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CPA Exam Review News Blog

Five Qualities of Successful CPA Candidates

Posted by Dr. Phil Yaeger on Aug 07, 2020 6:45 AM

Five Qualities of Successful CPA Candidates

We know you want to be someone who takes the quickest possible route to licensure. So, without further ado, here are five key traits that empower candidates to stand out from the crowd.


Without a deep, unwavering sense of commitment, it's tough to achieve meaningful things in life, and the CPA Exam is no exception. It would help if you were committed to passing the Exam no matter the obstacles - because you will face obstacles. You might be waiting on your notice-to-schedule, failing one section or two or three, going through busy seasons at work, encountering unexpected life changes, or surviving a global pandemic. Any of these, on their own, could be enough to derail you from your goals. But committed people see the bigger picture they are working towards and stay devoted to that vision.

Time management

I know, I know, I know. You could have predicted this one before reading this blog. Time management may not be an original idea, but it's ubiquitous because it's true. You're going to have numerous tasks and people and activities vying for your attention from now until the day you retire - and probably even then! And the simple fact is, you cannot do it all. So start the disciplines of prioritizing and time management; they are practices that will benefit you all your life, but they are a choice. So choose to be the successful candidate that manages your responsibilities well. Don't panic or stress out – that is counter-productive. But sit down, determine your priorities and the time you can give to each one, and then, most importantly, execute according to your plan.

Practical study skills

You cannot afford to waste your precious time utilizing ineffective study techniques. We believe it's crucial that you:

  • Focus while you are studying
  • Don't attempt to multitask
  • Block out distractions

Block out

Those are the big picture ideas, but what about specifics? Well, that truly depends on you. As you're figuring out how to study, it's a great idea to get the advice you respect from people who have passed the Exam ahead of you, but, ultimately, you have to hone in on what methods and techniques work best for you. We cannot tell you what approach to studying will suit you best, but let us assure you that you are capable of figuring it out, and it's worth the effort.


Joy is a quality worth fighting for in every season of life. Even amid the intensity of studying, you can live joyfully. The most successful candidates include joy in their lives, be it:

  • Time with family and friends
  • Hobbies
  • Exercise or sports
  • Music or dance
  • Trips
  • Or whatever is unique to you!

Why does joy matter? Because without joy, life and work and studying tend to take on a sense of monotony, and it becomes easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

Block out (1)



Finally, great candidates admit they don't have it all figured out. You might not know what you will ultimately do with your CPA license; you may ace one Exam and approach the next one the same way, yet fail; you may find yourself getting distracted repeatedly or plan too much leisure time one week and not enough the next. But the point is that you are aiming towards improvement and growth and putting your best foot forward. Have the humility to admit you don't know it all, but also refuse to give up. That's how you not only become successful, but truly unstoppable.

Are you ready to make some sacrifices to become the type of person who masters the CPA Exam? If you've got the right mindset, we've got the right tools for you, check out Yaeger's CPA review material here

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