PASS: Laura Overcomes BEC and Conquers the CPA Exam

01 Apr 2012

NINJA CPA Review, NINJA Hall of Fame

By Laura


Five Years, 24 Tests, and Many Tears Later

So I wanted to write a “wrap up” blog about my journey and I don’t even know where to start. This last time I took the exam I walked in and thought to myself, “I’m going to show you how great I am!”

But buried deep beneath that confidence I was already calculating how many months I had to study for the retake in May.

I was convinced that I was going to lose my FAR credit in June; I had already told myself if that was the case then I was done. The exam would have defeated me. I am glad those are just thoughts that never became reality!!

It was hard when scores started coming out for NASBA states and here I was in Texas, an independent reporting state, waking up every morning waiting for my BEC score only to be disappointed that it hadn’t posted at 4:30am.

When people started posting that they had received their BEC scores in Texas and mine still hadn’t released all I could think was “Great another borderline score…guess I’ll be retaking in May.” I was convinced that when I got my score it was going to be another 74.

I woke up March 14th hardly expecting to see a passing score or even “Total Credits: 4 – Passed All Sections of the CPA Exam,” but that’s what I saw.

I started screaming, crying and running from my office into my bedroom only to yell at my husband through tears, “I did it!!!! I passed that (insert proper curse word) exam!!!”

Of course through my husband’s sleepy ears all he really knew was I was crying, but as he likes to remind me that he really doesn’t know when I pass and when I fail because I cry no matter what.

My next move was to call my parents at 4:30 A.M. My dad answered the phone and he was so confused because I was crying so hard from happiness. He then said, “I knew you could do it…I'm going back to bed.”

He called me at noon, and I won't ever forget what he said “I am so damn proud of you. My daughter is a CPA; I always knew you would do it. You dug down deep and found perseverance where others would find failure. I couldn't be more proud of you! See what happens when you believe in yourself!” There was so much pride in his voice.

My mom said to me “I told you that you passed. I’m so proud of you!” I just love my mom because she doesn’t realize that after every exam I took she told me the same thing. It’s her undying belief in me that also kept me going on this journey through hell.

Although my favorite thing she ever texted to me after I told her I had failed yet another exam was “Sorry. I was hoping it did not post when I didn't hear from you. I still love you.” To which I quickly responded– “good to know your love isn't contingent on me passing.”

One of the last people to find out was my son. He was on spring break and he was at my parent’s house. My dad was actually the person that told him. He called me as soon as he found out and said, “So I hear that we have 2 CPAs in the house now.” To which I replied, “Did you become a CPA?” He said “No mom, you are!”

To hear my son say it with such happiness told me that I had taught him a valuable lesson in the past 5 years. Don’t give up on your dreams; don’t stop going forward because you get thrown off track.

Someone asked me on the forum what I was going to do now that I’m no longer studying and my reply was I’m going to be the mom my son deserved for the past 5 years. I am also going to be the wife my husband deserved in the past 5 years as well.

After 24 exams , many late nights studying, missed family events, lots of fees paid, an ocean of tears and lots of money spent on review materials I AM DONE!!!

Here are my final scores and the final tally of my exam tries:

REG-80, 77, 77
BEC-67, 68, 71, 67, 71, 74, 71, 74, 72, 77
FAR- 72, 65,67, 53, 75
AUD-58, 62, 72, 74, 74, 75

My first exam ever taken was on 2/27/07 and my last exam was 2/26/12; almost 5 years to the day. If I can do this I know that each one of you can too; just don’t give up – KEEPTRYING!!!

Thank you Jeff and my cyber family on the Another71 Forum. You held me accountable whether you knew it or not.

Leave a Reply


Ashley 12 years ago

I love your post. That is so awesome you finished! Wow, 24 exams, it must feel amazing!

kathy 12 years ago

Congrats Laura! There are so many of us in Another 71 world who have been cheering for you! It is so great that you have achieved victory over this exam! You are an inspiration to us all to keep trying!

Kimberly 12 years ago

Laura, Congratulations! Just curious...what do you know now that you wish you had known in the beginning regarding this exam that possibly could have reduced your number of retakes? I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to know and doesn't want to end up travelling down an extra, extra long and expensive path to CPA success. Thanks!

Laura 12 years ago

Thank you all!! @kimberly- I think of the many things I learned was that because one review course works for most the people you know it does not mean it will work for you too. I also learned that sometimes you have to stop and think about what isn't working in your study habits. I had to shake things up a bit. It isn't easy working full time, being a mom, and studying. You have to get yourself organized and schedule study appointments with yourself and don't break them! If you are fresh out of college...get it over with ASAP before you start working.

Nicole 12 years ago

I am so happy for you!! I have been following you for awhile, so inspired by your story! I was actually getting so frustrated with Texas....I checked first thing every morning to see if you had gotten your score and could not believe it took so long for you, especially when you had to wait over the weekend, that killed me and I could not even imagine how it was for you. Congrats and enjoy!!

nadia 12 years ago

Laura, Great story of strength and tenacity. Thanks for sharing your story and sharing your experience during your journey. I know that I benefitted from your advice and story many times during my journey, you have helped so many!!! I am so proud of you and very happy. In the words of that little boy who rode his bike for the first time, " I feel happy of myself"--I know that you are feeling that way and it is well deserved. Congrats!!! Nadia (yankee)

Angie 12 years ago

WOW- I'm so proud & excited for you! Amazing story.

Victoria 12 years ago

Laura. Your post made me tear up! YOU GO GIRL! Congratulations!

akb9874 12 years ago

I cried reading this!