Future CPA Kristen Cournane Shares Her Top 3 CPA Study Tips

10 min read

One of the most difficult aspects of studying for the CPA Exam is finding which methods work best for you individually. One size doesn’t fit all and everyone’s learning style is different! Thankfully, it’s possible to learn a few things from candidates who have already taken the exam.

Read on as fellow future CPA Kristen Cournane shares her top three CPA study tips.

1. Create a daily study plan

Studying for the CPA exam is most definitely not a sprint, but a marathon! Breaking down that marathon day by day is crucial to helping us achieve our study goals one step at a time. I have found it extremely helpful to create an Excel spreadsheet that tracks my study hours and lays out which modules I will be covering each day. In addition to keeping ourselves on track, it is so fulfilling to look back on all of the time and effort we put into our studies.

Becker’s CPA Exam Review also has an interactive study planner that allows you to track your studying along the way. As you progress through the software, the planner provides feedback to build your knowledge and confidence.


2. Use any and every ounce of free time

When studying for the CPA exam, there is no window of free time that is too small to study! Becker makes short study sessions easy and fun with their mobile phone application. If you are a student and have small gaps between classes, use those small gaps to peruse through some flashcards. If you are a commuter, use your train ride to work through a few multiple-choice questions. If you like to listen to music in the car, blast some Becker lectures instead (maybe that one is a little too much)! The Accounting for Empires mobile game is also a great opportunity to practice on the go, with tasks that count towards completion of multiple-choice questions within your Becker course. You never know—the lessons you learn in those short time frames might just make the difference between passing and failing the exam.

3. Make handwritten notes your best friend

We’ve all heard that it is scientifically proven that you retain information more easily and efficiently when you write it down. I decided to trust science and put my handwritten note-taking skills to the test while studying for my first CPA exam. I made poster boards of notes for each unit and mainly focused on concepts that I just could not wrap my head around or facts that I had difficulty remembering. One of my accounting professors once said “Accounting is both a science and an art,” so I decided to make my notes a work of wall art. Seeing those notes every night before I went to sleep and every morning I woke up was sometimes overwhelming and intimidating, but the feeling of passing made it all worthwhile.


Are you ready to start your CPA journey? Visit our website to find out which Becker CPA Exam Review resources work best with your learning style.

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