I have been studying for the CPA Exam for a few months now. I have studied and taken Audit before and after getting a 72, you need a 75 to pass, I threw in the towel. Fast forward to a year later, new city, new job, and a toddler, I decided to get back in the game. One of the main reasons for me is my career. I am at the point that I do need a professional certification to advance.
A few work colleagues told me about a local CPA exam course that also offers live classes. I decided to sign up for MDS CPA Review and attend classes. Since I had taken Audit before, I did the unthinkable and doubled up on my classes. I had FAR on Monday and Wednesday nights, and on Saturdays from 8am-3pm I had Audit. It was an overwhelming amount of homework considering working full time, a child, a husband and a dog.
AUDIT EXAM EXPERIENCE
I debated on taking the exam at the end of the testing window in June or push it to July. I decided to just suck it up and schedule it for June 9. I took 4 days off from work leading up the exam and just studied my little heart out. During my days off I worked through homework questions that I still needed to get through. I was really struggling with one the sections, Internal Control, which led to many freak out moments. Internal Control is one of the heavily tested sections. So, I knew that I needed to understand the material and at least score in the 80s on my homework. The annoying thing about the CPA exam is that, one never knows what their test will consist of. Each test is different, so what one person may have seen on the exam might not even be tested on your exam. On the day prior to the exam I spent the day going over my weak areas, I did not spend any time on the material that I felt I had a good grasp on. I also took the AICPA practice sample test, to familiarize myself with the new structure of the exam. The exam has gone through some changes since I last took it.
My exam was 8am and I was up at 6am. I left the house by 645am since I really was not familiar with the testing center and needed to give myself extra time incase I got lost. I made it to the test center by 720 and decided to go ahead and check in. I was escorted to my seat at 730 and started my 4 hour long test. The Audit exam was comprised of 2 testlets with 36 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) each, 3 testlets with task based simulations.
The first MCQ testlet was not bad. I felt pretty good about the material, which left me hopeful. The second testlet was a bit harder comprised of wordier questions that were also tricky. The third testlet was not too bad. I actually knew the material that they asked in those 2 simulations. The fourth testlet was one of my very VERY weak areas. I kicked myself for not spending extra time studying that topic, it is more of a FAR topic than an Audit topic. However, based on conversations I have been seeing in the online CPA exam forums, it seems to be getting tested a lot. The fifth testlet was even worse than the fourth. It was more of that awful topic .
When I left the testing center after my audit exam, I felt defeated. I was mentally drained and I was so mad at myself for not spending the time working on that one area that ended up being heavily tested on my simulations. Oh well. I sat in my car for a few minutes and then drove to Goodwill. There was one about 15 minutes from the testing center. I walked around and bought nothing. I then headed home.
I am glad that I did take the exam because knowing myself, I would have just pushed it some more. I have been avoiding taking the exam since last year because of the fear of failing. I am glad I am back in study mode and am prepared for whatever score I get on June 28.
I am now studying FAR and will have a detailed post on how I will be tackling FAR. For my Audit exam, I used only MDS CPA Review and did not supplement. I have used other review courses in the past, and I must say I have liked MDS CPA review a lot more. The live classes and the ability to talk through problem areas with the instructor have been very beneficial. I have used Becker, Yaeger CPA Review, Wiley CPAexcel, Surgent, Ninja CPA Review and Roger. I overwhelmed myself with materials and it just added to my procrastination and not investing enough time in studying.
For FAR I will be supplementing my MDS CPA Review materials with Ninja CPA Review mostly because Jeff, who owns Ninja, acquired the Bisk CPA Review materials. The late Bisk instructor, Bob Monette, was very good and explaining things. The videos are outdated but we will see.