It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

anna-headshotBlogger: Anna Knutson

Hello Everybody!

I hope you all are having an excellent January, and haven’t fallen behind on New Years Resolutions yet! I resolved to pass the CPA exam and to stop texting and driving, and I’m having mixed results thus far.

This semester, I have really jumped into the CPA exam headfirst. I’m in the process of getting approved to sit for the exam, and, as soon as all that paperwork comes through, I intend to sit for my first section, Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR). My ideal date is mid-February, likely around the 17th.

The cumulative pass rate for the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the CPA exam in 2013 was 48%, per the AICPA’s website. In the software I’m using to study, there are 241 individual “lessons” over topics covered in Intermediate Accounting I, Intermediate Accounting II, Advanced Financial Reporting, and Governmental and Not-For-Profit Accounting. This gives me roughly five weeks to review material I’ve learned over the course of four college classes, a daunting task to say the least.

While I’m finding the process produces a wide variety of emotions (stress, frustration, confusion, confidence, anxiety, apathy) I am also finding it especially important to remember to take time for myself. There are four sections to the exam, and, if I study 24/7, it would be impossible not to burn out and become overwhelmed. The test is a marathon, not a sprint. While I’m studying a lot, more than I have ever studied in the past, I also have to make sure I take breaks for myself. I workout several times a week and I’m finding this is a very good method for clearing my mind and winding down. Staying in contact with friends is keeping me sane, and enjoying a night off every once in awhile is refreshing.

Overall, I am finding it is incredibly gratifying to watch the efforts of my education over the past five years come to fruition. A large portion of the material is familiar and coming back to me, despite not having seen it in 2+ years. Some of the material is utterly foreign; but with the base knowledge my educators have provided me in my accounting classes, I am equipped to tackle unfamiliar material. I feel widely unprepared to take FAR right now, but I know over the next few weeks of studying my confidence will continue to increase and that I will get where I need to be in knowing the material.

And it’s ok that I don’t know everything right now, because I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m running a marathon, not a sprint. Good luck to all my other fellow comrades studying for the CPA exam, and to all you “youngins” still in the earlier stages of your accounting years – for the sake of your future self, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION IN YOUR CLASSES!! It will help you so much later!!

About txcpa2b

The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) is a nonprofit, voluntary, professional organization representing Texas CPAs. TSCPA has 20 local chapters statewide and has 29,000 members. The Society is committed to serving the public interest with programs that advance the highest standards of ethics and practice within the CPA profession. TXCPA2B is a blog written by Texas students in pursuit of the CPA certificate. The views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily held by TSCPA or our members.
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One Response to It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

  1. Rudy says:

    I really enjoyed your article. Although not the traditional student, I can relate to your thoughts and experiences. I have passed 3 of the exams and FAR I would say was by far the most difficult. Have the AUD this Friday and ready to pass the last exam!!! I can see the light and the end of the marathon tunnel. Have a great experience.

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