It's gonna be a looooong month waiting for our scores.
2011 Becker Review / 2012 Wiley test bank / NINJA Notes
It's gonna be a looooong month waiting for our scores.
Hi everyone- I’m new to this blog, and here is my story: I took the FAR exam on Monday. I studied diligently because I wanted to make sure I passed this time. I went over every nook and cranny, and every sim in Wiley, and for this test I had to learn all the new updates and IFRS material. I first took the exam in May 2008 when I was totally unprepared and didn’t realize that I needed more prep. I got a 56 on that one. The next time I took it was February 2009 and I got a 63. My next one was October 2009 and I bumped it up to 71. The last time prior to Monday’s was in November 2010 and I got a whopping 72. I really thought I’d nail it this time, but I don’t think I did.
Every time I’ve taken the exam it has seemed more difficult. I was kind of stunned by how hard the one on Monday was. My first question in the testlet was a really difficult calculation. That first testlet was so hard- usually there aren’t so many calcs in the first testlet. I pulled myself together and marked the questions that were difficult to come back to. Still I went over an hour on the first testlet. I was so glad to be done with it.
I always take a break, but only for about 3 minutes. I gulped water, went to the bathroom, got a new set of blank paper and hit testlets 2 and 3. I was really ticked off that I got some questions that were practically identical to questions I’d studied, but I could not calculate the right answer. Fortunately I remembered these questions and I’m going to figure them out on my own. You just don’t have time to really think in the exam- that is always the challenge. There are some topics I always score well on and I was so happy to see those questions. I’ve always heard that you should not select “A” unless you are really sure. There were many questions that I was dead sure about and they were letter A. I thought that was interesting.
The sims weren’t too bad- they were pretty short, but they were tough. I did the research first and I think I nailed it. The other sims I had to really sit and think about, and often guess. On many of the multis I had to guess. All in all I don’t think I passed, but miracles do sometimes happen. A coworker told me that she didn’t even finish one sim (back when they just had 2 long sims) and she passed the exam and got a decent score.
I know what I need to do- I need to take the topics I’m weakest in (calculations) and do speed drills. I wish I could mention the topic, but these calculation problems were all in the same module. They tested very heavily in this one module, which I thought was strange. They emphasized a lot of the same topics and didn’t cover some topics at all. I think the exam should touch on nearly everything. It seems kind of unfair to not do that.
My biggest gripe were the loud, sick people near me. There were about 4 people who coughed through the entire exam. Another guy sitting next to me moaned all the time. I think he was taking the CPA exam, too- and he didn’t realize it would be so hard. He was moaning and groaning all the time. I wanted to shout SHUT UP, but I couldn’t. I also wish they would issue us a big bottle of water. I get so thirsty. I HATE the calculator. Mine would not display commas for thousands. I had calculations in the millions with 9 zeros and I had to squint at the screen to read the figure. Geez- the exam is hard enough- why do they have to make it more so due to a crappy calculator?
On the drive home I was screaming out loud in my car with the windows rolled up. It didn’t help me feel better. I am not kidding- I went home and listened to a Joel Osteen show I taped on my DVR and his topic was not giving up- and that made me feel better. I am planning to take the exam again in July. In the past I wait so long in-between. This blog has been a HUGE help to me. Thank you all for your honesty and your sense of humor. I hope you all keep trying- don’t give up. We can all do this!
@ Lisa_Jane, I'm really glad that you keep working towards your goal! :) It's actually really funny that you mention the calculator function because I just had a conversation with my father about it, I was like they can't even give you a simple $3 calculator to work with, instead they have you counting 0's on the screen. And he just thought that was so ridiculous because what CPA doesn't have access to a normal calculator? I really think certain parts of the exam are meant to make everything more complicated.
@mgoloubenko Thanks so much for your comments about the calculator. I'm always bitching about it and no one really cares but me it seems. Yeah- why can't they just issue us a calculator?
The other thing that was weird at the exam was the metal detector. They scanned me at first and every time I went into the exam room after a break. I asked if it was due to guns and they said it was due to people sneaking electronic devices in. Honestly, I don't know how the heck you would even have time to cheat on the exam!
I think a lot of the process just messes with your head because going into Prometric just takes everything too seriously, "Empty your pockets". Finger print scans, picture taking. I'm pretty sure I couldn't pay someone to take the CPA all over again hahaha
I always truncate the numbers to cut out all the extra zeros...They like to throw numbers in the millions and billions, which is ridiculous... save yourself some time and truncate...you'll get the same answer without having to count the zeros on the screen.
I used to truncate in Cost Acct but I was nervous about doing it on the exam. I don't remember the calculator not having the commas before, but maybe I just didn't get numbers with 9 zeroes before either. I'm going to practice truncating for sure. Thanks!
I agree it can get a little confusing! Just keep in mind that if you truncate, you have to truncate EVERY number involved in your calculation, otherwise it won't work.
Wow, these stories are scaring me! I'm almost done my first run through the Becker review. I generally get about 60-65% of the questions right on the first try, immediately after listening to the lectures, with no other studying. I plan on spending the last 2 weeks leading up to my exam (5/5/12) doing nothing but 1000s of MCQ and re-writing my Ninja notes. I REALLY hope I can pass this thing on the first try. I feel like it will boost my confidence, and make me want to go pass AUD/REG sooner than I'm currently thinking.
Don't let our war stories scare you- if you study hard you should do OK. It is a tiring experience though- try to simulate an actual exam if you can with a timer running 4 hours, and just blow through the practice exam. You have to know the answers like at gun point. Best of luck to you and I hope you pass on the first try. I know lots of people who have.
I agree with @Lisa....The truth is... There will always be a biased opinion. I know @mgolou mentioned that it all depends on whether the person passed or not...and its almost always horror stories before you find out what you got on the exam...The one thing that I can tell you is that becker does en extremely good job of mimicking the real life exam... so when you sit for it... it will definitely feel like you had done it before.... and about the 60's-65's.... I was getting the exact same scores. I feel I did okay on the exam...but who knows....
Well tomorrow is the day I tackle the beast... Hopefully the sims don't kill me! I will post my experience sometime tomorrow afternoon... Good luck to everyone!
Good luck Texas27 I'm sure you'll do great, half of my anxiety was FAR being the first CPA test I've taken so don't worry, you'll dominate it!
my experience mirrored bcrawley job, lack of sleep, what sounds like same test, and 7 minutes remaining. My tip for dealing with all the zer000000000's - use mouse to highlight second to last set of 000's.
My FARe experience was similar to some of yours. This was my first section exam on April 5th and I didn't know what to expect. I studied over 200 hourse using Yaeger and Wiley, exclusively and I felt prepared going in. I took 3 practice tests through Wiley and scored mid 80s on all of them. On test day, I felt confident about my answers to the MCQs, even though the 2nd and 3rd testlets were moderately more difficult (really just seemed to take longer to calculate an answer). I left myself 90 minutes to complete the SIMs. 5 of the 7 were easy, though much longer than Wiley's samples. I feel confident that I found the research. One of the SIMs was very difficult, but I answered the best I could, and one of the SIMs was just ridiculous! I didn't even know where to begin. Let's just say that Yaeger or Wiley didn't ever show how to solve or give an example of this SIM. I ran out of time and left it blank. I am REALLY hoping it was pretest! I guess I'll have to wait and see. No time to fret; I need to study for AUD test on May 23rd!
Well based on these comments my experience was somewhat different.
My 1st testlet was hard, my 2nd testlet was hard, my 3rd testlest was stupidly EASY...
Which was almost a good thing because I was running out of time to do sims because of the 1st two testlets.
The sims sucked as usual.... I'm not even going to try to guess anymore if I passed or not. It's pointless.
@dtomasello..I agree...I've been thinking that if I ever get to go to hell, it won't be that bad thanks to the CPA Exam experience.
Took FAR today... Here's how it went
First testlet was of course pretty easy, I didn't have a problem with it at all. The second testlet was considerably harder and the third was even worse than the second. This is a lot different from my previous test experiences when I have felt I have gone from medium to hard and back to medium. I spend too much time on the third testlet because it was ridiculous.
The sims were not what I expected. Since it took me forever to complete my last MC testlet, I was stuck with a little over an hour to do the sims and it was not nearly enough time. I would say that all the sims were definitely doable given you have the time except for one of them which I might as well have left blank because Becker does not really cover what they were asking. One of the sims was extremely long and I left about a third of this one blank because I just did not have time to finish it. It wasn't that it was hard it was just a ton of information and calculations to sort through but I know I got at least 2/3rds of it right. Other than that the sims were manageable and some took longer than others but I still don't think I messed up too bad on any of them. The research question was a joke, I found it in about 30 seconds.
I really have no idea how I did on this and I think the sims might have really screwed me. Oh well... it is going to be a long three weeks. Time to start studying for REG tomorrow! Good luck to everyone!
@Texas - That doesnt sound too bad. It sounds like you gave yourself a fighting chance.
I still dont understand why candidate after candidate goes into the SIMS with less than 90 minutes. Almost everyone agrees that you need a full 90 minutes for the SIMS, yet every day someone new posts that they went into the sims with an hour or just over an hour. You have 240 minutes for the exam. Sims are worth 40%. 240 x 40% = 96 minutes for SIMs. Its not that hard, people.
My plan was to go into the sims with 90 minutes and I did it on all of the Becker test but because of my second and third testlet, I simply could not finish them with time to leave me 90 minutes. I have never had a time management problem on these tests before I took this one today. BEC, I was perfect and AUD I left plenty of time. I had so many calculation problems on my second and third testlet that it was just not possible for me to do them fast enough.
how did everyone nail the research part? I mean i get most of them right, but sometimes get the last digit wrong
My research question was ridiculous. I found what I thought was the answer and it was almost verbatim a rewrite of the question…. You’d think that was a homerun? No, because in the answer it had links to multiple other paragraphs to elaborate further. So I was left with the choice of picking the paragraph that was basically a rewrite of the question (not really answering it) or picking one of the other links that had sections of greater detail but not really specific to my question. Annoyed is an understatement...
@ Texas27, I agree that the SIMS alone are not impossible, but they're pretty damn hard in the time constraints. I never had timing problems until test day and you just end up getting bogged down, I left an hour 20 for the SIMs and it still wasn't enough.
FAR EXAM is tomorrow :D God blesses me
@dtomasello....sounds like you got the same reserach question I got back in Feb..lol...I spent like 30 mins on that thing....hahahhaa
@CPA88888 Good luck tomorrow! Keep us updated and let us know how it went for you!
I am so excited..... I going to the prometric centre in a couple hours... CA here
Good Luck CPA88888!
I hope everything is going well...
I just took FAR at the beginning of April and although I feel pretty confident in the MCQ, I did not have time to finish all of the simulations. I ran out of time and I only answered 3. I m just wondering if I should start studying for FAR again since I did not finish them all. Is there a minimum number of sims that we need to answer in order to pass the test? I have to say that I feel very dissapointed.
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