As someone who is nearing the end of their college career as an accounting student, one thing that looms ahead is the CPA Exam. There are many different steps one must take when preparing to take the exam. While it is intimidating from the start, and quite honestly nerve-racking, it can be hard to find the intrinsic motivation to start the studying and application process.
Personally, I have never enjoyed studying or taking tests, but I have found myself at the point where the future of my career hangs in the balance of this major four-part test. As much as I wish I could forego the CPA Exam, the value it will add into my professional career is undeniably huge.
Something I have found myself struggling with is gaining the momentum to study. While I have created a study plan, I haven’t been the best at holding myself accountable to it. Finding the motivation has been tough, so below are a few things that have helped put studying and taking the test into perspective.
1. The Firm Has a Support System/Incentive Plan in Place.
Cohen & Company has created a great incentive plan to help drive employees to succeed on the CPA Exam in a timely manner. By assisting with the study materials and test costs, and offering a bonus incentive as well, the firm really has paved the way for the success of its employees. Beyond the incentives, being surrounded by individuals who have taken and are in the process of taking the test offers a great resource.
2. It May Be The Last Set of Tests You Will Ever Take.
This may not be applicable to everyone, as there are other certifications out there, but for me, these tests will most likely be the last I ever have to take. While they’re beastly tests and require serious preparation, the gratification from passing them is a big motivator.
3. It’s (Hopefully) Six to 18 Months of Your Life.
While six to 18 months seems like a significant amount of time, it really is a short period of time when you put it into perspective. The CPA process will only be a fraction of your total career, and the benefits that come from having those three letters at the end of your name are endless. Hunkering down and getting the test done in a timely manner is well worth the pain of having to sacrifice time elsewhere.
In the end, everyone’s path to becoming a CPA is different, along with the reasons they are reaching for it. If you find yourself struggling to get on the grind, find someone who will hold you accountable, whether that be a study buddy, manager or even your parents. Ultimately, you must find the motivation to get it done and, in the end, it will all be well worth it.
Charlie Schlindwein, Marquette University
Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.