The CPA exam is an extensive and complex exam, and even the most prepared candidates can find themselves failing the first attempt. While this can be disheartening, it's important to remember that it's not the end of the road. With a bit of extra preparation, you can pass your CPA on your second—and even third—attempts. Here are a few strategies to help you get there.
One of the first steps in preparing for a retake is to reassess your study habits and determine what could have been done differently or better. Did you spend enough time studying? Did you use the right materials or resources? Did you give yourself adequate breaks throughout your studies? Were you too stressed out when taking the exam? Answering these questions honestly will help identify areas where changes need to be made in order to pass on your next attempt.
Having someone who has taken and passed the CPA exam guide you through your studies can make all the difference in passing. A tutor or mentor can help develop an individualized plan that works best for each candidate’s needs, provide guidance on which topics require more attention, offer techniques for remembering key concepts, and provide emotional support throughout the process. Additionally, having someone who is familiar with the material available for support and guidance during practice tests is invaluable in increasing confidence and accuracy in answering questions correctly on test day.
It's critical to spend ample time studying for each section of the exam, but it's just as important to practice smartly by focusing on those topics that are most difficult for you specifically or are more heavily tested on past exams. Taking practice tests will also help identify any weak spots that need further review while also helping build test-taking stamina so you don’t run out of energy before completing all sections. It’s also important to understand how much time should be spent answering each question so that you don’t miss out on points due to lack of preparation or poor time management skills.
Passing a CPA exam after failing once can be challenging but is certainly achievable with some additional effort and dedication. By reassessing study habits, seeking assistance from a tutor or mentor, and practicing smartly with practice tests, candidates will have greater confidence and knowledge when taking their second (or third) attempts at passing their CPA exams successfully! Good luck!