CPA Exam Review News Blog

What Type of CPA Student Are You?

Posted by Dr. Phil Yaeger on Mar 28, 2018 4:26:08 PM

CPA Student Type

Every one of our students has a different style of studying, learning, and tackling the CPA Exam. By this point in your seemingly never-ending-student-career you've no doubt seen every type we're going to talk about. But which one are you? And how could you improve?

The "All In" Student
These students are all about making their entire life about passing the CPA Exam. If there is a CPA Review product, they have it, they use it, and they are going to tell you about it. While everyone else is listening to music while riding the bike at the gym, they're tuning in to audio lectures. Scrolling through Instagram on your morning commute on the train? They're highlighting in their hard copy books. Just taking a moment to decompress on your lunch break? They're logging in to their student portal to take a practice exam. These type of students are also more likely to stay social in the evenings and give up a lack of sleep rather than any other part of their life.

Strengths: high energy, likely to pass all four sections quickly, a great motivator.
Potential Pitfalls: Burnout, repeatedly going over the same information too much, memorizing over applying information.
How to improve: Make part of the routine slowing down enough to focus on the application of information into real-life scenarios.

The "Compartmentalizer"
The opposite of the "All In" student you won't be able to tell the "Compartmentalizer" is studying for the CPA Exam unless you catch them in the act. They are likely a Type A introvert who focuses on "me time" and a holistic approach to their life and the exam. Thus, they are going to separate the different aspects of their life, so their studying doesn't directly affect their work, family, or friendships. They are going to hit the books for a certain amount of extremely dedicated time and then leave the studying behind. This student will focus more on stress management more than rallying for months on end and stretching themselves thin.

Strengths: Focused, organized, and efficient.
Potential Pitfalls: Feels overly prepared, likely to avoid the temporary yet necessary changing of routine to pass the CPA Exam.
How to improve: When done right, this is an excellent student type, but they will need to focus on giving enough time to study for the exam properly.

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The "Phantom"
Remember that friend you used to have? Did they move away? You haven't seen them for about a year and should probably give them a call. This type of student all but disappears when studying for the CPA Exam. They stop all non-vital activities not related to the CPA Exam which they view as biting the bullet for a matter of time. Goal achievement is their mindset, but also is passing the exam on their first try. They see the pass rates not as odds, but as students who prepared correctly and students who did not. While they are not immune to failure, they often do enough research and preparation on how to study for the exam. In other words, they follow Abraham Lincoln's mindset of "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." and apply it to their life as a student.

Strengths: Dedicated, realistic, and driven.
Potential Pitfalls: Overly sacrificial, doesn't take care of other aspects of their life, relationships and work may suffer.
How to improve: Simply learn how to communicate with those in their life what is going on. Find structure in a study calendar to avoid getting caught in a monotonous routine.

Tags: CPA Exam Tips, AICPA, effective communication, accounting career, CPA Leadership