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Background: B.S. Business Admin (Accounting) 3.86, MBA (focus Accounting)
Plan: Becker Fast Pass in the summer of 2015, along with a capstone class to finish my MBA. It was BRUTAL, and I was already burnt. I started school in 2010 at community college when I was 38. I have never worked so hard in my life- no degree was one of my biggest regrets, so I changed that for myself. My college experience was everything it would have been after high school, and I made the most of my time. I had never really failed anything – until ……..
Planned Schedule: Becker Fast Pass as a class and schedule exams during class
Summer ’15 – AUD May, REG July, BEC August, and FAR October
AUD 05/19/2015 73 Aunt died week of exam (her husband had died in March over Spring Break)
REG 07/24/2015 82
BEC 08/31/2015 62 BF died week of exam
FAR 10/01/2015 59 Dad died week of exam
BEC 10/30/2015 78
AUD 11/30/2015 67
AUD 02/05/2016 79
FAR 05/25/2016 59 Husband’s BF died week of exam
FAR 07/27/2016 70
FAR 10/20/2016 74
FAR 01/18/2017 77
About the deaths- my aunt and uncle raised me as their own because they had no children and they were helping my Granny, so when my uncle died during March 2015, I was the caretaker and responsible for all the arrangements. I had gotten special permission to take 18 hours of graduate classes so I could finish on time, but I did not account for special circumstances such as death. I survived the semester with one B and the rest As, but I was mentally and physically exhausted. My aunt died in May following my uncle- they had been together over 50 years and she had no will to live. I was devastated, but being the good accountant, I stayed on schedule. I tried to compartmentalize everything, but the deaths kept coming. My best friend graduated university in May 2015, and died of breast cancer in the fall. Then my dad died in September. I basically lost all the family I was close to besides my husband in 2015. My friends all decided I needed to pass because CPA exams were killing people (it’s not funny, but I had to laugh at some point- so we laughed and I continued). I spent all year in 2016 basically trying to recover and pass FAR. I could feel myself getting back to normal around July, and I started scoring better. All I can say is DO NOT GIVE UP.
Becker Fast Pass– It was insane. I really do not know how good or bad it was because I had such a bad life experience that it affected my studying. I passed REG, but I own my own business and have a lot of experience in tax- that is why I originally pursued the CPA.
NINJA Materials– On REG, my 2nd exam, I found Another71.com and the NINJA MCQs. The adaptive learning in the MCQs – I cannot express in words how important that has been to me passing these exams. I still had separation anxiety leaving Becker because everyone says it is so good, but I did better after leaving it behind. I literally almost studied myself to death. I had to go to the doctor at one point because of exhaustion; the stress of failing and the deaths was horrible. I took 3 or 4 exams, and can’t tell you a single thing that was on any of them. Things really started looking up for me in May 2016 after I ditched Becker completely and went with NINJA Plus, NINJA Notes, NINJA book, and NINJA MCQs, and I used NINJA Blitz a couple times because it was free. I went from 59 to 70 in FAR, then 74, then 77. Early on, I discounted how important it was to refresh the basic materials right before an exam. When I started hitting the NINJA notes hard the week of the exam, I saw the light. I recorded the notes to a voice memo and listened to them on my 2 hour drive to Prometric the last 3 FAR exams. I was lost in the weeds with Becker, and NINJA helped me find my way. I credit my passing mainly to the NINJA MCQs, NINJA Plus vids and the NINJA notes. Bob Monette is THE BOMB. I learned things from him I went over several times and was never able to get until his lectures, which are amazing. Also, my trending and actual score in the NINJA MCQs has been the same several times. Listen to the software and adjust accordingly.
ROGER Cram: I added Roger Cram this last time, and it did help. I think I could have made it without the Cram, but I wanted a different perspective because I knew this was my last shot before losing REG. I love to listen to Roger’s lectures and his explanations are clear and concise.
I also used Gleim and CPA Excel in college.
The NINJA 10-point combo is my number one pick (follow the NINJA Framework), followed by Roger, then Gleim, Becker, and CPA Excel in that order.
Plan your schedule and stick to it, but don’t be afraid to adjust. Also make sure you are rested and clear-headed before an exam. I always took Sunday off before the exam, skimmed over sims on Monday-Tuesday, notes and review Wednesday, and exam Thursday. Sims help, but I didn’t spend a huge amount of time there. And please schedule time for other things. Do not study for 10 hours straight per day 20 days in a row or you will end up at the doctor’s office. 😉 Eat healthy and exercise.
I cannot express in words how much support this Another71.com forum and these NINJA products have been. The customer service at NINJA is beyond excellent. @Jeff and his staff have coached me, encouraged me, fixed my orders when I mistakenly ordered the wrong product, re-opened my software so I could get my stats and graciously listened to me whine several times. It is insane the amount of time they have in me. Lol I am so grateful for the NINJA support. THANK YOU @JEFF
And to my fellow NINJAs- thank you so much for your encouragement, support, and even the doubters and haters. It is all good experience and motivation, and I could not have finished this journey without you. My best advice- be gracious because you never know what people are going through, and don’t ever give up.
My experience has been humbling, frustrating and long, but my success feels amazing! If I can, you can too.