CPA Exam

How To Study For The CPA With A Full-Time Job

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on January 6, 2017 2:22:29 PM CST


cpathisway.jpgStudying for a CPA exam while juggling a full-time job can be an overwhelming task since it requires a lot of hard work and discipline. However, while the task of learning the material is hard, it is not impossible. In this article, CPAExamGuy.com offers tips for studying for the CPA exam even when you work full time.


Create a study plan

Many people assume that the materials they have purchased from Becker or Wiley are essentially the “plan” they will be following. While this is true on some level, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and therefore needs to spend more time in this area or that area. And if you are working full-time AND have a family or other responsibilities, then there just aren’t that many hours in the week.

With a full-time job, you already have 40 or more hours per week devoted to work, so you will need to be extra careful to pencil in study sessions. Try to commit more study time during your weekends or days off, but make sure to schedule at least an hour a day during work time as well to go through your chosen CPA study guide.

Find time to decompress

Remember to also schedule in some fun, family time, and work outs. Even with a busy schedule you need to do other things besides study and work. Research shows that our brains have two “modes” in which they operate: focused and diffuse. The focused mode is what you typically imagine studying and learning involves; it’s about deep focus, thinking about a problem consciously, and trying to draw connections and arrive at conclusions. Diffuse learning, on the other hand, is a bit more mysterious. It occurs when we’ve loaded our brains up with new concepts and then we take a step back and do something else. Our brains are then allowed to creatively ponder some of those concepts sub-consciously, and the next time you sit down to review the concept, it is often much clearer to you.

Research also shows that exercising increases cognitive activity, so going for a run can help you stay in shape AND prepare for the CPA more effectively.

Get enough sleep

As busy as your life can be with studying, work, and your family schedule, remember to get plenty of sleep. Getting your sleep will ensure that you are in a better mood and ready to work through your chosen CPA study guide. Also, your brain will retain more information when it is been well rested. There is growing evidence that lack of sleep is a serious chronic problem in most Western countries. When you are working full-time and studying for a grueling exam like the CPA, you need to be well rested.

Ask For Help

If you are overwhelmed, do not be afraid to ask for help. You may have a friend or relative that can offer to babysit your kids, or you may have a lenient boss who is willing to give you a bit of extra time off. If you have trouble with the material, consider a prep course that runs on your schedule, a CPA study guide, or an in-person or online CPA tutor. Different types of help may be available based on your specific situation, so do not be afraid to ask. An on-demand course provides great structure and helps you understand what you really need to learn to pass, while a private CPA tutor can explain a difficult concept in a personalized and customized way to break through mental barriers.



While working full-time and studying for the CPA exam can be stressful, it is certainly manageable if approached correctly. Contact CPAExamGuy.com for more tips and helpful hints about the CPA test prep and materials.