5 reasons why half the candidates who attempt a CPA section fail.

They didn’t study enough.

This is clearly the most obvious reason.

It’s simple, you need to put aside ample time to study and master the tested concepts.

They studied┬ábut didn’t recall the materials on Test-day when it mattered.

I attribute this to taking 3+ months to study for a section.

…or just generally taking too long.

I think you should be studying fast and knocking them out. Boom Boom Boom!

Read about that strategy here.

However, if you’re still adamant about taking 3+ months to prepare, here are some tips to stay on top of everything you learn.

They were simply unlucky.

As I write here, there’s a significant amount of luck involved in the exam.

They may have just had more of the topics they were deficient in appear that day.

Luck of the draw.

Minimize your dependence on luck by studying as well as you can.

They didn’t manage their time well.

Time management is important because knowing how the exams are scored, you have to be shrewd about how you’re allocating your time.

Don’t get bogged down on questions, especially on MCQ’s.

Between 10% and 18% of those questions are “pre-test questions”, meaning they don’t get scored.

You might be wasting your time on a hard pre-test questions, while a real question that you would have gotten right is next. But now you’re going to get it wrong because you’re running out of time.

They freaked out.

Whew… I was quasi-freaking out during FAR.

I started the test and the questions that first appeared was going over my head.

I was like, “Danggg… this is about to be a bad day.”

But I kept skipping till I found questions that were easy. I knocked those out and slowly regained my confidence.

I realize now that I must have been afraid of failing because FAR was my last section.

Take deep breathes if this starts happening, and just try to focus on now and what’s in front of you.