CPA Exam Score Release is Brutal, but I PASSED FAR!

01 Sep 2015


Joshua GraunkeJoshua is a NINJA CPA blogger.

I don’t think there is an experience like your first CPA Exam score release anywhere else in the real world.

You spend hours and days on the idea that less than 100 questions will determine if you are competent in a subject.

Originally, I was planning to ignore it because I had Audit coming up and I thought that regardless of how I did, the score would distract me from my next exam.

I wanted to keep the blinders on for a few extra days and look after I had finished exam #2.

NINJAs, a little word of advice about this: Unless you are taking a test the day after the score release DO NOT DELAY LOOKING.

I sat in my office all day yesterday dwelling on the possible scores and quantifying how dumb each range of scores would make me.

It was absolute torture to not know and there is no way I was making it to Sunday. Please learn from my very dumb mistake.

Before I realized that having a giant CPA cloud looming over you would really suck, I sent my NTS to my girlfriend to hold on to so I wouldn’t be tempted to check myself.

What I didn’t know is that she had gone rogue and checked without me. More on that in a minute.

When I got off work last night, I drove like a madman to get home and log in to NASBA to see how badly I had failed. I figured the worst it could be was: I totally tanked, I’ll learn from where I was weak and what I could quickly absorb now that I am used to the exam and test day experiences.

I got to my girlfriend’s apartment and immediately bolted for my computer. She was sitting on the couch saying that she surprised me with my favorite cupcakes and, good or bad, at least I’d have some comfort food. I decided to take a look at the cupcakes and have a small bite, but when I opened the box, all that I saw was “PASS 75”.

I look up to see her filming me and immediately realize that this wasn’t a hoax, I had passed FAR! I don’t think I have ever gone from stressed, to shocked, to completely elated that quickly in my life.

The 800lb gorilla that is passing your first exam was off my back and I was on the board. 1 down, 3 to go!

Given that this was my first attempt at any exam, I squeaked by on the narrowest of margins (and maybe a computer error), I am not entirely sure what I did right or wrong to get me to my passing score.

I know that listening to Jeff’s audio on the way to work definitely planted some easy to remember info in my mind and I believe that showed on exam day.

I also believe that using the NINJA method (although I didn’t quite get through all of the note re-writing) was a much better way to study.

To be honest, I do believe there was some luck involved as well with my exam. There were 2 or 3 subjects that I knew I could, and should, have done more with, but they were very sparse on my exam, or weren’t tested at all.

Given how close I came to failing this exam, and how much easier it is to go to the second exam with the outline of how to study put together, I am buckling down and planning to spend the next 96 hours living breathing and sleeping Audit.

I mentioned before how this exam is like eating an elephant, you just have to get through it one bite at a time. For me, this exam being in the rearview mirror has given me even more motivation to keep going and to trek through the remaining 3 exams.

I always had a personal deadline of when I’d like to be done with this exam, but now I am facing the daunting deadline of 18 months until I lose this credit.

I refuse to let that happen, and I believe that my study plan will help me beat that deadline with room to spare. Bring on Round 2 with Audit!


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