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10-Day CPA Exam Review Study Strategy

Preparing for and passing all four parts of the CPA is a long and strenuous process. It takes serious commitment and discipline to pass the exams and earn your CPA license. Remember to stay focused and committed to your study plan and goals. You will pass your next CPA exam!

I want to share my 10-day CPA exam review strategy. In my study plan, I categorize the CPA preparation into the learning stage and the review stage. The learning stage involves listening to the lectures, taking notes on the lectures, and answering the multiple choice questions. Follow the link to see my do's and don'ts on how to best study for the CPA using Becker. Once you have covered all the material and formed a strong learning foundation, it is time to move onto the review stage! I will cover in detail my review stage study strategy for the CPA exams.

Becker, which I used as my CPA exam review course, recommends two weeks to review the material before taking the exam. I believe that is too long; instead, I highly recommend spending 10 days to review the material. Below, I will detail my 10-day review strategy to help prepare you for the CPA exam. My 10-day review strategy utilizes Becker CPA review materials, but you should be able to relate the review guide to any other CPA review course. Additionally, please see my guide on how to study for the CPA exam using Becker because I rely on steps discussed in the post during my review stage. My CPA material review strategy should effectively and efficiently prepare you to take and pass each section of the CPA exam. Please follow the detailed review steps below.

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10-Day CPA Material Review Strategy

Day 1 - Day 4

During the first several days, you will review your handwritten notes. I suggest reviewing two chapters a day. In order to do so, simply read over your notes, highlighting and further annotating the important note sections. Additionally, it is helpful to flip through the textbook and read over the in-text examples and in-text problems while reviewing the chapter modules.

When you finish reviewing your notes and examples for a chapter, take a practice test (not a simulated exam). Set the practice test to 10 MC and 0 simulations. If you score a 70% or higher, move onto the next chapter or end the study day. Repeat this step for each chapter. The amount of days required for the initial review will vary per test (three days for AUD & BEC, four days for REG, and five days for FAR).

Day 5 (assume we are studying for REG)

Once you finished reviewing your notes and working the in-text problems, it is time to take your first simulated exam. I like to review the material before taking a simulated exam because it allows you to refresh your understanding; therefore, the results of the simulated exam better reflect your strengths, weaknesses, and progress. During this day, complete the entire simulated exam. This should take you three to four hours to finish. After finishing and giving yourself a break, review the results of the exam. Go through each multiple choice question and takes notes on the questions that caused confusion. Additionally, review the simulations, taking notes on the general concepts tested in the sims. After completing and reviewing the simulated exam, you are done studying for the day!

Day 6 - Day 8

Now it is time to start the Becker Final Review. Divide the sections into three days, which should be a manageable task. When reading a section, highlight and annotate the Final Review textbook. I prefer to read the textbook myself rather than to listen to the lectures. Additionally, complete the in-text multiple choice questions and simulations. When you finish a section, complete all the section multiple choice questions located on Becker's downloadable Final Review software. Repeat this step until you finish the Final Review textbook. I find that reading and annotating Final Review solidifies my understanding of the topics presented. It is my favorite step in the CPA exam review stage.

Day 9

Take another simulated exam. However, when taking the second simulated exam, only complete the multiple choice questions located in the first two testlets. Once you complete the multiple choice testlets, skip through the rest of the simulated exam. After finishing, review the multiple choice questions. Determine the areas you need extra practice in by analyzing the simulated exam results. You should spend a couple hours practicing and reviewing troublesome areas today. 

Day 10

Continue to review and practice the troublesome topics. Spend the day focusing and mastering these difficult topics. Make sure you feel comfortable with all the material and use your final day wisely. It is also important not to panic today. You know more than you think you do. Remember to get a good night sleep and wake up ready to take on the CPA exam. Good luck!

In conclusion

Studying for the CPA exam is no easy task. I would be skeptical about any three-week or less study plan. Please remember that my 10-day CPA exam review strategy occurs after the learning stage, where you build a learning foundation of the tested material. All in all, you should feel confident on the exam day after following my 10-day CPA review strategy. 

Please let me know what you think of the study strategy! Also, share the strategy with your friends and family who may benefit from learning how to effectively and efficiently prepare for the CPA exam. Please share any and all comments, questions, and concerns below. Happy studies and good luck on your next CPA exam!

Please email me if you are interested in a free PDF printable CPA exam checklist!


  1. Thanks so much for the tips! I am currently studying for FAR and am using the tips you gave in your other post. I had some concerns about the simulations. Do you think that just covering simulations during the final review stage you have planned out is sufficient enough to master sims?

    1. I apologize for the delayed response. While everyone is different, my opinion is that simulations are not an efficient use of your time. I do suggest familiarizing yourself with the format of CPA exam simulations, which you can do by completing a few (on a mock exam, in final review, or just in general). If you know the material, you'll do good on the simulations.

    2. I am revisiting this guide as I'm now studying for AUD. I used this guide last year and passed FAR thanks to the tips offered on this page. Quick question for audit as I'm currently in the final review stage. I haven't done any simulations or skills master videos throughout my studying. I did the same approach for FAR and just did simulations/skills masters specifically for areas I was weak in after my first mock exam. Do you think I should follow the same approach? (I test on January 8 and just finished chapter 6 today. Moving onto final review book tomorrow.


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