This is part two of my post on how to pass the CPA Exam. This first post dealt with the planning portion of my CPA exam preparation. This post deals with the work I did to pass the CPA exam.
I had two priorities at this point in my life. One priority was to build my accounting business and the other priority was to pass the CPA exam. About two weeks into my CPA exam study I realized that I was getting behind on my study schedule. The reason I was getting behind was I was spending too much time networking to build my accounting business. I had to make a difficult decision. My decision was to spend more time studying so I didn’t fall behind on my CPA exam study. This would mean it would take me longer to build my client base in the short term. However I knew that passing the CPA exam would be the best career enhancement.
On average I spent 4 – 6 hours a day studying for the CPA exam. I spent four and a half months on this endeavor. The most important aspect of the study was the practice questions. The practice questions were designed to simulate questions that would be found on the CPA exam. During a typical practice question study session I had a batch of around 100 questions that I was responsible for answering. Once I got to the end of the practice question session I looked at the practice questions that I answered incorrectly. I then took the time to understand why my original answer was incorrect and determine what the correct answer was. I then set up a new practice question session to test my self on the questions I had answered incorrectly.
This was an iterative process that I went through each week. Watch videos, answer practice questions, review practice review questi0ns that I answered incorrectly and test myself on the incorrectly answered questions.
It came time for me to take the first section of the CPA exam. I went to the testing center. I started the CPA exam. I began answering the questions and to my surprise I knew the answers to the questions. All the work I spent on the review questions was paying off. I thought to myself, “This is the CPA exam? I remember it being so much harder. This is easy. I know the answers to the questions. This is easier than I thought it was going to be.”
A couple of weeks after I took the first section of the exam I got a letter informing of my test score and that I had successfully passed that section of the exam. Over the next three months I took the remaining three sections of the CPA exam and I had the same experience. I had done enough work to gain the knowledge to answer enough questions to pass the sections.
In July 2009, I took the last section of the exam. On 02-19-19 I got a letter with the results from the fourth section of the CPA exam. Congratulations. I had done it. I had passed the entire CPA exam. I was filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I passed the CPA exam.
Why am I sharing this story. This is a story of how to succeed at a difficult task. Here is what I learned from the experience:
- Determine what is the most important thing I can do to improve your life.
- Develop a plan to accomplish that objective.
- Invest in the tools so that I can be successful.
- Focus on what is important.
- If something is distracting me from accomplish my objective, stop doing it.
- Work the plan. A plan is worthless unless the work is done.