 2009

CPA Exam prep continues… 8/17/09

Filed under: CPA,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 10:56 pm

1:52PM – 2:52PM Lunch & went through Module22 Secured Transactions. Did 17 of the 34MCQs.

Roughly, 6pm – 7pm: relax a little. Read email, twitter, etc – found out that REG wave 1 is out (from Jeff at another71.com.

Watched the first minutes of “Nurturing Creativity: at TED. The other 10 minutes will by my reward for doing a couple of hours of studying REG.

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

7:10pm – 8:01pm completed Module 30, Secured Transactions. 34MCQ, 73.53%.

I am a little tired since I slept at 2:30am last night. I left work at around midnight, got home around 12:30am, Ate a little bit; probably almonds, and did the Federal Securities Acts and Antitrust Law Module. I am taking notes as I am studying, so it is taking a little bit longer than the budgeted 1 ½ minutes per MCQ. I think I am on schedule. I will now eat dinner – a samoosa – and then finish the TED video, 10 minutes or so, and then I will tackle my next Module. I have not decided what it will be.

8:34pm – My break is almost up. The TED video was inspiring. I have just learnt that I should not put off the ideas that come to my mind to blog about – most of which are spiritual in nature. It could be God speaking to me and asking me to write. So, once the exams are over, I will get back to blogging about non-CPA stuff.

Anyway, time to decide what to study next.

8:40PM – 10:00pm Module 34 – Transactions in Property. I am going to drive home and probably sleep. I will try to get up at 6am and finish module 34 off. 60MCQs.

It is a wonderful life!

August 16, 2009

CPA Exam REG continues … 8/16/09

Filed under: CPA,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:45 pm

8/16/09

I know I said I will not blog again until exam day… but I have changed my mind. No explanations. 😉

This post was being written [in Microsoft Word] as I was studying… so the times are almost exact to the minute except the last one. It was my way of tracking what I was doing and thinking… so coming up with it didn’t take much. Future posts will be much shorter, as I have come up with the game plan for the rest of the days; see below!

**************

I decided to watch motivational videos, read some positive thinking articles, listen to productivity, self-improvement, wholesome things, and get back to reading my mission statement. This will be a daily routine. I will be doing some of the things between study sessions. I have analyzed the things that I like doing and I am going to use those as my rewards for the time I put in. Reading blogs, following soccer, munching almonds(!), talking to my girlfriend, dreaming about early retirement, etc. I have budgeted some time for each of those activities. One of the funniest is that I will earn 3 almonds for every hour I put in! So, at the end of the day, I may have 18 almonds waiting for me! Ha ha ha! Now, that sounds like a lot. We will see. It was wealth the drive to go and get 2 lbs of roasted unsalted almonds to last me til exam time in about 9 days. So, here we go!

 

3:30pm – 4:02pm Test Session 24 MCQs

4:02pm – 4:45pm Study Session 24MCQs (done above)

4:46pm – 5:00pm listened to “JUST STARTED” http://www.43folders.com/2009/08/04/enough

Get okay with the fact that you can suck at times. You just have to start. Don’t think about, don’t wish, don’t plan … Get started on something. START! Procrastination dash à Give it 5 minutes, and just do it for 5 minutes and see how far you go. à Do it regularly. Give it time.

5:02pm – 5:28pm Test Session 24 MCQs

5:35pm – 6:23pm Study Session 24MCQs (done above)

6:25pm – 7:00pm

Break to eat lunch/dinner.

Back to listening the podcast at http://www.43folders.com/2009/08/04/enough while eating lunch/dinner.

More takeaways (some paraphrased):

You have to exercise the muscle that’s hard to exercise

You have to keep working on it

Have some tolerance for hanging on even when you don’t know when things are going

You have everything you need right now

You don’t do stuff coz it’s easy, you do it because it is tough.

Polish it – ask what could this become?

We all want to be good, we all hate to suck

You get good at stuff when you care a lot about it, and doing it a lot

People are scared of knowing how good they may or may not be at something

Read: Fake Rocks, Salami Commanders, and Just Enough to Start and stopped at The Switch Flips. Break is over.

7:06pm – 7:31pm Test Session 24 MCQs

7:33pm – 8:21pm Study Session 24MCQs (done above)

8:25pm – 8:45pm I have just finished working on an Evernote Template that will use to track my study time. It is one similar to what I use to track my time/activities at work. I think it will come in handy in tracking stuff done.

Chessiq's Evernote study plan - 8/16/09 For me, the most important thing is not necessarily sticking to the budgeted time, but to get the work done. Sometimes I will beat the scheduled time, at other times I will go over. It is all okay. I was wondering if I am wasting my time by doing the Test Mode, and then going back to do the same questions in Study Mode. Obviously, the Study Mode cannot be eliminated because I need to know whether I have something right or wrong. So, that leaves the Test Mode as an elimination candidate. I decided I could not eliminate that one for two reasons. First, I am practicing doing 24 questions within 30 minutes, which is my goal for the exam. Second, I need to go through the questions without truly knowing how I have done, which is the case in the exam. In my previous exam, I found out that when I did the test mode last minute, after using the study mode for months, I was expecting an answer/explanation to show up after I clicked my choice! So, I think I am doing okay. I may, or may not finish reading all the study units before the exam. I didn’t finish Business Economics and Concepts, but I passed with an 87, so it can be done, if I apply myself and master whatever I study. My scores have not been great. Consistently around 58%, which sucks! However, I have only actually read and completed 4 Study Units, so anything from the remaining 16 Study Units is … new. I have to dig deep to my tax classes or business law classes to remember some of the stuff. No excuses. I am just saying, it is only going to get better in the next couple of days. Well, it is 9:02pm, so I should take a walk , get some water, and then come back to work on simulations.

9:21pm – 10:20pm Worked on Simulations – (Refer to above Evernote screenshot).

 10:20pm – 10:44pm Decided to figure out a way to touch all modules/chapters in the Wiley book even though I am using the Gleim TestPrep CD to prepare for the exam. So, I made copies of the Tables of Contents in the Wiley book. My original plan was to Mark S when I have done at least 2 simulations on the module, R when I have read the chapter for at least an hour, Q when I have done 60 multiple choice questions strictly on the chapter, and then make sure that every day, I do different S, Q, and R. Thus in 5 days, I would have done 15 different modules or chapters in addition to the MCQs that are taking questions from all the Study Units in Gleim. While doing that, I decided to look at the number of MCQs in the Wiley Book… so I worked up the simple spreadsheet below:

 Chessiq - MCQs time needed computation

 It looks like the Wiley Book has only 1044 questions, and from my calculations, I can hammer those out in 30 hours, if I spend about 1 ½ minutes per question. This is way less than the 2000+ questions on the Gleim TestPrep CD. So, my goal will be to go through all the Wiley questions and thus have touched all the chapters by Friday, 8/21/09. Saturday, I will read/skim here and there, and do simulations, and then on Sunday, I will get back to Gleim and just enjoy my life with a ton of 24 MCQs. Monday, 8/24/09, I will review my notebook and any other hand-written notes. Tuesday, 8/25/09, last minute review and take the exam. Then blog about my exam experience. Wednesday, I will enjoy the day. Thursday, I will check to see if my results for Auditing and Attestation (AUD) came out in wave 1. Lord, please give me the drive and the patience!

 In the evernote screenshot above, the Wiley MCQs for Federal Securities Acts and Antitrust Law are what’s on the menu once I post this. I have already checked in the time… and by the way, I just found out that the Wiley CD has a few more questions than the book. For example, the chapter/module I am going to tackle next, the book has 44 questions while the CD has 56. That’s okay by me. Good thing I have a buffer in my plan!

I had said in my last post that I would give an update on how Saturday, 8/15/09, went. Well, let’s just say I did some decent studying. It looks like I will be heading home around midnight again. Not excuses, no accusations!

 Okay, I have to post this and start on those MCQs.

 It is a wonderful life!

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