CPA Exam Tips: Focus on understanding the content
1. The best piece of advise I can give you is to focus on understanding the content. I have come across many many CPA candidates who just want to finish the exam, however, it is not so easy unless you emphasize understanding the concept.
2. Give equal importance to learning the concept and applying them by practicing the questions. Divide your time rationally between study and doing questions.
3. Practice questions as if you are taking the actual exam, that is, don't multitask at that time.
4. Make notes for the review material in your own words and keep reading them whenever you have time.
5. For the BEC section, do not ignore practicing essays. Focus on improving your essay writing skills by practice and asking others to review them for you.
6. Practice simulations as much as you can. Simulations contain questions from different areas and hence, are very helpful in reinforcing knowledge.
7. In the exam, do not rush to finish it. You won't get extra points for finishing the exam early but you may loose points by rushing to answer the questions.
8. Do not study till the last moment, make a final review list of the topics which you have had difficulty remembering/understanding and finish the final review by the night before the exam.
9. If your review material has full practice exams, practice them like a real exam. But the score from your practice exams is not predictive of your actual exam score. Do these practice exams at least two weeks before the actual exam and identify your strengths and weaknesses and correct them.
10. Last but certainly not the least, people do fail the CPA exam. The only way to overcome the failure is perseverance. If you do not pass a particular section, invest time to identify your weaknesses and mistakes you made while studying for it and correct them before you appear from the exam again. Also, do not ignore the areas you were already good at. Do practice questions for them too.