CPA Exam Study Process
Many of the students who decide to enroll in the MAC program will follow its suggested schedule for taking the CPA exam. The schedule recommends taking BEC in early January, AUD in May, and both REG and FAR over the summer. Most MAC program graduates will begin working for a Firm the following fall, so the suggested schedule allows students enough time to focus on coursework and pass the CPA exam before beginning work. Studying for and passing the CPA exam is a daunting task, and I’d like to share my experience studying for and taking my first part of the exam.
I began studying for BEC as soon as classes for the fall ended. The MAC program offers classroom instruction with Becker, which I elected to do for the first few days of my study schedule. Attending classes isn’t mandatory, since all of the information is offered in an online format on Becker’s website. If you do choose to attend classes, you are still required to view the online lectures in addition to the classroom time in order to receive the “Becker Promise,” which essentially allows you to use Becker’s program again if you do not pass the exam the first time around after meeting certain requirements. Becker also includes a massive bank of practice questions as well as simulations for the parts of the exam that aren’t multiple choice. Over break I made studying a full-time commitment. Fortunately, many of my peers did the same, and we organized study groups to pass the time more easily and provide support for one another during the challenging process of studying for the exam. I chose to take my exam slightly earlier than many of my classmates in order to avoid taking it once the semester began, so I had a tight study schedule, covering all of the material in just 3 and ½ weeks before taking the exam.
Although I can’t deny it was a difficult process, I am extremely relieved that I committed to studying hard over break so that I could complete my exam before the semester began to take up my time. I will find out my CPA exam score in just over a week, and the process of waiting has been difficult! I would recommend working on the exam as soon as possible when break begins to try to get one of the four required parts completed and out of the way. Some students do take CPA exams throughout the semester, but it is significantly more challenging trying to find time to study while still completing all assignments. Additionally, taking the exam over break allows you to find a bit more time to study in the event that you do not pass, although hopefully through the guidance of Becker and the MAC program that shouldn’t be a concern!
I hope this post helped anyone considering enrolling in the MAC program to gain a better understanding of what to expect when taking the CPA exam during the program.