Written by Guest Blogger KP.
I was able to (amazingly) finish Study Unit 4 of the EA Part 1 book this weekend. Even though I have been in the middle of finals this past week, I forced myself to make time to study for the EA exam, even if it was before bed at midnight for only 15 minutes. I know that if I want to try to take the exam by the end of June, I need to keep the momentum going. So for the past month, I have been able to finish reading and answering the study questions for one study unit a week. For the next month, I will have only my full-time job and EA studying to focus on (no grad school, yay!). I would love to study a couple study units a week for the next month, then spend about 3-4 weeks before my exam doing a final cram. If I do this, then I can schedule my exam for the last week of June. Depending on how many study units I can get through in May, it is looking very likely that the end of June might actually work!
As I have mentioned before, I started the EA exam process by taking Part 3 of the exam first. Now that I have been studying for Part 1 over the past month, I have noticed that Part 1 has many more details, rules, and regulations than Part 3, and it is easy to get overwhelmed. When I say that my goal is to finish one study unit a week, my process has been to first listen to the audio review for that study unit, then read the study unit in the book, and then answer the review questions. However, something that I am doing now (and didn’t do for my first EA exam) is to create my own “study sheet” that contains the rules for the main “themes” in the study unit. I decide which things are the most important by seeing what rules are commonly asked about in the study questions. I limit this “study sheet” to one page per study unit. Part 3 of the EA exam (I took that in February) had many questions that were similar to the study questions in my Gleim book, so I figure this is a safe approach. Plus, it helps me feel confident that I am remembering what I am reading and learning about. Furthermore, Study Unit 4 (Above-the-Line Deductions and Losses) had even more numbers and rules than Study Units 2 or 3, so for a person that does not have a huge tax background, it’s easy to get lost. Now I just need to keep plugging along.