How many attempts should a person take at passing before they give up?
April 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm #169592
How many attempts should a person take at passing before they give up?April 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm #339922
Give up when you pass…or when you decide to become a quitter.April 17, 2012 at 6:46 pm #339923
If this is something you really want…you don’t give up, you keep at it until you get it!April 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm #339924
Is it easier the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, try, etc.? Is a lot forgotten, that needs to relearned with each attempt (between the time for testing windows)?April 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm #339925
I gave up after 24 tries…you know…when i passed!!!April 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm #339926
I think it is a little easier, you still have to put in some serious time but some parts should be familiar and they might not take as much of your time. But yes, stuff certainly is forgotten but like I said, some stays and you won’t have to focus on that as much.April 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm #339927April 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm #339928
Okay, thank you.April 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm #339929
@Aaron55–ALL the exam are different. Yes there is stuff that I can say was definitely on every one of my BEC exams…but it was never the same. If you prepare yourself for this exam as if your life depended on it, as if it’s the one thing that keeps you from being able to breathe…then you will pass it. How far along in the process are you?April 17, 2012 at 7:03 pm #339930
I took AUD last week. Then I realized, “Wow this is freakin’ hard”. I’m taking FAR next month and am studying all day, every day now. I studied a lot for AUD, but not like now. I guess getting practice questions wrong makes me question whether I can do it.April 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm #339931
I actually prefer to get practice questions wrong. If I get them wrong that means I’ll read the answers and learn WHY I was wrong and WHY the correct answer is correct. So the next time I see that question (or a similar one) I remember back to WHY I got it wrong the first time. Just look at it from that perspective and I think you’ll find getting the answers wrong the first time around to be less discouraging!April 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm #339932
Good question. I was also thinking about this. I just took FAR for the 4th time and it seems that I didn’t pass again! I seem to do well in the testlets but the sims have been an issue for me!!!! So, sometimes I do wonder when is enough or when should one stop trying!
@ Keeptrying: how do you keep yourself motivated? I have taken FAR 4 times now and it seems that I might not pass despite the fact that I am so close… Every time i take FAR, it seems that this will the one, but then when I get the result I get a 67,71 or a 73…April 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm #339933
I guess you’re right. I always get more right the 2nd try (different Q’s, but same topics). I just wonder if I get like 40% wrong on the first set of 30 MCQ’s after reading the text is like really bad and means I won’t understand it well enough to pass. I usually get like 70% or higher on the 2nd set of 30 MCQ’s of the same topic.April 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm #339934
If you study year around without any breaks 75 percent of the first tier material should stick – most of the multiple choice, 30 percent of the second tier should stick simulations, and maybe 10 percent of the third tier should stick – simulations or multiple choice questions only freaks get right…
Seriously…I’ve been studying for regulation for one year now just to pass because i never learned regulation in college and it feels like every day I’m stashing nuts away for my future. It’s in your subconscious…trust it, and keep chugging away. Don’t give up. You may be the type of learner who needs to see everything once before they can retain much information, if so, you are one of those people able to master things with a deeper understanding of the material……rather than a quick learner who has a good short term memory, you may be a long term learner who has to understand in order to learn…not everyone has to understand, some people are gifted with amazing memories.April 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm #339935
This is a good question. I was just questioning in after only taking BEC the second time today. It is alot that goes into studying and while I would love the perfect designation behind my name I am second guessing myself. Each test is $250-300 and that doesn’t take into account if you fail a section. So I definetly understand second guessing it!!!
However as oneFREAKINGpoint says “give up when you pass or become a quitter” although this sounds like something my dad would tell me.April 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm #339936
The CPA that does my taxes said this: “It’s not about how smart you are, it’s learning how to take the test.” I couldn’t agree with her more. Lord knows I’m not the smartest bulb in the pack, but I focused on HOW they ask the question and EXACTLY WHAT INFORMATION THEY WERE ASKING FOR. When I would whiz through the practice questions, I’d often get them wrong because I ignored my own advice. However, at test time I took my own advice and passed. I took two tests twice, one test three times, and one test once. I made up my mind that not only could I not afford to take any test multiple times but my brain couldn’t take it either.April 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm #339937
See Pee AMember
Well, I may not be the best to advise here since I didn’t struggle a whole lot through this process, but here’s my advice. Taking and passing the CPA is less about being smart/gifted as it is about working hard and learning to take the exam. Memory is probably the greatest gift when it comes to the CPA and makes the entire process a whole lot easier. There are some like myself who try to understand, but will memorize when that doesn’t work for the material left over. Others have to really understand the material otherwise it turns into hieroglyphs in their mind after memorizing.
My advice, learn from your mistakes. Your study methods must be just that, YOUR study methods. You cannot expect to repeat anyone’s process and still pass. Find out what it takes for you personally to recall information (memorize, mnemonics, insane repetition, etc) and apply it when asked in a slightly different way. Given even an average level of intelligence/gift, you can pass the CPA. The material is not particularly difficult (as I would consider things like financial derivatives, trading algorithms, etc), but is voluminous! Take your time, but don’t go too slow. The CPA significantly favors short-term memory over long-term, so spreading out your studying too much will require that you spend a lot of time simply redoing work just to keep things fresh.
Short answer, re-examine your study methods to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. Change those things. Pass a part. Lather, rinse, repeat.April 18, 2012 at 2:40 am #339938
I’ve already quit 🙂 The CPA certificate looks nice 🙂April 18, 2012 at 3:12 am #339939
This is a good thread – it identifies some of the things that hold back many candidates from passing the exam. If I had to rank the following aspects of passing the CPA exam in order of importance, it would go like this:
1. Choose to PASS the exam. Too many people choose only to take it, and then only ‘hope’ they pass. That’s why they have thoughts of giving up.
2. Serious dedication, hard work, and sacrifice
3. Take responsibility for the outcome of your exam (i.e. don’t make excuses for yourself while preparing, or after failing)
4. Learn how to STUDY for the exam (i.e. what works best for you)
5. Learn how to TAKE the exam (how it works, what to expect, what topics to cover, time management, etc…)
6. Train your short-term memory, and pad it with solid long-term memory/prior knowledge/experience
There are lots of other important things, and other people may certainly rearrange the order, but that’s my take on things.April 18, 2012 at 10:58 am #339940
I think there are alot of really good posts here. I really like #1 on Tbstew’s list. Number 4 was a pisser for me since what worked for one exam didn’t necessarily work for another.April 18, 2012 at 11:14 am #339941
I’m on my 37th attempt and haven’t given up yet!!!April 18, 2012 at 11:21 am #339942
Gooooo JoMarie !!!!!!!!!!April 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm #339943
Honestly, as soon as I would lose credit for an exam I would quit. I’d be damaged psychologically. That is me personally though.April 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm #339944
The only way to fail is to quit.
@bcc624 – Losing a test score is definitely psychologically damaging but you get up the next morning after crying yourself to sleep and get mad! You study harder than you have ever studied. For me losing my FAR credit was like being slapped in the face. It only strengthened my resolve to be done. I was a woman on a mission for the entire month of March.April 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm #339945
Don’t quit…it’s not worth it!April 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm #339946
i failed 12 exams before my first pass. everyone knows the rules to the cpa game…NEVER GIVE UP!!!
don’t think of your performance on mcq as the actual exam, they are only a study tool to help you learn. i know its a confidence killer but better to get it wrong now then on exam day
the exams don’t get any easier the more times you take them, it is a completely different exam everytime. that is why it is recommended that you start from page 1 when studying for a retake and don’t move on to another section until you passed (wish i knew this in my earlier years)
my 18 month window is coming up and i still need to pass REG and FAR by end of august or i lose AUD. hope it don’t happen but i’d rather restudy for AUD than BEC…i never want to see BEC ever again!!April 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm #339947
See Pee and tbstew make great points about about adjusting/adapting your study habits/strategy to make it work. I’ve been doing that exact thing and now I’m more confident than I was this time yesterday. I’m basically going over right away what doesn’t stick (when reading) that what I think is actually going to be tested. Then once I go over the practice questions I will be more prepared and score higher the 1st time I do the practice questions. Going through the practice questions prior to today has helped me anticipate or understand how the study material relates to the actual exam questions.April 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm #339948
“don’t think of your performance on mcq as the actual exam, they are only a study tool to help you learn. “
Very true. I’m making sure now to really reread and fully understand something when I get a question wrong (and take notes) before continuing to the next mcq. And I think the examples in the texts are also great for that too. I make sure to understand the examples too.
Just curious, all the posters with numerous retakes all work full-time or worked full-time when preparing for the exam, right?April 19, 2012 at 11:17 pm #339949
@aaron55 – every one of us posters with numerous retakes have different walks in life. Majority are working full-time. I work a different kind of full-time. After 5 years as a Senior Accountant, my full-time job now is being a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers who also home-schooling them. I started sitting for the exam in September 2010 because I’m planning to go back to work in a year. I try to squeeze in whatever time I have to study and so far only passed 2 (1 about to loose credit). A few days ago I was about to “throw in the towel.” But after hearing what some of the other moms out there also going through or been through, I decided to keep going…Hang in there Aaron55. We will one day be a CPA!April 20, 2012 at 12:05 am #339950
i think, and i would have done it if it came to that, that when it get’s to the point that you lose a credit, you are throwing good money after bad and that’s time to call it.
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