For those about to study I salute you...

This run is for you!

#twudygroup,  everyone studying for the CPA exam, family, friends and loved ones of those studying, anyone who finds themselves in front of a computer for more hours of a day than you are away from the screen, I run this run for you! Especially those canadiates getting ready to sit their first exam in the October and November testing window.
I know a post-CPA candidate blogging about training for a marathon and raising money for YTAC is a very small niche blog but I hope you all realize there is a life afterwards. Even if you are just starting your journey there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In a strange way preparing for this marathon has been like the marathon of studying. One was just more studious than physical. However, I think the lessons that I have learned from my marathon of studying for the CPA apply to my training and vise versa.

I recently met up with a friend of a friend who is just starting on her CPA journey. My friend JG (not her real name) mentioned Asper (also, not her real name) was struggling with this process and asked if I would just talk with her. I think you will find anyone you meet who has past the CPA exams in the last 12 months will jump at the opportunity to talk about the exams. We have just finished studying and sitting 4 grueling exams (or more if you failed, I sat 5, thanks FAR) what else do we have to share?
Anyways, I met with Asper and the more tips I provided her the more I noticed how preparing for the CPA exam is like preparing for a race, a 10k, a half marathon or even a full marathon.

Here are some of the tips I shared with Asper, if you are a runner or a CPA candidate or a CPA please feel free to add your own!

  • Set and pay for your race date or CPA exam sit date first thing.
I have found this to be the most motivating tool out there. Write your exam or race down on a calendar, I prefer paper but electronic is good too. Write it big, maybe bust out some crayons but get it where you can see it. For the Houston Marathon I have a race count down on this blog and I have a huge calendar with the race date on it. By getting the date down you have a goal and a time frame to accomplish that goal.
  • Count back from your date and set your schedule.
       Admittedly, I was much better at this for my CPA than I have been for the marathon. What I mean with this for the CPA exam is, you know what you need to cover and how long you have to cover it. So break it up and write it down. Check each day and make sure you are on track. You know what you need to do and how long you have to do it in. I can only speak to Becker but I was spoiled on this task with them because everything is already broken down; FAR 9 chapters I took 2 months each time; REG 7 chapters about 7 weeks; BEC 5 chapters 4 weeks (before the writing portion was added); and AUD 5 chapters 4 weeks. For the marathon I am still struggling. I posted a plan a while back but struggled to keep up with it and fit it in to work. Now I am trying to run 4 times a week. I should take my own advice on this step and get a plan and stick to it.
  • Get some accountabilibuddies
        Tell your family, boyfriend, girlfriend,  friends, coworkers, dog, mail carrier, everyone and anyone what you are doing. Don't let telling them hinder studying but telling people your goals enpowers you to achieve them. Don't let your buddies get in the way of studying for the CPA but explain what you are doing and why they shouldn't call with a movie invite (we all have our weaknesses). This letter from another71.com is a great resource: An open letter to all of my friends and family while I take the CPA exam for informing loved ones what you are getting ready to embark on.  For me, this blog and fundraising aspect is really holding me accountable. Do I really want my second mother calling me and asking why I ditched my long run? No!

  • Stock up on frozen meals, toilet paper and toothpaste.
         This is more for the CPA exam than for the racing but it was important enough to post. Don't ask, just do it.
  • Find a mentor and tap the resources around you.
          For the CPA I would not have finished as fast as I did if it was not for AQ/AC and LR. Those girls got me on the right track and paced me as I went. For my running if it wasn't for Slade I'd still be in old shoes and if it wasn't for C-Bear I probably wouldn't have picked the Houston Marathon. People are open to sharing knowledge and experiences and while you should take advice with a grain salt it helps to stay motivated by people who are passionate. Both running and getting through the CPA are things I love talking about and I'm sure I'm not the only one out there.
  • Rely on your training/studying
         Your goal for test day/race day is to walk into Prometeric or toe that line knowing you have done everything possible to get you ready. On my first exam I was actually eager to get to the exam because I had really followed my studying schedule and put the leg work into the lectures, homework and simulations and I wanted to take the test and prove I worked my butt off and wanted to see the result. Same goes for race day the miles you put in now are what will get you through.
If you have more tips or any questions please don't hesitate to comment below. I'll talk anyone's ear off about studying for the CPA exam.

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