Have you failed a section of your CPA exam? If so, try not to worry too much. First time pass rates for the CPA exam, range between 47-57 percent so do not dwell too much on your misfortune as this can knock your confidence and impact on any retakes. Instead, let’s discover 3 ways to recover after a CPA exam fail that can help you to improve your chances of passing next time.
1. Understand Why You Failed
Although you might already have an inkling of what stopped you from passing your CPA exam, understanding where you went wrong can stop you from making the same mistakes again. Perhaps you underestimated how much time you would need to adequately prepare for the exam? Leaving things too late or being inconsistent can massively impact on your performance in the CPA exam, as the test is designed to assess the depth and breadth of your knowledge, which is something that cannot be learned in a few nights of cramming.
If preparatory issues held you back, learn from these errors by taking time to first assess your weekly schedule and then creating a strict study plan. Work and life commitments can eat away at valuable study time, so it is imperative that you are conscientious of how much space in your life you can make for CPA study. Similarly, a haphazard approach to covering the necessary topics can also limit your progress. Ideally, you should aim to start your revision schedule immediately after booking your next exam so that you can maximise your study time.
2. Try a Different CPA Exam Review Course
CPA exam review courses are potentially one of the most useful investments you can make on your journey to becoming a certified public accountant. By holding yourself to a schedule, you can effectively plan, review, and receive feedback on your performance in plenty of time, allowing you to identify gaps in your knowledge and learn how to spend more time addressing these problems. Provided you choose a CPA exam review course that contains everything you need to know, studying in this way can even reduce your study time.
Although there are some features unique to each review course, the majority include adaptive learning technology, integrated study planners and practice exam resources such as multiple-choice questions, allowing candidates to test their knowledge and assess their progress as they learn. When looking for a CPA review course, you should look at the price, update capabilities, and expiration dates, as these can help you to make a choice that works in your favour. Not sure where to begin? Some CPA exam review courses offer trial periods that allow you to sample a service before committing.
3. Emulate Exam Conditions
Sometimes the pressures of an exam setting can be enough to elevate your anxiety levels, and this, in turn can seriously hamper you chances of scoring highly. This is often the case for candidates in the CPA exam, who typically balance their CPA preparations with the stresses of family life and a busy career. Sweaty palms and heart palpitations can be distracting, which is why if you are someone who experiences exam nerves, it is recommended that you find ways to conquer your fears ahead of exam day.
Consequently, at home, it is crucial that you complete some full-length practice exams under exam-like conditions. This means timing yourself as you work through an exam in a quiet place without access to your study materials. Not only does this help to familiarise yourself with exam-like settings but also allows you to get a more comprehensive feel for the style of questions that you will encounter during the exam. You might also find it useful to plan your journey to the exam centre in advance, as any unexpected detours or delays can increase any exam related worries.
Ultimately, it is important to accept that just because you were not successful on this occasion, this does not mean to say that you will have a similar experience next time. If you have received a disappointing CPA exam result, take a moment to reflect on where you went wrong and try to come up with actionable solutions and preparations to increase your chances of passing any retakes.
Job roles in finance and accountancy often go hand in hand. To learn more about what it takes to enjoy a career in the financial sector, check out this blog for 10 desirable characteristics of a financial planner.