Saturday, August 25, 2012

Exam #1

My first exam was AUD.  I choose to take this first because 1) Auditing bored me and 2) I had never done it, so I felt as though it was going to be one of my weaker areas.  My thought was that I would probably be much more motivated to study in the beginning of the process so I should get the one I thought would be difficult out of the way.  I chose to study with Yeager CPA Review.  Not that anyone reading probably gives two hoots about CPA review courses, but let me tell you, if you want to pass you shell out money to have someone guide you in the process.  The AICPA is as tricky as they come and you need all the help you can get to understand them.  I chose Yeager because I was paying for this OOP and they came in around $1200 for all 4 sections (at the time, now I think they are closer to $2000).  This is about mid range for review course pricing.  Yeager also got great reviews.

For AUD the Yeager course had about 20 hours of video lecture, a handout, and the Wiley textbook.  I was at a loss on how to study, I had no method whatsoever, I hadn’t figured out what worked for me.  Since I wasn’t working at the time (I was job-hunting, hoping not to do another busy season, which was actually a huge distraction), I kind of had all day to study, which was nice.  I would watch an hour or 2 of lectures during the day and then go back through the book and do a ton of MCQ’s over that section.  I don’t remember much about studying for this test, other than the fact that I probably did about 2000 MCQ’s.  I’m being 100% serious here, I did at the very least that many.  And I remember the lectures being boring with a capital “B.”  And I achieved Gold Card status at Starbucks.  It’s the little things.

2 weeks before the exam I was an interviewing machine.  I actually got my current job offer on June 30th (1 week before my test!), and I now had a job in Financial Reporting at Target Corp.  It was a happy day knowing that I was going to be finally making money again, and even happier knowing that I was going to get some work life balance. It helped me relax before my test.  The other big stressor was that my husbands brother and his family were moving to Australia and were coming say goodbye June 30-July 3rd.  It was extremelly stressful, trying to wrap up studying while also trying to be present during their last visit for probably a long time.  On July 4th, I shipped my kids off to Grandpa and Grandma’s house for the week and then spent the final 2 days prepping for my 8:00 am test.  I was SOOOO nervous.

The morning of the test went fine.  I arrived around 7:15 for my 8:00 am test and was first in line.  I'm such an overacheiver it's not even funny.  anyhow, I started the exam early.  Audit exam is 4 hours.  Of course I had to go to the bathroom like 45 minutes in (darn coffee), and while you can take breaks between sections the clock keeps running.  So you sprint to the bathroom and back.  I didn't feel the test was too bad, but you just walk out feeling, what just happened in there?  There are 90 mcq's of which 18 aren't even graded, just there to throw you off, and 7 (i think) simulations (i.e. real world problems to work through).  In other words you have no idea what your being graded on and each question is worth a certain amount of points.  you start with 0 points and work up as you go.  Harder questions are worth more, easier less.  You need 75 points to pass.  

Fast forward the 10 weeks (!!) it took to get my results.  I passed.  BEC was up next and I had about 2 weeks after I found out my audit score, so it was nice going in with one passed.  

Oh and we bought a house and were moving that week...

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