CPA Study Tips + Motivational Quotes


Before I started studying for the CPA, I went on some research to get study tips from people who had passed the CPA. I figured if I took their advice and did exactly what they did, I’d pass too! Several people shared their success story, study tips and advice on places like Becker testimony page, ThisWaytoCPA, Another71 etc. At the time, it wasn't enough to just read them once. I wanted to have them all in one place so I could read them over and over again. The quotes/tips I really liked, I saved them to a Word document on my desktop. I read that Word document at least once every week for the duration of my studying period as a source of encouragement and to remind myself, "If they can do it, I can too."

Below are the CPA study tips and motivational quotes that I saved to the Word document: 

On Discipline / Determination:

  • "To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.”

  • “Let nothing stand in your way.”

  • “Give it your all.”

  • "To those who say impossible, you say, ‘just watch’."

  • “It is not a test of intelligence. It is a test of discipline.”

On Faith:

  • Put God FIRST. You have God… everything is possible!

  • Believe you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you and you are halfway there!

  • God has blessed you with the ability to succeed. You can succeed. Believe in yourself. No one will believe in you unless you do.

On Studying:

  • “It is important to note that you don’t have to change anything about your successful college study habits, you just need to make sure that you have enough time to cover all of the material.”

  • “A study tool that I used and would highly recommend is practice exams. I took those exams and treated them like actual tests. Time yourself and try to figure out if you are finishing the test in the allotted amount of time.”

  • “The best advice that I can offer you is to put plenty of time into studying. If you do, you will likely succeed on the CPA exam. Most of the individuals that I’ve talked to that didn’t pass the exam failed because they had too many things on their plate to focus wholly on studying for the exam.”

  • Preparing will include rigorous studying, but when you’re done you can look back with the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve conquered a once in a lifetime challenge.”

  • “Also, just KNOCK IT OUT. Every time I felt lazy about studying, I would remember that studying less now results in failing, which results in studying a LOT MORE later. It's definitely worth your time to study your @$$ off now and not have to spend several more months studying the same stuff again because you didn't work hard enough the first time.”

  • MCQs should be so ingrained in you from the hours of practice.”

  • “When in doubt about how much you’ve studied, do multiple-choice problems.”

  • “My strategy for success is “work until you are absolutely exhausted and then push yourself to work some more.”

On Practice Exams: 

  • “For each section, I took the first practice exam near the beginning of the two weeks to identify my weaker areas and to get an idea of how to best manage my time. For time management, the materials all provide recommended time frames, but I found that I needed a little more time on the simulations and a little less time on the multiple choice sections than recommended.”

  • “A few days before my scheduled exam dates, I would take the second practice exam from the self-study materials using the timing I had determined during my first practice run. Taking the second practice exam so close to my actual test date helped me to build my confidence going into the real thing.”

On Exam days:

  • “I purposely scheduled all of my exams to be in the morning so that I could limit the amount of time I would have to study right before the exam and avoid burning myself out before the actual test.”

  • “To help with time management, I went through each multiple-choice section three times. The first time through, I would answer every question that I could answer with certainty without needing to deliberate. The second time through, I would answer the questions that I needed to think about for a few moments but was still fairly certain of the correct response. After the second run, I would see how many questions were left and how much time I had left for that section. With that strategy, I knew exactly how much time I had per question, and I didn’t need to worry about running out of time on questions that I could answer easily. If I saw that a question was taking up too much time during my final run through the questions, I would just answer my “best guess” and move on.”

On Passing:

  • Ultimately, you're only going to pass any part of the exam if you put in the time to learn it. There are going to be very few people who can go over lectures & homework once and be able to pass. Most will have to put in time and make sacrifices. It's not easy...but if it was easy, everyone would do it!

  • Passing scores due to reading the book twice, understanding concepts, working MCQs/SIMs multiple times.

  • Passed on my first try with an 85! I used only Becker for my study material. I would watch the Becker lectures on the weekends and then do homework problems for an hour or two when I got home from work each day. I would also do some problems on the 30-45 minute bus ride to work every day and would do progress tests every now and then to make sure that prior lecture material information was still fresh in my head. I definitely rewrote all the notes to all the chapters at least once, but the biggest thing, as generally known for the CPA, was practice, practice. I must have done every problem in the Becker test bank at least once, and probably did about half at least twice. Good luck to those studying! It's a monster of a test, but definitely doable with enough time and diligence.

  • I continue to be baffled by people who say they studied with Becker and went into the exam and thought the MCQs were foreign to them. I have taken three exams and every one of them, the MCQs were so similar to Becker's, it almost felt like cheating. Like, I mean, word for word on occasions, just with different numbers or some different options for MCQ choices, but if you understand the concept, you won't be at all thrown off by the MCQs if you study with Becker.

    I added the bold to emphasize things I wanted to stand out.

Stay motivated!