I’ve again experienced receiving a score resulting in a Failure. I scored a 68 on my FAR exam and it wasn’t too much of a surprise; it still stings as badly as the first. After the initial anger, I decided not to take a week break in between exams and begin studying for BEC immediately. The decision to take a different section over diving right back into FAR was a difficult one but I ultimately decided against it because I needed a change of pace.
After spending a solid 9 weeks preparing for FAR and walking into the exam feeling well prepared, seeing a failing score can easily break any routine or motivation you may have had leading into the exam. It is very difficult to brush off a failure and not skip a beat. It will challenge your desire of becoming a CPA. There will be those thoughts of, is this worth it, do I really want to continue doing this, etc. My one piece of advice is to not make any rash or impulsive decisions upon seeing a failure. Give yourself a few days or a week if need be to let it blow over and allow yourself to accept it and prepare your plan of attack going forward.
After taking a few days to come to terms with the position I was in, I decided to begin preparing for BEC immediately. I chose to begin studying for BEC over FAR because I spent so much time preparing for FAR, it would be difficult to approach the exam as if I had never seen the material before. Looking at the same information for another 5 or 6 weeks only a week after spending 9 weeks studying intensely, would be boring and would drive me insane. Sometimes taking a breather from one topic and starting something new will allow yourself to see the topic differently the second time around.
Additionally, it doesn’t matter if you failed with a 74 or a 20; you failed. Both scores leave you in the same position you were in when walking into the exam. If you go into the mindset that all you need is 1 additional point to pass the exam, you’ll be more likely to fail again than if you go into your studying with the mindset of needing at least 75 points to pass. The thought process behind this is that telling yourself all you need is 1 additional point might keep you from trying to gain a real deep understanding of all the topics. You’ll tell yourself that you “know” this and you “know” that already when in actuality, you really don’t. If you had, you wouldn’t have failed. Sometimes failing is a blessing; you’ll be able to reflect on the errors you initially made and be able to come up with ways in preventing them from occurring a second time, helping you when preparing for future exams as well.
Remember, Failure is not the end. Failure allows you to get back up and hone in on your weaknesses and perfect your craft. Keep pushing through and Good luck!!
Chris - Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review