Brian Hock inspires future exam candidates with Sarh Al-Joman in Amman, Jordan

Thank you to the 180 future exam candidates who came to the joint HOCK international / Sarh Al-Joman presentation in Amman, Jordan about professional certifications and why they are important. Anyone in Amman, Jordan looking to pursue an accounting certification is welcome to contact Sarh Al-Joman for their latest course schedules. Sarh Al-Joman is a HOCK international preferred partner, offering the highest quality instruction and authentic HOCK materials.

Brian Hock speaking in Amman, Jordan.

Dr. Husam Al-Kahadash and Brian Hock posed for a picture between events to showcase the joint HOCK international / Sarh Al-Joman logo.

5 Common Mistakes that Exam Candidates Make Studying For an Exam

1. Not looking at sample materials before making a purchase

We talk, email, and chat with a lot of exam candidates, and too often we hear from students who spent a lot of money – sometimes over $1,000 – on a competitor’s course only to find out that the materials are not easy to understand, not complete, or don’t come with teacher support. Fortunately, there is a very easy solution to this problem: thoroughly review the sample materials that each provider offers on their web site. Don’t just sign up and flip through the book, but sit down and read a section of the textbook, answer practice questions, and watch some of the videos as if you had purchased the materials and are using them to prepare. Ask the provider some questions, and evaluate if the answers are prompt, complete, and professional.

What should you do if a provider does not provide free samples? If a provider does not want you to see their materials, I would assume that it is because they know that they are not very good, and therefore you should not consider that provider. Here at HOCK, we are proud of our materials and want candidates look at them before buying because we are confident in the quality of our materials.

2. Overestimating what they already know

While relevant work experience and education are very helpful for passing the exam, many candidates assume that the questions on the exam should be answered the same way that they would be at work. This is not always the case, however, because usually the exams have to simplify the real world in order to make questions that can be solved in the time frame allowed by the exam. In the real world, almost every decision must consider quantitative and qualitative factors and everyone will assess those factors differently. On the exam, there is a correct way to make a calculation and a correct decision. Candidates with a lot of real-world experience still need to answer the past exam questions to understand how it is that the exam asks the questions and what the examiners consider to be the correct answers.

3. Underestimating the value of practice questions

Answering practice questions is critical to preparing to pass an exam, for a number of reasons:

  1. “Practice makes perfect.” While the goal is not perfection, practicing the questions will absolutely increase your understanding and therefore your exam score.
  2. You learn how the examiners have asked questions in the past.
  3. There is a learning curve in the amount of time that it takes to read and answer a question. For candidates who are concerned about running out of time (which is most candidates) taking the exam, you need to go through this learning curve months before the exam, not during the exam.
  4. You do learn from your mistakes. Learning from missed practice questions should not be your primary learning tool, but making mistakes can reinforce concepts and also show common mistakes and pitfalls. Again, it is best to learn these lessons while practicing and not on the real exam.

4. Underestimating the benefit of asking questions.

If there is something that you do not understand after reading the textbook, answering the practice questions, and making a reasonable effort on your own, there are three things that you can do with that topic:

  1. Research the topic and teach it to yourself.
  2. Hope that you will not be asked about that topic on the exam (a risky strategy).
  3. Ask your provider for help.

Not only is it more effective to ask an exam expert, it is also the most efficient use of your time. Most likely your provider will be able to answer the question quickly, or let you know that the question you are asking is outside the scope of the exam. In either case, you have received an answer without spending a lot of your time trying to do the job of your provider, or perhaps trying to learn something that is not on the exam.

5. Starting too late to prepare.

One of the most common questions that exam candidates ask us is “How many hours should I study?” Your material provider should give you a suggested number of hours. Of course, this is only a starting point and depending on your background, you may need to adjust the number of hours.

Let’s say that the recommended number of study hours is 100. On one hand, this is a simple math question: if you need to study 100 hours and you plan to study 5 hours a day, you theoretically will be ready in 20 days, or three weeks. On the other hand, there is a limit as to how many hours you can effectively study in a day or week on a long-term basis. Even if you can study all of the hours in a short period of time, some topics require additional time to “sink in” beyond just the hours you spend studying. So, not only is a certain number of hours required, but there is also a minimum amount of time for understanding.

Overall, most people have in mind 3-4 months to prepare for an individual exam, and that is a good rule of thumb to use. Yes, some people can prepare for an exam in 1-2 months, but for the vast majority of people, 3-4 months is a good amount of time to be able to prepare comfortably and pass confidently. You cannot cram 3 months of learning into 2 weeks, no matter how many hours you study per day.

Brian Hock attending IMA Middle East Conference in Amman, September 15-16, 2018

In partnership with Sarh Al-Joman, HOCK international will be attending and exhibiting at this year’s IMA Middle East Conference in Amman, Jordan on September 15th and 16th. Brian Hock, President of HOCK international will be in attendance for the whole conference. He looks forward to seeing you in Amman!

Learn more about the conference on the IMA Middle East Conference Web Site.

Congratulations to May/June 2018 CMA students

HOCK would like to extend our congratulations to all of the CMA students who passed their exams from the May/June testing window, especially to those who finished their second Part and have earned their CMA certification! It is our sincere pleasure providing the materials and support that help accounting professionals from all over the world advance their career.

Again, congratulations, and we wish all of our CMAs a successful and prosperous future!

New Upgrade to HOCK Offer – Save 25% on HOCK CMA, CPA, and CIA Videos

If you purchased study materials from another company and need something extra to help you feel fully prepared, we can help. The HOCK Videos are a perfect companion to any study materials, providing you with a classroom experience that you can watch and re-watch on your own time. The Upgrade to HOCK discount makes the Videos even more affordable.

With the Upgrade to HOCK discount, you can save 25% on the CMA Videos, CPA Videos, or CIA Videos. Learn more about the Upgrade to HOCK offer and how to claim your discount today!

End of Year Sale through December 31st! Save 20% on all CMA, CPA, and CIA exam prep.Buy Now and Save!