Studying for the CPA Exam: How to Persevere

how to persevere studying for the cpa exam

The best things in life are almost never free. Something truly worth having often costs great amounts of time, energy, and resources to obtain. One group of people that understands this concept better than most is Olympic athletes. To earn the honor of competing in the Olympic games, athletes must train for countless hours and push their bodies to extremes. The most elite athletes are those that have dedicated their entire lives to the sport, and their journey to stardom inevitably included difficulties and defeat. The fact that they progressed as far as the Olympic games proves that they learned how to persevere.

As a CPA candidate, your path to passing the CPA Exam is much like that of an athlete’s path to the Olympics. You are pursuing the worthy goal of CPA certification, but it will not be easy. As you are studying for the CPA Exam, you may find yourself struggling to keep your eye on the prize of passing. You may also experience frustration with a particular accounting concept or even the failure of an exam section. However, you can achieve CPA Exam success if you also learn how to persevere. As you are studying for the CPA Exam, apply the following tips to stay in the game.

How to Persevere Through Studying for the CPA Exam

Think like an athlete while preparing for the CPA Exam, and endure like an athlete by taking these steps while studying for the CPA Exam:

  1. Stay focused.

    Olympic athletes keep one thing at the forefront of their minds: the Olympics. They are always thinking about how important competing in the Olympic games is to them, so they never lose sight of their dream. To persevere through studying for the CPA Exam, assume a similarly streamlined perspective. Getting too discouraged to go on is not an option when you remember all the benefits of becoming a CPA, so regularly remind yourself of why you are taking the CPA Exam in the first place.

  2. Be realistic.

    Only the best athletes qualify for the Olympic games, and they become the best by always working hard and sometimes falling hard. You must be prepared to do the same. Acknowledge that studying for the CPA Exam is a long and arduous but not impossible task. The process may include failing a section or at least wrestling with an exam topic or two. But thousands of candidates pass the CPA Exam every year, and you can certainly be one of them.

  3. Get back up.

    When Olympic athletes fall down, they never stay down. Instead, they stand up and get back to training. They don’t allow a mistake to shake them, and neither should you. If you admit that failure is a possibility, then failing some practice quizzes or even an entire a section just proves that you are right. It does not prove that you can’t ever pass, so don’t allow yourself to think that. Let go of the misery of a misstep as soon as possible so you can get closer to your goal.

  4. Start again.

    When Olympic athletes resume training after they make a mistake, they don’t skip ahead to something else. Rather, they return to their weak area. They try the same move, the same shot, the same jump, the same stroke over and over again until they get it right. You must demonstrate the same discipline while studying for the CPA Exam. Keep taking practice quizzes about topics from tricky or unfamiliar study units until you consistently score 75%. Read the answer explanations of CPA multiple-choice questions you got wrong to redirect your thinking. The only way to strengthen your weak areas is by continuing to address them.

  5. Keep going.

    As you know, Olympic athletes train for years and even decades for their chance to win gold. They don’t let time deter them. Even when they have to wait four years to go to the games again, they remain committed to their goal and patiently put in the effort. Passing the CPA Exam can take a few months or even a few years, but it can be done if you keep at it. Use a CPA study plan to map out the steps you should take, and follow through with the plan to track the progress you make.

  6. Don’t quit.

    Until they are holding that medal, Olympic athletes take advantage of every opportunity they have. They research different training methods, consult different coaches, attend different events, and use different tools until they achieve the results they want. They don’t let anything hold them back, and neither should you. If you get stuck while studying for the CPA Exam, exhaust every possible approach to preparation. Some concepts may be easier to understand when introduced in a new way, so be sure to explore various study material options like books, audio reviews, flashcards, video lectures, and advice from CPA Exam experts. One or more of these methods will work for you, so continue to rely on them until you pass.

CPA Review for Studying for the CPA Exam

As you can see, studying for the CPA Exam can be a lot like conditioning for the Olympic games. Therefore, you will need a mindset like that of a seasoned athlete in order to persevere. You’ll also need tried and true CPA study materials from a CPA review provider that has been around the track more than a few times. For more than 40 years, Gleim CPA has helped countless candidates pass the CPA Exam. We can do the same for you. We’ve dedicated ourselves to producing the most effective prep that will help you pass each section on your first attempt. Hear from CPA Exam candidates who trained successfully with Gleim CPA, and learn more about our historic CPA review course.