According to The CPA Journal, 110 hours is all you need to study for the REG CPA exam. However, 110 hours is not exactly set in stone. Let’s figure out this whole 110 hours idea…
With An Analogy
Imagine with me that you are in one of those classes in which your entire grade is the final. Who would do such a thing? Anyways, let’s call this class Corporate Tax. Instead of progressively studying throughout the semester and doing the optional assignments, our friend, Debra, watches YouTube comedy clips of Peanut Butter Jelly Time and I work at Burger King.
So Debra knows all about these clips and has even mastered the crazy eyes. It’s absolutely terrifying. However, Debra has not mastered many of the concepts including dividends received deduction, AMT, and property transactions. Oh boy, Debra is in trouble. Between YouTube video breaks, Debra realizes that her cumulative final is next week!
On the other hand, you, a casual Netflix and chill person,
have been keeping up with all things Corporate Tax. You can run circles around the topics above in addition to the transaction cycle of Corporations, S-Corporations, and Partnerships. You are on fire! This week before the final you can relax because you have been preparing all along. Meanwhile, Debra is back at it on YouTube 🙂 Your semester-long hard work and determination will translate into a solid grade in Corporate Tax. All else equal, Debra’s probably will not.
How Many Hours Should I Study for the REG CPA Exam?
Similarly, when preparing for the REG section of the Uniform CPA Exam, you need to garner those skills of hard work and determination to help you pass with a 75 or higher. You have most likely experienced much of what you need to know for REG. Specifically, having taken Individual Tax, Corporate Tax, Tax Research, Financial Accounting I, Financial Accounting II, Business Law I, Business Law II, and much more could help you succeed on this section of the CPA Exam.
If you destroyed these courses similar to how Debra got down the crazy eyes, you may need less than the 110 hours recommended. However, if you took these classes and struggled, took these classes and had an easy professor, or did not take these classes at all, you may need more time than the recommended 110 hours. It all comes down to your ability, your understanding, your study habits, the time since you last took the course, the course rigor, and other potential omitted factors. Grades, although important, do not always indicate a mastery of material. Earning an A six semesters ago in Individual Tax may mean that you were really good at Individual Tax then; however, your memory may become foggy and tax rules change. In the end, your goal is to pass REG. To achieve this goal, try to mitigate the risks of understudying (which can lead to retaking REG) and over-studying (which can lead to CPA Exam burnout). As always, remember to breathe.