The CPA Exam Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

I again found myself lying restless in bed, tossing and turning, hoping to get some sleep but all my mind was fixated on was the score release, which was anticipated to arrive at 2 am.   The hope for any score of a 75 or greater is racing through my head and no matter how hard I try, I know deep down that I will not sleep until I see my results.  For a second time in a row, I found myself starring at another Failure.  This time it was BEC and through all the anger, I deep down knew that anything worth fighting for is going to cause pain.  

I relate my experience of taking the CPA Exam to running a marathon.

Every runner (and even non-runners) know that the time and energy it takes to train and complete a marathon is gigantic. You wake up early to run or go late in the evening after work or school. You have to eat extremely clean and watch your diet. Each time you hit the pavement, you push yourself to go a little further and to run a little harder, conditioning your mind and body to endure the 26 miles ahead. You won’t be used to it at first. Your body may go into shock. You’ll crave junk food and your spirits may be down when you’re not able to eat the foods you like and are used to. You’ll have to readjust your sleep times to make sure you get plenty of rest and have enough time in the day to train and accommodate your busy schedule. You will experience pain in your legs, ankles, and feet. There will be days when you don’t feel like training. Other days you’ll question whether you’re going to be able to run further than you did yesterday and if you’ll ever get to the 10 mile mark goal you set for yourself. You’ll begin to question whether running this marathon is something you actually want to do. 

You’re not going to be a marathon runner overnight—but you eventually will be with every ounce of hard work and dedication; one step or jog at a time. 

With this in mind, I wake up 4 hours later to start my studies for FAR.

Which I was taking just a few weeks later, motivated and ready to go.  Immediately after a failure, my mind is always hungry. I’m angry and I get right back into study mode to get through the exam at hand.  I had taken FAR once before and failed but this time, I was more prepared.  After each Failure, I know the second time around is going to be better.  I am now seasoned and I will start over with a better understanding of the topics and be able to really work on my weak areas.  

I’ve completed numerous Spartan Races from the beginner level of 3-5 miles to the most grueling 12+ mile Spartan Beast.  

Each of these races are designed to test your mental and physical strength, and so is the CPA exam.  This exam is a grueling test of endurance and mental power. As long as you continue to push through and keep turning those pages and working those problems, eventually you will pass. Passing the CPA Exam is not a sprint—it’s a marathon. There’s no easy road to take and there’s no short cut for the amount of time you have to put in to get to the finish line. If you give up and just throw in the towel, you will never get there, and you’ll just keep wondering about what might have been.  Just keep pushing and keep studying and we will all have those 3 letters at the end of our names.  Good Luck and Happy Studies! 

-Christopher Boate, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review 

Scroll to Top