Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why Can’t I Pass BEC?

***2016 Update is here***

Last night, it was windy and rainy here in NY, so we had a nice dinner at home. I made salmon steaks with rice pilaf. We paired the meal with a delicious Greek dry white wine – Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko-Athiri Santorini 2007.

After a very satisfying dinner and plenty of wine, I wasn't quite ready to jump back in to studying for REG. I checked my e-mails instead and was excited to see an e-mail from Another 71's site announcing that BEC grades were released! I sat for BEC in October and have been anxiously waiting for my grade. I know with BEC it can go either way (that is one deceptive test).

After entering the required info on the NASBA score page, I saw what I thought was a joke - a 68.

Wasn’t that my grade the last time I took it? I re-checked my NTS and I had entered the correct Section ID. Hmm... I checked my grades spreadsheet and saw I had scored a 67 the last time I took BEC. OK so this is definitely my score. Not just a failing grade, but only a 1 point increase.

Was I disappointed? Of course. I was hoping to print out a screen shot of a passing score to hang on my fridge door under the FAR and AUD score screen shots. Was I upset or crying (like the last time I failed a part)? Surprisingly, no. I was confused and wondered what sections I bombed. Nevertheless, the analysis will have to wait until the Candidate Performance Report arrives in the mail next week. What was my reaction then? I calmly logged onto Prometric's site and moved my REG exam from next Sunday to the end of January.

Want to know the reason why I didn't pass BEC?

I don't give myself enough time to study. I always start out strong and end up either procrastinating or something happens to me that moves studying to the back burner (working crazy hours, sustaining an injury). I want to do it right with REG; extra time but no procrastination. I will resume my studying today.

Interestingly enough, this clarity came after several glasses of wine, something that should impair this type of thinking.

Every time I fail, I wonder if this is for me. It’s perfectly logical to question yourself. If you keep trying and failing, you wonder if it's something you should stop pursuing.

I think like this for a few minutes and then I became angry. I am good at what I do. I may not be able to pass this stupid test but I'm not giving up. Why shouldn't I be a CPA? What makes someone who passed the exam any better than me at my job? Nothing! I don't care what anyone says. I will be a CPA in 2010!

Anyone else receive a failing CPA Exam score from this Oct-Nov score release? Feel free to vent in the comments. You are not alone! We can do it next time!


  1. Am with you. This is my second time of taking BEC as well. The first time, I made a 73 and the second time I made a 71 :(. Just don't know how else to study. It's so so so fustrating

  2. Zinot you were so close!
    It is very frustrating! I don't know what else to do either.

    When are you re-taking it? I am taking REG in January, so I will probably re-take BEC in February.

  3. I just received my FAR score. I got a 72... It was my first try and first cpa test. Studying for REG now. Taking that next week. Not looking forward to studying for FAR again. Hopefully will be done sometime in 2010 too.

  4. ohh Dear, I got 74!!! I was so depressed when I saw it :( I missed it with 1 point. I have to restudy, and retake it..

  5. Chef-Accountant, I am sorry to hear that you didn't pass BEC. If you passed AUD and FAR, you will pass BEC!

    I know you can think that "it is not meant for me" - but IT IS meant for you to be a CPA! So, keep on working at it.

    Good luck with your prep for REG. (I am taking it this Sunday, 11/29/09 ;-)

    Looking forward to seeing: "The Cooking Accountant, CPA" in a few months time!

  6. Christina, you were also so close on FAR. That is also a good score for the first exam you have taken. I know you will pass when you re-take it!

    Good luck with REG!

  7. cpaexamscore74 that stinks! So close! Good luck! (and nice blog design btw)

  8. Hi Steve! Thanks for the kind words of encouragement!

    Good luck this Sunday on REG! I hope you do well!

    Hopefully, we will both be CPAs soon!

  9. I took BEC 4 times and received 73-73-70-73. What is with that? I passed FAR and REG the first time but now they have expired (PA gives you only 18 months to finish all four parts). I don't know what to do!

  10. Hey, I've just been skimming a blog here and there, noticed you asked about Roger'sCPAReview awhile can request a one hour demo and they send a link by email (it had one hour example for each section). Also, this site has free sample questions if you didn't know about this one (cpareviewforfree)...I thought it was helpful in studying for REG.

  11. I have been there.. I passed BEC and REG at the 1st attempt, but I took 4 times to pass Audit. I changed my study materials from Becker to Gleim testprep CD for Audit, which really helped me to focus on my weak content area. I would recommend to try Gleim or other study materials for the next time. Good luck! You can do it!

  12. Anonymous 2:30PM sorry for the late reply.

    That is so frustrating :-(
    We also get 18 months to pass in NY. It sounds like a long time, but really it isn't, esp. when you consider the wait to receive your score and sign up for a new NTS.

    I also lost my credits (for 3 parts) when I failed FAR a few years ago. I took a little break and started taking the Exam again... taking FAR FIRST!

    If you passed those 2 parts once, you will be able to pass them again. My advice is to take BEC with a Cram course to give you those extra points to pass. Once you get BEC out of the way, nothing will stop you.

  13. Thanks for the cool tips Anonymous 11:25PM! I will check that out!

  14. Cooking Accountant,

    I just received my scores for BEC. I passed BEC and REG on the first attempt. The scope of the material for BEC is so vast it makes it hard to get your arms around all the material. Obviously you have the will to do it and you will pass! Keep the faith!

    I am taking AUD on 1/4/10. Stressed out all during Christmas. I also sit for FAR on 2/27/10. Just got my Becker materials for FAR. OMG it's a big book!

    We will just have to stay positive so we can succeed.

  15. Hi Debra,
    That is awesome! You are halfway there!

    You are right about BEC. Thanks for your kind words!

    Good Luck on Audit! It stinks being stressed during Christmas and New Years, but it will be worth it when you pass Audit!

  16. can anyone give me a realistic estimate of how long it should take to study for each section, and whether there is a best order to take the exams in?

  17. Hi Anonymous,

    Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. I personally think it depends on your education and work experience.

  18. Hi Cooking Accountant,

    I just took BEC yesterday. It was my first test and don't have a good feeling. I felt the same way you did. Asking myself, "is this for me?" Some of the questions were ok and exactly what I studied, others I didn't even attempt. I took Roger Philipp and thought he was great but there is just soooo much different type of material. I will take it again if I failed but I don't know what to do while I am waiting for my score. Study BEC again or move on to another section.

    Good luck on your next BEC attemp!!

  19. Hi Andrea,

    Sorry for the late reply. I took REG today and am exhausted.

    Don't worry - sometimes I think I did well and I failed and other times I think there's no way I came close and I end up passing. You can never tell with this test.

    It's completely up to you. Since this is the first one you took, you aren't losing credit for other parts so there's no rush to move to the next one. But you can move on to another section if you don't want to wait.

    Thanks and good luck!

  20. Thanks! Hope you did well on REG. I am going to give myself some time for R&R and hit the books again after my BEC grade. You're right, there is no rush now and this is busy time at work so why beat myself up.

  21. I just received my BEC results. I have failed again for the 6th time with 73. all grades have been between 72-74.. and Im using Becker.. I dont really know why I havent been able to pass.. But I'll keep trying.. :(
    Good Luck to you all..