Through Tragedy and Adversity, I Passed the CPA Exam

Andrew is a guest blogger sharing his experience passing the CPA Exam.

With the help of the NINJA Notes, Audio and Blitz videos, I just passed my last section of the CPA exam!

I really did not start taking the exam serious until last October 2012. I retook Audit in late November and felt like I completely bombed it. But I decided to go ahead and get started studying for FAR.

In December, I was working at a client in Texas when I got the most devastating call of my life … my Father was in the hospital from a severe allergic reaction. I traveled all day to Illinois to find out that he was brain dead. This was so out of the blue and devastating. My father’s funeral was on a Friday, and on Saturday I got my first passing score, an 81 on Audit.

I was thrilled but was sad that my father didn’t get to be there for the first passing score.

I took the month of December off from studying and tried to study again in January. I decided to do a retake of FAR in February but my memory was completely gone. The stress from my dad passing away really took a toll on me. I got way below a 50 on that FAR retake.

I decided to retake FAR in April. I was traveling a lot for work but was studying as hard as I could. I got 70 on that try. I was feeling good about the progress I made but still disappointed I did not pass.

I then decided to switch up and try BEC. I figured a change of material may help. I took that in May and barely squeaked by with a 75. I was so excited for that 75.

I decided to try my hand at FAR again in July before our Firm’s busy season started. After a week of studying, I had the first of many health issues. I developed bronchitis. With the close proximity to my Firm’s busy season I decided to go ahead and keep my same test date. Found out I got a 68 and it was beginning to feel like I would never pass FAR.

For the bronchitis that I had, they did a chest x-ray. In that they found a mass in my lungs. So during my firm’s busy season I was working 60 -70 hour weeks and had to go through a battery of tests. I believe there were 8 or 9 medical tests including a biopsy. The doctors never did find out what the mass in the my lungs was and I’m still going under more tests.

After my Firm's busy season I decided to take FAR again for the 4th time. I was going along pretty well until a week before my exam … I developed pneumonia. I could barely sleep at night and the night before my exam at 8:30 a.m. I was up until 3:30 a.m. I came out of the exam completely defeated and felt like I did even worse than the other exams.

I ended up passing with an 80. I still have no idea how I passed, other than I did study an extreme amount of hours. I just still can’t believe that I passed it with pneumonia.

At this point I was feeling pretty good and moving onto REG with about 7 months to pass before I lost credit for Audit.

I got a week into study for REG, and started to get hives. With my dad passing away from an allergic reaction, everyone was worried so I had several more doctor appointments while working and studying for REG. Throughout studying for REG, I at various times had to deal with hives and places on my body swelling up.

Around the same time as the hives, I also had caught a virus (2 weeks after getting over pneumonia), that made me sick for over a week. Thank God for the extended window. I decided to ruin my Thanksgiving weekend to study for REG.

The date that I chose to take REG was very symbolic for me. It was the 1 year anniversary of my father passing away. I had some reservations about taking the exam that day, with all of the emotions. However, I felt like it would be a good idea.

And now here I am today. The day that I found out I passed REG with my highest score of any exam! I’m so happy to have passed.

I just wanted to share my story, because of the amount of adversity I had to overcome in the past year. If I can pass it, then any candidate can pass it.

Read more NINJA CPA Exam Success Stories on the Blog and Forum.

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Dawn Ekvall-Page 9 years ago

this is great news and congrats xoxoxoxox

Jeff @ 9 years ago

Such an inspiring story Andrew - thank you for sharing it!

Mindy Mac 9 years ago

You're a true inspiration! Congratulations, Andrew!

Becky 9 years ago

Wow!! What an inspiring story and all my excuses are LAME! :) Good luck to you professionally and health-wise!

Chel 9 years ago

Andrew you are so brave! I'm ashamed of myself.

Islandgirl 9 years ago

WOW! Congrats. This is so inspiring. All of my excuses are so petty.

nevenadg 9 years ago

Congrats Andrew. Best of luck to you!

AGV13 9 years ago

Congrats! I am sure your father would be very proud of you. I am starting at GT in the fall. My father passed away in late October after complications with cancer and the fact that I still graduated (cum laude) from a good business school amazes me. He was actually diagnosed while I was doing a busy season internship at another firm and the amount of stress I was under was incredible. Ultimately it did not work out at the other firm, but I landed on my feet. I can definitely relate to your story though. Thank you for sharing.

Paul 9 years ago

Congratulations on this and what a tremendous job you did. You should be proud of yourself and all you've accomplished.

Matt 9 years ago

Thank you for sharing Andrew! You are an inspiration.

Aditya Gupta 9 years ago

gr8 job buddy !! all the best for ur bright future