"difficult, but well worth the effort"
How I did it: Persistence is key. After many failed attempts I finally got serious about my studies. I came up with a plan and stuck to it. I took 2 exams per testing window which worked well for me. I would study and then test early in the testing window and then begin with the next section right away and test for the 2nd section during the last week of that testing window. Scores release during the closed month and you'll know if you should go back to restudy/retest or move on. Don't attempt to juggle 3 or 4 sections at a time. I would not go on to the 3rd section until I passed 1 and 2. I took BEC first because there are no simulations and I thought a quick win would boost my confidence. It did. However, leaving FAR as the last section I ended up going beyond the 18 month period and I lost credit for BEC and had to take it again. I finally finished after about 20 months of constant studying.
Lessons & tips: Consider taking FAR first. It is the largest section of the exam but once it is behind you the other sections will probably seem less difficult. Utilize the very experienced CPA candidates on 43Things as they played a huge part in my accomplishment. Whenever I struggled I knew someone would provide encouragement and it was sincere as they know the pain. It's a brutal exam, but not impossible.
Be sure to explore your study material options. I started with Becker but often got lost since they often assume I knew the foundational material. Roger Phillips worked for me in closing the gaps. Each person has their own style and you'll need to discover what works best for you.
Resources: Roger Phillips CPA Review. Becker CPA Review.
6 people found this helpful