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Yes, I have been studying for the CPA exam since 2014 and maybe even before that time but I would rather not think back that far. In fact, I have paid for these exams so many times that the NTS shows up in my inbox immediately after I have paid for it. LOL!
All I have to say is keep the faith! This exam has brought on depression, anxiety, a whole lot of weight gain, and a caffeine addiction. But I ain’t no punk and decided I would fight until the end!
I started with REG because taxes are my thing. I knew the ins and outs of the IRC and thought it would be better to get it out of the way. Honestly, the only reason I started studying for the CPA exam was the opportunity to use free study materials, but I definitely did not take the exam seriously. I half-a$$ed studied and ended up passing with a 77.
Rookie mistake #1: It would take almost a year later to take the BEC exam. Not only did I think I could take the test and not really prepare, but at the time I put my social life before the exam. (I think the exam secretly knows when you make a rookie mistake.) It would take me 3 times to pass BEC, one of those being a rachet 74. The free study materials also expired. Thank God for the Ninja MCQ’s.
Rookie Mistake #2: Paying for two exams at one time thinking I could save money on application fees. LMAO! I ended up failing AUD so bad, and I made a note to self to never wait until the end of the NTS window to take an exam and never ever take an exam at 5 pm. It would take me 3 times to pass AUD.
Rookie Mistake #3: Thinking I am really a group study type of person. Nope, not I! I wasted too much time with studying for FAR and ended up in the dreaded 2017 score release delay. I knew that I would miss a window if I didn’t kill FAR with one try and studied until no end. I passed on the 1st try!
By now 18 months has passed and I had to retake REG in 2017. Being the overly confident person that I am I thought it would be an easy pass. The took the exam in the summer and the air conditioner in the testing center was turned off. Yes off! It was a smooth 83 degrees in the room, and I complained as soon as I left the testing center. I received a free NTS after finding out I missed REG by 4 points.
REG Part 2 …. or 3. I happily used my free NTS and took the easiest exam of my life. I damn near two stepped out of the testing center. Only to find out I missed REG by 2 points. I didn’t sleep that night and keep refreshing my score as if it was a mistake. (The conspiracy theorist in me will tell you over a glass of wine why I think I failed, but there is also a question that still haunts me and may have been the killer. )
I had to come up with a game plan because somehow I let BEC expire and I had to get both exams done before AUD expired in Q1 2018. I purchased Gleim and studied through my depression, I took REG in January 2018 and BEC in February 2018 and I have been totally nonchalant about them thinking I would have to continue the CPA madness. I checked last night and I passed both with decent scores. Now I can officially say I am done with the CPA exam!!!!
Rookie Mistake #4: Comparing my journey to my colleagues who were able to take their exams and pass them all in no time. That made me feel super insecure and it was counterproductive.
Don’t get discouraged! I almost gave up with every fail, and started to lose faith in myself. Just remember the exam is doable, keep taking them back to back until you pass, and relax when your brain tells you so.
REG – 77, 71, 73, 81
BEC – 67, 74, 75, 88
AUD – 53, 70, 84
FAR – 75
I used Ninja MCQ’s, Wiley, Gleim, Becker – I found that some were stronger than others in each section.
PS. I’m not completely celebrating until CPA Central has credit listed for each section. LOL! The CPA has made me batsh-t crazy.