Confidence is Key to Passing the CPA Exam


One of the most important lessons that I have learned while studying to become a CPA is to be confident in my ability to pass the exam. I must admit that at times this has been the most challenging thing to do. For me, it is so easy to become consumed by the material that needs to be covered and I question whether or not I will be able to retain all of the information. I already know from experience that the answer is no; there is no way that I will be able to remember it all. However, the goal is not to remember everything, but to have a clear understanding of the material in order to properly apply the knowledge to the questions asked on the CPA Exam

I believe the best way to build confidence is to remember to think positively at all times. 

I still have to work really hard at this one. I have had to stop myself in those moments when I felt overwhelmed and incapable. This is especially the case when someone asks me about the exam. There are those who always inquire about my exam date. I also get questions about how much longer I will be studying. 

Most of the time, the questions come from those who are not familiar with what it takes to pass this exam. Comments like these often breed anxiety and self-doubt for me, so I try to avoid them whenever possible. Instead, I surround myself with positive people who speak encouraging words and emphasize not giving up the goals that I have set for myself. 

It’s also important to stay in touch with current CPAs who understand all the sacrifices and emotions that come along with this process. 

Keeping these individuals close by reminds me of what is possible and what I have to look forward to once I finish the exam. Their words of inspiration and reassurance have also helped to build my confidence in times when I truly needed it. It’s good to have people like that in your life when you are facing tough obstacles.

The practice of believing in yourself is the most powerful tool toward achieving your goals. 

For some, this may seem cliché, but there is a lot of truth to it. Therefore, you should tell yourself over and over again that you have what it takes to do this. Many people before you have tried and succeeded and so will you. They faced the same challenges and uncertainties, and yet still prevailed. A lot of the questioning and doubting begins in your head. Even though I believe that this is a normal part of the process, it is not healthy to dwell on these thoughts. Focusing on negative outcomes and the anxiety that come along with it is detrimental to accomplishing your goals. Push aside all of the reasons you tell yourself that you cannot handle the pressure.

Instead, consistently tell yourself that you can do this. You are smart, equipped and capable; in fact, you would not even be fortunate to have this opportunity if all of those things were not true.

I have learned that it is impossible to get through this exam without confidence.

It is great to have the right people around you that help to build you up when you need it most. However, in addition to outside influences, you can instill confidence within yourself by reminding yourself that you have what it takes to get to this point and you have what it takes to keep going. You have it within you to win. Believe in yourself and never give up. As tough as this exam is, you are much tougher. I type or write the words: CPA 2016 every day of my life. I know that one day very soon, it will happen for me and for you as well. Keep studying, keep processing, and be confident that your efforts will pay off sooner than you think because they will. 

–Kimberly Smith, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review

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