CPA Exam Success Story: Jessica

I couldn’t sleep. It was 3 am and I knew my CPA score had been uploaded hours before.

I groggily walked over to my computer and hit refresh to find a 78.

DONE!

I had no reaction because I was in shock so I silently went back to sleep. The next morning, I had to recheck because I thought it was a dream. Luckily it was not. I had finally passed all 4 parts of the CPA exam!

My journey started in July 2009, a month off after graduating from college in late May 2009. I chose the Becker CPA Review live review class because I knew I would struggle finding the time and focus to study on my own.

I took my first part, Audit, in August 2009 and had no idea what to expect. I walked out of the test knowing it could go either way and jumped right into review for Regulation while I waited for my score.

In late September 2009 I received my score of 85. I couldn’t believe I had done so well. It was the confidence boost I needed before taking Regulation in October 2009.

After taking Regulation, I started studying for BEC. I thought BEC would be the easiest part because it was the shortest test and did not have simulations. In November 2009, I received a 77 on Regulation which boosted my confidence a little more. Now I really thought BEC would be a piece of cake. I had visions of passing all 4 parts by February 2010; boy what a mistake that was.

In November 2009, I took BEC two days before I started my new full time job at a public accounting firm. I was more focused on new work clothes and enjoying my last few unemployed days than taking the exam.

Flash forward to late December 2009; I received my first failing score of 69. I was shocked but figured I’d study for 3 weeks and retake the test before my first busy season started. No problem at all; yeah right!

I retook the exam mid January 2009. I figured there was no way I would fail a second time until my worst fear was confirmed when I received a 74. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was 7 am on a Saturday, I was due at work in an hour and I was devastated. I cried all the way to the office. I was ready to give up; change careers; join the circus; anything to get me out of the CPA exam.

I had had such good luck on the first two parts, and now I had spent 5 months on one part that I still had not passed.

For the next few months I focused on work and did some light studying here and there, but the CPA exam was always on my mind. I scheduled my 3rd BEC attempt for May 2010. I walked out of the exam with more doubt than ever before. I was convinced I had failed and decided to study in the meantime. A week later, I checked my score out of boredom at work. A 78 flashed on the screen. I had finally passed BEC.

There wasn’t much time to celebrate because I was scheduled to start FARE review the next Monday. At the end of June 2010, the day of my last Becker review class, I wound up in the hospital for 4 days.

This threw off my studying schedule for my July 15th exam, so I rescheduled for July 30th before a week long family vacation. As the days passed, and I got back into the swing of things, I realized I was not going to be ready for my exam so I pushed it back to August 30th; 2 months after my review class had ended. Walking into the test center that day, I knew I needed luck to be on my side. I did not feel prepared.

September 2010 brought the news of one of my greatest accomplishments; I had passed FARE with a 78 and was finally done with the CPA exam. Now I can sleep soundly and go to bed with a smile on my face!

-Jessica