You don’t have to work through the process of passing the CPA Exam alone. There are people who would love to support, encourage, assist, and inform you every step of the way so that you have the best chance for CPA Exam success. The people who can do this are called Gleim Personal Counselors. Our Personal Counselors are a team of exam experts who help candidates pass the CPA Exam every day. Previously, we discussed the CPA Exam support provided by the Gleim Personal Counselors, and now, we would like to introduce you to a real Personal Counselor. Amy Simmons has been a Personal Counselor at Gleim CPA for more than two years, and she has kindly answered some questions for us so that you can learn more about all the CPA Exam services Personal Counselors offer candidates.
CPA Exam Services: Working with Personal Counselors
- What is your favorite part about being a PC?
One of the best parts about being a Personal Counselor is the joy of hearing from a candidate that he or she is finally done with the exam. It’s really great to hear from candidates who have been working hard to obtain the designation they so desperately want and to know that I helped in getting them to this goal!
- What is one fun candidate success story that you have?
I have one candidate of whom I am particularly fond. He was always a nervous wreck both before and after his exams, but he was successful every time. On his second exam, he technically didn’t even finish; he ran out of time on the last Task Based Simulation. However, it seems that he may have lucked out by having that question be a pre-test question. After that success, I stopped worrying about him and kept having to remind him, “You didn’t even finish your FAR exam and you still passed, so stop worrying and go back to studying.” He was a great guy, and I miss him – but not his nervousness.
- What is the most common challenge you see candidates face, and how do you direct them to overcome it?
One of the hardest things about studying for an exam is finding the time to study. Some people have it “easy” in the sense that they are fresh out of school and can devote 20, 30, or even 40 hours a week to preparing for this exam. A majority of candidates, however, do not have this amount of free time and therefore, finding the time to study and sticking to the study plan is really difficult.
I often recommend candidates try breaking up their study times rather than trying to find an uninterrupted hour or two to study. The great thing about the review system is that you can do as much or as little as your time allows and the course still lets you move forward. Only have 30 minutes for your lunch? Take a quiz while you eat. Have an hour before the kids get up in the morning? Try to get some reading in. Have 30 minutes between dinner and baseball practice? That’s enough time for a video or two.
For candidates who struggle to find motivation outside of getting their certification, it can also help to reward themselves. Some past candidates have bought themselves their favorite candy to have as a reward for finishing a study session. Going for a walk or doing something else you enjoy can also help you remain motivated as you start to associate studying with that activity or reward. Consequentially, this habit helps keep the negative feelings away. It may seem superficial, but it enables many candidates to stay on target!
- What do you wish people knew about PCs?
First of all, I would like candidates to know that we aren’t the study police. While this might seem silly, we do have some candidates who do not want to be called or do not call in because they feel guilty when studying is not going according to plan. Trust me, it happens all the time, and we are more than happy to help! It’s easy to get sidetracked, as life has a tendency to get in the way. It’s almost the entire reason we are here – to help you get back on the horse and get back to earning the certification!
Secondly, candidates should know that this is equally true with low scores. Because the review system highlights weak areas, candidates sometimes feel embarrassed by low scores, but we are not going to judge you for those! Everyone has weak areas and different levels of comfort. What might be easy for one candidate can be super challenging for another, and we know that low scores are not indicative of your eventual success! All low scores and weak areas mean is that you are just going to have to spend a little extra time on a particular Study Unit, subunit, or topic than you would on another. So, don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help alleviate stress, or if you’re looking for tips to help you get past your difficult sections!
- Which do you prefer: T accounts or journal entries?
CPA Exam Services: Studying with Gleim CPA Review
As the 2017 Gleim CPA Review Course is completely updated and adaptive, we’ll soon hear more from Amy about how the Personal Counselors and the SmartAdaptTM technology of our new course team up to help candidates study more efficiently and effectively for the CPA Exam. See for yourself how Gleim CPA Review adapts to you by accessing our free CPA demo today!