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How I Started Passing Sections of the CPA Exam

Everyone is different.  We all think and learn in slightly different ways.  The CPA Exam is a standardized test so while we are all required to learn the same material we can go about it in a slew of different ways. 


I am going to talk about the formula that has worked for me and hopefully other people won't have to make the same mistakes I did along the way.  


First off, it's important to realize, there are no shortcuts for passing the CPA Exam.  You've got to cover a lot of material and it would be cool if we were like Neo in the Matrix and we could just upload everything into our brains but real life doesn't work like that (yet).  So it takes hours of practice.  If you're like me and you have to work full time, you have to fit those hours into your busy life.  Here's how I did it:


1.  Roger video lecture cram course.  Lets face it, Roger Phillips is the best lecturer out there right now.  His combination of experience, humor, and motivation make his lectures super useful in conquering some of the more complex exam topics (think AMT).  His cram course is only a couple hundred bucks.


2.  Do Thousands and Thousands of MCQ's using one of the many CPA Exam Test Banks that are out there.  Find a CPA Test Bank that you feel comfortable with and just go to town on it.  Do all the questions they have available until you know them by heart, then move an to another one. I chose CPA Exam Bank because of the low monthly fee (just $5 with the promo code I had).


3.  Audio Lectures are relatively inexpensive and since I spend about two hours a day on my commute they served as valuable reinforcement to some of the concepts I was learning.  I'm sure this added about 5 points to my score.


4.  Surround yourself with like-minded people.  Chances are, your friends and family aren't as interested in the CPA Exam as you are.  Find people who are.  Forums like are a great place to find other people who are just as determined as you.  Synergy and symbiosis abound!


That's it!  It's as easy as 1-2-3-4! I have been passing all my sections since I started using this approach and my last one is on Monday, I feel pretty confidant that I'll pass that one too.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Good luck!


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Comment by Niusha H on April 16, 2014 at 1:09pm

Thanks, Vahe!

Comment by Vahe on March 27, 2014 at 7:41pm

Hi Niusha,  I would say that one should keep doing MCQ's until they are getting an average of 90% of them correct

Comment by Niusha H on March 26, 2014 at 11:32pm

Congrats on passing three; way to go!

I just finished's FAR CRAM.  Now, it's up to steps 2, 3, and 4.

How many hours do you think you put in for the thousands of MCQs?

Comment by Niusha H on March 26, 2014 at 10:57pm

Niko, you can take the exam in any place where Prometric offers it once you have the NTS.  You will apply for the license in whichever state you applied to get the NTS once you pass all the exams.  Should you later choose to go for a CPA license granted by the State of Michigan's requirements, since the exam is "uniform" across all states, you are likely able to transfer the exam passing credit from PA to MI once you fulfill MI requirements - should you decide to go that route.  Check out this site to help - - and then call the Accountancy Boards because ultimately what they say (not me) is what matters.  Good luck!

Comment by Niko on March 24, 2014 at 4:10pm

Hey guys, can you help me with my question?

I am interested if it is possible to take an exam in a state where you are ineligible to sit for exam. 

I recently received a NTS and want to take an exam in Michigan solely for convenience purpose because I live there. At NASBA website I was compelled to register as a Pennsylvania exam candidate, because I did not meet Michigan state requirements. 

Now since I have a NTS and since exam in all states is the same, is it possible for me to take an exam in Michigan while my score actually belonging/transferring ro PA?

Comment by Jasmine Lums on March 23, 2014 at 2:53pm

Awesome blog. Just starting out studying REG to sit in 4 months and I am freaking out!!! Right now reading this material is equivalent to me speaking Martian or something else that seems nearly impossible. Hopefully with time and tons of studying and practice I will get it before my test date !

Comment by Shikha on March 20, 2014 at 5:16pm

Thank you Vahe! I really needed this..Feeling so overwhelmed with Financial Accounting..Thanks again :)

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