Author: Jenna Elkins, Communications and Digital Media Specialist
Posted: May 19, 2022

Today, May 19, is International Accounting Day! This year, we are celebrating by sharing testimonies from members of NASBA’s Facebook Group, CPA Exam Candidates Forum, of what it took to pass all four sections of the CPA Exam. Today is about celebrating their challenging journey, and the dedication, and determination it took to better themselves and the accounting profession. The CPA license is the “gold standard” in accounting and these individuals, as well as all those who pass the CPA Exam, need to be celebrated!

Here are some testimonies about the CPA Exam and the CPA Exam Candidates Forum:

    “2.22.2022. By far the greatest day of my life. Couldn’t cap off the end of this journey without giving credit to my home away from home. I wanted to extend a huge thank you to everyone in this group for all the help and support over the past year and a half. Between the useful study material and overall support per each exam, this would not have been attainable. Last Tuesday proved that anything is possible, stick to your gut and trust the process. Looking forward to seeing each and every one of you pass all four and embark on a blissful and successful career. My deepest gratitude to you all. Till we meet again!” – Michael


    “OMG, I passed REG with a 93! This is my last one, I am done! I am so happy; the feeling is out of this world! I can’t find words to express my feelings. Thank you so much to everyone in this group, WE CAN DO IT! This is from a full-time working mother of three boys! It took me 20 months to achieve this goal. If I can do it, you all can do it, too!

    Many of you asked for tips. The main change I made to my schedule is that I incorporated my study plan into my everyday life to fit my lifestyle. The study material I used had a mobile app, which helped me study everywhere I went. I would spend two hours of quiet focused time per day listening to lectures either early in the morning before I began work, on my lunch hour, or after 9 p.m., once the kids were in bed. Then, I used the app to do MCQs while the kids were in extracurricular activities. If I did not complete the MCQs, I would stay up late or study extra on weekends to get them all done.

    For my second review of the material, I listened to all lectures again but at higher speed this time 1.25 or 1.5. Then, I did 100 MCQs for each chapter using the adaptive feature in my study material to compile questions. In addition, I did one SIM for each module, four to six SIMs per chapter. I also made my own flashcards of important or complex topics, I limited myself to four flashcards per chapter, both sides.

    My third review was to go through all of my study material flashcards and memorize my own flashcards. Upon my third review I took mini exams. After I completed those mini exams and got a 64 on it, I went back and reviewed my weak areas reinforcing those topics with SIMs. Then, two days before the actual exam, I took a simulated exam. Got a 73 on it. On the last day, I reviewed all my flashcards, again, making sure I had them memorized and practiced partnerships and calculating basis for S-corp vs Partnerships, as this was the one topic I would get confused with and was my weakness on my mock.” – Alfia


    “This group has been an emotional lifeline for me over the last 18 months. You all understand the struggle. There were multiple instances where I wanted to quit. I got a 74 on REG and 74 on AUD for my first attempts and it was devastating. I wanted to quit multiple times. I received my final passing score tonight. I always appreciated these posts when I was in the thick of things, so hopefully this helps someone out there like it did for me.

    I got a biology/chemistry undergrad and did an MHA/MBA graduate degree. I work in healthcare finance and have had very little of what most would consider “regular” accounting experience. AUD and REG were very difficult for me. BEC was my strongest area by a mile, and I seemed to handle FAR better than some. I have a toddler and have been out of school for quite a while. I also hate T-accounts and never used them through the whole process.

    These are the things that worked for me:

    1. I had to study first thing in the morning. I always was kidding myself if I thought I could “do it later tonight.” It never worked.

    2. I used only one study program as my only resource for studying. I hardly ever read the book. I would go through all the videos (1.5 or 2x speed) and hammer out as many multiple choice questions as I could handle. I would almost always skip the simulations.

    3. A week before the exam, I would attempt to take as many days off work as I could pull off. I would go through every single 11th hour video and take handwritten notes on every single concept. I would review those notes at least three times before the exam. I would also take AT LEAST two full practice exams that week and try to commit at least a full hour to MCQ’s those days.

    Last but not least, I would read posts on here for inspiration and try to give myself a daily affirmation statement. My affirmation today was, “I know more than I think I do.”

    You can do it. Don’t give up.” – Jordan

    These testimonies are only a few of the of successful posts NASBA receives in the Facebook Group. There isn’t another Facebook Group out there that is hosted by an official CPA Exam partner. Are you starting your CPA Exam journey? Are you struggling to get it finished? It’s time you joined the CPA Exam Candidates Forum, so you can lean on others going through the exact same thing.

    Are you in the accounting field and want to take your accounting degree/position to the next level? Find out what it takes to become a CPA!

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