Keep on Keeping On: Failing FAR and Moving Forward


My son’s girlfriend was accepted to the nursing program at a Big Twelve school. She had orientation the other day and I remember her being very nervous. After the six-hour event, she came back very “pumped” and excited at the new opportunity she is about to embark on. She had a checklist of all that she needs to do/get before classes begin, and was eager to start checking things off.

I remember being excited like that when I first decided to “go for” my CPA. It seems like just the other day I graduated, but in fact it has been four years ago. After that I had another year of classes to meet the 150-hour requirement…then I submitted all my forms to apply for CPA Exam candidacy. It was exciting to receive notification stating, “…the Accountancy Board has found you eligible to sit for the CPA exam…” Fantastic! I figured I should be able to take all the exams within one year’s time and everything would go like clockwork.

Well, living life, working, and trying to prepare for and actually take the CPA exams turned out to be more of a juggling act than I initially realized. I knew it would be hard and time consuming, but it turns out that you never know how something’s going to go until you’re in the actual situation. People say that the CPA Exam is difficult and that it requires tons of strength and energy, and it was only when I began preparing that I realized how unprepared I sometimes was. As a working mother and wife, I didn’t allot a lot of my strict study schedule to involve time for normal life events that you can’t escape. I realize now that I must set more realistic goals and expectations for my CPA Exam journey.

I took the FAR exam a few weeks ago. It was my last test! Unfortunately, I did not get a passing score and I’m embarrassed to say that the first test I passed expired…so I’m back to having to take two more tests. I have lost some of that initial excitement about taking the CPA exams, as some other candidates can probably relate, as well as anyone who’s failed at something they’ve attempted more than once. While I know others who have, or would have quit at this point, I find it more of a motivator. I cannot…will not, let these tests beat me. I may not have the excitement I once had, but that comes with the territory of any failed project. I know that the excitement will come back around as soon as I pass these two tests. I may have initially underestimated the process of passing all 4 sections of the Exam, but I have never underestimated my own sense of self-confidence and determination. I know that the situation could always be worse and have learned more about myself and my goals every day since becoming a CPA candidate. I hope my story can help other candidates in a similar position be a source of hope and inspiration to never give up and never surrender. You will face many trials in this process, but the many tribulations to come will outweigh the negatives and this experience in hindsight will seem like a small one compared to the rest of your life as a CPA.

So keep on keeping on and happy studying!

Donna Elish – Roger CPA Review Guest Blogger

Scroll to Top