CHAPTER 14

What If I Fail?

In every CPA exam, roughly half of the candidates pass while the other half do not. Failing the exam is a real possibility. It is important to discuss how you can overcome the disappointment, face the challenge again with more confidence, and successfully pass the exam on your next attempt.

Perform a Self-Evaluation

A self-evaluation is crucial to find out why you did not pass. When you calm down and have 30 minutes to spare, start going through the following.

Did You Allocate Sufficient Time to Study?

Many candidates fail simply because they did not complete the review. There could be many reasons:

  • Not having a study plan.
  • Not sticking to the study plan.
  • Study plan not being realistic and workable.
  • Underestimating the time required for review.
  • Emergencies came up.

Issues with Study Plans

Study plans are critical for time management throughout the study. If you failed the exam and did not have a plan, this could be the main culprit. The good thing is that you can easily improve the situation with a good plan in place on your next attempt.

If you had a plan but you consistently fell behind schedule—was the schedule being unrealistic, or was it too restrictive? Adjust the schedule to allow more time or flexibility. As a retaker, you will likely study most if not all the review materials—less time should be allocated to studying but more time to practicing.

How to Deal with Emergencies

First of all, overtime during the audit season and your sister’s wedding ...

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