Exam Recap: FAR Round Three

Phillip is a NINJA CPA blogger.

Fellow NINJAs,

“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”

I recently completed my third attempt at FAR. I am more than a little numb 3 days after the experience because I am unsure of how I performed. I want to believe that I did what I needed to do to pass because I never want to take that exam again, but I will have to wait until August for the result.

I did not give myself much time between my 2nd failure and retake because I wanted to capitalize on the anger I felt with failing. My preparation for this retake was so much more intense than the first two times in that I had more “quality” study sessions.

I directed considerable time to what I felt my major weaknesses were, reviewed my Diagnostic Score Report for my weak areas and focused MCQ sections on that material, and I answered SIMS in my study sessions.

My practice session scores seemed to trend higher so that was a little encouraging. However, I still was not scoring in the 80%-90% range that so many people in the CPA Exam Forum mention as great scores to know you are ready, but I did not let that frustrate me.

The week before the test was one of high anxiety. Externally, I wanted to project confidence, and strength while internally I debated as to whether I needed more time and if I was truly ready or was my anger clouding my judgment. So in order to clear my head of that negativity, I went to a golf driving range with a good friend of mine and hit balls for a few hours and had some beers.

My head felt so much clearer after that and I envisioned passing FAR.

On test day, I felt relaxed and ready. I went to a different testing site than the one I usually go to, so I woke up pretty early to make sure I had plenty of time to find the place. I listened to NINJA Audio on the way to the testing site to help me focus on the task at hand.

As was the case with the first two tests, I was not overwhelmed by the MCQs but the SIMS seemed to be well above what I practiced in my review software. I really wanted to throw my hands up and walk out because I was so frustrated, but instead I took a deep breath and resolved myself to answer each question to the best of my ability because at this point all I could do was my best.

In the time between now and score release, my plan is to study for Audit. If the date is open, I plan on scheduling my exam on the day FAR scores are released. I am in a tight window to achieve the goal of being a TX CPA by the end of 2014 so I do not want to waste time.

Until the score release date, I will make the positive assumption that I have accomplished 25% of that goal.

See y’all at the swearing in ceremony!

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