August 23, 2016 at 1:50 am #816921
I first attempted to take these exams in Aug 2012. I thought my Prometric appt was for Aug 31, but it was for Aug 30, so I missed that Window. I finally sat for Aud in Dec 2012 – 60, Feb 2013 – 61, too busy the next window, then Aug 2013 – 61 – quit. Started back up, sat on Nov 2015 and passed Aud with a 78. Its been downhill ever since.
2016 has not been kind to me at all.
REG – Feb 55, May 69
BEC – May 71
FAR – Aug 52
WTF can I possibly do differently? I study all waking hours of the day and I honestly couldn't track the hours…I'm probably one of the most active posters on this site. Bedtime is 1am for me. I study at work and I know I'm not supposed to. Why can't I pass any of these stupid exams? I have a family and my son is getting older, I can't keep neglecting him. I have Reg on Saturday and BEC on 9/8. I swear, If I fail both of those exams I quit. Using Gleim as my main and I'm about ready to ditch them. I left them for Ninja for early last week for my next REG attempt, but I'm not trending so well (51%). I'm frustrated as hell and would really appreciated some advice.
Thanks NinjasAugust 23, 2016 at 2:07 am #816939mvol5Participant
Well I'm not the motivation you're wanting. I'm posting here because I'm in the same boat. I took reg made 81, then audit happened. I need the motivation too, but I never given one damn about being in public accounting, would be the worst to me.
I made a 72 on my AUD retake, I got a 74 on my first one and on the first take I was sure I made below a 60. The retake I redid the Roger lectures and put in another 30 hours on Ninja MCQ. Averaged 85%, trended at 90.
Went into the test, and felt like I killed the first testlet. 2nd one killed me. 3rd one was ok. I bet the sims got me.. again..
I have BEC on Sept 7, if I don’t pass that I am seriously thinking about just quitting this. I have no plans at all to be in public accounting, none at all. Studying for this test has made me absolutely miserable. I’m so sick of it.August 23, 2016 at 3:36 am #817020mckan514wParticipant
I'm not the motivation you need either mtaylo24 but I sympathize and am posting here to save a new post of my own… Like mvol5 I have no plans at all to be in public accounting and studying for this test is making me absolutely miserable. I made a 71 on BEC this is after over 184 hours of Ninja MCQs averaging 87 and all of Roger's lectures and IPQs averaging in the 90's.
I did manage to pass REG but only barely- with a 75 and that was with me trending in the 80's and 90's on Ninja and Roger's
and I failed FAR with a score so low its embarrassing….
I'm just not sure I have it in me… off to cry some more… I honestly didn't know I could feel this stupid about myselfAugust 23, 2016 at 4:16 am #817029JTParticipant
We are all on the same page,…these test suck!!!…
With that being said, one thing that keeps me motivated is the idea that 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 years from now, I will thinking back “to those days I was studying for the CPA exams” and I want to think back with positive thought knowing that I passed and that I didn't quit and that I have something to show for my hard work and dedication. If I quit, I will be thinking back with resentment, regret, pity, and feeling sorry for myself that I couldnt/didn't get it done.
You guys can definitely do it!August 23, 2016 at 5:22 am #817053AnonymousInactive
FIRST – I've told countless friends/family members that it's hard, but I know there are people who do this AND have kids to worry about – so I have no reason to complain. I cannot begin to imagine the stress/pressure you are under. Hell – I have no idea how anybody gets anything done when they have kids…I feel busy all the time and I don't have kids. Give yourself a break. Just breathe and know that you do not suck and you can do this. Plus, I've seen way worse stats than what you posted there; so i'm not sure what you're crying about ;P
I would say the biggest thing I figured out and is that I need to slow down. It looks like you're trying to cram all the parts in…take it one part at a time. I tried to think of it as – yeah, I could sit for 2 parts each window; but i'd rather not waste my time and drag this out any longer than I need to. So i'm focusing on one part at a time knowing that this means I'll get it done sooner than if I tried cram it all, get nothing accomplished, and then have it drag on even longer because I'm not taking the time to actually understand it. I'm not going to be one of the people that passed in 6 months. I'll most likely take the full 18 months..and that is OK – you know why? because whether it took 3 months or 18 months, I'll have the same certificate.
I know you say you're studying alot, but how is the quality of your studying?
Figure out how you best learn. Some people absorb more reading, some people it's watching videos, most people need some DOING. Except for Audit, I didn't really use my books at all. I learn best by listening and then DOING. I used Roger and maybe this was key for me because his lectures are entertaining…well, as entertaining as CPA lectures can be. I got the Roger and Ninja audio courses to listen to on my commute. Yes, there were some areas that I struggle and would sit down and hammer it out with the written material. But for the most part, when I read I start thinking about other things and all of sudden I'm 10 pages in and have no idea what I just read. So make sure you know how you best learn.
GETTING THROUGH all the information didn't necessarily mean I was learning it. I loved seeing my progress bar move and knowing i was through 25%…50%…75%…of the information, but that didn't mean I KNEW it. I wanted to rush through so I could get it done, but that doesn't work for me.
Don't just go through MCQ to say you did X number of MCQ – make sure you understand the question and the answer. For the parts I've passed, I've barely made it out of Ninja assessment phase. Use the Ninja progress report to pinpoint the areas where you're performing poorly and go back to your book/videos/notes and nail down the issue.
@mckan514w – this “I made a 71 on BEC this is after over 184 hours of Ninja MCQs averaging 87 and all of Roger’s lectures and IPQs averaging in the 90’s.” is what i worry about constantly. I look at my trending in Ninja and tell myself “looking good, don't worry” but I'm so nervous that I'll get to the test and it'll be ALL the questions I get hung up on or somehow I memorized Ninja answers without realizing it. Stupid test.August 23, 2016 at 6:30 am #817086.Participant
You did read the textbook, right? Some people are able to bang out a whole bunch of exams in a short time. If you have trouble passing in general, then you should take it slowly. I'm not sure why you are taking BEC 12 days after taking REG.August 23, 2016 at 9:54 am #817356MissyParticipant
HOW have you studied? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
For me I'd read until my eyes bled and do multiple choice questions until I basically had thousands memorized and STILL would fail. I could have read and answered questions for the next 5 years and it wouldn't have helped me pass aud.
THEN I took the ninja notes, and copied every single word. EVERY word, every day. Ten pages a day. I copied those ninja notes three times over, which was something I'd never done before. And got an 84. If what you're doing isn't working you need to find something you're not currently doing or you will continue to be frusrated with the process.August 23, 2016 at 10:17 am #817404
I appreciate the responses! I gave myself a little over 2 months for FAR, but I admit that I probably should of done like 3 or 4. The day of the test was rough though, I only slept about 3 hours and didn't eat much, plus I had to drive 3 hours to sit. I felt that my study method was legit. I studied 10+ hours a day, no exceptions. I read the book (twice), did all of the MCQ in the online TB at least twice, did all of the Gleim powerpoint lectures. Listened to the audios all day, ran through the Wiley focus notes multiple times. Did all of the Wiley questions as well, and I did all of the Gleim book questions and wrote out all of the calcs for both. I even kept track of all of my online TB calcs on an excel spreadsheet. Here is proof.August 23, 2016 at 10:40 am #817446AnonymousInactive
I'm just getting started – I sit for my first section in October. I'm the type of person that puts way too much pressure on myself. I don't work in public accounting, so not everyone I work with is a CPA. But the ones who are CPAs, literally every one of them passed all 4 sections the first time. If I'm not careful, I'll get to the place where I feel like I need to pass everything the first time with scores in the 90s in order to feel at “their level”, so to speak. But when I get to that place, I no longer study effectively and can feel the anxiety creeping in.
There isn't a right or wrong way to pass the CPA – it doesn't matter if you get a 76 or a 96. It doesn't matter if you pass the first time or the 10th time. And you aren't doing it for anyone but yourself (and your family – but they are there to support you 100% along the way). Passing the CPA isn't for the faint of heart, but that doesn't mean that not everyone is capable making it through. What matters more with the CPA is not your smarts – it's your commitment and dedication to the end goal. Once you achieve it, you're in the same boat as every other CPA, no matter how many times or how long it took.
Don't look at what “everyone else” is doing and think you need to do it the same way. Go at the pace you need to go and study the way you need to study. If you don't pass a section, put it behind you and move on to the next one – there are plenty of people in your same situation. If it was easy, everyone would do it. So thank God it's not, because WHEN we pass that's what distinguishes us from everyone else. That's what makes the accomplishment so great.
In the words of Dory – just keep swimming! And once something has passed, put it behind you. Focus on the end goal and what lies ahead, and you can do anything!August 23, 2016 at 11:44 am #817614VancheParticipant
I agree that we should focus on the number of hours we are studying and more on the quality of our study. Also, different methods work for different and even different tests! I used the NINJA methods for BEC and REG, but I don't think I could have used that for FAR and passed because there is just so much information!
I also think it's better to study in shorter sessions if possible. I would study 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours at night, Monday through Friday (with some Friday evenings off). On Saturdays and Sundays I would study for about 2 hours before my boyfriend got up then have breakfast and take an hour or so break then study again for 2 hours. I found that if I studied more than two hours I would lose focus and wasn't really studying or retaining any information.
On that note, don't give up! You can do it. Another think that was helpful for me was to take it one test at a time and give myself plenty of time to study and a little break between each test.August 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm #817854KettlepotParticipant
“…2016 has not been kind to me at all.
REG – Feb 55, May 69
BEC – May 71
FAR – Aug 52
REG – Feb 55, May 69
You increased your score 14 points and you were on a roll! Just stick with one exam and pass it. You're spreading yourself so thin trying to flip flop through the tests and it's going to be another battle to re-learn REG when you *might* have been able to just power through it.
I tell you what though, Focus on just one exam, judging from your scores I'd say to focus on BEC or REG, and just hit that test non stop. After you take the exam, go home and think that you are going to take that exam again next window. Only stop studying for the exam when you see that 75+ score! I understand that it feels like a “waste” to only take one test per window or to not immediately start studying for the next section after taking an exam, but you need to slow down and focus!
Ninja MCQs are what you're going to need. Don't worry about your trending score until you're over 1500 MCQs completed. You say you're trending about 51% now, so you either have very large gaps in your understanding of the material, or you have only done like a hundred MCQs and it's just a statistical anomaly. Either way, you NEED to hit those MCQs and SIMS!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, and this is a cheesey thing to say, but sometimes you just get MCQ Testlets that just HAPPEN to ask a bunch of questions over things you have concrete knowledge over. Sometimes you “luck out” with the testlets/sims and you can kill it even with some gaps in your knowledge.August 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm #818079
What you guys are saying makes perfect sense…here was the logic behind the start studying while you wait for your score method. I tried to stick to Audit and only Audit for a whole year and not only did i keep coming up short w/ Audit, I felt like I came up short putting off the other sections and I feel like I'm paying for it now.
@vanessa_ls, I have been using techiniques that helped me pass audit, but they arent working. You're right it may be time to switch it up
@Kettlepot, this is my first time using Ninja MCQ and I think its a great program. I am seeing many of the questions that made me scratch my head on my last test in the Ninja TB. I'm just going to continue hammering through that until Saturday.
Its always good to have a place to vent. Thanks for the responses.August 23, 2016 at 3:11 pm #818112VancheParticipant
@mtaylo24 don't know if this will help, but the only test I passed on my first try was REG. For FAR and AUD, I studied for about 4-6 weeks and failed both the first time in the 70s. While waiting for score release I took a little break and when I received my failing score I continued the same exam and I passed them both on my second try. During the first try for each I had WILEY so I followed their program, during the second time for each I used the NINJA method (including the book instead of videos).
For REG, I just did the NINJA method, but I did that right after busy season – which for me is mostly taxes, so I think that helped a lot. I took BEC three times before I finally passed using only the NINJA method.
Something that gave me a lot of confidence was knowing flashcards though. I don't know why, but if I went in knowing 90% of the flashcards I passed! Probably that's an indication you know the material well – I also think this step was important because I practiced the flashcards with my boyfriend, who is not an accountant. I think that forced me to really understand the material since I was explaining it to someone who has no idea about most accounting things.
I found this quote today “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” by Albert Einstein. So start pretending to teach a 6 year how to pass the exams! hahaAugust 23, 2016 at 3:46 pm #818169monikerncParticipant
mtaylo – don't you dare give up. you have put in too much time to stop now. there is no way to glide through these exams. i see the materials you posted and feel your frustration. for me, extended and intense periods of study worked for me. i knew that memorization would fail me come test day so i focused on LEARNING the material. it is not how many practice mcqs you answer correctly during review because you won't see those questions on the exam. it is about nailing the concept so you can answer correctly to the way the exam tests that concept. as i studied i tried to imagine the 10 different ways i could be asked about something on the exam and that kept me digging into the material. i googled and youtubed and went back to old textbooks and class notes.
you have to be a boy scout and be prepared!!
pick an exam. focus on learning and go get it next time. ninja mcqs never let me down. read everything in them!!!
what better example to set for your son than to achieve what you set out to do!!August 23, 2016 at 7:01 pm #818574fsugirl2005Participant
Mtaylo – I've been out of college since the Union won the war…ok maybe not that long but it's been a while.
Anyway, I too am using Gleim and I have found it to be an excellent study program in my experience but if you don't have a good foundation on the basics it will be a little difficult. There are some things that I am still quite rusty in so what I've had to do is go to Youtube and watch some of the college level intermediate accounting video lectures that some professors have put up. I have found them quite helpful and kind of takes me back to those college days…sort of nostalgic a bit. I have even gone as far as pulling up the slideshows from the textbooks that I used in college. This may slow you down a bit with your review but it may help fill in the gaps of knowledge you're missing.
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