Last month, we introduced our Free Cram Course giveway and we were incredibly impressed with the quality of the responses.

After much consideration among our highly-trained team of CPA Exam Review analysts and many late nights sifting through the responses (and, consequently, several cases of Mountain Dew - the official Roger CPA Review beverage of choice), we have chosen a winner - congratulations to Rob Kinney of Pennsylvania! Rob's tackling FAR soon and excited to get an extra bit of help on his study strategy thanks to Roger's Cram course.

We asked applicants to share their greatest struggle or biggest triumph when it comes to studying for the CPA exam. We're happy to share Rob's answer with you in the hopes that it might encourage you to overcome any obstacles you may encounter along the way just as he has done.

"My biggest CPA review obstacle has been comprehension of data. After starting my CPA journey using Becker I quickly found that I was missing the foundational knowledge. I forgot or never really understood all of the basics taught in college. My success of passing any part of the exam has been due to Roger's style and material.

I often read the question and completely miss a key point that is hidden by a word or phrase. Roger's explanation of the text materials is a big part of why I've passed 3 parts. Roger walks through the material completely and communicates conceptual knowledge in a way that is understandable and engaging.

Most people don't like to read dry difficult materials, but Roger's engaging style and knowledge would make a huge impact on our success. My obstacles and triumphs are like most students but the manner in which I navigate them has been greatly improved due to Roger's course."

Congratulations from the entire Roger CPA Review team, Rob, and best of luck on FAR!

While we're on the subject of overcoming obstacles, we thought we might share some tips on getting over the hump if you find yourself spinning your wheels in the mud.

1. Whatever you do, do not let defeat defeat you! The CPA exam is difficult, no doubt about it, but you must keep in mind that if this is your goal, there is absolutely nothing standing in your way but the effort required to work towards that goal. If somehow you do not succeed the first time, get back on the horse!

2. Be realistic about your needs Some CPA exam candidates can breeze by just reading a few key points in a book and doing some multiple choice questions - but if you aren't that guy, don't delude yourself into thinking you are. Be honest with yourself about the time you will need to study each section - and remember, there is no such thing as studying too much!

3. Ask for help if you need it Help can come in many forms; a study group with your colleagues who are also preparing for the CPA exam, a tutor, a mentor, or support from your CPA Review course. Whatever you need from others, don't be afraid to ask. A support system can give you a well-needed push when you need it. It can also be fun; your spouse may be feeling neglected with the amount of time you dedicate to studying, why not have them participate in flashcard drills to help you?

4. Meditate It sounds a little silly but sometimes the only thing standing in your way is yourself. Not your inner self but the busy, over-analytical, left-brained accountant. Try to transcend your habit of over-thinking and let go of the stresses of life to have some quiet time with yourself. You may find you already have the tools to overcoming whatever is standing in your way and never even knew it.

5. Keep a journal of both your successes and failures The payoff may not be immediately evident, but keeping a running tally of your life is not only a therapeutic way to digest stresses (which can also hinder your success) but is also a great way to document your journey. Read back on where you have come from for a quick confidence boost or analyze how you could have done things differently and formulate a plan on how to avoid the same mistakes.

And a bonus tip on overcoming obstacles: don't be too hard on yourself. We all have defeats in life at one point or another. As the popular George Woodberry quote goes "Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."

Don't let obstacles stand in the way of your success - hopefully Rob serves as a wonderful example how a little determination and hard work can go a long way toward accomplishing your goal of passing the CPA exam!