Failed again and need a change

CPA Exam Forum Other CPA Exam Topics Studying for the CPA Exam Failed again and need a change

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    First off I have occasionally looked around these forums for advice. Now I'm at a point where I could use some direct help. I've taken two sections, FAR and AUD, and failed both with a 71 and 68 respectively. I know in the grand scheme of things it not bad, but I'm tired of failing. I am currently unemployed due to some shady moves from my past employer. Instead of just waiting and trying to deal with this job market, I decided to take some control and finally pursue my CPA. so in my mind I feel like i have no excuse for failing since its all i do everyday(study all day i mean, not failing. not that much of a debbie downer here).

    I have been using Yaeger CPA thus far. I do the lectures and use the Wiley test bank. I go to the test scoring in the mid to high 80s. I will say I feel kind of meh about the lectures. I'm sure they are just fine, but I have always had issues focusing on lectures. Unless it was straight to the point and cut out the fluff i zoned out in a bad way. I tended to to better with more hands on approaches or with lectures that really laid things out in a logical manner. My gut feeling is the Wiley text books over complicate things for me.

    So given this and my frustrations I have begun thinking about finding a review method that suits me better. I'm currently looking at Becker, but seriously apprehensive about the cost. My mother has been my hero in helping me finance all of this, but I hate to have her drop 3k without being sure of the results. I am also looking at Roger CPA. He seems to have a more modern approach that could potentially hold my attention (i swear i must have adult ADD). I hope I'm mistaken here but it looks like he also uses the Wiley books. it does mention his own material. I'm just not sure if its just handouts like with Yaeger or full fledged text books.

    Sorry that became a bit of a novel. In short any advice or recommendations in any form would be most welcome here. I'm getting discouraged, but and desperately trying to stay positive. I take BEC next Wednesday and in light of recent results, but motivation isn't feeling to hot on this one.



    don't give up, next time you will get it for sure 🙂 at least this is what i keep telling myself, haha!!

    same feeling, i don't have a job and i have a lot of time to study and study is what i do only and i failed audit with a 74 🙁 this is not acceptable to me, but it is what it is 🙁 don't worry, you will get it next time, i will not let this cpa exam defeated me, and i hope you will not too 🙂



    The CPA review I use and swear by is the NIU Correspondence CPA Review ( It is a tad on the pricey end, but I think it is worth every last cent. I am using it for all 4 parts, and thus far I'm 3 for 3 on first attempt!

    If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them about the course. I promise this isn't a marketing ploy. I'm a real, suffering CPA candidate spreading the word about a fantastic course. 🙂 BTW – this course is #1 for passing rates on AUD.



    “My mother has been my hero in helping me finance all of this, but I hate to have her drop 3k without being sure of the results.”

    Not to sound harsh, but no program can guarantee results, not even the most expensive – it's not like you can pay to pass. You have to put in YOUR 100% to have any hopes of a guarantee of not wasting your Mom's money, with ANY review course. That being said, I have only used Becker (except for overhead variances in BEC where I used Roger's youtube video) and am 3 on 3 so far, so I'm pretty happy with them. Disclosure – my employer is going to be reimbursing me – I don't think I would have paid that much on my own.



    I have used Roger to this point in the process. I skipped the lectures for AUD and just took notes right out of the notes book he provides. The FAR lectures were good for a refresher on some things from accounting classes. His notes are great – the study aids help. katyuser is right…you definitely have to put the time in and study smart. My theory is that you really know something when you can teach it to someone else. I strengthened some of my grasp of AUD material by tutoring/teaching undergraduates. Also, I learned all of the audit reports by reciting them to myself on a nightly basis (like I was learning an acting part).

    Roger is a good aide, but it is not the only thing to rely on. Study hard, but most of all, study smart…



    okay so here i my two cents….have you evaluated your study method? Do you want this as much as you want to breathe? ( my favorite saying right now) Have you put everything else aside besides the CPA exam? Have you changed up YOUR method? Because it does not matter what course you use if you aren't studying in the way that you respond to. They have all the same information in the courses, it's what you actually get from it and how you get it is the difference.



    Well yes I am aware that its not the price that gets the results. If that was the case I would have done the 3k+ for Becker from the beginning. My issue is finding the one that is right for me. I'm sure that is the trick for many people. Especially those not lucky enough to work someplace that covers the cost for Becker. While Yaeger works for many, it may not be my cup of tea. Guess my frustration is that I am putting in a lot of effort and not seeing the results. In my past once I found the angle that clicked for me I would dominate every test I took. Just have to find that angle. I am leaning toward Becker. Your confidence in it is just one of many votes in that direction. Of course more insight from other sources is always welcome.



    I would recommend Becker. It worked for me. Also you might check out Ebay. There are some Becker materials there for sale at discounted prices.



    Well I certainly want this very very much. Not to get sappy, but I lost my father recently, who was my biggest influence and motivator. He encouraged me to take the leap into this and one of our last conversations was his faith in me to pass this and achieve what I've talked about for years.

    I agree my methods do need to change. The information is the same no matter what, but the delivery is what makes the difference to me. I've adjusted some for my BEC preparation and it has been working. Again though I found the Yaeger lectures weren't sinking in for some reason although some of the handouts have been helpful. I've noticed this time though I've had more help from Google than with the Wiley books. Even if I change programs I will probably still use all my materials. If one format isn't clicking for me then I can reference another view point on the same subject. That's one thing my dad taught me, If it doesn't make sense from one angle then change your perspective and try again, but never give up.



    It might not be the approach the teacher is using it may be the approach that your taking that is your problem!! Im studying for AUD on 11/30 praying for a test and I failed REG with the first score release and it SUCKED!!! But i realized it was the delivery of the material that was wrong it was my approach!! I do multiply choice above all else. I started there and then worked back to the lectures so I could get an better understanding of the questions I missed. I also bought jeffs ninja notes and am currently rewriting them and not typing, typing work for some but for myself I dont actually read when I type where as hand writing them makes me read exactly what is on the paper. That has truly made a difference. I'm praying that I have the information solid by test day!! I'm still using Yeager but this different approach honestly has me feeling a whole hellava lot more confident and I know I am retaining alot of information.




    “hand writing them makes me read exactly what is on the paper”

    Amen to that! I've taken the approach of writing everything down that I don't know and hear about in the audio/visual presentations for my Gleim CPA review. On average, I'm writing 10-15 pages of notes per sub-unit (20 sub-units per exam), which is about 200-300 pages. It may seem tedious, but I can't begin to explain how much more easily I am retaining the information than I did by just highlighting notes in the book. ( I spend about 3-4 hours max per sub-unit…or until I feel confident I haved absorbed the info)

    My MCQ averages have increased from 35% starting dry to about 90%+ after I take notes. During my review weeks before testing, I'm revisiting notes and rewriting parts that I don't completely grasp and then going on an MCQ binge.

    Albeit, I haven't taken an exam yet, this study method change is the first time I have actually grasped the material.

    Hope this helps.



    I do like the idea of hand writing the notes. I will have to try that. so far I have been doing the lectures, marking important points in my books and doing MCQs to no end. I think when I retake FAR I will take a step back from MCQs I think I have all of the memorized anyway. I will go back to the material regardless of what review I end up using. If I have two review courses in my possession I will merge them to lock in the different materials layout.

    For whatever reason that reminded me of the episode of the Cosby show where Theo wanted to cheat by writing all of the material on his shoes and ended up learning the material on his own.



    @pele506 lmao at the cosbys….but i really think hand writing is the key. I think with me right now I need to slow down and read the question. alot of times you know the information backward and forwards the problem is we read to damn fast. We have been studying for so long that things look so similar we half read and answer and say that is it and continue on to the next one, where as if we slow the hell down and read it we would see it was a trick!! I'm positive thats why pass rates are less that 50% because everyone sitting for this exam is smart as hell its just we need to slow down and really understand what they are asking of us.




    What makinthemagic said.



    Hi Pele,

    Just wanted to share few words..please keep in mind this is coming from a person who hasn't passed any exam yet 🙁

    I can relate to you in that I really truly feel I have ADD…like you I completely zone out during lectures when they start repeating things..I've been trying to pass this CPA since 2009 ( i kind of gave up the idea of CPA for a year mid 2010-mid 2011) and it hurts to think that its been TWO freaking years and I'm still exactly where I am with absolutely no progress. Lately what I've started doing is instead of looking at the face of the lecturers or reading the book along with them…I've started to open up a new Word document and while listening to them I summarize in few bullet points what they said in a particular subject….that way u are listening intently as well as typing in order to get the notes…that's my two cents… This might be totally off topic but in 2010 I also started going to yoga classes at the gym just to check it out..and now I'm completely hooked I'm not sure if its the yoga or just me but I have been able to stay much calm and focused regarding CPA and life in general..breathing is important to being focused and yoga has been very helpful in making be breathe right…and like a lot of people said you really need to find what works for YOU..everyone here can help you with our own stories but in the end you will need to find what works best for you…and you already have all the materials you need to find out what works for you…make use of everything you have right will work! That's my two cents…and reminder one more time..i have NOT passed any exam yet…Good luck to us all 🙂



    This is a hard question to answer. I have personally been using Becker only, self-study. Averaging a 91% of 3 sections first time through so obviously I feel like Becker is doing its job. As others have said, nothing makes up for times, hours and hours of studying. The AICPA lists a recommend study time for each section so I would start there, if you haven't put in the hours (FAR suggests 140 hrs for example) you need to start there. If you have put in the time then it may be a good idea to switch up. I was awarded a scholarship for the Becker course and am not sure without that that I would spend 3k on it. However, fails cost a lot of money too so you must take both factors into consideration.



    Ok I feel much better after reading this thread. I'm not working and haven't worked since June. I've been studying and taking parts of the CPA exam. Unfortunately I have passed NOTHING and found out last night that I lost my REG credit. 6 months of not working and now I have nothing to show for it. I'm so beyond disgusted. I scored in the 50's on FAR and BEC. I just don't get it. Am I not cut out for this? Anyways, my husband doesn't make enough for me to continue wasting my time and our money doing this so I'm officially looking for a job. Guess I'll attempt this cpa exam thing in January….

    I've been using Becker. But my software will expire in June 2012. This thread definitely lifted my spirits a little bit. 🙂 I know I'm not alone in this battle.



    I just took AUD yesterday for the first time and I felt pretty ok/good about the multiple choice questions, but the Sim's were very challenging and I did not feel so great about them. Just to share with you Pele, I am using MDS CPA Review (Steve Martin). I also used some of my friends materials she had and I used for questions. Since I just took the test yesterday, I can't say how I will score, but MDS is more condensed than some of the other material I've seen (I have saw my friends Kaplan and Becker books). Sometimes it does not always explain the wrong answers to questions, which is a downfall. I do have three friends who used it and passed all four parts, and one who is using now and has passed two and failed one thus far using it. I would've chosen Becker though if it wasn't for the cost, but I got MDS for under $2,000. Just wanted to give you my perspective as far as cost and more condensed material. As far as studying techniques I'm still learning that part myself so I really enjoy reading these thread's for ideas such as the writing things out and typing. It's so nice to get other peoples perspectives and know theres so many people in the same boat.

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