(Posted February 2022)
One of the questions we get on a regular basis is how to manage work, CPA modules and life. At times, the program can be overwhelming, so it is important to recognize that balance is critical for long-term success. Many of you figure this out on your own or from the wisdom of those who have gone before, while others get caught in the trap of never finding the right balance.
Life gives each of us our own circumstances. The CPA modules add an interesting twist to our lives as they layer on an additional load to carry. How you manage that load will often dictate your ability to succeed.
Here are some things we suggest:
Make a plan. Lay out your own set of circumstances (work, family, modules, gym, hobbies… whatever you have). Figure out how much time each requires and organize your days/calendar appropriately. Modules likely need about 15 hours each week (depending on your efficiency and knowledge base), and those hours need to go somewhere, but be smart about it. Set aside a dedicated time to deal with them, and then make sure you do. Recognize the week before the exam may require you to give more time, and again, balance that week. Something will likely have to give, but it will only be temporary.
Keep perspective. There are requirements you need to do to pass the module, so make sure you do them. However, it is not necessary to spend excess time. Once you understand how to approach a case and you practice, it will become routine. Our EDGE Core and Elective courses provide resources to help you understand how best to approach case writing and the PEP module exams.
Debrief effectively. This is where the learning happens. Debrief each case you write thoroughly. Take the time to understand what they were looking for, and how the case guided you there. If you are using our cases, do listen to those instructor led walkthroughs as they will show you how to read, plan and write the cases and build solid skills. Make sure you take the time to understand why the other responses to those MCQs were not correct. By doing this for each MCQ, your technical knowledge will improve significantly.
Stay in control. If you have a good routine that you maintain as you progress through each module, it will help reduce your stress and you will be able to think and do your best on the final module exam. Life will happen and you will need to adapt. Don’t let the bumps along the way throw you off your goal of passing each module the first time.
We are rooting for you!