What it feels like to pass your first exam (a 3-year reflection)

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  • #3303316
    felixsphone
    Participant

    Story time, everyone.

    I’ve stopped by the forum to say hello and read some of my old posts but it got me thinking about the process of studying. I had 2 accounts here on Another71; one from when I first started studying in 2014 and another in 2018 when I actually completed the exams. I want to share this reflection as of 2021 looking back at myself in 2018, 2014, and my hope is that it can inspire someone in the studying process because it’s a hard thing to do.

    Finding my old account and re-reading my posts from 2014 was quite embarrassing because of what I know today and it was actually hard to empathize with my previous self, even though I wrote it and experienced it so along ago.

    Specifically, someone replied to a rant I had about my study plan (2014) and I wish I had just taken the time to sit with that post, read it, and patiently think about it. Their advice was the exact study process I used in 2018 but I had a tendency to let my thoughts run wild and ended up ignoring it. I feel like I’ve been inefficient with my time.

    The day I passed my first exam was in May/June 2018. It was such a huge relief. I had previously failed 3 sections and it was an overwhelming amount of pressure to put on myself. It was almost like I was going through an identity crisis and I didn’t know who I was if I didn’t pass. At the time, I was in the middle of a breakup, not having my own place and living at my sister’s (again), and just recently let go from a job.

    I had nothing going for me and my self-worth was at an all time low.

    I was sitting in the parking lot of the local barber college waiting for a cheap haircut. A friend texted me that NASBA had released its scores for everyone besides CBA (California Board of Accountancy). Did I want to check? I’d be complaining to the barber for the whole haircut if I didn’t pass.

    I loaded up my phone, logged in to NASBA. Wrong password. Frustration mounting and desperation sinking in. And not wanting to miss the barber who I built a relationship with over the past couple of weeks; I urgently did the last pass dance, submit a ticket, checked my email, reset the password and logged in and I saw the score.

    A fucking 85.

    I was pumped, overwhelmed. I sat in my car for the next 15 minutes just sitting. Tears started to flow, I recorded some shaky footage that I haven’t looked at since. The hours studying in dusty home renovation sites (my sister’s future rental property), a cramped family library, thinking through MCQ’s I got wrong while ordering coffee, and being just lucky enough to get a simulation that was on the practice SIMS made this such a memorable experience for me.

    Everyone has a different experience. Some candidates just study right after college and forget how difficult it was, some candidates are like me and struggle with time and toil just to make any progress.

    If you’re looking for exam advice, it’s this:

    Believe

    I don’t know who you are and I can’t tell what your future holds for you but I encourage you to get to know yourself, seek counseling, and figure out if this goal will be worth it for you. It’s not easy but after 3-years since my first pass, I can say it was worth it.

    I’m glad to see all of your success Jeff and so happy you kept this forum with all of your changes to the business.

    AUD - 75
    BEC - 83
    FAR - 85
    REG - 84
    He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.

    Lao Tzu

    #3303325

    Congrats to you!

     
    Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)
    NINJA CPA Review
    #3303328
    Skynet
    Participant

    @felixsphone – Congrats on passing!

    Like you, I had a stroke of bad luck over 10 years ago.

    Due to the Recession in 2008 I was laid off and had a hard time finding a job. I went into retail making $8 an hour.

    I at one point almost decidedly to give up on becoming an accountant, but I knew that working in retail was not what I wanted to do or envision myself doing for the rest of my life.

    After telling my retail employer to F*** off and getting Fired, I immediately told myself I needed to get back into accounting. I was studying 10-12 hours a day. It took me 16 months to pass the exams. I took th exams previously in 2007 but stopped.

    Even when I was able to pass all the exams, it took me another year an a half to finally get another opportunity again especially with no experience. I was able to leverage the fact that I had passed all 4 exams with no experience and to prove that I can do the job.

    Since 2016, I have been employed full time and appreciating and enjoying the work I do knowing full well the the opportunities it afforded me.

    A71, Jeff Elliott, and all the A71 members, have also been very motivating as well too. Reading everyone who had passed made me worked even harder to want to pass.

    When I finally passed that last section, looking back, it was all worth it.

    AUD - 90
    BEC - 78
    FAR - 84
    REG - 87
    World Domination Plan

    Phase I : Pass CPA Exams - Complete
    Phase II : Megan Fox - In Progress
    Phase III : Megan Fox & Scarlett Johansson Lingerie Pillow Fight
    Phase IV : Form the new Charlie's Angels with Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansson, & Gal Gadot
    Phase V : TBD

    #3303388
    CPAHOPE
    Participant

    I absolutely agree. Belief and confidence even if you're failing so many exams like me or even if some people telling me to quit. Im just gonna believe and get it done. Thnx for the story

    AUD - 66
    BEC - 76
    FAR - 80
    REG - 77
    FAR 57,61,57,56,68, 80

    REG 53,49,69,66, 79*,77

    AUD 39,66,72,73,66😱

    BEC 64,60,50,70,67,71,76

    "Theres no limit unless you allow it"

    *expired

    #3303397
    RobOh
    Participant

    @CPAHOPE you will get this next one. I can't wait to hear you say that you passed.

    FAR - 78

    BEC - 87

    REG - 82

    AUD - 82

    #3303403
    CPAHOPE
    Participant

    @Roboh

    Thank you! I actually had a dream last night where i was given all the candidates name whove passed the exam including myself via email. I was pumped and i literally screamed looking through the mirror. Lets see of this dream os accurate or not.😀

    AUD - 66
    BEC - 76
    FAR - 80
    REG - 77
    FAR 57,61,57,56,68, 80

    REG 53,49,69,66, 79*,77

    AUD 39,66,72,73,66😱

    BEC 64,60,50,70,67,71,76

    "Theres no limit unless you allow it"

    *expired

    #3303409
    RobOh
    Participant

    I got money riding on ya.

    FAR - 78

    BEC - 87

    REG - 82

    AUD - 82

    #3303418
    Ran2021
    Participant

    @felixsphone Congrats on passing!
    Thank you for sharing this. I've been procrastinating getting serious about studying for years. But I know I need to just get it done.
    For some reason I can't click the link that shows your 2014 study plan. I'd really like to read the advice you said you received but never took and should have. Any idea why I can't see it?

    #3303421
    Ran2021
    Participant

    @felixsphone Congrats on passing!
    Thank you for sharing this. I've been procrastinating getting serious about studying for years. But I know I need to just get it done.
    For some reason I can't click the link that shows your 2014 study plan. I'd really like to read the advice you said you received but never took and should have.


    @Admin
    Any idea why I can't see it? It just takes me to the Dojo login page, even if I'm signed in there.

    #3303436
    monikernc
    Participant

    Hi @Ran glad to hear you have found new inspiration for the CPA exam. Some of the older posts were lost in the 2016 site upgrade. When that happens you can land on the dojo page.

    You can do this. Everyone finds their own way. Mine was ninja book and mcq’s,and for supplements a little free YouTube, AICPA audit standards, COSO materials, IRS forms and PUBS.

    Tap into your study style, find what works you, set a goal and get it done. Positive self-talk matters and there is no substitute for time and effort.

    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.
    #3303442
    monikernc
    Participant

    I wish I could edit my bad posts but instead…
    Study plan is a key phrase for this sit so it hotlines to that page. It was not a link to that poster’s old post.

    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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