Scores drop, and you find out how you did. Either you feel relieved, or your heart drops. If you got a 74 or below, you might be feeling that all of your hard work was for nothing. Right back to square one, you go - or so it may feel. The good news is, although not passing is a bit discouraging, all of those months or weeks of preparation weren't for nothing. It may feel like you've taken a hundred steps back to where you started, but you're far ahead of the game.
This time around you'll begin studying and preparing for the exam, with knowledge you didn't have the first time around. You now know what to expect on the exam and you know what parts of the test gave you the most trouble. You know what stumped you and where to focus on.
Start over, but not fresh
Take ownership for your failure and don't be ashamed by it. Look around any CPA office, and you'll see people who failed a section or two at first but didn't give up. Whether you are ready to admit it or not, there is a reason that you didn't pass the exam. Maybe you rushed studying a bit, thinking you had a good understanding of everything that would be on the exam. It's possible to prepare for the CPA Exam in a few weeks' time if you dedicate all of your free time preparing with your review. Still, the candidates who find the most success take their time, spending a few months instead of weeks studying before beginning the exam. Whatever the reason is for failing to pass the exam, be honest with yourself about possible shortcomings so you don't make the same mistakes the second time around.
A lot of the time it comes down to being more organized. Sitting down to make a study schedule that truly fits your life will help—don't focus so much on how soon you can complete your review. If you took the exam knowing you didn't have a complete understanding of certain areas choose a CPA Review that changes depending on your strengths and weaknesses, study style, and ways you learn best. Most of the time if you failed in the 66-74 range and you can add on 5-10 points on your next test by using our CRAM Course.
Get Some Grit
Finally, if the true reason you failed the exam was that you didn't put enough heart into it, you might want to ask yourself if pursuing this goal is really what you want. If you decide yes, you have to choose to understand this is part of your process. Be serious about passing but understand it's no easy task and okay to struggle at times through the process.
Try not to look at failing the exam as a permanent failure, but more like a temporary setback. Failure can simply become a learning experience that made you better - a driver of resiliency. There is a myth that failure cannot be part of someone's life or career. Failure tricks us into thinking we are not meant for something without considering the possibility that failure simply weeds out those not willing to persevere. It is not only those who never fail who succeed but those who succeed despite failing multiple times.
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