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Sometimes It’s Your Own Fault You Aren’t Passing the CPA Exam

After I crashed Caleb’s Yaeger Radio appearance, someone wrote in looking for help. If you have a question, do the same. But please don’t ask which review course to use, I can’t help there.

Hello Adrienne

I heard you over Yaeger’s talk radio tonight. You were very informative and helpful. I wish I heard you few months ago, how to study and make time to study.

Here is my story:

I took the CPA exam 10 years ago, way back during paper and pencil days. I passed 3 parts and lost my credit due to my personal life issues.

I thought I may never be CPA even though I was so close. I even have audit hours and worked in Public accounting for close to 7 yrs. To make a story short, I am tax preparer (CTEC license for CA) now, have my own practice for last 8 years or more. I also help with my husband’s other business.

Now 10 years later, I am trying to get back at it. I took BEC last August 2010, studied for 3 weeks, got 71, retook in Nov 2010, got 72, again retook in August 2011 got 68 (I thought I made it) but no. I am giving it another try again in Nov.

I am using Kaplan review for all parts of the exam. I also have CPA Excel this time around. I am thinking about getting a CRAM course from either Roger or Yaeger. What do you think I should buy? BEC is hardest for me as I have no experience in financial management. Never took advance level finance class. I was economic/business major with minor in accounting.

Please help me, what are your thoughts on which CRAM review will be better for me, someone with little or very limited finance classes. By the way, Cost accounting and Economic are not that bad for me. IT is second worst part after financial management.

I have been to Roger’s class in person many many years ago. He is very active and lively. I also heard good things about Cindy (Yaeger) very good in Financial management and cost accounting classes.

I wish I have both time and money to purchase both of them, but in reality I don’t. By the way, I am studying for Audit now and taking it on Oct 26th.

Thank you in advance for your advice.

Well here’s the thing, I’m not you so I can’t say what review is going to work better for you. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to figure that out yourself based on your own needs.

As always, the CPAnet forums are a good source of information.

You can find the Yaeger discussion here and the Roger discussion here. I realize at this point you probably don’t have time to dig through entire forums looking for your answer but there is really no alternative. You can listen to whatever people in the comments write but to be honest, you should have done this research a month or two ago.

In fairness to you, you recognize that you made that mistake.

So what now? Again, it’s hard to say. I get no sense of how confident you feel with the material at this point, nor do I have any idea how well or poorly you have studied up until now. You shouldn’t be trying to figure out what you need this close to your exam date, so it is entirely possible that no course will be able to help you unless you put some serious thought into what you need as a candidate to retain this information.

As someone who does not have a strong accounting background in school, you are actually at an advantage to other candidates fresh out of accounting programs who have been filled with an alternate accounting reality to the one tested on the CPA exam. The one they will encounter in their working lives (which you already know by now) is different still. So you should be able to use this to your advantage and fill your brain with only the knowledge needed to pass the CPA exam without your brain being cluttered by academic notions of accounting that are oftentimes years behind the CPA exam.

The problem could be you, not the review course. I’d advise you to consider that long and hard before you put another dollar into materials. I know the review courses are going to hate me for saying that but it’s true.

Get it done. You’ll be more of an asset to your husband’s business, your own career, your family and yourself. Whatever “personal issues” have interfered up until now should be ignored or at least deferred until you get through this.