15 CPA Exam preparation tips and strategies

3 min read

Preparing for the CPA Exam can feel like a fulltime job. In the midst of managing your personal and professional lives, you still need to find time to complete all of those MCQs and flashcards! Along with studying, the exam application process is tedious and can be complex depending on where you live. As you create your study plan and work through challenging concepts, it can be incredibly useful to learn CPA Exam preparation tips from fellow students who've already passed all four sections. Luckily, your accounting peers are happy to offer some assistance.

CPA study tips

Our social media community recently shared their favorite CPA Exam preparation tips. Here are 15 accounting exam tips from the Becker CPA Facebook and Twitter communities. Read the following tips to pass the CPA Exam with less stress and more confidence.

Pace yourself while studying and be sure to take breaks.
At the top of the CPA Exam preparation tip list is time management. Cram sessions are proven to be counterproductive and they don’t guarantee that you’ll learn more information. Instead, take your time with each section and take breaks while you study. Give yourself plenty of time before the big exam day so you don't feel pressure to rush through your study schedule.


“Take a break and walk around!” – Cody

“Junk food snacks between chapter sections” – Matt

Building an effective study plan is essential to efficient studying. When creating your CPA study strategy, be sure to factor in personal time. Doing so may help you avoid overstressing about fitting the exam into your personal and professional commitments. The following students provided accounting exam tips for preventing burnout and preparing for real exam conditions.

“Set up a spaced repetition schedule to continually revisit the older lessons you studied. Definitely helps if you’re studying gradually over a long period due to work, family, etc.” – Mark

“Study under test conditions!” – Kirsten

“Finish each section before starting another.” – Karyn

Use your Becker materials.
Know that Becker is always here to help you through your studies! Also, consider which study methods are the best fit for your learning style. One student remembers material by writing things down. Our review course includes a variety of learning tools, including printed and annotated digital textbooks, digital flashcards, Skillmaster videos, simulated exams, an MCQ bank and more. In addition to these, our expert instructors are experienced CPAs who provide CPA Exam preparation tips throughout the lectures. No matter how you prefer to learn, the Becker review course has a tool to get you through the most important concepts that are tested on the CPA Exam.


“#flashcards” – Jared

“SIMS!!” – Kemberly

“Nonstop MCQs” – Louis

“MCQ, MCQ, MCQ, MCQ… I watch all skills master videos.” – Katy

“Going through every multiple-choice and simulation, writing down what I did not understand from the problem, and going back to the literature to review the concepts. Then… doing the MCQs again.” – Jolly

“Listen to previous lectures at 1.5 speed to refresh memory… so much material in FAR… also MCQs until my eyes bleed” – Andrew

“I use all of the post-its available in my desk and then I put them on my wall. Just writing things down helps me remember.” – Naiomi

“Studying the flashcards in your car before driving to work and when you park your car before going into the office.” – Michael

congratulations sarah

Stay encouraged and keep focused!
We know exam preparation is difficult, but stay motivated. You can do this! A great way to keep encouragement high is to remember why you decided to pursue CPA licensure in the first place. A CPA license is the accounting profession's highest standard of competence and achievement. There are so many reasons to reach the finish line, including career opportunities and professional advancement, so stay focused.

“Stay positive…focus…believe in yourself. The exam is not hard; it is just a competition and the winner is the one who will have perseverance and will continue ‘til the end of the game. Never give up!” – Jimmy

“Just stay focused and finish exams ASAP.” – Ravi

As you're studying for the CPA Exam, tips from those who have already conquered the challenge can give you the motivation you need to keep pushing. You’ve already gotten started with your CPA Exam preparation and that’s the hardest part of the battle. Feeling encouraged? Take a behind-the-scenes look at the CPA Exam to understand each section and its key concepts.

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