I Will Conquer FAR!

Megan is a weekly Club 75 Blogger as she documents her journey through the CPA Exam. She has been a member of Another71.com's Club 75 since April 2010.

Hi everyone! Long time, no blog!

If you recall, I took FAR on a Friday, had my baby boy on a Monday, and then took a break to enjoy him, but when he was 3-4 weeks old, I started back studying for BEC.

Since I was still on maternity leave, I had extra time during the day that I could use to study, so I didn't feel near as pressured this time around. I still got in as much studying as I could at night, but I didn't have to cram it all in those late hours.

The last time I took BEC (took the test in February, got my 74 at the end of March), I was “weaker” on strategic planning, operations management, and financial management.

I tried to study these subjects the hardest, and sort of neglected the other topics. I started freaking out that I hadn't really looked at corporate governance, economics, or IT, so I tried to do as many MCQ on those topics as I could.

I went back to work a week before my test (May 24, test May 31) and I had bosses gracious enough to let me study during work hours, so I was able to get in extra hours at the office. I felt confident on every subject and was ready to get BEC behind me.

I got to the testing center and laughed with the Prometric girl that FAR had actually put me into labor (she was on duty during my FAR test and she was totally paranoid that I was going to have the baby right there). I got in there and put in my launch code, and the first question was harder than 95% of my last BEC test.

Everything I had studied was getting jumbled in my brain, but I just took a deep breath and just took it one testlet at a time. I knew I had confused a couple formulas (confirmed after looking at my materials after the test), but I just prayed that I did well enough on my strong spots to make up for what I had messed up.

The written communications were easy enough, and I actually had time leftover (about 20 minutes), so I just re-read my memos and made sure they made sense and left. Since I knew I had messed up a few of the easy formula ones, I felt much more defeated after this test than I did with the 74 test. I was confident I passed after that one.

Since I had taken FAR and BEC in the window, and they were all I lacked, I got to spend the next 3 weeks (really 4 weeks because we know how score release goes) just enjoying my family and not worrying about studying. I could potentially be done with the exam totally, and this was the first time I wasn't studying for a test while waiting on a grade.

Score release came around and I got my FAR grade (test I took right before baby was born). Didn't pass. Close, but not enough to say it was just “luck.” I knew I wasn't strong on certain subjects and they obviously did me in. That and feeling miserable being 37 weeks pregnant.

BEC was released at the same time, but of course with my luck, my grade was held back with the second wave of BEC scores, so I spent the next week worrying. Since I had felt so bad about my performance on BEC, I knew I had to have done worse than the 74 test.

On June 29, I woke up with my little guy around 5am and checked my score. 77! I couldn't believe it! I had even gotten a “stronger” (than other passing candidates) on Strategic Planning (one of my trouble spots)!

My breakdown was this: “stronger” on Corporate Governance and Strategic Planning, “comparable” on Economic Concepts, Information Systems, and Operations Management, and “weaker” on Financial Management. That made sense since I knew I had screwed up a few of those formulas, but apparently that's all that I really screwed up.

Now I'm just battling FAR. My goal as a CPA seems much more attainable now that I have 3 behind me and just one to go. I am devoting 9 weeks to studying for FAR, and with my full attention on it and not having to share it, I really feel like I can get it.

AUD and REG expire in November and December respectively, so I technically have 2 tries to get FAR passed without losing any credits. But, I WILL get FAR conquered this time!

-Megan