Through Tragedy and Adversity, I Passed the CPA Exam

06 Jan 2014

I Passed, NINJA CPA Review, NINJA Hall of Fame

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.

Leave a Reply


Dawn Ekvall-Page 10 years ago

this is great news and congrats xoxoxoxox

Jeff @ 10 years ago

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

Mindy Mac 10 years ago

You're a true inspiration! Congratulations, Andrew!

Becky 10 years ago

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

Chel 10 years ago

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

Islandgirl 10 years ago

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

nevenadg 10 years ago

Congrats Andrew. Best of luck to you!

AGV13 10 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 10 years ago

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

Matt 10 years ago

Thank you for sharing Andrew! You are an inspiration.

Aditya Gupta 10 years ago

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