CPA Hot Topics – No Time Off 06/12/09

Garrett Gleim sends CPA candidates bimonthly emails concerning different aspects of the CPA exam. Candidates can see the most recent email and all the archives here on the CPA Candidate Forum.

As some of you may know, I am also a Certified Flight Instructor. Last week, I was at the airport and observed a student pilot complete her first solo flight. While I was talking to her flight instructor, I realized that some of the same issues that confront student pilots also confront CPA candidates.

The summer provides many opportunities for students to procrastinate or take time off from learning. When you are learning to fly, you need to fly with your instructor a few times each week so that you not only maintain the skills you have learned, but also build upon those skills. By taking a week or two off from being in an airplane, student pilots sometimes fall multiple weeks behind because they have lost the muscle memory and coordination required in flying. Learning to fly is very much a physical skill set because you need to know how to move the yoke (i.e., the flight controls) to have the airplane do what you want it to do.

Studying for the CPA exam is very similar to learning to fly because the CPA exam is testing your accounting skill set and your ability to process accounting information. Do NOT take time off, or you will put yourself further behind schedule. If you are not going to be able to study for a stretch of more than a couple of days, you need to find a way to answer some questions, even if it’s only a 20-question quiz. You are building on a skill set that can easily fade if you have not yet achieved a high enough level of learning to have it in your long-term memory. Therefore, make sure you study multiple times per week, and never take off more than a couple of days between study sessions.

Also, we released essential CPA updates on Monday, June 1. Please make sure you have updated your CPA Test Prep CD-Rom. Please visit our update page if you are using our book to study to get the updates. The CPA Gleim Online Course and Simulation Wizard are updated automatically.

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