As I am writing this update, I just finished Day 1 of my Core 2 virtual workshop. Due to COVID, the workshop has gone virtual but attendance and participation are still mandatory. However, I would like to rewind a little in this update and start from the beginning of my Core 2 module.
What is the Difference Between Regular and Extended Module?
A regular core or elective module is 8-week long. There are assigned readings, 2 assignments and 25 multiple choice questions due every Friday. In order to write the final exam, you are required to obtain a cumulative module grade of 75% or more. That means, not only do you have to make a good enough attempt on most of the assignments, attendance and participation in the module workshop is mandatory with very limited exceptions.
An extended module (core and elective) is 20-week long. Many people think the extended is only 2 times the regular length but it is actually 2-and-a-half times longer. The workload and requirements are the same with a minor difference in assignment due date (i.e., MC is due on a Tuesday).
Why Did I Pick Extended Core 2 Module?
As I mentioned in my last update (read it here), the extended pace was perfect for my 2-week Asia trip scheduled in March. The schedule would have worked out in a way that I won’t have to cramp more material than normal so I can truly take time off from the readings and assignments.
In addition to that, I went on a weekend “ski trip” at Sun Peaks (trip report here) and had another long-weekend trip in April booked to visit my friend in Alberta before everything got cancelled.
If they all went accordingly to plan, I would still have enough time and a calm mind to dedicate to Core 2.
~ More CPA Posts ~
CPA PEP Core 1 – How to Study for the Module and the Exam
CPA PERT – Ultimate Guide on How to Get Your First Experience Report via EVR Approved
Densmore for CPA PEP – Are The PEP Essentials Packages Worth It?
CPA PEP Module – Regular Module or Extended Module?
How Did Extended Core 2 Module Go….. in the First Half of the Module?
With all of my trips still booked, I did not start off Core 2 great.
I submitted a blank page for my first set of assignments even though I had 2 weeks (double length than regular pace) to work on them. I felt horrible but I also did not improve my strategy right away. I did, however, go back to my paper agenda and put down different deadlines than the actual deadlines so I can study before and after my upcoming trips.
For the next month or so, I submitted all my assignments and completed the MCs on time but there was still a nagging feeling that I was still procrastinating. And deep down I knew I was. On Sundays, I had to read more chapters than I wanted to because I didn’t study during the week and on Saturdays. I completed my assignments in the evenings after work when I was exhausted and unmotivated.
Then, COVID happened and I started working from home full-time at around 6-week into my module.
Another 3 weeks later, I met with my CPA mentor virtually and I shared how I felt I wasn’t utilizing the situation as best I could. I had all the extra time from the cancelled trips, extended pace and zero commute to not procrastinate and yet I still failed at managing my time wisely.
That was, however, around the same time I started the Monday Hour One technique (read about my experience here) and my productivity started improving from there. I did the assigned readings in small chucks during the week (about 30 to 45 minutes each morning) and worked on the assignments on the weekends (~ 4 hours). The shorter duration worked great as I was able to focus and not feel burnt out at all. I also managed to pick up my pace so I was on track to finishing the module work 5 weeks early.
What About the Rest of the Module?
With the exam in 6 weeks’ time, I am only 2 assignments & 1 MC away from completing my module work. This means I will be able to focus on case-writing and notes reviewing for over a month. This is strikingly different than how Core 1 was for me and I am grateful for that.
My next update would probably be sometime before the exam so I can share how I ended up designing my study plan and whether it went accordingly to plan.