CPA Exam Success Story: Ashley Quon, Pt. 1

My name is Ashley Quon. I was born and raised in San Francisco, the home of Pasta Pomodoro and Roger CPA Review! I enjoy spending time with my family, boyfriend, and friends, learning how to play songs by ear on piano and guitar, raising dogs, pampering my dog Ginger, seeing live concerts, and riding my bike around the city.  

Recently, I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelors degree in Business Management Economics with a focus on Accounting.

I admired the university’s environmental ambitions, but I ultimately stayed for its well-established accounting program. After being a teaching assistant and tutor in college and an accounting intern at a local CPA firm, I immediately knew I wanted to pursue the CPA license as soon as I graduated. With the CPA designation, I would be able to do what I love most: helping others, being a highly reliable professional, learning indefinitely, and contributing my services to the variety of businesses that fuel our economy. As of now, I have some bookkeeping and tax preparation experience, but I would love to expand my knowledge and skills in Audit in the near future.

I started studying for the CPA Exam in July 2014 after a nice, well-deserved vacation in Hawaii to celebrate graduation.

FAR was the first exam I studied for, since I spent my senior year tutoring students in intermediate and advanced accounting. Also, many candidates say FAR is the most difficult one due to the volume of topics it covers, but I actually found it to be the most enjoyable part to study for. Afterwards, I took REG, AUD, and finally BEC. This meant that I started the exam with my easiest section and finished with my hardest, although my intention was to do the complete opposite. Life is one big box of chocolates…

Initially, I bought the Becker review course before buying Roger’s.

It took me about one month to realize that it was not a good fit: I was not learning effectively, not engaging well with the lectures, and was not satisfied with the homework assistance service. After very little contemplation and hesitation, I switched to Roger CPA Review and noticed instant results: the concepts I struggled the most with made much more sense after watching the lectures, reading the book’s examples, and receiving quick responses to my questions through the Homework Help Center. Overall, I spent about 15 months studying for the CPA Exam with Roger from scratch as I say, since he teaches the topics so well that anyone with no prior knowledge can easily follow along.

What I found most difficult while studying was assessing my comfort level with my weaker areas.

The reality is that nobody feels 100% confident before sitting for any part of the exam, and as Roger says, you need to know a little bit about a lot of information. I learned that it’s important to determine “how much” you are improving on questions you’ve answered incorrectly the first time or two. By taking as many MCQ quizzes of 25 to 30 questions during the days leading up to the exam day, I started feeling more satisfied with my studying efforts and more confident in that part.

One thing I would easily re-do if I could is studying with solely one review course.

Since I bought Becker first, I felt obligated to get my money’s worth and work through Becker MCQs along with Roger’s. I benefited by having more MCQs to practice with, but the major con was matching the topics and chapters between the two, which was especially difficult for BEC. Nonetheless, learning primarily with Roger’s review course helped me get through the entire hurdle. Through the experience, I grew appreciative of my family, boyfriend, and friends, my freedom, and the journey itself. Many years down the road, I will look back and feel extremely fortunate that I finished it all shortly after graduation. I understand how difficult the process is for other candidates, who may be raising families or be in situations that demand more of their time and energy. Regardless, I still believe it is 100% possible for everyone who is willing to clock in their 400-500 studying hours to pass. It is a matter of when, not if!

Stay tuned for Pt. 2 of Ashley Quon’s CPA Exam success story tomorrow! 

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