Monday, February 28, 2011

The $464 Master Plan

The number represented above represents the amount of exam fees I just paid this morning.

I paid for BEC and FAR. Once I get my NTS I’ll be scheduling BEC for April 2nd or 3rd (preferably April 3rd). FAR I’ll be scheduling for May 31st. I want the last day of the window!

BEC’s schedule is going to be very rigid for me. I don’t have any wiggle room. I want to be finished reviewing by March 20th. That will give me two full weeks to review. I realized that two weeks is the perfect amount of time to review. I feel that if I take too long to review I forget. I like things to be fresh in my head. The last thing that I want to feel is super stressed and lost while reviewing BEC (i.e. BEC 1st, 2nd, and 3rd try).

I will also be attending the Becker live classes on Sundays. My goal is to be ahead of the class so that when I’m in class it is basically like a reinforcement class for me. I’m not sure if I’ll get the Becker Final review for BEC yet. I’ll determine that soon. I’m also going to be supplementing my studies with audio lectures.

Today I’ll be starting B1. Since I know that my weaknesses are cost accounting and variances I’ll be doing the homework problems at a minimum of three times. I'll also be working the Wiley questions also. (However I will say, that I feel that the Becker questions are more indicative of the actual test. Not all questions but the majority).

As far as written communications I will be nailing down exactly what the examiners want. BEC here I come!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My REG Experience - 2nd Time Better Be a Charm

Sooooo I took REG today. (This is probably going to be a long post but I have to share)

First I'll just start from the beginning.

I worked a full day yesterday. I was unable to get the day off because my manager requested the day off before I could so therefore I took a day off earlier in the week. Although I wished had the day off I worked with it. I took a two hour lunch break and I studied hard. I reviewed all of those areas that I wasn't too sure of (and I'm sure glad I did because if I didn't I would have been in a bad place).

After work I came home and worked some more individual tax questions. I was in the bed by 8pm.

I woke up today at around 6 am (my test was scheduled for 1:30pm..yes I know thats crazy). I was so anxious. I just wanted to get the test over with. I was anxious to see what was on the test. I just wanted a break.

Since I woke up so early I started reviewing some more. I went over business law for about 45 mins and taxes for about an hour.

I decided that I wanted to get to the city early so that I wouldn't have to rush. I got to the city at 11:00am. I found a Starbucks and I hit the books again. At this point I was pretty comfortable with taxes so I decided to hit Business Law hard. I skimmed the ancillary material and I also just started circling things that I felt were important. Before I went to the testing center I looked at taxes one more time.

I started at about 1:20 and I was done with the first testlet in about 20 mins. Just to make sure I reviewed my work.

After the first testlet I was praying that the questions got harder....and they did! But then that's when it happened.....My head started pounding so hard. I mean to the point that I had to massage my temples. I was squinting at the screen because the light was bothering me. I would periodically close my eyes because I wanted some type of relief. As bad as my head was hurting I wasn't going out like that. I just sucked it up and kept at it.

I finished all of my testlets with 83 mins left to do the sims. The sims weren't too bad. But I will say that I benefited infinitely from doing the TBS marathon (thanks Dee).

I had two research questions. Now here is the crazy part. When I started the first research tab I was spending too much time on it. I decided that I would move on and then come back to it. I didn't want to spend so much time on it and then scramble with the other tabs. I completed the other sims and then I get to the second research question. That one was a problem too. By this time I had about 35 mins left to do the research questions. I'm not sure about the second one but the first one I know I got right. I got that one word for word. I was getting discouraged with it at first but then I just told myself that I have to use the words in the sentence as search words and next thing you know the answer was right in front of me. I couldn't believe it! By that time I only had 6 mins.

So the waiting begins. I told myself positive thoughts only. I fought through this test. Not fighting because I felt like I did bad but fighting like I put my all in it. I double checked everything. And if I just didn't know an answer (which was about 3-4 questions at most) I just chose "C" LOL.

Well enough rambling. Off to BEC (Hopefully I can get a April 2nd or April 3rd test date). If I do then that leaves me 8 weeks for FAR!!! (Oh Joy).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Randoms and Updates

Today was such a long day at work. As tired as I was I couldn't wait to get home and meet my goal of doing 150MCQ's.

All in all I did around 185 questions (jumping for joy).

I'm already thinking of what to do once I pass all four parts.

I have my goal framed in my bedroom of passing 3 parts this year. By the way I'm feeling and my new found motivation I think I'll be passing 4 this year. I'm promising myself that I WILL BE TAKING 2 EXAMS A WINDOW. With that schedule my plan is take Audit in July and then I'll be done (praying!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I really want one of those Mac LCD monitors. They are really expensive (just a thought, thats way out of the budget for now).

I'm going to go to spin class early Saturday morning. I haven't been since January. My body will be crying afterwards but the long term is worth it.

I can't wait for summer. Just the smell of summer makes me happy.

I need to go spring clothes shopping. But first I want to lose 10lbs first. I always gain over the winter and lose like crazy in the spring ( I think its due to the fact in the summer I crave smoothies and can practically live on that alone. It's too cold for smoothies in the winter).

Saturday is going to be TBS day. I'm planning on getting my hands on every TBS I can find. I'm going to know them like the back of my hand.

I'm still in shock as to how my confidence has been boosted in REG. I'm really starting to believe in all that I preach.

Other than that I'm still plugging away.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Confidence is Key

Confidence is key. That's the word on the street, and basically that's what it all boils down too. I've been having some great study days. I have 11 days until my test and I'm ecstatic that I still have so many days to do a second, third and maybe fourth review (yes I'm that anal).

My confidence today is from corporate taxes. When I first took REG this was my weak area. I can honestly say now looking back that I don't know how I got the grade I did when I first took REG because I have had so many A'ha moments.

I'm feeling good now. I'm not a tax expert but I feel like I know enough to teach someone who didn't know a thing about taxes.

I think Becker and Wiley supplement each other well. Becker has some flaws but thats where Wiley picks up.

My confidence boost is also coming from my new found Kaplan audio (thanks to Miss Gina). This to me is 10 times better than flash cards ( and cheaper).

I'm adopting the attitude of getting excited about studying. I have to look forward to studying. If I don't I won't have the attitude necessary to succeed. I try to accomplish everything at work pertaining to outside business before I get home, so that when I get home its all about CPA.

I'm so focused right now I can't contain it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One Question At A Time

Reg is in 13 days and I'm feeling Ok. I don't feel 100% but I feel better then I did a month ago.

I've been working tons and tons of questions. My plan is to continue working on entities until the end of the week. This weekend (Saturday and Sunday will be B-Law and Individuals). Monday and Tuesday will be a review of all the areas that make me nervous. Wednesday will Friday will be tons of questions and Saturday will be D-DAY!!!

I did work one half of a simulation today on Corp taxes and it was fairly difficult! I'm going to have to comb through that one again.

After REG I'm jumping right into BEC AGAIN.

After BEC is FAR (shivers) and then

Audit (Finally).

I'm learning to tackle my weak areas effectively and learn how to better manage my study time. I set daily goals and I follow a schedule. In the past I wasn't as organized or determined. According to my previous plan I was already supposed to be a CPA. But God had another plan.

I'm not even thinking of what if I don't pass because I can't let those thoughts consume my brain.

I must say that I have never felt so motivated in all of my months of studying. A large part is due to my study buddies at #twudygroup on twitter.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

REG Final Review Calendar

It's Official.....I've made my final review calendar.

My promise to myself is that THIS CALENDAR COMES FIRST

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Power of Support

I found this great article on line regarding effective study habits. You can check it out here . One of the many reasons why I decided to take Becker live was so that I could meet like minded people who were also trying to conquer the beast. I’ve met a couple of people in my class but I’ve also met some friends online. It’s so important to have a good support system because frankly many people just don’t or never will get it. So far I’ve met so many great friends online who are such an inspiration as well as a source of encouragement. One of my goals other than passing this test is to be able to provide the same support to others who are trying to pass. I can’t wait until the day when I can write about my whole exam experience.

Tonight is going to be a study group on twitter. It’s amazing how technology allows so many of us to communicate when we are all over the country and the world. A study group doesn’t necessarily have to be face to face but it should consist of people who are motivated and willing and able to share knowledge and encouragement.

Here’s to studying and becoming a CPA!!
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