I passed my first part of the CPA exam in February of this year and up until 2 weeks ago, I had gone 0 for my next 3 exams. I failed FAR twice with pretty low scores and failed BEC on my first attempt. Well, after waiting up for the 1am score release, I finally received my second passing score! I had passed BEC and it was truly a great moment because not only was I pleased with myself, but the amount of relief that swept through my body was incredible. I waited 9 months to receive a second passing score and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep myself motivated when I had been continuously receiving failing scores.
In the back of my head, I was continuously telling myself to just push through and I’d eventually reach my goal of becoming a CPA.
I persevered and kept plugging away and it paid off when I found out I had passed BEC. Of course there were days where I was down on myself and had to force myself to open the books and study, but looking back, it was completely worth it because if I hadn’t forced myself to study, I’d probably be sitting here having only passed AUD and wondering if I really wanted to keep putting myself through the struggle.
One of the changes I made to my study strategy for BEC was to only watch the lectures on topics I wasn’t comfortable with.
Being that I had studied for the exam once before, I had a decent understanding of the topics. I decided to read the book, make hundreds of flashcards, and work thousands of MCQs. If I wasn’t able to nail the concepts after reading the section and going through the homework, I would then watch the lecture. This helped reduce the amount of time I needed to get through each section and allowed more time to answer MCQs.
I believe that the key to this exam is simply working through thousands of MCQs.
Being that the exam is 85% MCQs, I decided to spend 75% of my time working on MCQs and dedicated the majority of the last 25% of my time to reading the sections and going through flashcards. To be honest, I didn’t do any written communication questions. All I did was read the answers to example questions to get an idea on how to answer them. My theory behind this strategy was that if I had done enough MCQs and knew the topics well enough, I should be able to write about them. I’m not saying this is best way to tackle the Written Communication Section of the exam, but being its only 15% of the exam, I didn’t want to spend more time than I needed on learning how to answer the question. To me, that’s like the Law of Diminishing Returns. If you spend too much time on a part of the exam that isn’t tested too heavily, it will hurt you on those other parts that are more heavily tested.
In the end, I am very pleased that I pushed through and didn’t let myself lose faith.
Because seeing that passing grade is a magical moment and really lights a fire under you to study that much harder for the next section. Perseverance is the key to success and as long as you persevere, you will become a CPA. Keep putting in those hours and one day you’ll look back and say it was all worth it!
Christopher Boate, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review