Are you aiming for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license? But if you believe studying a night before the exam will work or you can push off your study plan for another time, it’s a red flag for you. If you are serious about the CPA exams, you need advanced preparations through an effective study plan. You will have to dedicate definitive hours to study.  

Now the question is, how many hours of study are recommended for CPA exam preparations? Let’s find the answer here.

Overall recommended hours

Before we come down to define the hours to study, it is important to understand the structure of the CPA exam, which is divided into four sections. Therefore, you need to prepare for each section and should have 80-160 minutes devoted to each section. With that said, your overall study time should total between 350-450 hours.   

This number may seem frightening at the first glance, but the important thing here is how much time you have in a day or week or month and how you can divide this time into segments. You can then be able to maximize your time and ensure you retain the lessons.

Think about your current schedule

Consider making studying for the CPA exam a regular part of your routine if you do not have a full-time job and can spend a lot of time on it. You may truly immerse yourself in the material by treating your study time as a job itself by taking the time to take up extensive notes, watch instructional videos with tips on how to best prepare for the CPA exam, and make the most of the practice tests to review each section. The goal in this situation should be to dedicate between 30 and 40 hours per week for ten to twelve weeks to prepare. 

On the other hand, if you are thinking about CPA exam preparations while working in a full-time job, it is crucial to take into account the demands of your daily life and what is truly a feasible goal. 

Retain the obtained information

Simply, studying for the exam is useless unless you retain the lessons. The key to long-term memory is longer periods of preparation divided into smaller chunks of time. And, for individuals preparing along with a full-time job, attention to detail in planning the schedule is crucial to determine they have all the necessary tools to help them retain information. Being a working individual, you should set aside two to three hours per day that creates a manageable schedule of 10-15 hours per week. For weekends, you can add five additional hours. This makes you successfully achieve 20 hours per week study schedule.

If you are aiming to stick to the suggested 350-450 hours of total CPA exam preparation time, a model similar to this would require you to start the study process 5-6 months in advance. Other than this, you can also look at additional conditions that could be beneficial for the exam preparations.  

Ensure maintaining your schedule

In the end, the CPA Exam preparation is mainly about your time management along with devotion, frequent practice and engagement with the materials, utilizing all available resources, and exploring various information in a number of ways. If you break things down into smaller portions that are spread over a longer period of time, you will be better able to retain whatever you have studied.


To hold you accountable for the study plan, you may register for a CPA review course at Andrew Katz Tutoring. They offer online classes, so you don’t have to waste time commuting to the classroom. This is especially helpful for working professionals preparing for CPA exams.