Introducing Club 75 Blogger: Sarah

08 Jul 2011

Club 75 Candidate Bloggers

Sarah 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 June 2011.

Hello my fellow sleep deprived, stressed out, potentially criminal (metal detectors, really?) CPA candidates.

I graduated from Louisiana State University with a masters in accounting in December 2004. If I had only known what I know now, my next move would have been to start on the exam immediately. I learned all this once before in school, right?

Well, rather than sit for the exam, I decided to take some time to grow accustomed to my new life as a staff auditor. I started with a Big 4 firm in January 2005, right around the time that firms were in a hiring panic caused by the brand new SOX requirements.

Busy season and CPA exam studying were not a good mix. Following busy season, there was a move to Texas, a promotion, and a wedding. There’s always a good reason to put off studying.

Finally, in the summer of 2006, I decided it was time to buckle down and tackle the exam. I started studying with Becker and passed AUD, FAR, and BEC back to back. I was ecstatic. Three down, one to go, the exam was practically in the bag.

Well, the CPA gods had other plans in store for me. Namely, three failed attempts at REG. The down side of passing three sections back to back is that you also lose three sections back to back.

It took me a while to get back into studying for the exam. I have to admit that my confidence was shot. That, combined with another move, a job change, and the birth of my son, led me to delaying the inevitable until now. I sat and passed FAR in November 2010 and then passed BEC on my second attempt in April/May 2011 testing window.

Now, I am using Bisk, NINJA study guides and the Wiley test bank to study for AUD. I personally like Bisk quite a lot. Yes, there are a lot more lectures than I remember having with Becker. Yes, the lectures are painfully dull. However, the beauty of Bisk is that each lecture is typically no longer than 15 minutes.

That works great for a mom of a toddler since my typical study session looks a little like this:

  • BISK lecture
  • Turn on Elmo
  • Bisk lecture
  • Fix a snack
  • Bisk lecture
  • Timeout while mommy cleans the snack off the floor/wall/ceiling/etc
  • Bisk lecture

You get the idea. After 6+ years as an auditor, I am hoping that I can leverage on some real world experience before I tackle my personal demon, REG!

Bye for now. Time for my date with Wiley!




Leave a Reply


Shawn 13 years ago

It sucks to lose credits but I must say, you have a very impressive pass rate! Good luck with AUD & REG.

Kerrie 13 years ago

Hi Sarah! Don't ever give up, you can do it! After 1/2 years, I finally passed the last part of the CPA exam, FAR (worst exam ever invented!). It took me 5, yes 5 tries to pass, but I was determined and I would have lost credit for my 1st exam in August . I passed 1 exam with 1 try, another with 2 tries, another with 3 tries and FAR with 5 tries. I work full time am a single mother of 3 children, so I understand your study schedule :), you almost need to study through osmosis. I am still in shock that I have finally passed, but am now working on my ethics exam, which is open book, but don;t be fooled, it is not as easy as you would think :). So, never give up and no matter what happens in your life do not let anything distract you and you will succeed!! Good Luck! Kerrie

Minimorty 13 years ago

Just curious - did you have any particular reason for not taking REG first this time around? With what you experienced before, I would hate to see you lose FAR and BED while you battle REG.

Sarah 13 years ago

Thank you Shawn. Kerrie, what an inspiration your story is. Congratulations! Minimorty, I decided to take the exam sections in this order (FAR, BEC, AUD, and REG) for a few reasons. First, I needed a confidence boost. One thing that I have learned is that my old study habits do not work for me anymore. This was mostly because, after my son was born, I had significantly less time to study. I study in the mornings before my son wakes up, late at night after his bedtime, and sporadically throughout the day on weekends. I wanted to focus on sections that I felt more comfortable with as I hammered out a new strategy for studying. Second, I wanted to pass FAR before the 1/1/11 changes. Third, I tried to time my sections strategically with my work schedule by taking sections that I felt stronger in with my busier time of year and REG during a time when I am less busy and able to take time off to focus on the exam.

Minimorty 13 years ago

@Sarah - I definitely know what you are going through. I have a 2yr old and a 3month old. It is definitely challenging trying to get in studying time before and after work. It definitely sounds like you have given your scheduling some thought. I wish you all the best.

JoMarie 13 years ago

Sarah - Just be careful with leaving REG last. I did the same thing with Audit and I wish I didn't, now. I'm sitting here with 3 exams to go and the last one about to expire. Wishing you the best of luck and we will eventually beat this BEAST of an exam together!!