Learn From My CPA Exam Part Failure

By Brandon Vagner, CPA, Ph.D. & Former KPMG Manager

FAIL!  I don’t know about you, but I get that sinking feeling in my stomach just reading the word ‘fail.’

Before we dive into my story, you should know that I failed one part of the CPA exam, REG.  Just one!  Not 10, not 5, not even 2.  Just one.

The great thing for me is that through that one part failure I was able to figure out why myself and many other people just like you fail parts.  I was able to do that because I was successful on my first attempt at the 3 other parts.  I knew what it took to be successful, which made it easy for me to identify what went wrong.  I should also note that my CPA review course was not the issue.  I know for some it might be, but for me it wasn’t.

At the time, I thought failing REG was the worst thing ever, but it turns out that it was the greatest thing ever, because I can now teach people like you why you probably failed and how to fix it.  One key thing you should know though is that I was highly efficient and successful with the CPA exam, because of my exam preparation strategies I had set in place.  Minus my one part failure, but even that is arguable because I came back and got an 86 on my second attempt after making a tweak to my studying and implementing my proven strategies again.  With that said, you can rest assure that you found the place to be for CPA exam success advice and guidance.

This is about my failure.  So, I’m going to cut straight to my REG failure.  REG was the last part I needed to pass, and it was a major blow to get that failure notice.

I worked EXTREMELY hard studying for REG, and at first I was completely taken off guard by the failure.  I just couldn’t understand why, and I’m sure many of you reading this feel the same way about your part failure(s).  I get it!  It absolutely sucks!  Even if you have failed more than one part, your primary problem could be just one or two simple adjustments.  I could have easily been a guy who failed multiple parts if I had done the same detrimental thing on the other parts.

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The first thing I did once I got the failure notice was hit the gym and blow off some steam.  The second thing though is what every single one of you need to do ASAP.  You should have gotten or will get very soon your score breakdown.  That is going to be key for passing the second attempt, but it’s also key for making your life waaaay easier during the second attempt study period.

I dove into that score breakdown and it all started to make sense.  I had a major flaw in my studying habits for the REG section.  Oddly, it was the only section where my study habits were different.  Needless-to-say, I was pretty disappointed in myself at the time, because it wasn’t a mistake I was expecting to uncover.  My guess is, many of you do the exact same thing.

What if I told you that the reason you failed is much simpler than you think?  That it has nothing to do with your intelligence level?  That you CAN be successful on the CPA exam with just one or two minor tweaks?  You would probably say, ‘give me the advice already.’

I have a free email newsletter that I run, and within there I give my secrets to turning a failure into an 86 on the second attempt.  Let’s get you started on a road to CPA exam success today!  Just sign up below and get some of my absolute best advice.

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