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FAQ
Pass the CPA exam
CPA Study Time

Hi everyone. I just graduated college and I start a full time job with KPMG soon. I am worried about balancing CPA studying with working at KPMG. I have heard that it takes about a month to prepare for each section but what does that mean? How many hours a day should be studied on average to pass the CPA? Thanks for the help.



Comments:

I know you’ve probably heard this before; but it depends; on you, the section you are studying for, your workload (which you have to anticipate will sometimes be more than 40 hrs per week) etc. I personally don’t work right now and have completed 3 of the 4 exams. I start with PwC in September. I studied for FAR for about 8 weeks, the first 6 weeks were about 15 hrs/week. The last two weeks were about 35 hrs/week. I had some troubles with FAR, that’s why it took so much. However, I only studied for 2 weeks total with about 6 hrs per day for AUD and I passed with an 89. For REG, I studied for about 6 weeks with the last two weeks being about 35 hours per week. Now I don’t mean to scare you b/c I knew I wanted to pass all on the first try so I studied a lot. Now, there are ppl in my Becker class that would do the minimal amount of work throughout the duration of the class (6 hrs per week) and then study mad like 8 hrs a day for 6 days straight that passed. But like I said, it’s up to you and your comfort level. For FAR, expect the worse, then REG, then BEC and AUD. Good luck with the CPA and KPMG.

Start Studying Now

When do you start work for KPMG? If you start in September you should probably start studying for at least one of the parts now. For Reg I studied for two weeks straight. Meaning almost 10 hours per day I took those two weeks off and all I did was study. I would advise you to take it slow try to take each part as far apart as possible. Depending on how much information you retained from college and you ability to retain information well you should at least give your self no less than a month prep. for each part. At KPMG its going to be a little rough because your going to have training and then your going to be learning a bunch of new stuff about Audit. In the first couple of weeks it might be a little overwhelming to be transitioning from college to a new job and then taking the CPA exam. I would not recommend you take any exams in the first three months you are with the firm. If possible try to take them before and definitely don’t consider taking them in busy season. So your best bet is to take them in the Summer/spring of your first year. Trust me this is the season when you have less work (depending on your client) and if you had been studying all along you should pass. I’m not trying to discourage you but just don’t want you to make the mistake of failing. Studying is key and allocating as much time to the exam is important. As a first year you can’t leave the client and say oh I have to go home to study. So therefore, take it one step at a time and study on the week ends and maybe you can take your frist exam in January before your busy season starts and then take the others after busy season and in the summer. I hope this helps.

What the Heck

I am trying to get my CPA just so I can get into a Big 4 but it doesn’t seem like this is a criterion. What the heck!

You don’t have to have it to start but to be promoted you have to have it. PwC now will not let you get past basic staff without it. I assume it is similar at the other 3 with senior being the farthest you can go.

Not really required

I work for a Big Four and having your CPA when you come in is not required for entry level associates. However as Buckeye56 stated you need it in order to move up the ladder. Don’t know what level you are but even if you are trying to get the CPA to get in (the big four) that’s still a bonus.
Good Luck and don’t be discouraged.

(This comment was deleted.)

jane_X C.P.A.

it might depend on your service line (tax, audit, etc.) but at my big 4 firm, i’ve noticed when you’re brand new, you have the least amount of work since you don’t have everybody’s trust built up yet. at my firm, they say take it easy in the first month or so and get to know everybody and the systems. (this will always depend on who you work with too). so i would start now and jump all over the downtime you might have in the beginning. if you’re coming in the middle of busy season (for fed/inc. tax, that starts about now), i’d plan to studying intensively after busy season is over.

Hi rathbone85!

I’m gonna be start workin at KPMG as well…which office are you goin to be workin at?


 

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