Ecstatic: I Passed the CPA Exam!

Ben is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

Hello, NINJAs!

Score release is upon us once again. And failing an exam means studying to re-take another exam, which really sucks.

Many of us have gone through this multiple times.

We study our butts off, go through a grueling exam, and wait painstakingly for the dreaded score release.

There are so many unknowns that the stress simply eats away at you.

For this NINJA, the studying and waiting will happen no more.

I received a score of 80 on BEC, and I could not be happier!

I remember going to school and struggling to balance family life and school life.

I saw many of my friends excel in the courses, while I struggled to pass.

I often questioned my abilities when there were so many around me who seemed to do well. I admit that I tried to finish school quicker because I needed to be in the workforce to properly support my family.

Then, came the CPA exam, and I knew it was essential to my future career success.

I took FAR, and the first time I got a 74 I thought, “Are you kidding me?” I wanted to cry and give up. I tried again and was confident I passed because I really felt like I did better.

Then, came the score … 72.

What!? It was like a punch to my gut.

Then, I tried REG, only to fail similar to FAR, coming within points of passing. I really needed to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Then, I got some advice from a friend I made through

She said switching review courses helped her. I considered my options and settled on a new course.
My previous study course never really clicked for me.

Every time I watched the previous course I had thoughts like “These guys are so boring!” or “What an idiot!” In short, I hated the presenters in my previous course.

I sucked it up, spent cash we did not really have on new materials and tried again.

Then, I plugged away with the new system.
Remember, the study material is the same regardless of the course you use, and for me, the new course was exactly what I needed. I took FAR again, and I got a 75. Yep, right on the money this time.

It was about that same time that I found out we were going to have a baby in nine months.

I thought “Dang, I need to finish this before the baby comes!” I figured I had enough time to take each of the next sections.

Long story short, I finished my exams after many long hours of studying in the early morning, during lunch hours, and at night to finish in time.

It has not been easy, but I was motivated by the baby’s arrival, and I never wanted to see FAR again.

One thing I realized is that I am horrible at taking notes.

Jeff talks about taking good notes and re-writing them. I tried just re-writing the NINJA Notes, and while this helped, I needed more.

I ended up going through the chapter – after the video lecture – and making notes in a question-and-answer format.

The process involved going through the material covered and making my own questions and answers.

This took a lot of time, but it helped ingrain the concepts into my head more. Then, I continued the practice for each chapter, while reviewing previous notes along the way.

When I finish the videos, I would review chapter notes and not move ahead until I could get at least a 70 to 80 percent on the MCQs for a section.

Also, I reviewed NINJA Notes and NINJA Audio at night when I was burned out from MCQs and reading my own notes.

In short, I am happy thrilled ecstatic to be done.

It was not easy, and often I was so mad at almost passing that I cursed. It is a long and challenging road for anyone to undertake.

I would like to take a few words from the song Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas:

Carry on, my wayward son
For there'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more”

I wish you all the best as you work on becoming CPAs. May the force be with you!

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

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Lori 9 years ago

can I ask which courses you've used and which you found helpful for you? I have CPA Excel and Becker now and I have my own feelings but was curious about yours. FYI- I got a 74 on FAR last year and am taking REG next week. :/

Tracey 9 years ago


cpatobe 9 years ago

Did u passed bec on one try?

Ben 9 years ago

Sorry about not responding guys. I found out I passed on score release and we had a baby the next day. Needless to say I have been pretty swamped since then. Lori, I started with Yeager and switched to Becker. Becker was awesome for me because I didn't hate the instructors. Yaeger's instructors really annoyed me. I find that the material is basically the same but you have to not hate listening to the instructors. Becker also had some really good pneumonics. The biggest thing that helped me was taking my own notes after each lecture and constantly reviewing them. It was really time consuming but worth it to me. FAR and REG were my beasts (Especially FAR) Keep at it! Thanks Tracey! And cpatobe, I passed BEC on the first try. I practiced the problems in my book really well and I memorized as many formulas from my study material I could find, and as much as my brain could cram in. In total I took FAR 3 times, REG 3 times, and 1 time for both AUD and BEC.