Taking a Break from the CPA Exam

Tyler is a weekly blogger as he documents his journey through the CPA Exam. He is currently a graduate student at the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University.

I started studying for Financial Accounting and Reporting immediately after I took Auditing, and I feel that it’s a terribly depressing feeling to have to jump back to studying without any real downtime before tests. However, I definitely still had that driving motivation in my head that said, “Study well now and you’ll never have to do it again.”

For anyone studying the material for FAR, I think you can agree that FAR is a beast. I thought my AUD materials were overwhelming, but they probably only made up about 2/3 of the FAR materials, and the kicker was that I had even less time to study for FAR! Between allowing myself one week out of the whole summer for a vacation with my girlfriend and still working full time, I was down to about five weeks, which definitely made me nervous considering all the material covered in FAR.

That’s the thing about FAR – it simply has a TON of material. I didn’t necessarily feel that any of it was particularly gruesome; it was just a lot, giving me a feeling of “I bit off more than I can chew with this one.” On the other hand, I’m a big believer of the mantra that you can’t cry over spilled milk, so just like with AUD, I just locked myself away from anything and anyone fun, and stuck my nose in the book.

Since I was still working full time, I still had to cram in my studying after work during the week and then all day on the weekends. Aside from the time factor, my work actually really helped my studying because I was working in a corporate accounting position. Sure, I wasn’t doing everything that’s on FAR on a daily basis, but I was at least staying focused on the world of accounting, rather than constantly switching my brain back and forth between a different field and the CPA exam.

On average I would say I was putting in maybe 3-5 hours a night during weekdays, and then I seriously did a couple 12 hour days over the weekends. Those were the days that I constantly tried to talk myself out of the entire accounting industry… In fact, I honestly remember being extremely jealous of my brother just watching TV. All he was doing was watching TV, and I was jealous of his “luxurious, laid-back” life! I’d like to think that studying so much can do this to anyone, but maybe I just went a little crazy…

Regardless of my mental state in the end, it did actually all pay off. When I sat for FAR, I felt it was honestly the worst test I have ever taken in my life, and walking out of there, I felt there was no way that I could have passed. I remember having probably a solid hour of leftover time when I had taken AUD, but with FAR, I only had 7 minutes left on the clock before I just told myself that my effort to that point would have to suffice. If I had not kept an eye on the clock, I probably would have run out of time easily because I definitely had to guess on some parts of the simulations.

Probably a solid 8 weeks later, I got my score back, and to my absolute disbelief, I passed with an 88! I definitely celebrated that one!!!

Well, to anyone that has been reading my blog, I’d like to say thank you, and I hope it has been somewhat comforting to read all the posts here on Another71 from all the people who are, or have been, in the same exact boat as you.

I am now actually taking a break from the CPA exam until next summer so that I can focus on school, which means I am out of CPA things to write about for now.

Thanks for reading, and best of luck!
-Tyler

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2 comments

Dan 10 years ago

Tyler, I just took FAR yesterday, and I felt the same after it! I feel like there is no way I passed, I seemed to be guessing on many of the questions. The simulations also killed me. I hope that I am in disbelief and pass the test like you did! Congrats.

car16015 10 years ago

Dan I felt exactly the same way about my FAR exam. I took it the same day as you. I am going to post in the forum my experience. I'm totally crossing my fingers! Great Job Tyler and thanks for your posts!