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The Changes That Helped Marc Pass His CPA Exams After Failing 6 Times

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After failing his CPA exams six times, Marc implemented several strategies and changes that turned his CPA study process around. In this SuperfastCPA podcast interview, he shares his personal journey, and explains the changes he made to his study habits, mindset, and daily routines that helped him conquer the exams. If you’re struggling with the CPA exams or just need some extra motivation, Marc’s insights and tips could be the turning point you’ve been searching for. Join us to learn how to transform failure into success and make your own success story.

IMPORTANT LINKS:

Master your study process by attending one of our free study training workshops:
//bestsofajepara.com/study-secrets/

Episode Timestamps

  • How Marc Passed His CPA Exams Using SuperfastCPA
  • Marc’s Struggles Before SuperfastCPA
  • The Benefits of Using the SuperfastCPA Strategies
  • How Marc Got Started on His CPA Journey
  • Studying After Work Didn’t Work
  • What a Day of Studying Looked Like
  • Finding SuperfastCPA
  • What Made Sense from the Free Training
  • Switching to Studying in the Mornings Wasn’t a Big Adjustment
  • Noticed Improvement After Just a Month
  • Why Marc Saw Improvement
  • Things That Made it Hard for Marc to Focus on Studying
  • Getting a Higher Score for His First Exam with SuperfastCPA
  • Studying for Two Years, Passing Felt Impossible
  • Motivated After Passing His First Exam
  • The Why That Kept Marc Motivated
  • Marc’s Note Taking Process
  • Marc’s Weekend Study Routine
  • Marc’s Final Review Process
  • Maintaining Hobbies Through the Study Process
  • Test Day Experience
  • Felt Confident Taking the Exams Once He Started Passing
  • Used the SuperfastCPA App for Mini Sessions
  • Celebration After Passing His Final Exam
  • People Think They Need to Learn Everything
  • Top Tips for People Still Struggling with the CPA Exams

Interview Transcript

Marc: [00:00:00] Especially with that first pass, like I, I didn’t take a day off because I, I knew , this method was working, this process, so I felt extremely confident, which I think is key for like those six months, and for anyone else taking the exam, just having the confidence to go in there and knowing what you did was right and whatever you did probably worked.

Logan: Welcome to another episode of the CPA exam experience podcast from SuperfastCPA. I’m Logan, and in today’s episode, you’re going to hear Nate and I talking to Marc.

Marc has you’re a pretty typical story. After getting out of college, he didn’t really focus on studying for the CPA exam until he had been working for a little bit.
And then he started trying for the CPA exam. Mark attempted the exam 11 times in total and only started passing exams once he started using the SuperfastCPA strategy. He failed six times before using the SuperfastCPA strategy and immediately started seeing his scores go up on the [00:01:00] exams. Mark is a great example of structure and strategy. Once he was applying the SuperfastCPA structure and strategy, he was able to start passing his exams. Something I really liked about his interview was that he was already waking up early in the mornings, but he wasn’t studying until after work. So just that one small tweak of studying in the mornings because he was already waking up early. Made a huge difference for him. And I think that’s something that a lot of people studying for the CPA exam could think about. There’s probably parts of your day that you’re already doing something that could help you with the CPA exam. You just need to structure your day a little bit differently and you can see better results. Before we get into the interview with Marc, I just want to remind everyone one more time about the free webinar training on bestsofajepara.com. It’s only one hour long and Nate gives the six key ingredients to passing the CPA exam. Something you don’t want to miss. Make sure you go watch that. With that said, let’s get into the interview with Marc.

Nate: Before we start. I mean, have you heard any of these [00:02:00] before? Do you kind of know how these go?

Marc: Yeah, I actually listen to your podcast at work. Uh, help me stay motivated and remind me of those, uh, five questions per hour.

Nate: Perfect. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, so it’ll be very similar to the other interviews you’ve heard. Um, before we start into kind of your whole story, we’ll do some, uh, just some direct feedback questions, and then it will also kind of give us more things to talk about in the interview.

Marc’s Struggles Before SuperfastCPA

Nate: So, the first one is, before you found SuperfastCPA or started using SuperfastCPA, what were your main challenges or struggles with the study process?

Marc: So, I mean, challenges and struggles was structure. Um, I used Surgent immediately and I couldn’t find what worked for me. So I kind of just went in there and just answered questions. Not really going to any, organization, just doing whatever. And I didn’t learn too well with any of the videos on Surgent or any lecture ’cause I’m not really a person who learns with lectures, I’m better with [00:03:00] like on hands and reading, so that’s what Superfast did for me. It gave me structure and like a blueprint to follow, I guess you can say.

Nate: Okay.

The Benefits of Using the SuperfastCPA Strategies

Nate: And, what about the, did you use the study tools much or was it mostly the strategies?

Marc: It was most of the strategies. I mean, I was already getting up at 4:00 AM ’cause I’m an early bird. Um, so I just kind of took what you said by doing the 30 questions after every, uh, study session, then two simulations, ran with it.

Nate: Nice. Okay. So once you added SuperfastCPA or I guess you know, the strategies, what were the main benefits you saw in your study process from it?

Marc: I felt like I was retaining information better. Like I said before, it was kind of chaotic just doing questions and I wasn’t reviewing anything. I was going to the next chapter, so. Yeah, definitely, ’cause when it came to exam time, I felt way more ready once I started using Superfast compared to just not using your app at all.

Nate: Okay.

Logan: So had you taken any exams before [00:04:00] doing SuperfastCPA or had you not taken any yet?

Marc: Yeah, so actually it took me 11 attempts in the CPA exam for the first, I wanna say the first six I didn’t use Superfast. Um, it was that seventh exam, I used it where I failed, but I got close to passing and that’s when I realized like this is actually working. And then from there I just breezed through everything else last year.

Nate: Okay. Awesome. Okay, now we’ll just kind of go back, to the beginning.

How Marc Got Started on His CPA Journey

Nate: So, where were you at in your career when you decided to do the CPA for the first time and you know, what made you want to do that? How’d you get started down the CPA path in general?

Marc: So I graduated fall 2019. Uh, I knew I wanted to get in public accounting and that was, I would start my career and where I’m currently at still, um. So yeah, I jumped straight into busy season during Covid and I realized with the other CPAs there, they, they were doing pretty well. I wanted to be like them and people I talked about CPA in college. So that’s [00:05:00] what made me try, so 2000, December, 2020 was when I first took my first exam, uh, bombed it. Um, and then, yeah, I kept trying after every tax season from there, which I said was a mess with between Covid and tax season being extended longer than necessary not having a normal time period.

Like, there really was no structure to my studying or even to like my work schedule, so I found you at a good time 2022, everything kind of got semi-normal again.

Studying After Work Didn’t Work

Nate: Okay, so from 2020 to 2022, what would the average day look like of you studying? Would you do it after work? How was it like in the beginning?

Marc: Yeah, so in the beginning I never thought about studying early. I usually just hit the gym and then go to work. So I tried studying after work, but I mean, even then, I knew the time. It just, it, it wouldn’t work out. Uh, I know after, for me personally, after work, I like to just relax, decompress, um, you know, ’cause you’re thinking all day at work, especially in tax.

See, it wasn’t until like I got your review course I started [00:06:00] realizing, all right, maybe I should cut my workouts to a short time study in the morning.

Nate: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, uh, the thing I’m always saying is just it solves a lot of problems to just study first thing in the morning. So it sounds like that was kind of your experience.

Marc: Yeah, I saw a lot of issues and, uh, like your video said, it gets a lot of free time and I, I think it’s key to be able to relax in the afternoon and put the books away. I mean, sometimes I would say you, after work. But it wasn’t as intense as I tried from 2020 to 2000 early 2022.

Nate: Okay. Yeah. So that first two years, it kind of sounds like, studying was always on your mind, but you’d be tired after work. It was just a struggle all the time to try and get yourself to study after work. And even then it wasn’t really effective. So the whole thing was just frustrating.

Is, is that kind of how it was?

Marc: Yeah, that’s exactly how it was. And like I said, being like a brand new staff, uh, [00:07:00] those first two years were really rough with all changes going on and work itself is being so tiring. So yeah, I didn’t look forward to it, but I knew I had to do it.

Nate: Yeah. Okay.

What a Day of Studying Looked Like

Logan: During that, how did you study? Were you watching the lectures, reading the notes, or like how did that look?

Marc: Some days I was watching lectures, uh, and then doing multiple choice, but with that time I’d probably get like 10 multiple choice questions down. So I just really couldn’t do it anymore if it from burnout from the videos. Some days I try to read and do the questions. So it was a mix of both.

Logan: Yeah, but like you said, not like crazy structured, just kind of like trying to do what you could. Okay.

Marc: Yeah.

Nate: Yeah. I mean, a very common story, just people trying to put in time any way they can and, but yeah, at the end of the day, not a ton of structure or kind of the lack of a strategic approach, you know, is I think what, when most people start, that’s the main issue they’re having without realizing it.

Marc: Yeah, and to be a [00:08:00] bit off that material itself isn’t, it’s not rocket science. I feel like a lot of the stuff is not simple, but simple enough. It was just the volume. Sheer volume of it was made tough. So structure really helped.

Nate: Yeah. And also when you’re trying to watch every video and read the text before you even get to the questions, you know, for a topic, that alone makes people tired or kind of just your, your, uh, little battery of focus is already like, worn down by the time you even get to the questions, you know? So then the most important part is ineffective.

Marc: Yeah, that’s so true.

Logan: Yeah.

Finding SuperfastCPA

Logan: So, you did that for like roughly two years, so what point did you have to get to, to be where, like, okay, I’ve gotta, look for something else. And then how did you find SuperfastCPA at that point?

Marc: Because I, I failed. I, I reached that point when I, uh, failed audit and FAR a few times. And I wasn’t really seeing much of a change in my score ’cause uh, to be honest, I was averaging probably in like the [00:09:00] forties and fifties on all those attempts. Um, it was the last time I took, well before that final time I took FAR, uh, I saw it Nate’s ad on YouTube and at first, uh, I was apprehensive, like, this sounds way too good to be true.

Passing it fast. This thing is way too hard. Then, yeah, that’s when I gave it a chance. I was, I guess I was desperate at the time. Just look for something to help, and it turned out to help a lot.

Nate: So do you remember what the, I’m guessing you followed that ad and watched the free webinar first. Is that

Marc: Yeah.

Nate: the one hour webinar? Okay.

What Made Sense from the Free Training

Nate: And do you remember what ideas in the training immediately made sense to the point that you were like, okay, I’m gonna try this.

Marc: What made the most sense? It’s about two years ago, I guess, now, uh, thinking back on, it was just doing multiple choice questions because that’s what the exam is doing. The questions, it’s not really watching videos and answering or reading a chapter. So I [00:10:00] thought about it. I was like, why, why am I wasting time trying to watch his lectures when I should be practicing multiple choice questions and other questions to do what the test actually does, rather than just, I felt like sitting there doing nothing.

Nate: Yeah.

Marc: That was the biggest takeaway from your video.

Nate: Okay.

Switching to Studying in the Mornings Wasn’t a Big Adjustment

Nate: Was that also when you made the switch to the mornings instead of after work?

Marc: Oh, yeah. And that too, you were talking about the mornings. I was like, I’m already up at 4:00 AM so might as well use my time and work doesn’t really start till 8:30 or 9:00 so I have plenty of time study and work out and do what I have to do.

Nate: Okay, what were you doing at four in the morning before, like if you were able to just fit in the two hours when you were already waking up? What were you doing at four in the morning before?

Just your workouts?

Marc: Yeah, just give some background. I was a, a college athlete, high school athlete, so. Getting up super early was just, I guess I was ready to do it. So yeah, I would get up naturally at that time, at this point in my life and just work out and then maybe take a nap and eat breakfast or whatever I could kill with an [00:11:00] hour.

Nate: Yeah. Okay.

Noticed Improvement After Just a Month

Nate: Could you tell it was more effective within a few days, in a few weeks? When did you start to feel like, okay, this is like making more sense and working better?

Marc: I felt like it was more, I felt it was effective after the first month. Um, because I would initially, what I was, whatever I was doing back in the first few years, uh, I tried to do multiple choice questions. I couldn’t remember a thing and I take the practice exam, bombs like get 10%. And then once I did your way, I was averaging maybe like 70, 80% and I was doing multiple choice questions and doing the large reviews at the end.

So yeah, after like say the first month, I realized it was super helpful.

Why Marc Saw Improvement

Nate: So all the time previously, you were still doing practice questions, at some point or maybe daily, and then with our approach, it’s directly to the questions, but what kind of made the difference where you started seeing your scores go up, do you think?

I mean, if you were doing questions [00:12:00] before even that wasn’t maybe the focus, but then switching to this, what was the difference in how you were answering the questions do you think that made you start to really see improvement?

Marc: So with your method with, uh, going back and doing 30 questions every single day, it would keep the information fresh in my mind. So it would eventually start happening is like I would start looking at like, if I got something wrong, I would look at why I got it wrong. And like why answers weren’t correct.

And that’s how my approach became going towards questions. Where, uh, the first time I did it, I was just going chapter by chapter. I wasn’t really doing a full review after every day of studying. So I, I didn’t know what was wrong, I didn’t know what was right. I couldn’t give you an explanation of towards anything. So with your method, it helped me actually understand and it made the questions easier. It made, doing test easier gave me a logical way of thinking instead of, like I said, just answering questions, going chapter by chapter, and then taking the exam, bombing it.

Nate: Yeah. So did you have our ProCourse videos, like the planting the seeds [00:13:00] walkthrough video where we go through an actual lesson? Did you watch those?

Marc: Yeah, I did. But that was two years ago, so I definitely probably did implement those ways without realizing it.

Nate: Mm-Hmm.

Marc: But yeah, I think I did.

Nate: Yeah, it sounds like from what you’re describing, that’s like from, the PRO course videos, so you probably did, when you first signed up and then you just went on your way, and like you said, it’s been two years, so, but yeah.

Marc: I bought in 2022 around April, and then, yeah, the rest is history.

Things That Made it Hard for Marc to Focus on Studying

Nate: Were there any big, maybe not big, but just daily, like life gets in the way, type things that made studying difficult or did switching to the mornings kind of help you lock it in before distractions could ruin your studying for the day.

Marc: Yeah, switching the mornings helped get rid of the distractions because, uh, initially when I, I started studying, I lived at home. So this first reason they go home, I see my parents [00:14:00] because I was fresh outta college. They wanna chat about work and whatnot. Uh, I start, I moved out eventually after I took your course, but if anyone wanted to hang out or talk to me, I had the time.

There was no distraction in the morning, so it wasn’t like someone’s walking up to me and asking me a question afterward, and I would talk and lose time studying. So, yeah, it completely got rid of any distractions. Um, yeah, that was probably the biggest challenge is friends, family, one speak after work.

Logan: Yeah.

Nate: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, trying to study after work you’re just battling a lot of elements, like, you know, everyone who wants to hang out. You’re already tired from work, like you said. I mean, again, your brain’s battery is like down to here and you’re trying to sit down and study for four hours.

It’s just so many reasons why.

Marc: It’s almost impossible.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah.

Getting a Higher Score for His First Exam with SuperfastCPA

Nate: So what about your first section after, switching your study? How did the attempts start to go after that?

Marc: [00:15:00] So I failed FAR after using your method the first time. But I believe it was like a 65, and I felt like right then and there I actually knew that this plan was working. I just had a trusted process in this case. So after I failed FAR in December 2022, I waited till after tax season and then I said, uh, 2023 is passed everything from July to December.

Nate: Oh, nice. Once you really got the hang of it, you passed ’em all within like about six months it sounds like.

Marc: Yeah, that’s literally what happened. Like I said your course, like it just literally gives give structure and I, that’s all I needed, so.

Nate: Awesome.

Yeah. That’s cool to hear.

Studying for Two Years, Passing Felt Impossible

Nate: So after struggling with things for two years or so, how did it feel to pass that first section?

Marc: Honestly, uh, personally, if it didn’t feel real ’cause you know, you go for like about two years at that point of failing the whole exam felt impossible. So after I, I passed this FAR, I was like, oh, [00:16:00] the hardest one is out the way. Like this seems possible and doable. This whole like system you created is just, for me, it felt kinda like flawless you know, it took, I guess a couple months rather than whatever I was doing for two years to get it down.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah, when it all comes together, it’s, it just, it does, it just starts working really well. And usually, you know, once you pass one, the process repeats for the other ones. And, sometimes there’s a minor hiccup just depending on things, but, yeah.

Motivated After Passing His First Exam

Nate: So did it make, did it just change how you felt motivation wise to know that okay, now as long as I’m putting in the time like this is going to work. So did it make it easier to stick to the plan once you knew you were, knew it was working?

Marc: A hundred percent. Uh, after, especially with that first pass, like I, I didn’t take a day off because I, I knew it was, this method was working, this process, so I felt extremely confident, which I [00:17:00] think is key for like those six months. And for anyone else taking the exam, just having the confidence to go in there and knowing what you did was right and whatever you did probably worked.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. And on the other hand, it’s hard to keep going if you’re putting in a ton of time, not doing things with friends or things you wanna do and you’re failing still, it’s, you know, gets really hard to keep going.

Marc: Yeah, and honestly, except for REG, I didn’t take a break, but I felt so good about actually like left to Iceland before taking my last exam. And like studied with like the last five weeks. So that’s how good I felt about the whole thing.

Nate: That’s awesome.

Marc: But yeah, like you said before, uh, those two years I probably would’ve done something like that.

Probably would’ve stayed home. Uh, not talk to anybody and just fail again.

Nate: Yeah. Unfortunately that’s a lot of people. That’s what they’re going through. Yeah.

The Why That Kept Marc Motivated

Logan: Through that whole process. So, you know, you know, almost two years before you started passing sections [00:18:00] or something along those lines, what was motivating you to keep going? How did you make it through that fog, so to speak, until you started passing? Like what kept you going?

Marc: So, uh, kind of the one thing that Nate said in your PRO video about writing down your why. So, like, every morning, because I, I would, what I usually do is I wake up at like four, go to the gym, and then I’ll usually my alarm go off at six to like, remind, make sure I’m sitting down studying and like, my reminder on my iPhone, it would just remind me to study ’cause I, I was a bad student initially in high school and college was a bit rough. For me, even being an accountant was difficult, so I had that reminder like I shouldn’t even be an account because I was an idiot to be quite honest. Um, so I had to get the CPA exam just for personal, I guess, pride in this case, and proving to myself that I am where I belong.

So that was the biggest key to keep motivated to keep trying and looking for ways to get through this exam.

Nate: Yeah, and it’s just proof that it’s not an IQ [00:19:00] test, you know? Cause we’ve had people on the podcast that we’re studying for 10 years sometimes like studying and failing for 10 years. And, uh, they just, once they kind of see our free training and just usually at that point they kind of know, once they hear a certain strategy, they’re like, okay, that, like that would make the difference. And uh, you know, a few little tweaks to their process and everything just turns around. You know, the same person that’s been failing for 10 years will just pass their exams in six to eight months. So it’s just all about your strategy.

Marc: Yeah, I think it’s the same. I mean. I think another issue is like, not issue, but your, your way is unorthodox. You know, ’cause you go through, I guess, years of college and growing up by having lecture, questions, repeat. So I guess not not doing the lectures as much unless you don’t know something was completely foreign.

So I think it was a huge difference for somebody like myself.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. That is like kind of just the typical way [00:20:00] of learning, I guess that’s true even in high school, college. That’s kind of the format of you get taught a bunch of information in lecture format of some form and then read a book and then take quizzes or tests. Yeah. Um.

Marc: Your way of getting the question and then reading was, it made sense, actually makes way more sense thinking about it, but it was completely different.

Nate: Yeah, kinda letting the questions for a topic inform where you need to like, okay, this part I’m not understanding. Let me look at that specific part in the textbook. And the fact that you’re wondering about it makes it make sense when you do go and read it. Whereas if you read everything first or watch the video first. You just don’t really have any context still about how that’s gonna come up in questions or how to answer those questions. So yeah, it’s just easier or works better.

Marc: A hundred percent.

Marc’s Note Taking Process

Nate: What about flashcards or taking notes? Did you do any of that [00:21:00] or?

Marc: Oh yeah. Initially I would do flashcards and they did not help at all, out of a big pile but you, you can review so much as you know. Then eventually I did take notes. It wasn’t as heavy I had like a Microsoft word for like each exam. It wouldn’t go more than maybe like two pages. I would only take notes on stuff that seemed really important that I kept repeating in the multiple choice questions.

So that’s as far as it went for me for notes, yeah, I stopped doing flashcard once I started using your method.

Nate: Yeah, so it sounds like the, like the biggest thing to you, and this is arguably the, like the biggest thing in general, but was just the, the switch to focusing on the questions, but even more so than that was just getting really clear on why did I miss this? How did, what makes this question work? Just really digging into the questions and making sense of them, and that’s kind of what wasn’t happening originally.

Marc: Yeah, because like I said, originally I was just doing questions and either I got it [00:22:00] right or got it wrong and, and maybe watch a lecture for like two hours and one question I didn’t get right and not learn anything.

Marc’s Weekend Study Routine

Nate: Yeah. How about the weekends? Did you study longer or follow the same format? Did you do anything different on the weekends?

Marc: So I did study longer on the weekends because I usually get, try, try to do a minimum two hours in the morning. And then I would go for six to eight, Saturday and Sunday. But I, I did still get up early on the weekends. Uh, some mornings might slip in and push the hours back and did like, I don’t know, eight to one.

But yeah, I still was pretty keen on going like four to 12 or six to 12, whatever on the weekends. Just get it done.

Nate: Mm-Hmm.

Logan: Okay.

You would do like, you know, normal studying, and then did you also incorporate like the sims on the weekend, or how did your weekend study sessions look?

Marc: So my weekend study sessions are kind of like, uh, I guess the weekdays, but maybe it’s, instead of doing 30, uh, questions at the end, uh, maybe the last hour or two, I would just use that to go as many multiple choice. Probably hit like a hundred multiple choice. And do like [00:23:00] six sims.

Logan: Okay.

Marc: And one thing I did too, uh, I wasn’t, so I did every sim, uh, but I, I wouldn’t spend more than five minutes on sims because I, I knew that the exam at this point sims were easier.

So I would just give it five minutes if I didn’t know it, I didn’t know it, and then read over why I got it wrong. And then if ever came up again in like, the end of review. I knew why, or like what maybe had an idea where things should be and what they should look like. But it was pretty the same thing. I did the same thing, uh, Monday through Saturday. I would try to do maybe two sections of a chapter, um, and then review questions. And with of course, Saturday and Sunday being more time, I can maybe go through the full chapter and then do the big review longer or whatever.

Logan: Okay.

Nate: Okay.

Marc’s Final Review Process

Nate: And what about when you got to the final review? How long did you save for a final review and what did you do for your final review?

Marc: I would try to give two weeks before the exam day and, uh, for my final every [00:24:00] day, except for the day before, I would just keep doing review questions. I. And I would do bite-size. I, I’m not a person to sit down and do like 30 questions in a row, so I would do set to 10 and then one sim and then repeat it over and over, and then again take my notes if I keep getting something wrong and keep it keeps re-appearing or some, something similar.

So that’s what I do. Then the day before review, I would, I would read the notes I took, and maybe I would do, like, I, I would cap myself at at least like 50 multiple choice questions because I didn’t wanna think too much the day before.

Nate: Mm-Hmm.

Marc: So then the day of going the exam, I felt refreshed. And then the day of the exam I would get up early in the morning and again read notes, I wouldn’t do any questions, just review, keep things in my head and go from there.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah, it makes sense.

Maintaining Hobbies Through the Study Process

Nate: Do you have any like hobbies that you made it a point to keep doing throughout the whole process to just ’cause you enjoy it or to help you stay sane, balanced, I mean, whatever you wanna call it. It sounds like working out was one of those.

Marc: Yeah, [00:25:00] I mean, I’m pretty big on like weightlifting and playing basketball. But for some reason, uh, once I passed FAR, I, I felt good about myself, so I do something a little more challenging. So I actually ran a half marathon and trained for that. Um, and then also I got a cat, which it helps a lot. I don’t know, not studying, maybe I was a little stressed out.

My cat would come and give a little pet

Nate: Mm-Hmm.

Marc: and was, it was calming. So I guess like those two things I picked up or I adopted

Logan: Yeah.

Marc: since I started.

Logan: Yeah.

Nate: So are you getting more into, uh, running and doing a, are you gonna do like a full marathon?

Marc: I don’t think I do a full marathon. Uh, half marathon’s just enough for me. it’s rough man. Even after half marathon, like I don’t know what, I know why, but I felt terrible after. I’m probably do it again, but still. Yeah, half cap that on. I might try to learn new language though, uh, after this tax season ends.

Logan: What, what language?

Marc: Spanish.[00:26:00]

Logan: Nice.

Marc: Yeah. Uh, my dad speaks fluently. I’m Puerto Rican, but I didn’t learn, so I gotta, gotta speak soon.

Logan: Mm-Hmm. I mean, Spanish is super useful to know. I would say like, just knowing that will give you even more opportunities on top of CPA. Um, like I lived in Costa Rica for a little while and. I mean, every, like, if people find out, you know, Spanish, they’re like, oh, like, you know, like it, it can open up some more doors for you.

So that’s awesome that you wanna do that too.

Marc: Yeah. For me it’s just more conversational because like my aunt speak fluently and

Logan: Yeah, yeah.

Marc: It’d be nice just to call him one day and to surprise him.

Logan: Yeah.

Marc: Yeah.

Nate: Yeah. And, and that’s a common thing. I mean, a lot of people on these interviews say that, uh, you know, once they, they’ve gotten this morning format down and just. It’s a big accomplishment to pass these four exams. It’s just a common theme for people to say something like, well, now, now that the exams are over, I’m going to, maybe not two hours every [00:27:00] morning, but just one hour.

I mean, I can kind of learn or do anything, just follow that same format, just dedicated time every morning, you know, leads to big results over the course of months.

Marc: Yeah, and this again definitely shows you over time, you have a lot of time in a day. Two hours is a lot of hours and yeah, I don’t know about anyone else. Like I, it’s hard waking up Saturday. No, it’s not hard. It’s different waking up Saturday without like something going on, you know?

Nate: Mm-Hmm. Yeah.

Marc: More a purpose.

Nate: Right.

Logan: Yeah, you, you do almost like. I know I felt this a little bit like you do almost feel like lazy. You’re like, oh, like I don’t have something important I’m supposed to be doing after you’ve, you’ve been doing something for so long, you know?

Marc: Yeah. And that’s how I felt this past few weeks. Like, man, like what’s next? Like what do I do?

Nate: Yeah. so. Yeah. When did you get your fourth passing score? I know your email to me was recent. Anyways, yeah. When did you get your fourth passing score?

Marc: December 27th is when the [00:28:00] score came out I believe.

Nate: Okay. Okay.

Logan: So the last, last one. Mm-Hmm.

Nate: You’re still within a month of finding out you’re done, you still have that high of like,

Marc: Yeah, and.

Nate: When you think about studying, you, you know, I mean, we realize you don’t have to.

Marc: It’s a weird, it’s a weird feeling. Weird thought. Yeah. I’m still in that situation where I’m like, man, I should be studying right now, but I don’t have to.

Logan: Yeah.

Nate: Yeah, good problem to have, I guess, better than before.

Marc: For sure.

Test Day Experience

Nate: And uh, I guess like test day was test day always fairly smooth. You were getting done with the whole exam in time. Anything throw you off on test day?

Marc: The test day was, was fairly smooth. Um, I even had a little tradition with my girlfriend since we live in Philadelphia. My start, first exam, my past, what I would do is I would go down with her ’cause she works down in Center City. We’d get little breakfast and go from there. The exam would feel easier, and I finish usually within like 30 minutes time remaining or, yeah, I guess lowest time I had like [00:29:00] 15.

That was at REG, surprisingly, which was on tax. It didn’t make sense, but yeah, the, all the, all the exams went smooth when I was passing them.

Nate: Yeah. Once you get it down, it’s like we were saying earlier, it’s just kind of formulaic at that point.

Marc: it feels routine.

Logan: yeah.

Felt Confident Taking the Exams Once He Started Passing

Logan: A lot of people we’ve talked to, like, even though they’re passing, they still feel like, I don’t know if I passed. Even though, beforehand they might feel like it’s working, but then when they go to the actual exam, they’re still a little nervous. Did you feel different taking the exams once you started passing compared to beforehand?

Marc: Yeah, so when I was failing exams initially, except for that, like that last failing FAR score, um, I felt unknown. Like I, I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I didn’t feel comfortable. Uh, when I switch to Superfast and passed those six months, um, I felt confident in there. I didn’t feel like I failed. I would get out the exams, tell everybody, I took it.

I think I passed. I’m pretty sure I passed. I’ll see the score. And that was that. I never really second guessed it to be honest.

Logan: That’s awesome.

Marc: [00:30:00] Yeah. I, my football coach would be in my head like proper preparation prevents poor performance and like I felt prepared in these cases.

Nate: Mm-Hmm. Yeah. And there’s a lot to be said just about doing the questions strategically, and that’s the bulk of your study time. You just get comfortable and good at answering questions, you know, regardless of like the content that they’re about. You just get good at it and, that’s like half the battle on test day.

Marc: Yeah, it really is. I mean, like I said, even those five, those five questions helped a lot. Like I said, if you’re preparing to answer questions, you should be practicing. You shouldn’t be practicing how to watch a video and take notes, so it’s true.

Used the SuperfastCPA App for Mini Sessions

Nate: So is that the quizzes on our app, did you kind of use those throughout the day? The, when you five question quizzes.

Marc: I use those faithfully.

Nate: Okay.

Marc: Like every Monday through Friday, every hour from 9:00 AM to 5:30 or five o’clock. I was in five questions to stay sharp.

I would say, uh, I also use the audio [00:31:00] notes because my job switched in person three days a week, so to and from work I would turn on the audio and just let it run.

Nate: Mm-Hmm. Yeah. You did ’em every hour. Did you have a timer on your phone that would like go off to remind you, or you just made it a point just kind of watching the clock to do one every hour?

Marc: I made a point to watch the clock and do it every hour. Uh, now you’re saying, I remember you saying like, back in your videos, I, we always use our phone. You know, I might go on Instagram, might look at the news to see sports or something. So instead of like looking at the news or something, I just did the questions.

It, it reminded me ’cause I put the app where the social media would be just to remind me instead of looking at Instagram or something, look at Superfast, your questions.

Nate: Yeah, that’s perfect. Uh, and again. It just, you know, if you average an hour a day doing that, which you must have, if it was one quiz every hour, and then the audios as well. So it’s like one to two hours of extra study time that you wouldn’t get otherwise [00:32:00] over six to eight weeks. I mean, that’s an extra a hundred hours. So it just, that’s clearly going to pay off, you know, an extra a hundred study hours

Marc: Yeah, it definitely paid off.

Celebration After Passing His Final Exam

Nate: Let’s see. So did you do anything big to celebrate or was it mostly just the relief of being done finally.

Marc: It’s a relief of being done. I mean, unfortunately, given the time period when I found I passed, get my license, can’t really do anything yet. But, uh, I’m planning to go to Portugal, Morocco this year, well after tax season celebrate. So that’s gonna be like my big hoorah in passing.

Nate: That’s really cool. Yeah, I think we kind of went through everything. Any other study methods that you used, just kind of your own personal take on anything? Or was it mostly just working through the questions and the sims for the most part.

Marc: It was mostly working through the questions and sims and um, I guess another thing was not getting too much caught up in detail. Uh, one thing I learned through this exam was they don’t [00:33:00] test too hard and detailed. Everything’s pretty broad, so something was extremely, uh, detailed in question, seemed extra hard.

I didn’t pay much mind to and skipped whatever it was, which I think you said in your PRO to video too.

Nate: Right it.

Logan: So are you meaning like, um, like you were focused a lot more on like just the general concept they were trying to teach you with each question instead of diving like way too deep into the nitty gritty of every single question. Is that kind of what you’re getting at?

Marc: Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m getting at. Just get the broad understanding of everything instead of the fine, things if I need agree detail.

Nate: Mm-Hmm. That’s one of the hardest, ideas to describe to someone I think so you’re not, you don’t have to learn everything in your review course. And a lot of people immediately hear that and think, I think I want to, I need to know everything in my review course. Or saying that you’re making this, if someone who’s watching every video, reading every [00:34:00] chapter, basically rewriting the textbook in their own notes and they’re spending so much time. My advice to that would be like, you’re making this too hard. Like you’re making this way too hard. But then how to cut that down. And that’s where it comes back to doing the questions first. And you just kind of let the questions for a topic inform what you spend time on. Or, you know, the, the pillar things for each topic emerge from the questions. It’s kind of an idea that’s hard to put into words, but, it eventually kind of clicks once you just start doing , the questions first, I think.

People Think They Need to Learn Everything

Marc: Yeah, I think part of the influence too, of like trying to understand too much details. Uh, if you’re first and new into public accounting, you meet a CPA and typically the CPA is much older and they seem extremely knowledgeable, so I feel like sometimes there’s an urge to wanna know all the details. So you could be like, them have the same kind of thought process, which the exam work experience are completely different as we all found out.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good point too. [00:35:00] And it, that’s the thing, the really deep understanding has to come in layers and I mean, talk like referring to a partner that’s been doing public accounting for 30 years, you know, that’s like an extreme version of that. But even with the idea of like the mini sessions, I think that’s why it works so much better is, to your example of learning a language. You could have the best Spanish teacher in the world, give you like two in depth eight hour lessons and you just can’t go out and speak fluent Spanish after that. Even with the best instructor in the on the planet.

Marc: Yeah.

Nate: Learning something that’s like that difficult with that much new detail. It just takes kind of immersing yourself in it and just over and over and over. And it just, that’s how that understanding kind of has to happen. And that’s why the re-review works so well versus lesson by lesson, don’t look back at anything for two months, you know, and then basically try to relearn it all in the [00:36:00] final review.

Marc: Yeah, you’re right.

Nate: Yeah.

Marc: Exactly what I did in the beginning.

Logan: Yeah,

Nate: Yeah.

Logan: Like adding on my 2 cents there with that language, you really do need to immerse yourself. A lot of people struggle with the CPA exam because they think it has to consume every single part of their life, and that’s not necessarily what we’re saying, but making it your top priority and studying effectively is what’s most important. So, you know, like, like I said, I lived in Costa Rica I didn’t really feel that comfortable with the language till like living there for like six months, just speaking it constantly, every day. And so like, exactly like Nate said, it’s much better to just constantly be seeing it throughout your day than just have one massive lesson. You’re not gonna, that’s not how people learn.

Marc: Yeah, no, you’re exactly right. Putting into practice is more effective than simply just looking at what’s on the screen, just trying to absorb everything.

Logan: Mm-Hmm.

Nate: Mm-Hmm. Yeah. The, yeah, the whole active versus passive [00:37:00] studying. You can tell yourself a story that you’re studying a lot by watching hours of video, but it’s, it’s not giving you that practical like, knowledge of answering questions.

Marc: Yeah, like I say, your method definitely harps on going to practice being active. Don’t be passive.

Nate: Mm-Hmm. Yeah, I mean, I think we kind of went through everything.

Top Tips for People Still Struggling with the CPA Exams

Nate: The last thing I always ask is even if it’s stuff we already talked about, what would be your top two or three tips to people that are struggling with the study process still?

Marc: Uh, first and foremost, I definitely say try Superfast. Use your method of studying and watch PRO videos. Um, even if you forget later on, they, they’ll come back to you and make sense. You’ll follow the structures subconsciously. And the second tip was just don’t get caught in details. And if something seems too hard, it’s okay not to know and skip over it because it probably, probably doesn’t matter.

And if it does, if it does show up in the exam, probably one question.

Nate: Yeah. Okay. Awesome.

Well, thanks Marc. I mean, I appreciate you sending me the email, so that we could [00:38:00] do this interview and then hearing your whole story. It’s really cool that our strategies helped you just turn things around and make the process not easy, but fairly, you know, just as long as you did the two hours each day and your mini sessions, you were good to go. Congrats on being done, and thanks for doing the call.

Marc: Thank you for making the videos and making Superfast, uh, the advertising actually was legitimate. It was not a spam like I thought it might have been. So appreciate it.

Nate: Yep. Yeah, it’s good to hear. I know that’s a, uh, that’s a funny thing. Most people comment on that once we’re on these interviews. Sometimes, you know, a few times people have just flat out said like, oh, your, your ads were so annoying. And I would skip ’em for a year. And finally after like failing a section, I just decided, okay, I’m gonna watch this stupid webinar this guy keeps talking about. And then, you know.

Marc: To be honest, I, I probably skipped a few your videos initially because I was like, uh, this guy, there’s no way he could pass [00:39:00] these, these, the CPA exam fast. It’s hard. He’s lying.

Nate: Yeah.

Marc: he, he’s talking…​

Logan: All right. That was the interview with Marc.

I really liked it, and I’m sure you did too. He had a lot of great tips. And again, his process just shows once you start using effective strategies for studying for the CPA exam. You can start passing exams. He went from failing six exams in the forties or fifties to switching to SuperfastCPA and still failing one exam, but almost passing. And then from there passing all the rest. It really is about how effective and efficient your strategy is. If you liked this interview, please leave a comment and like the video on YouTube. Or leave a rating in your favorite podcast app. Be sure to share this podcast with anybody, you know, who is studying for the CPA exam. This podcast is the best free resource out there for CPA exam candidates. Thanks for watching or listening and we’ll see you in the next one. [00:40:00]

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