How I passed FAR with Becker

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    Score: 86 with 12 week, 1 chapter per week study plan, 15-20 hours a week

    Background: I graduated with a BS in Accounting in 2007. I worked in a small 4 person firm for 1.5 years before returning to get my MBA. My current boss suggested I get a certification so I decided on the CPA instead of a CFA (too long!). I am married with no children and I work in corporate treasury so I don’t have too many long days unless the CFO needs something ASAP.

    Materials: Becker Self Study

    Schedule: My schedule was pretty basic. I would watch all the videos for 1 chapter on Sunday and take the rest of the day off. I would workout then just do something around the house. The week was pretty much, 4:45am wake up (Tues-Thurs), gym until 6am, work, study for 1 hour over lunch, home by 6, dinner then start studying from 7-9pm. I would go over the eBook as it had the Becker markings and I would almost rewrite the whole chapter throughout the week as my notes. I would take a section of notes, do the MCQs, then start on the next section of a chapter. I could get through most chapters with taking Friday evenings off and finishing early Saturdays. For chapters 1-6 I would do some 30 MCQ reviews of previous material but stopped when I was on chapter 7. We had a string of 4 days off from work due to weather so I was able to get an extra chapter in and add an extra week of review.

    Final Review: With 3 weeks to go, I would take Becker Practice Test #1 with 2 weeks to go, review the weak areas, Practice #2 with a week to go, review weak areas, get ready for final. During my review I would do at least 100 MCQs per day in sets of 30. 120 MCQs was the norm but you get tired after a while of just MCQs. KEEP AT IT! I saw Jeff mention rewriting notes which would have been time consuming for me to do everything so I decided on a couple of chapters of my weak areas. This included Bonds, Leases, and Fixed Assets seemed to help a lot. I would also keep a fresh note pad around to jot down things I needed to remember for the test. What is a boot? What is the Net Periodic Pension Expense Mnemonic? All of this were little 1-line notes to make me remember the item easily.

    Test Week/Day: During the test week (test was on a Friday) I was SICK of MCQs but I kept doing them. I would select some chapters and just do questions from a specific chapter to change it up. One set of Governmental question where I only got 22 out of 30 scared the crap out of me. But I kept doing this. I would drink some wine at night while doing this. Test day came and I got there early where I saw others sitting in their cars studying. Walked in and was confused as it was my first test. They are helpful. I brought ear plugs which I practiced with as I like little sound to get my focus. Check you markers as they are probably dried out so you do not waste precious time getting new ones.

    What helped I can pass on? If you are studying and need a nap, take it. Some days I would take <1 hour nap on weekends just to keep fresh. A tired brain does not want to study and it is just wasting time. Exercise/workout. This is something I do anyway but it is missed by a lot of people. I would recite mnemonics on the treadmill and one time trail running I fell while thinking of a governmental concept. Ouch! It keeps you fresh and your brain active. I would also watch the videos on the treadmill since it was cold when studying. It just helped with getting to know the information. Oh and the NINJA Forum Study Group! I would try to answer questions and also ask questions which helped reinforce my knowledge. I feel this was a big boost as we were all in it together.

    MCQ Help: Becker has an “eBook” button you can press when doing MCQs. This was super helpful in remembering concepts which I had forgotten. I felt like I may become dependent I was actually learning this way! If you remember an MCQ answer, try to talk yourself through the math to get there. The answer is X because you do Y and Z and voila! Just remembering the answer doesn’t help, remembering how you got there is the key!

    Any questions? Feel free to ask. Also hopefully this turned out well. I probably missed something helpful as I am beaming with excitement with a pass when I had nightmares of a 73.


    Great advice! Thanks

    How did you get through the SIMS? Just practiced the Becker ones?


    Great!! I'm scoring high 70s and low 80s on the progress tests.. How was your scoring? I'm doing 500 to 700 MCQ a day.

    also, with SIMS, I did them all only once, and never did them again, and I do not intend to re-do any. I think sims depend on understanding the concepts and the JEs.


    @vk125 – I just went through the Becker ones for each chapter then the ones on the practice finals. It's helps to learn statement of cash flows, construction methods, leases, and most of the main topics people tell you to study. It is more just to reinforce my understanding.

    @Another85 – For 30 MCQ progress tests of all 10 sections I was scoring 90% on a regular basis. Every set usually had 4-5 ones I would see regularly so they were easy points. In the last 2.5 weeks I probably did 100-150 MCQs a day and if I didn't understand something I would “Go to eBook”. You are right with Sims but it is always helpful to practice J/Es on it helps to understand some of the bigger topics.

    I do not remember if the governmental sims were helpful.

    rp 12

    thanks for posting this!

    AUD - NINJA in Training
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - NINJA in Training
    REG - NINJA in Training
    AUD - 67, 62, 77 (lost credit), TBA

    FAR - 53, 48, 58, 62, XX

    BEC - 53, XX


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