Whether it’s what you want to hear or not, it’s true that most successful exam candidates agree taking the exam as soon as you can post-graduation is your most effective path to passing. Between having the knowledge from Accounting classes fresh in your mind, to being a practiced test-taker, putting the skills you learn at school to use is a surefire way to achieve your goals.

But – with such a large, tough test, how do you even start studying?

Easy. Create a study plan. We have four simple steps to get you started.

1. Take a look at your schedule and estimate how much time you realistically have to study in a typical week.

2. Figure out when you’d like to sit for your first exam. Keep things like testing windows and blackout periods in mind to ensure you’re aiming for a date when the exam is actually available.

3. Find an exam review course that works best for your learning style–and one that can help you translate your study plan into action.

4. You’ll need to stick to your plan. One strategy a lot of students have found successful is to dedicate short amounts of time to brief, focused study sessions.

The most successful CPA candidates approach their study efforts with tenacity. But that doesn’t mean you have to replace all your non-academic activities with exam prep. Check out our own Carolyn Rivera dive into these tips more in the video below!