I have put in about 30 hours of studying since Sunday night. I had the good fortune of work being extremely “slow” this week for me, so guess who sat at his desk and studied all day Mon-Wed? While going through Yaeger‘s DVD course, I filled a legal pad with notes. Starting Monday, I re-wrote those notes and spent about 2 full days doing it. I knew I would forget all of those little tax nuances and I was right. It was like I was re-learning the material.
I took Wiley's practice exam tonight with their software and scored a 75 on the MCQs and a 63 on the sims (Shareholder Contribution to Corp and Indiv Tax). I went back through the incorrect answers and I had made some stupid mistakes and on some questions I was leaning one way when I should have been leaning the other. My exam is at 1pm tomorrow so I will take another practice exam in the morning in all likelihood. I have several sims that I want to go over as well.
Practice exam scores need to be taken with a grain of salt. While I scored 75% (45/60), I think the actual exam would have been scored higher. For one, the better you do, the more points each question is worth (and they also get more difficult). Secondly, the exam I took tonight was evenly weighted between Bus. Law and Tax, wheras the real exam will be around a 70/30 split favoring tax I think (if you include ethics and accountant's liabilities as Bus Law).
I am much stronger in tax than I am in Business Law. I can isolate a section like Secured Transactions or Agency and score in the 70s, but I can score in the 80s if I isolate Corps or Gift Tax or something which works to my advantage. I know that I am ready for the exam – I've put in the time and I know the material. I'm just having last night anxieties.
REG is a predictable crapshoot – a sweet little paradox. You KNOW what is going to be more heavily tested content-wise, but then you get into the exam and find that they are majoring on the minors for a whole testlet. It's maddening. You can study your tail off and walk out of there humbled just the same. Then again – people pass it everyday like it's nothing. At least this time I know what a 1231 asset is going into the exam.
In closing – I was walking around my office floor tonight and saw that one of our tax guys was hunched over his laptop – working late like he always is. I popped in his cube all confident like a 2 year old sporting his new “Super Hero” underwear after graduating from diapers and said “1245 gain – Ordinary or Capital!?!?!”
Old tax guy: Ordinary.
Me: 1231 loss – capital or ordinary!?!?!
Old tax guy: Capital.
Me: AHHHH – it's Ordinary!
Old tax guy: Well, sort of…you have this thing called a ‘lookback' provision…(commence 20 seconds of tax speak that caused my mind to wonder all the while I nodded in complete agreement)…ahh nevermind – that's beyond the scope of the exam…
Me: Uhhh…I better go study some more.
Back to diapers…