Bridgette is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
I became eligible to sit for the CPA in April as I finished the spring semester. I still have 4 upper level accounting classes to take to be licensed (Florida requirements), but nothing was offered during the summer so I decided to get busy studying for the exams.
My plan was to take BEC and AUD in August and I gave myself 4 months to study simultaneously for both sections. I know now that it’s quite ambitious to work full time, raise 3 young daughters (the cuties below) with a husband that works 2 jobs, and sit for two parts in one testing window, but I want to be done!
I watched 21 hours of AUD video and took an entire notebook of notes, then watched 21 hours of BEC videos with yet another entire notebook of notes. Next were the endless T/F and MCQs. I started with AUD and switched to solely BEC 4 weeks before my Aug 10th test date.
I read each chapter of the book and worked the corresponding test bank questions, averaging 60-85% scores. Not the best, but considering how little time I had to work studying into my daily/weekly/monthly life my expectations were lower than they would have been years ago.
I entered the testing center on test day and went through my criminal-like screening (fingerprinting, wand swipe, mug shot) and that’s when it truly hit me how big of a deal becoming a CPA is. It never really occurred to me that passing the CPA would be considered elite until that very moment.
I nearly froze under the instant stress, but pushed forward and worked through the MCQs as quickly and efficiently as possible. I wanted to leave as much time as possible for the written communication considering I hadn’t written anything longer than an email in 9 years.
That’s when the drilling started. The consistent drilling on the outside of my testing wall (thank you Comcast) was so disruptive that I almost gave up and exited the exam. I couldn’t put together two sentences that made sense in my head. I had to read the situations 4 or 5 times before I could even determine what was being asked of me.
The drilling continued for the entire hour and a half that I worked on the WC section. I left the exam feeling defeated.
To demonstrate how little I researched the CPA process: I assumed I would be waiting months to get my results through snail mail. I didn’t know about NASBA states, online scores, or score release dates. My thoughts were solely on getting through the exams.
The night before my AUD exam I received a text from a fellow student with his score (from the exam he took the same day I sat for BEC!). Ten texts and a good deal of frustration with the NASBA site later I was staring at my score of 80. It didn’t compute. I expected to fail because of the testing distractions and the low practice scores, but I didn’t fail.
The MCQs and my business background must have saved me. I didn’t do as well on my AUD exam the next day (65), but it was what I expected since I had only left myself 2 weeks to study between the two exams. I am struggling to get back into it, but will retake AND pass AUD in November.
I attribute my renewed motivation to the discovery of Another71 and the tremendous support within the CPA Exam Forum. We can all do this! Let’s help each other defeat these exams!