First CPA Exam Experience

30 Aug 2011

Club 75 Candidate Bloggers

Erica is a weekly Club 75 Blogger as she documents her journey through the CPA Exam. She has been a member of's Club 75 since July 2011.

I took BEC on Saturday morning. This was my first CPA exam experience, so for all you first-timers out there, here is what my experience was like.

I took Friday off from work in order to have a full day of focused study. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself, but I felt I needed to really solidify some topics in my head. I did 5 sets of 20 MCQs from the Wiley test bank and wrote down the section(s) I did poorly in after each test. I then took a break and studied my notes from the section(s) I did poorly in, took another break, and went back to the MCQ.

I took the night off in order to keep myself as calm as possible. That was my intent; however, I was so scared I’m not sure how I was even able to sleep at all on Friday night. I woke up around 5:30 AM on Saturday morning. My nearest testing center is about a 45 minute drive. I was so afraid that I was going to fall back asleep while reviewing my notes at home that I ended up leaving early.

I got to my testing center around 7:30 AM. This gave me enough time to go over my notes, Jeff’s NINJA notes one last time and go through the formulas that I wanted to write down on the scratch paper before I started my test.

When I got to the testing center, I showed them my NTS and my two forms of ID. They then had me put my things into a very small locker (wasn’t sure my binder and bag were going to fit!) and wait to be called back to check in.

The NTS stated to get to the testing center at least 30 minutes early. I figured that I would have to wait the full 30 minutes before they would allow me to get checked in and start taking the test. To my surprise, they started the check in process early which allowed me to start my test early.

The check in process was pretty straight forward. They checked my IDs again, scanned in my Driver’s License, took my finger prints, and took a picture (this picture comes into play later). Once all my info was in the system, they had me turn out the pockets of my jeans and used one of the metal detector wands.

I was then led into a room full of cubicles with computers and the picture they took earlier was on the screen of my test computer. I took one last breath and started my test.

Over all, I didn’t think the test was that bad. The Wiley test bank MCQs were very similar to the actual test questions. I now understand why everyone preaches to do as many MCQs as possible. Roger CPA Review did a great job of preparing me for the test. There were only a few questions that I completely had to guess.

I finished all the MCQs with about an hour left for the writing section. My first two writing questions were pretty straight forward and relatively easy to answer. The last one was not as straight forward, so I am hoping that was the “test” writing sample. I completed the whole test with about 10-15 minutes to spare.

As I clicked the button to state that I was finished, I had a good feeling. I hope that’s a good premonition.

My husband and I went out for a celebratory lunch that afternoon. When we got home I took a nap and I think that was the best sleep that I have gotten in about 6 months. I think that makes it all worth it.

Now the waiting game begins. I have so much free time on my hands now I don’t know what to do. I will enjoy these next few weeks before I start studying for both REG and FAR. I’m not taking any tests in the last quarter because we have too much going on and I know I won’t be able to focus.

Good Luck everyone! Praying for passing scores. 🙂

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