October 9, 2020 at 11:53 am #3124761AccountingFan47Participant
I am new to this forum. Unfortunately, I got a 45 on my first FAR Exam attempt, and I'm very frustrated, as I've spent the past 3 months studying full-time for FAR. I had an incredibly high GPA for accounting in college (3.9), yet for the FAR exam, my score of a 45 looks as if I had never even studied at all in the first place (whereas in reality I had studied every day full-time for the past 3 months).
I studied by doing mostly MCQ's with Becker, and by doing a few select simulations to get the format down. Clearly, for me at least, the method of doing only MCQ's did not work well. I did not watch many lectures (only a select few) the first time around with Becker because during accounting in college, I would never learn well from lectures and would learn best from practicing hands-on with problems from the back of the accounting textbook.
I also saw that when I watched the lectures, at least for Becker, I would then jump to the MCQ's and still do terrible (40% the first time around usually) on the MCQ's despite watching the lectures. This is why I made the decision to stop watching the lectures and instead just jump to the MCQ's and refer back to the course textbook for anything that was unclear.
Therefore, the first time around, I just mostly jumped to the MCQ's for each module in Becker, and then if I didn't understand something, I went back to the lecture in the textbook and referenced my point of confusion. I thought this method was working well for me, but clearly not.
I would do Becker 33 MCQ comprehensive quizzes for FAR of all 10 units (F1-F10) and I would get anywhere from 56%-76% at highest (it varied on a day-to-day basis). I assume that since I was doing the same test bank of Becker's MCQ's over and over again perhaps this led to my false confidence in terms of me thinking that I was fully ready for the FAR exam.
Does anyone have any tips on how I can improve for a FAR retake? I feel so ashamed right now, and I just don't know how to even go about studying for a retake.
My only guess as to what happened was perhaps I was unintentionally memorizing MCQ's and I guess when the wording was switched around for the MCQ's on the exam day, it messed me up. The simulations I found very overwhelming as well (evidently because I am clearly lacking in terms of understanding the core concepts for FAR based on my embarrassingly low score of a 45).
I feel like at this point, at least for my case, I need to go back and get a better grasp of the fundamental concepts of FAR before hammering through a ton of MCQ's. I feel that if I had a better understanding overall of the core concepts of FAR, then perhaps I would not only find the MCQ's easier but also the simulations overall easier.
Do you guys think I'm better off doing any of the following:
b) Trying a different course provider such as WileyCPA or Wiley's 11th Hour Review FAR Cram Course and doing every single component of either one of these two courses (lectures, MCQ's, simulations, etc.)
c) Doing something completely different from both options a & b
d) I do feel that NINJA could be helpful, but only once I gain a better overall understanding of the FAR Content itself. I've tried Ninja before for a month and it had a lot of similar questions to Becker. In other words, I just used the NINJA software for a month for MCQ's and that was it (which clearly didn't help me either when I just used it for MCQ's).
Thank you!October 9, 2020 at 12:23 pm #3124872CH89Participant
I wouldn't necessarily suggest trying out a new review course, as that can get pretty expensive, but it might not be a bad idea to add Ninja as a supplement. I found Jeff's notes and audio to be very useful during my studies.
Regardless of which decision you make, you are going to have to start fresh with FAR. You need to decide if you prefer to watch videos or read the text book. Which ever one you decide to do, be sure to take notes as you are either watching or reading. It is normal to score low when doing MCQs after each module or topic. The most important part of doing MCQs is understanding why those 3 answers are wrong, and why that 1 answer is right. You should be taking notes as you do MCQs, and try and get into the habit of explaining to yourself why that answer choice is right, and why the others are wrong. You may get mixed opinions on this, but I feel doing SIMs are just as important as doing MCQs. I found I learned just as much, if not more, from doing SIMs.
I think it is also important to keep in mind that the CPA exam is not like your typical exam in college days. While doing MCQs and SIMs non-stop is good and helpful, it is also just as important to review the material and understand these core concepts, as well as a general review of your own notes or Ninja notes if you go down that path.
One tip I would suggest for FAR is dedicate 1 day out of your week to just do a cumulative review of everything you've gone over. There is a ton of material in FAR, and it is so easy to forget things once you get through all of the material. Don't get too discourage with your score, first time I took FAR I scored in the 50s. Use this as a learning experience and as an opportunity to improve in your studies. I'm sure others will chime in and provide very useful tips and suggestions. Use this forum, and lean on us, we are here to help and be supportive, this quite the journey!October 9, 2020 at 12:40 pm #3124944TncincyParticipant
Very well said. Far is a beast so don’t stress too much over the score. Yes, everyone wants to pass. But I agree with CH89, just tighten it up. Start over, take plenty of notes and read the book (which I hate) or do the lectures just for an overview. I’m using Roger and I love these lectures. You’ll be surprised what you might have forgotten. 3 months is a lot of time to forget. So scale down to about 6 to 7 weeks. This might help you focus more. Like many of us we have learned through trial and error. More failed test scores is the error. Becker is a good program. Get you a study planner and give it a better go. Good luck to you.October 9, 2020 at 2:56 pm #3125118Jen200215Participant
@accountingfan47 I scored a 52 I think on my first FAR. Followed by a 67, 71, and finally an 86. I had to learn how to study. I was a terrible college student and just did enough to pass. I, like you, am slow at studying. You can take all the advice from people on here, but it really comes down to figuring out how YOU retain information best. I figured out that I read from the textbook the best and write notes. I will watch a lecture if I don't understand a topic, but otherwise it was wasting alot of my time. After I finish a section, I will hammer MCQ's so it sticks. At the end, I supplement NINJA MCQ's for 2-3 weeks because I had memorized all my study course's MCQ's. With FAR, I also had to practice simulations. They were too overwhelming for me and I got lost while in my first attempt. I saw several people say just practice MCQ's and you don't need to practice simulations. That doesn't work for me. My point again, is that everyone is different. Also, are you REALLY studying when you're sitting down? I wasn't. I would sometimes go through the motions. That'll cost you and it shows in scores. This is a test of discipline. Let the fail go and get to work. You can do it!October 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm #3125214AnthonyParticipant
Full time for 3 months is way too long to be studying. I don't suggest you study more than 2 month for any section especially doing it full time. Your brain can only hold so much info before you start to forget things.October 9, 2020 at 7:12 pm #3125361jojo1Participant
The little I will add to what all have said is journal/Ledger Entries!!! journal/Ledger Entries!!!. JEs/T accounting should be your friend when learning FAR .Let your notes be structured around JEs/T accounting .October 9, 2020 at 7:25 pm #3125370October 10, 2020 at 12:34 am #3125598CPAHOPEParticipant
You took the test for the first time, now you know how difficult this test is. You need to study based on how the actual test is laid out. Doing sims is important but whats more important is really understanding the concepts and applying it toward answering the questions. Good luck n good luck to myself!
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