10 Steps for an Effective CPA Review Program

10 Steps for an Effective CPA Review Program


Embarking on the journey to pass the CPA exam is no small feat. It requires diligent preparation, unwavering commitment, and a strategic approach to learning. With the myriad of study materials and methods available, finding the right path can be daunting. That's where the insights of Atty. Al Macmod, a revered figure in the fields of tax and business law, come into play. His approach to crafting an effective CPA review program has helped countless aspiring accountants to not only pass the exam but excel at it. In this blog, we'll decode the ten pivotal steps outlined by Atty. Al Macmod that promise to transform your study strategy, optimize your learning process, and pave the way for success on the CPA exam.

Atty. Macmod's methodology is not just about hard work; it's about working smart. His extensive experience as an educator and practitioner in tax and business law provides a unique perspective on how to approach the vast syllabus of the CPA exam. The steps he proposes are designed to build a solid foundation in accounting principles, enhance comprehension of complex topics, and improve exam-taking skills. From creating a personalized study plan to understanding the importance of mental and physical health during your review, each step serves a specific purpose in the grand scheme of preparation.

As we delve into these ten transformative steps, remember that the journey to becoming a CPA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional achievement. Atty. Al Macmod's guidance is meant to steer you towards not only passing the CPA exam but doing so with confidence and competence. Stay tuned as we explore each step in detail, providing you with the tools and techniques to embark on an effective and rewarding CPA review program.

1. I will maintain an Overwhelming Desire to become a CPA

I will maintain an Overwhelming Desire to become a CPA

Maintaining an overwhelming desire to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) involves nurturing a passion for the field of accounting along with a steadfast commitment to achieving professional excellence. At the heart of this endeavor is the recognition of the CPA designation as a symbol of trust and expertise in accounting, which demands a high level of education, passing a rigorous examination, and meeting specific experience requirements. This goal not only reflects a commitment to personal growth and professional development but also signifies a desire to be part of a respected community that plays a critical role in the financial health of businesses and individuals alike.

Moreover, preparing for the CPA exam requires discipline, determination, and a strategic approach to mastering the vast body of knowledge tested. Creating a study plan that accommodates your learning style, leveraging quality study materials, and seeking out opportunities for practical experience in accounting can all contribute to your success. While the journey to becoming a CPA is challenging, maintaining an overwhelming desire to achieve this goal is about constantly reminding yourself of the value and opportunities that the CPA designation unlocks. It’s not just about passing an exam or meeting requirements; it’s about embracing a lifelong journey of learning, integrity, and professional excellence.

2. I will make a Committed Decision to become a CPA and study with Focus

I will make a Committed Decision to become a CPA and study with Focus

Choosing to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a decision that marks a significant commitment to one's professional growth and career trajectory. This decision is not just about passing an exam; it's about dedicating oneself to a rigorous process of learning and personal development. The CPA certification is highly respected and opens numerous doors in the fields of accounting, finance, and business, offering opportunities for higher responsibility, increased salary, and the ability to help businesses navigate the complex world of financial reporting and compliance.

Making a committed decision means putting in place a structured plan to achieve this goal. It involves understanding the requirements to become a CPA, which vary by state but generally include completing a specific amount of accounting and business coursework, acquiring professional experience under the guidance of an existing CPA, and passing the Uniform CPA Examination. The exam itself is a comprehensive test of knowledge and skills in accounting, auditing, taxation, and related areas, demanding a deep understanding of the subjects.

Studying with focus is crucial to conquering the CPA exam. This means setting aside dedicated study times, minimizing distractions, and employing effective study techniques tailored to one’s learning style. Many successful CPA candidates recommend a combination of self-study through review courses, practice exams to simulate the testing environment, and joining study groups or finding a study partner for mutual support. Balancing work, life, and study commitments requires excellent time management and prioritization skills. Remember, the journey to becoming a CPA is a marathon, not a sprint. It demands persistence, resilience, and a positive mindset. By committing to this path and focusing diligently on your studies, you’re paving the way for a rewarding career that not only offers financial stability but also a chance to make a significant impact in the business world.

3. I will develop an Unwavering Belief that I can make it.

I will develop an Unwavering Belief that I can make it.

Developing an unwavering belief in your ability to succeed is a powerful mindset that can significantly influence your actions and outcomes. This mindset is not about blind optimism but about fostering a deep-seated confidence in your capabilities and potential. It's about nurturing a belief system that supports resilience, perseverance, and a positive outlook, even in the face of challenges and setbacks.

To cultivate this unwavering belief, it's essential to start with self-awareness. Understand your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses, but view them as areas for growth rather than insurmountable obstacles. Setting realistic goals and celebrating small victories along the way can reinforce your belief in your abilities. These achievements, no matter how minor, accumulate and serve as evidence of your capacity to succeed.

Additionally, surrounding yourself with a supportive community can significantly impact your belief system. Seek out mentors, friends, and colleagues who encourage your growth and share your vision of success. Their faith in you can bolster your own and help you navigate the inevitable doubts and fears that arise. Remember, developing an unwavering belief in yourself is a journey, not a destination. It requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from every experience, whether positive or negative.

4. I will Be Consistent with my desires, decisions, and beliefs.

I will Be Consistent with my desires, decisions, and beliefs.

Being consistent with your desires, decisions, and beliefs is a powerful principle that can significantly impact your personal growth, success, and overall happiness. This consistency is the alignment between what you want, the choices you make, and the values you hold dear. It requires a deep understanding of oneself, as well as the discipline to act in ways that are congruent with your inner convictions and goals.

Firstly, consistency in your desires means having a clear vision of what you truly want in life, not just in the short term but also in the long term. It involves setting goals that resonate with your core values and working diligently towards them. This doesn't mean your desires can't evolve over time; rather, it means that any changes in your aspirations should reflect genuine growth or newfound understanding, not fleeting whims or external pressures.

Decisions, on the other hand, are the steps you take on the path to realizing your desires. Being consistent here means making choices that move you closer to your goals, even when they're challenging or uncomfortable. It requires the courage to say no to things that divert your focus and the resilience to keep going in the face of setbacks. This kind of consistency is often what distinguishes successful people from those who struggle to achieve their dreams.

Finally, consistency in your beliefs is about staying true to your values and principles, even when it's inconvenient or unpopular. It means standing firm in your convictions, not because you're unwilling to listen to others, but because your beliefs are the foundation of who you are. This consistency earns you respect and trust from others because they see you as a person of integrity.

In essence, being consistent with your desires, decisions, and beliefs is about living authentically and purposefully. It's a commitment to yourself to be the best version of who you can be, which in turn, creates a life that is not only successful but also deeply fulfilling.

5. I will learn to CALM my mind, and my body before studying.

I will learn to CALM my mind, and my body before studying.

Learning to calm both your mind and body before delving into study sessions is a powerful strategy that can significantly enhance your ability to absorb and retain information. This approach is rooted in the understanding that a relaxed state fosters greater cognitive function, concentration, and memory recall. By taking the time to create a serene mental and physical environment, you are essentially preparing your brain to engage more deeply with the material at hand.

The process of calming your mind might involve several techniques, such as meditation, deep-breathing exercises, or even a brief period of mindfulness practice. Meditation can help in reducing stress and enhancing concentration by focusing your attention and eliminating the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing distraction. Deep-breathing exercises, on the other hand, increase the supply of oxygen to your brain and promote a state of calmness. Engaging in mindfulness means being present in the moment and can help in acknowledging and releasing the anxieties that might be hindering your focus.

Similarly, calming your body can be achieved through physical activities that relax the muscles and reduce physical tension, such as stretching, yoga, or even a short walk. Ensuring that your study environment is comfortable and free from distractions is also crucial. This might involve organizing your study space, selecting a comfortable chair, or adjusting the lighting to a level that is conducive to reading without causing eye strain. By taking these steps to calm both mind and body, you create an optimal state for learning, making your study sessions more productive and effective.

6. I will not enter the review/classroom UNPREPARED.

I will not enter the review/classroom UNPREPARED.

Declaring "I will not enter the review/classroom UNPREPARED" is a strong, proactive statement that reflects a commitment to responsibility and excellence in academic or professional environments. This approach underscores the importance of preparation and its direct correlation with success and efficiency. Being prepared means having done the necessary reading, research, or practice ahead of time, which not only enhances one’s understanding of the subject matter but also boosts confidence and participation levels in discussions or activities.

Entering a review session or classroom unprepared can have several negative consequences. It might mean missing out on the opportunity to fully engage with the material, ask insightful questions, or contribute meaningfully to discussions. This lack of preparation can hinder one's learning process and potentially affect one's performance on assessments or projects. Furthermore, it can be seen as a sign of disrespect towards educators and peers who have taken the time to prepare themselves for the session.

Therefore, the commitment to never entering a review or classroom unprepared is a testament to one's dedication to personal growth and academic or professional excellence. It demonstrates an understanding that preparation is key to unlocking one's full potential and achieving goals. This mindset not only benefits the individual by fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the subject matter but also contributes to a more enriching and productive learning environment for everyone involved.

7. I will not let the day pass Without Reviewing the topics/problems.

I will not let the day pass Without Reviewing the topics/problems.

The statement "I will not let the day pass without reviewing the topics/problems" reflects a proactive and disciplined approach towards learning or problem-solving. At its core, this mindset is about commitment to self-improvement and thoroughness in understanding or resolving issues that one encounters. Whether these topics or problems pertain to academic subjects, work-related challenges, or personal development areas, the essence of the statement remains the same: a refusal to end the day without engaging in a reflective or corrective process.

This approach is valuable for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures consistent progress. By dedicating time each day to review or tackle problems, one maintains momentum and prevents the accumulation of unresolved issues or gaps in understanding. This daily commitment can significantly enhance one's grasp of a subject or the speed at which one can overcome obstacles. Secondly, it fosters a growth mindset. By facing challenges head-on each day, individuals cultivate resilience and the belief that skills and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work.

Lastly, this practice can improve long-term retention and problem-solving skills. Regular review reinforces learning and aids in the transition of knowledge from short-term to long-term memory. Additionally, by confronting problems daily, one becomes more adept at identifying and applying effective strategies for resolution. In essence, the commitment to not let the day pass without reviewing topics or problems is a cornerstone of effective learning and problem-solving, setting the foundation for continual personal and professional development.

8. I will not neglect my Sleep.

I will not neglect my Sleep.

"I will not neglect my sleep" is a commitment to prioritizing and maintaining healthy sleep patterns, recognizing the immense value that rest has on one's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This statement acknowledges the essential role that sufficient sleep plays in our lives, acting as a foundational pillar for maintaining health, enhancing cognitive function, and improving overall life quality.

In a world that often celebrates constant busyness and productivity, choosing not to neglect sleep is a conscious decision to counteract the societal pressure to sacrifice rest for the sake of more work or leisure activities. It's an understanding that to perform at our best, whether in professional, academic, or personal spheres, our bodies and minds require adequate rest. Sleep deprivation can lead to a host of negative outcomes, including decreased concentration, impaired memory, increased risk of physical health issues, and heightened stress and anxiety levels.

Making a commitment to not neglect sleep means actively creating and adhering to a sleep schedule, making lifestyle choices that support sleep quality (such as reducing caffeine intake and minimizing screen time before bed), and creating a sleep-conducive environment. It's about valuing sleep as much as any other important activity in life and recognizing that by doing so, we enhance our ability to succeed, thrive, and enjoy our waking hours to their fullest potential.

9. I will take my Pre-board Examinations.

I will take my Pre-board Examinations.

Pre-board examinations are a pivotal part of a student's academic journey, serving as a preparatory step before facing the final board exams. These examinations are typically conducted by schools and educational institutions to simulate the environment of the actual board exams, thereby providing students with a clear idea of what to expect. They are usually held a few months prior to the final exams, giving students ample time to assess their performance, identify areas of improvement, and fine-tune their preparation strategy.

The primary purpose of pre-board examinations is to ensure that students are well-prepared for the final challenge. These exams cover the entire syllabus or significant portions of it, mimicking the format, difficulty level, and time constraints of the board exams. This rigorous practice helps in alleviating exam-related anxieties and improving time management skills, enabling students to approach the final exams with confidence and a better understanding of the subject matter.

Moreover, pre-board exams serve as a reality check for both students and educators, highlighting strengths and pinpointing weaknesses. The feedback and scores obtained from these exams are invaluable for identifying knowledge gaps and misconceptions. This, in turn, allows students to focus on specific topics or areas that require more attention, while teachers can tailor their instruction to address these gaps effectively. In essence, pre-board examinations are not just a rehearsal for the final boards but a critical tool in enhancing a student’s readiness for one of the most significant academic challenges they will face.

10. I will eat Nutritious Food and take Nutritious Drinks.

I will eat Nutritious Food and take Nutritious Drinks.

Prioritizing the consumption of nutritious food and drinks is a commendable approach to maintaining and enhancing overall health. Nutritious food refers to items that are rich in essential nutrients required by the body to function correctly. These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Consuming a variety of foods from different food groups—such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and dairy—ensures that one gets a broad spectrum of these essential nutrients. Eating nutritious food supports the body's immune system, aids in maintaining a healthy weight, improves mental health, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Alongside nutritious food, the intake of nutritious drinks plays a vital role in a balanced diet. Water is the most crucial, as it hydrates the body without adding calories or sugars. Other nutritious drinks include natural fruit and vegetable juices, which provide vitamins and minerals; milk, which is a good source of calcium and vitamin D; and herbal teas that can offer various health benefits, including improved digestion and relaxation.

Adopting a diet consisting of nutritious food and drinks requires mindful choices and sometimes a shift from less healthy options that might be high in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. It involves reading labels, preparing meals at home, and being conscious of portion sizes. By making these healthier choices, individuals can significantly impact their physical well-being, energy levels, and overall quality of life. Not only does this approach foster a stronger body, but it also nurtures a sharper mind, creating a holistic sense of well-being.


Atty. Macmod's methodology is not just about hard work; it's about working smart. His extensive experience as an educator and practitioner in tax and business law provides a unique perspective on how to approach the vast syllabus of the CPA exam. The steps he proposes are designed to build a solid foundation in accounting principles, enhance comprehension of complex topics, and improve exam-taking skills. From creating a personalized study plan to understanding the importance of mental and physical health during your review, each step serves a specific purpose in the grand scheme of preparation.

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