Taking a Step Back to Pass the Exams

We have written previously about the importance of having a study schedule and sticking to it (Exam Tip: Scheduling for Success and Peace of Mind), but sometimes you need to take a step back from your plan in order to move forward. If you’re familiar with soccer (football for our non-US readers), it is common for a team to pass the ball backwards in order to regroup and prepare again to go forward. Sometimes in studying you might need to do this, too.

What do I mean, exactly? When you are studying a topic that is taking longer than expected to learn, or is not making sense to you, sometimes the best thing to do is to leave that topic and come back to it later. By learning and thinking about other topics, you can give your mind a break and a chance to process the topic that you were struggling with.

I use this strategy when writing materials, too. Sometimes I get “stuck” trying to explain a concept or develop an example. I can tell that what I am writing is not as clear or concise as it should be. When that happens, I usually will stop, work on something else, and then return to the unfinished topic later. Most of the time this break is just what I needed to finish my writing in a way that is clear and concise.

Just like in soccer, the path to success on the exam is not one that always moves forward. Sometimes a step back today will help you move many steps forward tomorrow.

Brian Hock, CMA, CIA

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11 Comments

  1. Makhdoom on October 4, 2016 at 7:40 am

    I need to prepare for CMA US exam before getting admitted in the course, if you can support me in the material and other guidance. i will be grateful



  2. HOCK international on October 4, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Makhdoom, we have sent you an email and will be glad to help you get started!



  3. Enkeleda Kamxhiu on August 13, 2020 at 2:03 am

    I use this strategy when writing materials, too. Sometimes I get “stuck” trying to explain a concept or develop an example. I can tell that what I am writing is not as clear or concise as it should be. When that happens, I usually will stop, work on something else, and then return to the unfinished topic later. Most of the time this break is just what I needed to finish my writing in a way that is clear and concise.



    • Yulia Hock on August 13, 2020 at 7:59 am

      That is great that this strategy is working for you too!



  4. Agnes Emelda S. Gonzales on August 13, 2020 at 7:42 am

    I am taking a CPA review at the moment, here in the Philippines. If you can help me on materials for me to add my exposure, please. Thank you very much.



    • Yulia Hock on August 13, 2020 at 8:02 am

      Agnes, please reach out to us at support@hockinternational.com. We will see what we can do for you to help you to prepare for the CPA exams.



  5. Mohammed Alkuwaiti on August 15, 2020 at 7:31 am

    I would like to set a plan to pass CIA within the next few months.



    • Kevin Hock on August 15, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      Mohammed, we would be glad to assist you with any study planning – if you can drop us an email to support@hockinternational.com with your current study progress and what you need help with we will be glad to work with you to set up a plan.



  6. Mateen ishaq on August 15, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    I am appearing in cpa Ireland P2 Advanced Financial Reporting online exam which is executing first time due to the crisis situation of covid 19.
    Could you be kind to guide me how to manage the online exam as I have no idea about the pattern and format of exam.
    Kind regards



    • Kevin Hock on August 16, 2020 at 8:17 pm

      Mateem,

      I’m sorry, but we do not have have any familiarity with the Irish CPA exam because that is not one of the exam programs that we offer.

      Kevin



  7. Awni Al Arab on August 16, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks for this great motivations and sharing experience.
    I am preparing for CMA exam and planning to set for part 1 this coming October inshallah .
    Wish you could help in advises and trial test questions.
    Thanks
    Awni