You’ve worked hard, but didn’t pass the CPA exam by a little or by a margin.  Now what do you do?


Joe Hoyle, from CPA Review for Free, has a few recommendations on what to do when you find yourself in this unpleasant predicament.

First, make a list of all the topics on the part of the exam that you didn’t pass.  Then take your materials and divide the topics into about 30 separate categories.   Put them in order of importance.   For example, number one is most important, number two is second most important and so on.

Then take the same 30 categories and list them again, but this time list them from your weakest to your strongest.   Number one is your weakest topic, number two is second weakest and so on.

Then combine the two lists by adding the numbers together.  For example, if “accounts receivable” was 16 in your first list and 9 in your second, then it has an overall score of 25.

Make a third list based on these overall scores with the lowest score at the top.  What this does is help you focus your attention on the areas where you need to study the most.   So, take the top 1/3 or 1/2 of this list and spend the first 50 percent of your study time on those areas.   You are putting in the energy where you are most likely to get points.  Spend the next 30 percent or so on the rest of the list.  And, then, spend the final 20 percent on the top part once again as a final review.

This strategy would easily get you 5-6 points or more.  To get 5-6 points, you are probably going to need 30-50 hours.  But if you follow this path and put in the time, you’ll probably make an 85.

To read more by Joe Hoyle, visit his website or follow him on Twitter.