Top 10 Lessons Learned While Passing the CPA Exam

Our beloved CPA Exam Blogger Phil shares the top 10 lessons he learned during his 18 month testing process. Congratulations Phil, on passing and thank you for being such a great inspiration to our network of students! 

Scores for the last testing window the year were released Friday, December 6th.  I must have hit the score button more than a hundred times that morning.  But, it only took one refresh to yield my score: I passed REG. I have now passed all four exams, and I have started on my license application and am hoping to provide some levity to this whole examination process with my top ten lessons learned for passing the exams.

1. Study only with Rogers course (DUH!)  It actually works better when you follow the plan videos, read and questions.  Do not deviate from your study plan plan your work then work your plan.

2. When Roger spends a lot of time on a specific subject and advises you to learn it MEMORIZE IT.  Make your own tables and charts.  FAR hit me hard on bonds payable.  REG hit me on the holder and holder thru due course.  Listen to Roger!

3. Don’t give up this is a marathon not a sprint.  I took an entire testing window off after passing FAR and AUD because I was roasted, toasted and burnt to a crisp.  That’s ok I completed all exams with passing scores within the 18 month window without ending up in the psych ward.

4. When you are mentally exhausted stop studying and watch Pitch Perfect!  You will only make matters worse if you over study (yes, there is such a thing).

5. Some questions on the exam aren’t that bad; the answer may just be that simple.  Don’t overthink your 60 seconds on every question.  On REG, I received a question on gross income that I thought couldn’t be that easy.  IT WAS.  Also, when Roger says there are questions that you will never know in your lifetime, know that hes right.  On BEC, I received such questions as the first two questions on my first testlet.  Just stay positive and move on.

6. Reward yourself for hitting your study goals (avoid the ice cream I gained a little bit more weight than I should have). Food, TV or tattoos are always great motivators.

7. Don’t worry about giving up football on Sundays (especially when your team is the NY Giants).  Life goes on and football will be back next year and the year after, even with lousy officials.

8. The pain only lasts until you receive your final passing score DONT YOU DARE GIVE UP!  You don’t get that luxury of quitting; you are destined to be a CPA!

 9. Don’t start Roger’s habit of Mountain Dew and coffee because you WILL get a kidney stone!

10. If you are not getting a certain topic, Frankie says relax.  The exam will only give you 72 or 90 questions depending on your section.  It will not possibly test you on everything in the review book I promise.  So its ok to not be a master of every topic.  Remember, you just need to know a little bit about a lot.  That amount of knowledge will get you a passing score; I promise.  If youre married, then you are already aware of how little you know because your spouse reminds you of that all the time!

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