Ben is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
I have been thinking about my CPA journey so far. I have a friend from school that is waiting on his last score for REG, after which he will be done. I am hoping he does well and doesn’t have to think about another CPA test again.
I know a lot of my college buddies have passed the exam or are very close to passing it. This makes me happy and sad at the same time.
Didn’t I get the same education as them? Am I not as dedicated to passing? These are the kind of questions I tend to ask myself.
I think I have these questions because I have doubted for a long time now whether I can pass this thing or not. I then remind myself that I am 50% done … and that is not too shabby. It took me a couple of tries to pass FAR and a couple for REG, but I feel like I am starting to make some traction with this thing.
Like I said in my last post, I am taking AUD with less study time than I would like and yet I am feeling pretty good considering my lack of time. I have done the videos, I have done the questions. With only a few days left I will continue to do MCQs and try to drill down as much information as I can leading up to my exam. Then I will toss the dice and hope for the best.
Toss the dice … now that is a funny phrase to use, and probably not a very good example. Tossing dice means that my chances are completely random. It would be like going into my exam and being given a number. The number would then be randomly drawn from a hat and the first so many numbers drawn would receive a passing score.
I have to believe that my chances of passing are more than a purely random number. I have to believe that if I prepare better than the other candidates that I am more likely to pass. The one good thing that phrase does is it tells me that I am going to do my best and wait to see where the dice land. You do your best and just hope for good results.
So I will do my best in the next couple of days to study for my AUD exam. I will toss the dice and hope that in a couple weeks I will be 75% done!
Good luck studying and may the force be with you!
Kara shares her journey to pass the CPA Exam.
I can’t believe that after 3 years of countless hours, tears, frustration, and 4 moments of pure joy that I’m finally done! I was beginning to think that this day would never come, but thankfully it’s here!
Warning … this post is a long one!
I want everyone to know that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. I graduated from my undergrad program with a pre-law degree and had a full ride scholarship to law school for my first year in 2004. I knew something didn’t feel right about the path I was taking and deferred my admission for one year.
I was working in the admin pool at my firm back then and took an accounting class at a local community college just to see if I’d be any good at it at the insistence of my boss and family. That class was a game changer for me. I rocked the class and loved the work! I knew I’d found the right profession.
In 2005, I enrolled at my grad school and started my Masters program while working full time in public accounting. Because my undergrad degree was not a business degree, a master’s degree in accounting was the only way I would be able to qualify to sit. It took me 5 years to finish but in 2010 I did it!
I began my CPA exam journey in 2011 with my first stab at Audit. Looking back at now at how woefully unprepared I was makes me laugh and shake my head. I had no clue what I was in for but I found out quickly that this exam is no joke!
I postponed and postponed my retake until my NTS was about to expire and took another stab at Audit in May 2012. That 71 was very painful but I knew that with a serious study game plan that I could do it.
That summer I signed up for a live review program offered by the faculty of my grad school for BEC, REG, & FAR (Audit had come and gone before I learned of the program) and spent the next 6 months in CPA exam boot camp. The classes ran from 6-10pm, 2-3 nights per week from June to October. It was hard but it showed me exactly what I needed to do to pass.
I passed REG in December 2012 and started my clock. I was salty and ready to get this exam by the throat and squeeze! After my REG success, I had 2 more rounds with Audit and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw that 92.
My last audit attempt was on April 16th after working 29 days straight through the filing deadline of a terrible tax season. One of our staff accountants quit in late January and I found myself pulling 70-80 hour weeks. Every second I wasn’t working, I was preparing for Audit. I woke up early, I stayed up late, I listened to NINJA Audio until I could have done the audit recording from memory.
I was more determined to beat audit then I’d been to do anything else in my life at that point. I refused to give in. Going forward, I knew that if I could get a 92 on evil audit then nothing would stop me from my goals. I made quick work of BEC on 5/31 and then moved on to FAR … the beast.
I spent 10 weeks preparing for my first round with FAR. I watched the videos, pounded the test bank, went through the text, recopied the NINJA Notes and was 1000% sure that I would close out FAR and take back the summer of 2013. Then came the 72.
I was devastated, broken, burned out, and frankly depressed.
I couldn’t believe I didn’t pass after working so hard. I told my husband and family that I couldn’t take anymore between the exam, my bid for partner at my firm, and a strong chorus of naysayers in my professional and personal life. I was exhausted mentally.
My husband took me to Florida for a week to decompress and regroup. It was one of the best things he ever did for me and I will always be grateful to him for it. I came home salty, determined, and ready to work. I retested only to wind up with a 74. That’s when I got ANGRY again … just like for audit retake #4.
I was not hurt or depressed or confused or broken. I was consumed with rage. I studied for FAR retake 3 like my life and my career depended on it and this time it paid off!!!!
Thank you to Jeff for creating this site that is supporting our community and for the spot on review materials that you offer. Without listening to NINJA Audio every day in the car for months and months on end, filling up countless spirals with NINJA Notes, and spending countless hours using NINJA Flashcards in random places all over town, I would not be posting here. Thank you for your sincere and constant support!
I want to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged me in the Another71 Forum to keep pressing on; you don’t know how much it’s helped and I appreciate it!!!!
Special thanks to: Jeff, smp73, MCLKT, Baxter, Kricket, Little#CPA, SeattleAccountant, Gatorbates, candothis, nbad311, Neika822, supervisor, InfernoOmni and LSNYC. There have been so many times I’ve wanted to walk away from this entire process and your support helped me stay in the game. Thank you for helping me stay the course and finish strong. Thank you for everything.
After 5 years of grad school and 3 years of exams, I can hold my head up high because I didn’t quit when it was hard or walk away when it would have been so much easier to do so. I can’t wait for my State Board to issue my license and to put those initials on everything I can.
After 8 years of hard work, no one can tell me that I didn’t earn it or that I don’t deserve it. 8 long years of sacrifice, commitment, and perseverance have finally paid off.
Some people dream of success…others wake up and work hard for it.
Ana is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
So what do you do when you took an exam for the sixth time in two years, and finally get so close to passing … a 74?
I mean really???
I realize more and more the power of the mind that God has given to us…so many times I have let myself be defeated, be mad at everything and everyone except myself for not getting where I want to be in life, but this time around I know I could have pushed through just a little more.
On the other side of things, the past 5 times when I took the Audit exam, I did not get past a 68 and it felt like I will never obtain my license because I could not pass it. But thanks to the family of another71.com I did not give up because I don’t want to be a quitter, I want to finish what I started.
Considering that I am going first time through a real busy season at my new job, long hours and weekends, I am planning on starting studying on full swing on April 16 (this is a company holiday at my job). I am thankful that this is the only one exam that I have to pass, so I should try harder in the next round.
To all those out there that passed … good job to you all! To all of us who are still battling, don’t give up! Keep pushing! The reward is far more worth it than giving up!
Shaila is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
I’ve just hit the 50% mark in my study materials for FAR. I am determined to keep going, unlike the last few times I started and stopped and started back up again.
I’m planning the next couple months out so I will be able to get the most out of my time and put in enough hours to have a decent chance of passing.
With AUD and BEC, I had enough review time to review all my notes and do about 500 MCQs each and that paid off. With REG, I didn’t have time to review my notes, so I worked over a thousand MCQs in the few days I had before the test and picked up lots of helpful little nuggets of info.
I think this strategy maximized the time I had, and I wound up with the perfect score – a 75.
With FAR, I don’t want to take chances.
I want to have enough time to review and work as many MCQs as possible. My plan is to get through at least 10% of the material each week, allowing me to finish in five weeks. That will put me at mid to late March, and then I’ll give myself three or four weeks to review, work on topics that I didn’t quite understand the first time around and do MCQs until my head hurts.
I have been fortunate enough to stumble upon some “general time” at work, since I’m sort of in between projects. I’ve been using this time to study and it’s helped free up my evenings to do other things. Mostly take the dog on longer walks, watch Netflix – House of Cards, anyone?! – and get out and explore Sacramento.
I’m hoping to add regular workouts to the mix. I’m also planning to change my work hours so I get off a half hour earlier. You can do anything in a half hour!
I still feel pretty overwhelmed by this test and all the tricky material it covers, but I know it just takes time and effort. There’s no other way around it. FAR can be defeated, if I come prepared.
I’ll leave you with a very appropriate quote:
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”