Tips for Passing the CPA Exam

John Krautzel
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Whether you are about to graduate college for the first time or you're making a midlife career change, passing the CPA exam may be the main hurdle to earning a paycheck as a certified accountant. With so much on the line—including the sometimes-hefty fee associated with such exams—you don't want to waste time retesting. In addition to solid study skills and hard work, a few other CPA exam tips can put you into action.


Make sure you're familiar with the type of knowledge required for passing the CPA exam in your state. According to a press release from Roger CPA Review, cramming that knowledge into the few months before the exam is not the best way to go. The release indicates that early and consistent familiarity with exam-related information boosts your chances for success on the test. A gradual ingestion of the information also makes it more likely that you will be able to put the skills into practice during your career.


In addition to studying and taking part in exam review programs, passing the CPA exam is also dependent on properly applying for the test. This may seem obvious, but individuals who offer review programs and products report that some students don't pay attention to application requirements or timelines. In some states, it can take weeks for your application to be processed, so you need to get your paperwork turned in as soon as possible. At the same time, you don't want to jump the gun; exam applications might require transcripts from your university or other documents.


You have to take the test yourself, but passing the CPA exam is not something you have to do alone. Find a group of colleagues, students, or friends who are also studying for the test. Meet a few nights a week to study together, working out difficult material and building a support structure. If meeting in person isn't possible, look for online groups that can share CPA exam tips and concerns. Check out the Nexxt accounting community to connect with professionals and other students in the niche. Non-CPA friends and family can help by respecting your study time, cooking meals, or simply being present when you need some time off from the books.


Most experts agree that you shouldn't cram all the way up to the test date. If you haven't learned the material by a day or two before the test, you'll have a hard time passing the CPA exam. Instead, do everything you can to prepare yourself throughout school and in the months and weeks leading up to the exam. Then, take a day or two off to rest and allow the information to sink in. Hitting the exam when you are well rested gives you an immediate benefit.


Passing the CPA exam is not easy. It will take a lot of hard work on your part as well as support from others. The effort will be worth it once you pass the test and move into your chosen career.


(Photo courtesy of adamr /


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  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks John, that's a great idea! The areas that require memorization can be tricky. Reviewing the material just before the test really can help.
  • John T
    John T
    Cramming is not a great option, but a refresher before the exam on key areas that required memorization is always a good strategy for the CPA exam.

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