BEC in the Can; FAR on Deck?

01 Mar 2011

Club 75 Candidate Bloggers

By J.W.

J.W. is a weekly Club 75 Blogger as he documents his journey through the CPA Exam.

He has been a member of's Club 75 since August 2010.

Week 16:

I just finished taking my BEC exam. I am hoping that the 3rd time is a charm and this will be the first CPA section I pass. This was the 3rd time I’ve taken a CPA test, the first with disastrous results because I didn’t really study, the next was over a year later when I decided to finally get serious and took FAR, which I failed with a 69.

The morning started off well enough as after BEC I figured my next most likely target will be FAR. When I turned on my iPhone I noticed that I had an update waiting for me, so I go to the update page and lo and behold Wiley had a free update for my FAR Focus Notes App which includes IFRS and updated material for 2011. I’m taking this as a good sign. I cooked up 3 eggs and 3 slices of toast, 2 glasses of OJ and brought some coffee along in a travel mug for the 40 minute ride.

I got to the testing center 15 minutes early and did some quick review of concepts that weren’t quite there and did a few warm-up questions and headed in. I always bring a back up form of ID just in case so I had my passport and drivers license with me. No problems signing in all going well so far.

Before I tell you my feelings about the actual exam, let me pretense it by giving you my overall study stats:

I Watched all of the Yaeger Videos except IT, about 15 hours in all then worked the multiple choice until I had a good grasp. I also read each chapter of the 2011 Wiley book and did about 1800 MCQ’s from the Wiley CD Test Bank. I know there are only about 700, but I worked all of them at least twice and read the “text link” for each one at least once. I also worked the 50 or so AICPA released ones in the back of the book. Also using Jeff’s NINJA Notes and the Wiley BEC Focus Notes.

I didn’t count the hours, but I estimate I spent at least 80 to 100 studying. I was also at least 5 times more miserable this time around and according to the one colleague that knows I’m taking this test, the more miserable you are the better your score. Let’s hope she is right. I’ve only told one other co-worker to avoid all that stuff that Virginia talked about in her last post.

As for the exam itself, leave it to the CPA Exam to make me feel like I didn’t study at all. There were definitely a lot of questions that I felt came right out of left field and that there was no way it was in the book. I can’t even remember an example because there felt like there were so many. I’m only hoping that I subconsciously knew them and they were just worded weird by the CPA Exam.

Each testlet took me between 35-45 minutes. They didn’t seem to get noticeably harder or “wordier” as I progressed. I felt like I was doing well despite the weird questions. The written communications were the usually written communications as they were last year from the other exams. They didn’t seem particularly tough or impossible to answer. I had about 50 minutes left to do all 3, and I finished up my last one with 5 minutes to go. I didn’t really experience a noticeable lag, it did warn me that there might be one, but it was really no more than a few seconds.

Overall, I think I did well enough to pass. I was pretty confident beforehand, the exam took it down a notch, and I feel like the fact that the written communications are worth 15% will probably put me into passing range. So now it’s just the wait to see how I did and hopefully I’ll get some good news in a few weeks. I’ll really have to do some self reflecting on my study materials if I don’t pass this one though, so lets hope it doesn’t come to that because I think I have a good strategy going forward.

Next up is most likely FAR I haven’t decided 100% yet, but I’ll probably jump back into studying again after a few days cooling off, so I’m shooting to take it mid May, which will hopefully give me enough time to do Audit and Reg in the July/August window. But lets not put the cart before the horse here.

Fingers crossed for BEC.


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