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It’s taken over 3 years and 15 trips to the Prometric center with 6 passing exams and 9 failures, but I finally passed. I found out in November that I passed and I’m still in shock that it’s finally done.
Maybe my experience can help others pass, so here it goes:
1. These forums are great, but don’t take everything you read as golden. Just because somebody was able to score a 98 on the exam, doesn’t mean their study methods will work for you. If you aren’t passing the exams, think about it – are you avoiding the one area that you know is difficult? Are you doing a half-way job in certain areas because you aren’t liking them? Have you memorized answers and aren’t learning? These are all things that can affect you. Cranking out 1000s of MCQs WAS NOT my key to success even though that seems to work for everybody else.
2. Each exam is different and for me each study method had to be altered a bit. For REG and BEC there was a lot of straight memorization – studying for memorizing and studying for conceptualization is different. I have a desk job so each week I would make a notes page and set it as my wallpaper at work – that way the weekly notes were in my face all day. And if I was on a boring phone call, I would glance at my notes for review.
3. For actual studying – I would do 5-6 days of new content then one day of review. When I got about 2/3 through the materials, I would switch to 4-5 days of new content, then two days of review. My pass rate statistics improved when I used this method. On review days I tried to focus on the areas I liked the least.
4. It’s really luck of the draw with the exams. I’ve both passed and failed exams where I skipped full content areas. I’ve gone super deep with one content area just to find the exam only had one or two questions in that area…There is no way to know what questions you’ll get so study everything.
5. Don’t ask stupid questions like “what area do I need to know”. You need to know all the areas which are in the AICPA blueprints.
Good luck to all those still studying. If I can do it – somebody who took over three years, 15 exams and out of college for 13 years, I’m confident anybody can!