Looking Back at FAR Scores + Looking ahead to BEC

Maria is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

Well, I’ve finally picked myself up off the floor since my fourth (ouch!) fail on FAR. I tried not to dwell on it too much, as I’ve been distracted studying for BEC, and in an odd way, this fail actually gave me some good motivation to tackle my first try on BEC on August 31.

As I go through each time I’ve taken it, resulting in a 65, 61, 73, and now 72, I can pick out different things, whether they be in my environment or my study habits, that I did in each one that either helped or harmed me. So I’ll go through each one and hopefully someone else can learn from my mistakes!

The first time I took this test, my head was about two sizes too big because I had just passed REG. It was October, one of my favorite months, I had just finished my master’s in July, did REG in August, and I was just plain ready for a break.

I almost never can stick to a study plan, so I basically winged it and there were several chapters that I didn’t completely grasp. I didn’t give myself the time to work through everything twice, and BIG mistake…I didn’t even read Chapter 10. I left knowing I didn’t pass, but feeling like I gave it my best and like I could pass.

The second time honestly isn’t worth even discussing – I am a full time accountant and I took my second stab on February 28: the WORST idea I’ve ever had. I think I worked about 70 hours the week I took the test, and I felt my grade was pretty fair.

The third time was in the end of April, and I took the entire week off after tax season and did nothing but study (again, not something I would recommend). I got a few simulations out of left field, but I felt okay overall and actually fairly happy with my near passing grade.

Now this last time…I was pretty disappointed. I had just passed AUD going into this test, so I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a connection with failing the tests I take right after passing one. The main thing I can focus on as far as studying goes is that all of my motivation was pretty much down the drain.

Tax season at my firm had been brutal (I think I finished with around 350-400 hours of overtime), and the summer has been just as busy, with plenty opportunities for overtime. I honestly feel like between school, studying, and work that I haven’t had a break since I was 5.

Anyways, I got over myself after this test and decided it was time to be done once and for all. I decided I could keep half way studying and continue to fail, or I could pick myself up and just do it. I’m onto BEC and feeling like its hitting all of my week points, but I’m trying not to let up.

I’ve also changed my study plan. I’ve gone through all of the videos while doing notecards, and now working all of the multiple choice at least twice. Then I’m hoping to rewrite the NINJA Notes before final review.

This plan is very different than the traditional way (chapter by chapter), which hasn’t historically been working for me the first go round. I’m ready to get this test over with, and I’m studying every waking moment (that I’m not working) to get through BEC.