As I am writing this, I am 3 days away from my Finance exam and just finished 2 Densmore practice cases from their Finance Elective Essentials package. I wanted to write an update on my study progress now that I only have one full day left to study (tomorrow) and one evening after work on Monday. I will also talk about my first impression of the Densmore package. Note, there will be a much more in-depth review next month so this is only a brief first impression.
If you read my previous post, you will know that I created a study plan over a month ago. You have probably also seen my regular updates on my Instagram stories. The theme is me struggling daily to convince myself not to binge-watch movies instead of studying… I did alright except for binging some Avengers & Guardians of the Galaxy.
Note, this post contains a product that was sponsored by Densmore Consulting Consulting Services Inc. However, all opinions are 100% my own.
What Did I Accomplish Since My Last Update One Month Ago?
I completed my “re-attempt” of assignment set #1 through #8. I put “re-attempt” in quotation because I ended up skipping to the solutions half-way through. I didn’t think that was the most efficient way to study but I made up for it by debriefing what I have written/calculated properly and made notes of formats and technical areas (e.g., valuations, WACC, cash flow projections) I needed more reviews on.
RELATED POST – My CPA Journey – 1 Month Before My Finance Exam
In addition to the assignment sets, I also attempted the 3 practice exam cases on CPAD2L for the first time. I further identified technical areas I struggled with and added more content to my debriefing notes.
I started using the Densmore materials early this week and have completed 3 practice cases so far (the package came with 6 practice cases & 1 practice exam with 2 cases). I also watched the tutorials on a few technical areas that I continue to struggle with.
For the past month or so, I studied on average for 1 hour each day and took rest days every few days. This is comparable to what I did when I took Core 2 extended. However, instead of studying before work (I woke up at 6 ish and started work at 8 AM), I studied after work (too hard to wake up earlier than I had to in the Winter) this time.
What Is My Plan For The Next Day-And-A-Half?
To be honest, I am torn. Even though tomorrow is the last full day before the exam, I know I won’t study for more than 4 hours. This means I have to pick and choose what I will focus on. I could either attempt 2 out of the 3 remaining Densmore practice cases (or the practice exam with 2 cases) or review my debriefing notes and technical knowledge and attempt 1 more Densmore practice case.
At the end, I think I will be most comfortable doing the following:
- review my debriefing notes (1 hour)
- review technical knowledge (1 hour)
- attempt 1 more Densmore practice case (2 hours)
I am going to start in the morning after I get my Starbucks (the day is too important to start with boring instant coffee that I have Monday to Friday). I am even thinking I will take it up a notch by getting something festive aka eggnog coffee misto (basically brewed coffee with steamed eggnog)! You see, now I am looking forward to starting the day.
If you are also planning the last full day before your exam, I suggest starting in the morning as well. This way, if you find you need more time to study than expected because you just don’t feel ready, you can still adjust your plan accordingly (no all-nighter).
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What Was My First Impression Of The Densmore Finance Elective Essentials?
As I have already mentioned in the beginning, Densmore has sponsored their product in exchange for a review. However, I wanted to ensure you that we have agreed to let me share my 100% honest opinions. Therefore, my first impression is in no way biased because I didn’t pay out of pocket.
My first impression of Densmore materials was that I definitely see the value. Their case-writing basic approach video was actually the force that convinced me to attempt cases properly by creating an outline. I learned and heard about it over and over during Core 1 and Core 2 but I never really stuck to using it properly. I have been crafting my responses using The CPA Way but the basic approach for case-writing is a lot more than that.
I have heard from others who tried Densmore for CFE that the Densmore cases are more challenging. They were right. I actually questioned whether I knew anything after I read the first case. This is exactly where using the basic approach to write a case comes in very handy. The systematic approach calms you down when a case is overwhelming. After attempting 3 practice cases and watching over an hour worth of tutorial, my first impression of the Densmore material is that it is well worth it if you use it.
I won’t go into any more detail for now as I want to make sure I go over all that it offers before coming to a conclusion. Until then, good luck studying 🍀