CPA Exam Advice from Two of the Nation’s Top Scorers

In the last two years, two Oregon CPA exam passers were among the top exam scorers in the nation, receiving the Elijah Watt Sells Award from the AICPA. The award is bestowed upon candidates who have obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination and passed all four sections of the Examination on their first attempt.

And fortunately for you, we asked Oregon’s last two Elijah Watt Sells Award recipients for their advice on the exam, here’s what they had to say:

Angel DavisAngel Davis, Precision Castparts Corp, Portland – 2012 Elijah Watt Sells Award recipient:

“My first recommendation is to stick to a rigid study plan. Work will always keep you busy, but avoid making excuses to not study. Secondly, while there is a great deal of memorization, it is crucial that you force yourself to spend the time understanding the rationale behind the accounting standards. Come test time, when you can’t remember the application of a specific rule, you can apply your understanding of the principles.”

Steven PurvisSteven Purvis, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Portland – 2011 Elijah Watt Sells Award recipient: 

“Formulate a realistic plan of attack before you begin studying and stick to it. I found that the CPA exam is really a test of one’s discipline and mental endurance and it really takes dedication to perform at a high level. That being said, you’ve still got to reward yourself for all those minor victories along the way. Lastly, do as many practice multiple choice questions as you can get your hands on.”

“I used technology to help me study by doing lots and lots of multiple choice questions in the prep software, letting the software keep track of my right/wrong answers, and tracking progress. I would do multiple choice questions over and over again until I understood the concepts and had gotten each multiple choice question correct in the software at least once.”

There you have it, secrets of success from two of the best, what other tips do you have?

2 Responses

  1. I agree that sticking to a rigid study plan is one of the most important things you can do to pass the CPA exam. Also limiting your study sessions to 3-4 hours to maximize the amount of information you are able to retain proved to be very efficient for me.

  2. Great recommendation and advice..The CPA exam is a though one to pass as we all know mostly include analyzation and numbers,as though your also doing some tricky program based on drupal module development.

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