I spent the last week on vacation with my family in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We only had one DVD with us (“Cars”) and my boys were sick of watching it at night, so we bought “Meet the Robinsons”. It's a great movie as far as animated flicks go, but as I tuned in here and there, I came across a scene about failure and the theme of “Keep Moving Forward” that was derived out of a quote by Walt Disney long ago.
I immediately thought of the CPA exam, as I often do since it's plagued my memory for the past 3 years and I found it very applicable to the process of studying for and taking the Exam. Then, I read about a CPA Exam candidate who had scored in the low 60's and they were wondering if they should throw in the towel or if maybe there was still some hope for them.
My initial motivation for creating this site was because I was extremely frustrated with myself that I had failed BEC yet again and felt like venting. At the time, I felt like the dumbest person in the world. I was 30 and still hadn't passed the stupid CPA Exam and I was wondering if I in fact was cut out for accounting.
I considered quitting the CPA Exam altogether. I was sick of the time. I was sick of sending NASBA money. I was sick of exam day anxiety. I was sick of the ridiculous 4 week minimum to get your results back. I was ready to move on. Surely I could get a job in…marketing?
Then, I thought about the future. I have 3 boys ages 5 and under. When times got tough for them…when life didn't quite go their way, how could I look them in the eye and tell them not to quit and to get up and try again if I myself packed it up and quit the biggest challenge of my life? I don't work in public accounting anymore and passing the CPA Exam is more of an aside on my resume because I don't plan on using it in an official setting ever, so continuing with this exam is for 1. my pride 2. my boys and 3. my wife won't think that all of those weekends where she kept the boys out of my hair so that Dad could study would be all for naught.
The purpose of this site quickly found an identity in that it exists to tell other candidates that hey – if you're struggling with this exam, you're not alone. The only stories you really ever hear are about your smart classmate or co-worker who aced the exam on their first try. You don't really hear too many people admit that they didn't pass the Exam the first…or second…or third try. I've been open about my failures on this exam so that maybe other people would be spurred on to keep fighting and would hopefully realize that they are not alone.
Which brings me back to struggling CPA Exam candidate…
If you have the intellectual wherewithal to qualify and meet the prerequisites to take the CPA Exam, then you can pass the CPA Exam. I believe that the Thomas Edison quote ?Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration” is very relevant to the CPA Exam taking process. I have never found myself being too-dumb to pass the Exam. I've always left the testing center kicking myself for not working harder.
If you're a bad test-taker…work on being a better test taker.
If you have 3 kids and work full time and don't have the time or energy to study…change your schedule…stay up later and get up earlier…that's no excuse (I'm preaching to myself here).
If you're working your tail off, but are getting bad results on practice tests…either get new material or figure out where you're going wrong.
The bottom line is: everyone who is studying for this exam can pass it.
There is no score that can't be overcome and there are no character weaknesses that can't be beaten. The point is – STICK WITH IT.
Forget your co-worker who looks down his nose at you for not passing (no one likes him and he never gets invited for beers after work anyway). Forget your uncle who passed the exam back when they had to walk uphill both ways through the snow to take the old paper and pencil edition (this version of the exam is much broader and you have to know more information…thank you SOX and BEC).
Finally, forget the fact that you didn't pass REG or FAR or whatever the last time you took it. Your performance last time has zero bearing on your success this time around.
Whether you scored a 60, 71, or a 74 – KEEP MOVING FORWARD. Keep fighting. Keep making progress.
Sometime in the future, you will have 3 letters by your name and these temporary setbacks will all be a distant memory.
(If not…there's always marketing).