Introducing Club 75 Blogger: Stephanie

09 May 2011

Club 75 Candidate Bloggers

Stephanie is a new weekly Club 75 Blogger as she documents her journey through the CPA Exam.

First, a little bit about myself and my journey. I’ve been at the CPA exam for almost 2 years now. I passed my first part, REG, in March (the time the window got extended because of storms) of 2010 and it will expired in September of 2011. I have 3 more parts to pass and although I probably have no shot of passing them all before REG expires, I’m going to try.

I never thought I would go down the route of becoming a CPA because I worked in corporate tax accounting and few of the managers had their CPA designation where I worked. When my dad passed away in 2008 I knew I eventually had to take a crack at the exam because it was always his dream for me to be a CPA.

Now I find myself unemployed, laid off due to outsourcing to the Big 4, and studying seems to be even harder. I lack self-motivation and where while working I had a very defined study plan (8pm-12am on weekdays and at least 6 hours on weekends), now my day is filled with uncertainty and a lot of laziness. I try and make schedules, but I never stick to them because it’s easy to think that I have all the time in the world and I will “catch up.”

I’m studying for FAR right now and my test date is May 20th, sickeningly close considering I’m just going through the MCQs for the first time and I’m about ¾ of the way through. But I really need to review everything and hit the software MCQs hard. Right now I am trying to study 25+ hours a week, which should be easy considering I don’t have kids or a husband or a job, but it’s the little things that get in the way.

Until my test I really need to buckle down though and do at least 80-100 MCQ a day and read my notes and flashcards like crazy.

After FAR I will be taking AUD, which I’ve failed twice, once with a 56 and once with a 71 (ouch!). I’m thinking of using the Roger CPA Review course so if anyone has any advice, tips, or testimonials, post!

To be honest, I probably would have given up on the exam by now if it weren’t for my wonderful boyfriend and his support and for the fact that I’m just too stubborn to give in to this monster.


Leave a Reply


Michael 13 years ago

Hi Stephanie, I am preparing for FAR on 5/21. Feel free to send me an email to exchange thoughts and to motivate each other - if you like. Best, Michael

Anne 13 years ago

I'm really annoyed by your post. You sound like my lazy co-worker who always complains about not passing her exams yet she NEVER studies. Suck it up and start studying already. You have no legitimate excuses for why you're not studying. The "little things" don't take up 50 hours of your week, so why are you really procrastinating? Do you have any idea how many people would kill to have that much time to study for these exams? You have more than enought time to pass by September... just stop procrastinating!!!!!! If you want to make your dad proud, do something about it. Please don't post another blog unless you tell us that you somehow lit a fire under your butt and got serious about passing. 25 hours a week while not having the responsibilities of a job or family just isn't going to cut it. Sorry if this seems harsh, but for those of us who look to the Club75 blog for motivation and encouragement through this exhausting process, you just slapped us in the face by telling us you have the time but not the drive or passion to become a CPA.

gergana 13 years ago

Why you are following your father's dream and not your own. I don't think you are a the person to be a cpa. you will eventually give up, marry to your wonderful bf and have lots of kids...good luck...

Abe Froman 13 years ago

As with anything in life, unless you are fully committed your results will suffer. I was a smoker and tried to quit a few times, never because I wanted to only because other people told me I should. Thus I would do ok for a few days or maybe even weeks but eventually I came back to it. Once I finally committed to quitting; because I wanted to quit and not someone else telling me; I was able to quit cold turkey. So with that being said, you need to want this more than anything you have ever wanted in your life. I am not the smarted person in the world but I was fully committed to passing. That meant sacrificing lots of personal time w/ friends and family and missing a lot of things I would much rather be doing than studying for a stupid test. You can do this! As far as advice for AUD, I think Becker is the best for this section. I scored a 99, my highest score of any of the parts, using Becker for AUD.

Jeff - 13 years ago

Judge much? It's easy to get in a study rut. She lost her job...struggling to spouse/kids to keep her would be extremely easy to fall into this pattern. I applaud her honesty and perhaps this blog series is what she needs to give her that extra motivational boost. Ease up. Give her credit for being willing to submit her pic and give her honest thoughts. -Jeff

Gary 13 years ago

This isn't directed just at this blog post, it's directed at all of them: Every blog post here is the same..."I didn't have time...something came up...I didn't study because I just couldn't...I had other plans...I failed again...I only studied 20 hours in 7 days..." You know what they say about excuses, right? During my time studying, I never made an excuse. I studied regardless of the situation. It was a priority. And I sure studied more than 20 hours a week, even on top of a full time job. And I never gave up the gym, because I'd be dedicated enough to wake up early and go to the gym. Then I'd work, and then I'd study, sleep, and start again. Want to know how that worked out? Oh yeah, I passed all four parts on my first try. TAKE A HINT. Quit making excuses.

Celyn 13 years ago

Thanks Jeff. It's very easy to criticize people. As a unemployed CPA candidate, I know how she feels. It is easy to get distracted and think you can make it up later. Maybe she just needs to get focused. Who are you to judge someone you read 7 paragraphs about?

Mike 13 years ago

Hi Gary, It's easy to judge after you've already passed the tests. Quit gloating over your first pass success. Not everyone is like you, thankfully. Your attitude stinks.

Gary 13 years ago

My attitude is fantastic, especially considering I'm no longer studying for this exam. It feels great. Study and ye shall be rewarded.

Allyson 13 years ago

This forum is dedicated to individuals coming from various situations and motivations with one thing in common: passing the CPA exam. I personally enjoyed reading Stephanie's different perspective and want to see her pass this exam by August. I don't consider my obstacles excuses for not studying: I have a life outside of the CPA exam. I appreciate reading about my fellow candidates struggles and successes as it gives me motivation. Gary, you obviously don't need any inspiration so why are you even on here?

David Banning 13 years ago

I would recommend Yaeger over Roger. Then make a study contract. This is where you commit to the times and length your study time for each day. Always commit to studying the parts that are the hardest. Never let the sections that are easy use up a bulk of your time. Always reward yourself when you suceed each day/week.

Gary 13 years ago

I'd rather have given up a few months of my life and passed on the first try rather than "have a life" outside the CPA exam and take each part 3 times and duplicate my efforts. "Struggles" are one thing; "excuses" are another.

Allyson 13 years ago

Some of us struggle with this exam. We can't all be success stories like you, Gary. Most of us struggle AND succeed. Who wants to read a blog about, "Yay, me! I work out, study, work and pass the exam first time. Why can't you all be perfect like me?"

Gary 13 years ago

You assume I didn't struggle with my studies or with the test; and that's where you're wrong. I just worked harder than the other 50% of candidates taking the exam. There is nothing that hard work and dedication cannot overcome. Yes, that includes the CPA Exam.

Tom 13 years ago

I am sure many of us (myself included, especially right now) struggle with procrastination and the innate desire to not subject ourselves to the torture that is studying for the CPA. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Stephanie. I look forward to reading you overcoming your personal struggle as I deal with the same thing to pass my final section.

Jeff - 13 years ago

Gary - I think you missed your calling as a motivational writer. Any interest in writing a guest column? E-mail your write-up plus your (real) pic to We could all use a little Awesome Gary in our lives.

Samira 13 years ago

Gary - I'm embarrassed for you. We get it, you worked hard - but be professional about it! This is a support group, not boot camp. Stephanie - I applaud you for being able to share your story, because there are many out there just like you! I think becoming a member of the website AND a serving as a blogger shows that deep down inside you really do care! Please keep us updated on your progress - we are all here to cheer you on! You just need to believe in yourself :)

Jodie 13 years ago

I lived in Okinawa for one year and studied perofrming arts. My sensei (teacher) who happens to be a National Living Treasure of Japan has the following posted in his studio, living room, and bathroom. YARUKI SHINKUN (Loose translation: lessons of the heart) YAREBA DEKIRU. If you try, you can do it. WATASHI WA YARU. I will do it. YUUKI O MOTTE. Have courage. JISHIN O MOTTE. Have confidence. SHUUI NI SAYU SARERU NA. Do not let things distract you. YUME O TASSEI SURU MADE WA KESHITE YAMENAI. Do not stop until the dream is attained. IMA SUGU YARU. I will do it now. So I'm on third try at REG now, my last score was a Seventy-Freaking-Four. I am just as motivated (if not more) now as I was when I started. I have a great husband, a 6 and 4 year old (both boys). I also work for the family CPA firm. I read the above when I don't feel motivated. I read it serveral times, sometimes outloud if I have to. I shared this with another friend and she passed on her first try. Each time I've done better, I'll be sure to pass this time!!

Mike 13 years ago

Hey Stephanie, Good luck with the CPA exam. I'm scheduled to take FAR on May 25. I'm currently using Roger's CPA prep. In terms of teaching the subject I think roger does a good job of explaining it. He also tries to make it entertaining which helps. I'm using the USB vids, and it's very helpful to pause and rewind when I need to. It's based off the Wilely program. It's great to bounce back and forth between the two books for each part of the exam (the Wilely book and the Roger book). I find if I'm having trouble with one, the other seems to clear things up. Anyhow, I wish you good luck and others on this site who are studying for the exam. M

Gary 13 years ago

Jeff, offer is much appreciated, but I'll decline. It just sounds like a broken record here with a lot of posters. Even in the forums. It's the same story every time, and I can tell you how each one will end. The posters say "I didn't really get to study a lot, and I wasn't comfortable with X major topic and Y major topic," and then they wonder why they fail! You'll notice those with fantastic scores (mine weren't great, but they were good enough) are those who were the most comfortable with ALL of the material. They don't whine or say "I should have studied _____ more," or "I wish I wouldn't have skimmed over the ancillary material." Failing happens, don't get me wrong. It won't happen if you are better prepared than 50% of the other candidates taking the exam. A teacher I had for my intermediate accounting class told me something that has stuck with me for a few years now; he was referencing his class and his tests, but I think it can be used appropriately here: "If you just 'kinda-like' understand the material, you're 'kinda-like' going to fail my exam, and 'kinda-like' fail my class, and 'kinda-like' not graduate."

Rebecca 13 years ago

Keep up the good work Stephanie these exams are not easy! I think some of us could live by the words I hope you parents taught you "if you have nothing nice to say don't say it at all". I do not think putting another person down is going to help motivate them to study. Let each person reflect on their own decisions and realize where they may or may not have gone wrong. I know that I myself am an up and coming blogger on this site and now I am really nervous to be criticized by my peers! Happy Studying!

Allyson 13 years ago

Rebecca, Don't worry about the occasional serving of hater tots on here. For the most part, this forum is read by people currently trying to pass this exam. It's here to help people realize they are not alone and they may see similar situations. Whether you are struggling to motivate yourself, or having trouble passing a section, or need advice on which review is best for you; the message here is to find insight and to persevere. I have personally connected with people from this forum who have helped keep me motivated and focused. I feel certain I would have given up by now had it not been for them. They struggled as well and are now CPAs. Looking forward to your blog.

@ Gary 13 years ago

I completely agree with you. I have thought the same reading these posts, but find humor in them so still follow. I only had to retake 1 part twice and that was AUD. It seems to me that many people lack time management skills. For example, why would you study 8-10 hours on Sunday?? Time would be much better spent if everyone just sacked up and spent a couple hours everyday studying, actual studying - not sitting in front of the computer thinking about it.

Jeff - 13 years ago

For some reason, this post compelled an individual or two to mock someone else under the guise of anonymity. They passed, but yet they're still hanging out on a cpa exam site? It's usually not like this Rebecca. Constructive criticism is none thing (and welcome if it's directed at me), but I have a waning tolerance for trolls.

Rebecca 13 years ago

I was going to say! Usually I only see a few comments on each blog. Well I look forward to blogging even during the times where I may be slacking. Looks like people will keep my studying in check for me though :)

Dolores Sheets 13 years ago

Wow! Your blog really stirred up some attention? Good for you, to write about how you really feel, not something made Up that you think would sound good. I get distracted and study sometimes not all of the time, then When someone passes I feel that jealous twinge and vow to study until I pass these insane tests. My Motto is never give up. I’ve been at this for Two years and its time to stop the insanity and get my study schedule down, I’m Using Jeff’s ninja notes and his study schedule and Rogers program plus CPA For free.

Danielle 13 years ago

Stephanie, I think what you need to do is ask yourself if you really do want this. I could not imagine why you would put yourself through the torture of studying for the exam unless you really wanted it. This is something you have to aspire to and take seriously. I understand that not having a job at the moment might be affecting your morale and leave you unmotivated, but try to put that out of your head, for now. At least you have accounting experience, and with the CPA and some networking, I'm sure you could snag a new job in the future. Keep positive. If you really want this exam, start studying like you do. Danielle

Kris 13 years ago

Stephanie, I would encourage you to use Rogers CPA review for AUD. I took AUD in the old format (2010) and used Gleim and failed. I used Roger and took the test in Feb 2011 and passed with an 88. Roger is fun and entertaining and has a way of helping you remember the information. AUD is cumlative and if you miss understand one part you fail it all. Best of luck to you. Remember if you study hard now you won't have to take the test again later.

Angie 13 years ago

Stephanie- First of all thank you for your honesty and please be assured that some of us understand and do not judge on here. I would suggest, more of us try not to judge. I think you taking the time to blog about where you are and where you need to be is a great start. If I had known that some people are reading these blogs as some form of entertainment b/c they're tickled by our lack of commitment, then I would not have ever had the guts to share my thoughts, progress, (or lack thereof) with cyberspace. @Gary, why don't you spend your time doing something a little more constructive? I do believe, Jeff started Another 71- as a direct result of him having to take the exams on multiple attempts and helping people with his success story. If he had passed all 4 sections on his first attempt and had your attitude, none of us would even be on this website because it wouldn't exist.

Name (required) 13 years ago

You are right!! No one should judge. If people don't want to take studying/ the exam seriously, they can just retake it as many times as they want. HeHe

Allyson 13 years ago

Why do I feel like I am on the juvenile

Samira 13 years ago

Allyson, I feel the same way. You'd expect a CPA to act with a little respect. It's really disappointing to see. If only there was a maturity section to pass as part of the CPA exam. Then we'd be the ones waving our certificates in THEIR face. If only...

BigFella 13 years ago

Listen I agree with Gary completely. If you want something go out and get it. If you start something stay focused until you complete it. There is no excuse or obstacle that can keep you from anything you desire except yourself. In high school I had nearly a 4.0 GPA and full ride scholarships in both athletics and academics. In college I was at the bottom of every one of my accounting classes. I was on the basketball team and allowed that to be my excuse for not getting better grades. When I graduated from college I decided I wanted to get more out of school then just a degree. I start to focus on studying for the CPA even though I was confident I would never use it because I was going to play professional basketball. I went to many pro camps and all the while I studied harder then I ever had. Have you ever tried to study after playing 2 full games of basketball in vegas??? Everyone else partying it up and living the life. Needless to say I am awaiting the results of one more test, REG. I am playing professional basketball overseas and loving life. I may never use my CPA but I will have passed the exams and no one can take that from me. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Stay focused regardless of your excuses and obstacles and you will succeed.