2011 FAR: Tough and Unpredictable

Jay is a weekly columnist as a Club 75 Blogger, where he documents his journey through the CPA Exam. He has been a member of Club 75 since April 2010.

Week 22:

Financial Accounting & Reporting is now just a memory. As usual, it was tough and unpredictable. It always snags you in a way you were not expecting. My first section was very difficult. I jotted down about a dozen questions to go back to review, if I had the time. Anyway, I did go back, but there not many cases where the light bulb went off in my head and the answer was obvious, but I tried my best. I spent one hour on my first testlet.

Then, testlet two was a cakewalk, which indicates to me that I must not have done well on testlet one (Jeff's note: it starts out on “medium” and stays on “medium” if you don't do well, so there is nothing to worry about here). I only went back and reviewed two questions in testlet two.

The questions were straightforward – a number of the questions were one sentence questions, so I’m pretty sure testlet one didn’t go well. I wrapped up testlet two in about 40 minutes, reviews included. Then, my third testlet was a bit tougher, but still not as tough as testlet one.

I went to the simulations with an 1:22 remaining, so I took my time. I worked through and thought I did well on 4 of the 7 “simlets”. On one of them, I just could not figure out what they wanted. The question was so poorly laid out, that I just guessed at what they wanted. It was a concept that I knew and could calculate without problem, but they simply didn’t clearly state what they were looking for.

Lastly, the research tabs were so much more difficult and detailed than the Becker review questions. I don’t think I got either one correct, I’m hoping they are still low points, like they were in the past. At any rate, I was very comfortable with the four that I did answer completely, so we’ll see how it goes.

If you ask me, my gut opinion is that I didn’t pass, but who knows, I can’t agonize over it. One thing is for sure, if I did not pass, it certainly was not for a lack of effort, I couldn’t have physically put more hours into this exam. If I do need to retake the exam, I will try another vendor package, as I think Becker has gotten me as far as it is going to get me on FAR (no pun intended).

I thought it would be a good idea to get the family away after I’ve been cooped up studying the last 3 months. I was planning on taking my older daughter for a ski lesson, but everything was packed due to the holiday week, so we all went snow tubing in the Poconos. What a great time. I think I’ve gotten the best workout I’ve had since I started studying for the CPA, pulling those girls up the hill and then pushing them down, over and over and over again. Then one the way home Sunday, my older daughter said, “Daddy can we play when we get home or do you have to go study?” It felt like the best thing in the world to say, “Of course we can play anything you want when we get home. “

Unfortunately, it’s short lived, as I have the BEC materials and will be starting this week. I’ve going to start lightly, only a couple hours a night this week and we’ll see how it goes. I’m going to enjoy dinner with my family this week and study in the basement afterward.

Catch you all next week.

-Jay O

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Drust1985 12 years ago

I dont understand Jeff's Note. If the testlet stayed on Medium, wouldn't that be of worry?

Stephanie 12 years ago

I feel your pain! I retook FAR the last week in Feb and it was painful--as usual and as was to be expected. I feel that my test had a lot of questions of Governmental and Not for Profit accounting which I reviewed less this time around since it was my only strength the first time around, but I did forget a lot of the core concepts in those areas. I myself don't think I did too hot and am not looking forward to a retake...which would be my 3rd go at it. Sigh, I did take audit Feb 1st and I feel a little more confident on how I did there, but who knows. One little word here or there can throw off the whole question/answer and cause you points. Best of luck to you and enjoy whatever time you have not studying!

Stephanie 12 years ago

@drust I think what he is saying is that although the difficulty seemed to decrease, you can't assume that you did horribly on the first section and that your chances of passing are out the window. Though the exam is performance based and there are two versions to each test, you can still pass if you do well on all of the sections no matter if you have the "medium hard" or "harder" version. :) hope this helps!

Drust1985 12 years ago

I understand this, but what is confusing is that I was under the understanding that if you are doing well on all of the tests, then you would have the hard tests. If you have a medium-hard test on the 2nd or 3rd, then that means that you didnt do great on the previous test? I only ask because I feel I definitely got an easy 2nd test on Reg on Monday!!

aaron 12 years ago

Took far on Monday. ..I didn't finish my Sims. ..This was my last CPA exam but I know for sure I didn't pass