One of my special readers, Nandhu, would like to share his CPA exam success story with you. He is an inspiration!
Thanks a lot for encouraging me through your emails. I completed my CMA both parts on my first attempt.
I started my study after 12 years break with the motivation from my CFO. I purchased Gleim online in August 2014, but in first few months I couldn’t even read one page per day, and memorize what I studied. I was also getting too much work pressure then because of budgeting, yearly closing and auditing.
After my busy work schedules, I decided to go for a short vacation for 15 days and refresh my mind.
After my vacation in March, I decided that I have to complete my CMA asap before the next year end closing and immediately I registered for the examination even though I didn’t complete at lease one review.
My first challenge was how I can find out the extra time without affecting my family. I had a discussion with my CFO, and he suggested that early morning is the right time to study.
So I reduced my sleeping time to 5 hours a day and use these 3 hours for my study, and scheduled time for study from 3 to 6 am in all work days. For weekends, it was from 6 to 10 am. True to my plan, the studying did not disturb my family life.
The another challenge was how I have to study, because it was very difficult for me to concentrate and retain the exam content. Based on my experience in studying, I have the following recommendations:
Note: I consider the essay questions only in Step 3 because after 3 review, we can easily answer the essay questions and we will get more confident. in this essay section, you have to compare your answer with the recommended answers and needs to identify where you can improve in terms of writing and presentation skills.
This is the final step you have to do. It should start at least one week before your exam.
I prepared the above schedule based on Gleim materials. One important thing to keep in mind is that we have to find out time for fitness — at least one hour a day. Exercise refreshes our minds.
I completed my part 1 in May 2015 and part 2 in October 2015. I am sorry for the late posting because of my busy work schedule.
Thanks again to Stephanie, and wishing you all the best to the students who are going to attend the coming windows.
Note from Stephanie
Wonderful sharing, Nandhu! There are lots of things we can learn from your story:
Readers often ask me the tips to success. It’s hard to generalize, but I hope reading stories from Nandhu and others give you an idea what a successful candidate feels like. It’s not how many hours they study. It’s the proper planning, excellent execution and can-do attitude.
I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.
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