While many of us have studied independently throughout our education career, studying for CPA Canada PEP and CFE exams offers a unique opportunity to stay disciplined during the exam process. The following article provides several benefits to having a study buddy, while considering some limitations to overcome when selecting your study partner.
- Holds you accountable: Since you will be creating a study schedule together, there is someone to hold you accountable to stay on track of timelines, case deadlines, case time constraints, etc. You’ll likely be meeting each other at set dates, so this forces you to finish your part before the meeting, thus helping you meet deadlines.
- Helps with your weaknesses: Your study partner could bring a unique CPA study skillset to the table to balance some of your weaknesses. This provides the opportunity to discuss complex topics and bounce ideas off of each other. This could also be helpful in learning from each other for creating a case plan and identifying case triggers.
- Supports with debriefs: Your study partner provides additional support for debriefing your CPA cases objectively. While CPA / facilitators will conduct marking still, it allows you to discuss competencies with someone, as opposed to only reading the feedback guide.
- Gives new insights: Reading and marking someone else’s cases gives you a unique insight into a new thought process and structure for cases that you may find helpful to adapt.
- Helps with learning: For technical review, there is the opportunity to split up difficult technical material between you two. You can each summarize the topics and teach them to each other. Explaining the information to someone else is a great way to test your understanding on the topic.
- Provides encouragement: Your study buddy offers you support and encouragement during the process. While you may have others in your life you can rely on, your study buddy is easily able to identify with your CPA journey.
Drawbacks and other considerations
- Different schedule: Your study partner may have a different working schedule, and studying alone would give you more flexibility. It would be beneficial to find a partner within your work or school to mitigate this. A virtual study partner could be just as effective as an in-person partner.
- Different expectations: Your study partner may not have the same expectations, work ethics, or skill set as you. This could hold you back from focusing on your main areas of concern. Finding a partner you know and trust as well as someone in the same CPA elective as you would be effective. A study partner who took a different elective can also help as they will have a better understanding of the competencies that you’re weak at.
- Time consuming process: Finding a study partner can often be a time consuming process. If you don’t know anyone in the program with you, there are several online resources to find a partner in your area. You can find a study partner at Gevorg CPA’s Facebook and WhatsApp groups here.
Overall, having a study buddy can be an asset but also an added variable to consider in your study plan. The shared motivation between study partners help foster a positive and confident study environment to ensure you both continue to push through the challenging times.