How Many Hours a Day Should You Study for the CPA Exam?


2? 4? 6?

When you first start studying for the CPA exams, it seems like you could spend 8 hours a day and still never learn it all.

And, you have a life to live. In my opinion, you shouldn’t be shooting for a 99 on FAR or REG. You might get that high on AUD, but you need a hobby if you score a 99 on FAR.

What you need to figure out is your optimal study time each day to learn as much as you need to to pass.

Unfortunately, you can’t know beforehand if you’ve studied just enough to get a 75.

What’s Realistic for Most People

If you’re in the majority, you have a job while you’re trying to pass the exams and so that immediately narrows down your possible study time to 3-4 hours a day. But… you’ve most likely got a few other things in life that take up your time, so the average person has about 2 realistic study hours a day. And even that takes some discipline and planning to put in place.

In two hours a day, you can get a lot of quality studying done. I won’t get into it here, but if you want to hear my exact study structure, then watch the video on this page…

Then on the weekends, you should get up at 5 or 6am and put in a solid 3 to 4 to 5 hours on Saturday and Sunday. Does this sound crappy? That’s because it is.

Definitely worth it, but it’s not a ton of fun while you’re doing it. I will tell you though, finding out that you’ve passed that 4th exam is about the best feeling I’ve ever had. Probably the best day of my life.

But if you follow this format you’re getting close to 20 hours of studying in every week.

Where to Find Your Two Hours a Day

This isn’t just any two hours, right? It’s got to be somewhat quiet and distraction-free. You may be a night owl, but it’s just hard for me to imagine someone’s best thinking power happening at the end of the day.

So, I’m a big advocate of getting up early, earlier than normal, and knocking it out first thing in the morning. Then during the day use your mobile app every single chance you get, and then at night put yourself to sleep by doing flashcards or questions on the app.

If you can’t find any studying solitude at home, go to your local library. Make it a ritual. Buy yourself a treat after every study successful study session. Just find a way to get it done.

If you ask my wife, my motto, even though she hates it, is “figure it out”. You’re a big boy or girl, just figure out a way to put in your study time each day, don’t waste any opportunities, and before you know it, you’ll be done with these exams.


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