Should I Continue with the CPA Exam?

MelissaMelissa is a NINJA CPA blogger.

I received my score for my 4th attempt at AUD. I failed with a 63. The fact that my score was lower than my last two attempts really brings me down.

I often wonder if I am just not a good test taker because I second guess my answers especially on multiple choice questions.

I don’t want to feel like a quitter but I will be taking a break from studying until at least the end of the year so I can enjoy the holidays.

This will give me time to see if I miss studying (I know I won’t) and if I really want to continue with the CPA exam.

It’s hard not to be discouraged about the CPA exam experience when you realize how much time and money spent with no results to show.

I’ve been working on this for over a year now and have yet to pass a section. I was hoping for a passing score because I know my confidence would have been sky high and I would have believed that I could do it.

I know a lot of people say don’t give up and keep going because the exam is going to change in 2017, but after another fail I’m not sure I want it bad enough.

I’ve seen so many people on the forum retake a section 5+ times. I don’t know if I have the dedication for that!

If you can tell, I’m having very mixed thoughts on if I want to continue the CPA journey. Last time I took a section and failed, I went back at it and retook AUD but here I am again.

I’ve gotten some feedback on the Another71 Forum to change my study habits or review courses. I’m not sure if I want to drop the money on a new review course if I am not 100% serious about taking the exam.

Others have said to take a break and reevaluate my goals, so I think that’s what I’ll do for now. I think if I want to stay in private or governmental industry, a CPA license would be a definite plus but not absolutely necessary.

However if I end up deciding to truly dedicate and invest myself in this, you might be seeing me taking the exam again at the beginning of next year or maybe later down the road.





11 comments on “Should I Continue with the CPA Exam?”

  • I think you answered the question for yourself. You don’t want to get different study materials because you are not 100% serious about the exam. That is the key ingredient to passing. You have to go over the top.
    I failed my first three attempts over 9 months. BEC twice then REG once. I took REG again and passed , then passed BEC three months later. It wasn’t until I started doing thousands of multiple choice questions that I started passing. In the end , it took me 9 attempts. I failEd each exam once , BEC twice. It took me just over 2 years to complete this. I work in public accounting , married with two small children. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it’s worth it. You have to get hungry and do this. You can do it.

  • Melissa,

    If you really want to be a CPA don’t give up. It may feel like a relief if you stop now, but in a few years you will regret it. Try talking a month off to rest your mind.

  • Thank you for raising this discussion! I am about ready to give up myself. I consider myself reasonably smart, but apparently not enough for this. I feel like it has taken a real toll on my life. Similar to you, I am looking at other courses now, but can’t bring myself to spend more money for more failure. Best of luck. I am right there with you.

  • Melissa,

    Take a break and get rejuvenated! I have been on this journey for 4 years now, spent thousands of dollars and countless hours studying. Last year I finally passed to parts back to back and have had a break in passing not for lack of trying a 73 on far 3 times in a row and 2 weeks ago I finally passed BEC. I have to pass FAR when I sit in January or I will be retaking 3 parts because I will lose 2. If you truly want this do not give up! But you need to do some serious reflection on if it is! I can tell you there is no greater feeling than finding out you passed! I have taken each section of this exam at least 6-8 times each and at times truly wanted to quit but I have developed and grown into new study habits with each test and got just a little closer each time. Hoping in January that dedication finally pays off. I wish you the best of luck whatever you decide but know that will the effort you will pass!

  • It must be very disheartening to not pass the exam after putting in all your hard work in studying. When I graduated college (with an accounting degree) I went straight into public accounting and am still here after 10 years. I did not take the exam after I graduated from college. Perhaps, working in public accounting would help understand the concepts more thoroughly since you will be working hands on with those concepts and principles day-to-day in your work life.

  • Melissa:

    I’m in the exact same boat. I have spent thousands on review courses, and testing fees, not to mention the hundreds of hours of my time studying. I’m just feeling very, very discouraged.

  • Melissa, dont quit or give up. Like anything in life the more you work at it the better you get. I suggest two things. First extend your study periods out to at least 4 or 5 months between tests and second you take one month before your test to review all the section material bwfore you take the exam. Lastly if you dont feel you are well prepared before the exam then delay it at least a month to give yourself time to get to that point. You can pass these exams . It just takes time and commitment and a desire to never quit.

  • I have some suggestions for you. Send me an email and lets chat. I took FAR twice and i never thought i would pass but i did and i am now working on AUD.

  • Hi,
    girl you know how many times I failed aud before I passed. I think first take a step back and think about why are you doing the CPA. With one of my review courses they told us to write down three goals and to always reference back to them here and there for a little motivation. Yeah move on to a different section if your having so much trouble. I encourage people to take either REG or BEC. B/c as of right now they are only 3 hours. In 2017 they will BOTH become 4 hours each. So I recommend moving on to either REG or BEC.

  • Melissa,

    Another option is to take a break from AUD and try a different section like BEC. You don’t want to give up CPA when you have not at least tried a different section other than AUD.

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