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The CPA Exam: It’s Too Late Now

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for panic.jpgIt’s October which means CPA exam candidates have about 7 weeks left to sneak in one more exam part before the end of the year. If you’re like most candidates, you blew off this entire year with excuses or got disappointed by failing scores early in the year and haven’t given the exam much thought since. Well you better start because you’ve got about 1,248 hours until the final window of the year is closed.
Sometimes procrastination pays off but in this instance, the exam will never get easier and you’ll never get through it if you keep putting it off.
Continued, after the jump

Typical prep time for the sections is as follows*:
BEC – 64 hours
AUD – 80 hours
REG – 96 hours
FAR – 132 hours
With 1,248 hours remaining until the December blackout, you should easily be able to fit in FAR, right? Wrong. If you’re working fulltime, lets just take out 50 hours a week, leaving you with 898 hours. But you’ve got to sleep, right? So if you get 6 hours a night, that leaves 580 hours. Well hell, you could prepare for two sections in that time, couldn’t you?
Not so much. Do you think you’re the only one who waited until the last minute?
The lesson for next year? Schedule early. Chances are if you’re trying to fit in one more section before the end of the year, you will not be able to sit at the Prometric test center of your choice, or may not be able to get the time/date that you desire. Well, that sucks for you, so hopefully you remember that for next time.
If you don’t start studying now, you’ve probably blown it for the year and should just wait for the first window of 2010. Remember the CPA exam isn’t like college, you can’t just stay over-caffeinated for a weekend and cram everything in that you need. Think of the information like a fine wine, it’s got to ferment in your brain to be useful come test day. Your brain learns best in layers anyway and without the foundation, you’re going to get tricked by the easiest MCQ simply because you don’t have the background on each concept.
Otherwise it will be November before you know it and you won’t have cracked a single CPA Review book between now and then. Trust me on this one, kids, start early and start slow. I’m trying to help you.
*Time based on video lectures and AICPA recommendation of 2 – 3 hours of self-study MCQ/sims for every hour of lecture but we’re sure you’re all Einsteins when it comes to this stuff so it’s probably less.