Failed FAR twice.. How should I study for it? How can I practice time management

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  • #3306026 Reply
    Future CPA


    I have been studying for FAR since May 2020. I finalized my studying on August 2020. I wasn't studying on a constant basis but I have finished all Becker's lectures and walk through all MCQs and skill master but I have not solved all the simulations (Watched all the videos) because I thought it was a lot and I did not want to wast my time… However, I could not have my exam by then because there was no testing center in my country and due to travel restrictions as well. However, testing center was available in the country by May 2021. When the testing center is available, I started reviewing everything I did previously and it was a very long process I felt like I am studying again.. but I did not have time to practice anything.. I had my exam in June 2021 and I failed with 60…. It was a slap on the face.. I have never failed anything on my life.. I took July to process this and then start studying again on August. I corrected every little mistake. When I set for the exam I knew that I have time management problem so I solved 80% of the sims only left governmental and non profit part because I know they are not heavily tested on sims. every time I finished a chapter a took a set of 33 MCQs trying to solve them with the time limit and then accumulate them every time I finish another chapter. I took the simulated exam and I got 58. not good I knew but I know for fact that Becker is harder than actual exam and I know people who got upper 50s lower 60s and pass with 80s. I took the exam on September and it was terrible I knew it.. I could not manage my time… I spent 1 hour for each MCQs testlet and left with 2 hours for sims.. It was okay until I got stock on the third testlet for one question…. and left 1 hour for the remaining testlets I knew that I failed.. I left one question.. which I did not do on my first try!! Scores are released today and I got 59.. I have 2 weeks remaining on my leave and I want to take another shot on 30th of September but not sure what should I do to achieve that!! It is not about my studying its about time management and intexity during the exam.. I would REALLY appreciate an advice. I am considering a quick review for all chapters then hits MCQS and Sims for all remaining days. But I have already solved Becker's Sims.. I may try Ninja's MCQs and Sims. Are they really helpful?
    Please advise on how should I study during the upcoming days.


    #3306029 Reply

    It sounds like the problem may be with both time management and fully understanding the concepts. You scored about the same on the real exams as the Becker exams. The questions on the mock exam were, at one point, on the real exams. So don't go into the test center thinking “Yeah I failed the mock, but the real exam won't be this bad” because you never know!

    If you're scoring below 60, that typically means you need to really study the material again. I don't think 15 days is enough to grasp all of it. FAR is incredibly difficult because there's so much material.

    My advice: read through the Becker book and take notes. That is what helped me grasp the concepts. Do cumulative MCQs (i.e. don't do MCQs that focus on 1 chapter at a time, do 30-50 MCQs that cover every chapter)
    Practice at least 2-3 SIMS from each chapter, even gov & non-profit. Just because they weren't on the first two exams doesn't mean they won't be on the next one. See how long it takes you to get through MCQs and sims. Which topics are you spending more time on? Focus on nailing those concepts. Becker should also tell you how much time you should spend on each testlet. If it doesn't, I think a Google search will also tell you. Make sure you are watching the clock during the exam. If you're spending more than the recommended amount of time on a question, flag it and come back to it later. If you can't figure it out in another 1-2 minutes, take your best guess and move on. It's not worth wasting 5-10 minutes on 1 MCQ.

    You need to be prepared for anything the exam will throw at you. SIMS are the best way of putting all the concepts together. You can do this! Rooting for you 🙂

    "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Licensed CPA in IL

    FAR-72, 55, 82 (Roger + Wiley TB)
    AUD-66, 92 (Roger)
    REG-71, 81 (Roger + Wiley TB)
    BEC-77 (Roger)
    Ethics- 93

    #3306086 Reply

    April94 has given you excellent advice. If you have two weeks left, you will have to spend every minute preparing for your next attempt. Don't skip anything! Unless those are the questions you want to get wrong on the exam..and you will. Even if you are not expecting a govt SIM do those practice SIMs. The best way to relieve anxiety and time management challenges is to be better prepared. Eliminate time rereading questions because you are not sure what they want? Eliminate wasted time fumbling through a calculation because you know how to do what is required. Confidence relieves anxiety – preparation builds confidence.
    Quit fooling around trying to outguess the folks who write these exams – they are very good at touching on all topics and concepts. Eat, sleep and breathe this review and walk in ready to pass. Set a goal of making 100 not a 75.
    Good luck!

    AUD - 93
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 76
    REG - 88
    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
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