I Did It! I Passed the CPA Exam!

04 Mar 2014

NINJA Hall of Fame

Leah is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

I did it!

I started my CPA exam journey unsure about my ability to pass, but my desire to give it a try outweighed any doubts. I went for it. I pushed through all four parts. Now, I’m finally finished with exams and it’s still sinking in.

I studied for 13 months straight passing FAR and BEC on the first try, and I took AUD and REG twice. It has been a tough experience, life ‘happened’ all in-between, but I’ve gained so much in return.

I’ve gained knowledge, confidence, and learned that I can bounce back from failure and use it to build a path to success.

I honestly thought I failed my second attempt at REG. I thought the set of SIMS I got had sunk my ship, but I ended up passing. I couldn’t believe it! I passed REG and I was done!

I think that the difficulty in predicting a pass or fail is part of what makes the whole process so hard. It’s a roller coaster ride up to every score release.

The next step for me is to fulfill the experience requirements. It will be a challenge as well since I am looking for work in a small town, rural area with only a handful of 1 or 2 person CPA offices. Part of the reason I took the classes I needed to sit for CPA exams was because I couldn’t find a job. It has come full circle my friends.

So, how did I make it through exams? Don’t cut corners with studying, but don’t forget to take a little time here and there for yourself. I pushed myself too hard while studying for my AUD re-take and ended up being sick for 2 months straight because I was so run down.

Use the Another 71 Forum, and in particular use the forum study groups. It’s a place where giving a little here and there will get you much in return.

Use additional resources if you have trouble in an area. I used YouTube and college textbooks for sticky areas and just for the additional information. For example, Jeff has a video on YouTube that explains sampling that I found helpful.

Read the entire question, read the right answer, and read the wrong answers. I failed AUD on my first attempt partly because I rushed and didn’t read the entire question.

I know I picked up points by using Ten Point Combo. Thank you, Jeff! The notes, audio, flashcards, and Blitz are all top-notch. I used them heavily for my re-takes and passed each time.

Find what works for you. I started out hand writing tons of notes but found that it really didn’t help me unless it was an area where I was struggling. If it’s not working for you then find a different way that does work.

Each person has his or her own journey to make. Don’t worry if your path looks different than someone else’s path. 13 months may be slow or fast to someone else. I had to go through materials 2, 3, or 4 times and resented those that only had to go through materials 1 or 2 times.

I envied those making 90+ scores. In the end, it doesn’t matter. I passed all 4 exams all the same.

I wish the best to everyone still working hard to pass. May your aspirations be greater than your doubts.

Leave a Reply


Ben 10 years ago

Leah, I have actually been interested in your story since you attempted the hail mary for REG in the end of last year. Good job finishing the exam! I am hoping to be done this year too. I am waiting on my AUD score and plan on finishing AUD and BEC this year to wrap up my journey. Good luck with the experience, the hard part is over!

BaxterCPA 10 years ago

Congratulations Leah! I've read all your posts and I've been cheering for you. Good luck on your job search.

Marisol 10 years ago

Thank you Leah for sharing your inspiring and motivational story. I'm struggling with getting back to my studies-thank you for stirring me up! Congratulations to you on passing the exam!!!!

Daniel 10 years ago

Thank you for your advice.I'm still studying since 1 year now,only for Far and now I start BEC. I took long time to study FAR because I was scared the first time when I saw the book,but when I studied for FAR while 1 Year,I realise that I can take the exam I wasn't motivated because I waste my time to think I can't take this exam.I'm still studying on FAR because I want to make sure to passe my exam in one time but also because I speak French,that's why it was not easy for me to read a big book if FAR in English last year.I wasn't sure that I could learn the CPA courses in English.Now I'm studying FAR still for the first time,doing MQC and TBS and I start to study BEC and I plan to take FAR exam in the last week of August hopefully I will done with my second time to study FAR before my exam.Thank you again for your advice now I know I am not the only person who took long time to study and it's help me to stay focus on my exam whatever the time that I had already spend