Tips On How To Pass The CPA Board Exam

cpa-board-exam

The Certified Public Accountant Board Examination is one of the most difficult licensure examinations. In order to pass, a candidate should be properly equipped with adequate technical know-how. He/she should have a very strong preparation coupled with an overwhelming desire to pass the exam. Here are some tips that you may take with you.

1. Begin with the end in mind

It all starts in the first year of your undergraduate school. The dream of becoming a CPA someday should have started in these times. You have to look far away into the future and start building your foundations in Accounting. Passing the board exam and becoming a CPA should be the only reason why you have chosen the field of Accountancy. The preparation for the exam doesn’t take 6 months or 1 year, it takes your entire college or university years. But in case you have missed this part and you are now in your fourth or fifth year and cramming away, don’t worry because there is still hope. I realized this when it was too late, that is why I got into so much difficulty during my review.

2. Have a plan

Let’s say you are now a graduating student and wants to take the board. Lay out your possibilities. Where are you going to take the review? Will you work and review at the same time or focus on the review full time? Your plan could go as far as thinking the possibility of failure. If you fail, would you still continue with your pursuit and never quit? If you are currently employed, would you quit your job for the full time review? What if you didn’t make it? These are the likelihoods that will definitely affect your preparation and should be addressed firsthand. Your exam preparation will take so much time and effort. I suggest going full time review. Working while reviewing would be very difficult and it will be your greatest excuse once you fail.

3. Develop your own strategy

One exam divided in several subjects. How you approach each subject during the review maybe different. This would depend on how you gauge yourself. Some are good in theory subjects and they like to memorize stuff. Others are beasts when it comes to computational topics. The idea is you should balance everything out. Make sure you do not focus too much time with one subject whether that subject gives you confidence or a subject that frustrates you. When it comes to study habits, they are anchored on your review school schedule. Review schools offer weekdays schedule while some have weekends. In my case, I had no choice because my school offered only weekends. So my strategy was to self-study during weekdays and attend classes on weekends. I studied one subject per day usually on topics to be discussed on the weekend.

4. Shut down everything else temporarily

During the review, strip out all the unnecessary noises. Get off the grid. Turn off social media. Be a hermit. Wake up, study, go to sleep. It may sound absurd but it’s all worth the sacrifice. After all, it’s only temporary and you can go back to your old self with your old habits after the exam. The reason for this is to achieve lasting focus. In this digital age, there are so many things that can distract you. Some of which are plain time wasters that you can do without. I remember during my review when I treated our house like an office wherein I have to time in at exactly 8 am to study and time out at 5 pm. Then time in again at 8 pm and time out at 12 midnight. With very limited cellphone and television usage. I didn’t have computer back then so it was not an issue.

5. Practice, simulate and pretend

Devote ample time on answering questions and practice sets. After you have studied a certain topic, go ahead and practice answering questions right away. Simulate the actual exam. Although they do this in review schools, you can also do this on your own. Select random questions or you can ask a friend to pick questions for you to answer. Take the exam and strictly time yourself. Mimic the actual exam as close as you can. Pretend to be your own teacher. I find this very helpful. I often got impressed by how good a teacher or instructor was. So when I go home, I visualize and pretend to be him explaining the topic to myself.

6. Fight, grind and crawl

This applies to the actual exam. Whatever happens, do not quit. If you are a first time taker, you will be overwhelmed by the experience but don’t worry because it’s normal. It’s going to be tough but you already know that because you are prepared. By this time, you have already accumulated enough knowledge and training during your preparation. Be confident but not too much. Feel the pressure but don’t let it cook you.

7. Dream and believe

Herein you should put all the emotional, psychological and philosophical aspects of your preparation. I’m not even sure how that will mean to you. But for me, because of the seriousness of my preparation, it brought a sense of deeper meaning on how I view life and the future. Since the preparation and the exam will not going to be easy, find ways to inspire and motivate yourself. Listen to that inner voice inside you that says “you can make it”. And that whenever you feel down and losing hope, or even when sometimes you think that you might fail, you still carry on and continue. Whatever belief system you have in your life, this is the perfect time to enrich that belief and to draw strength from it. If you continue to believe in that dream, your situation continually changes. You study more, you try harder and you strive better. Then eventually all your efforts will be translated into a successful CPA board exam.

Comments

  1. msConfused says

    I just want to ask… Is it okay and possible for me to finish my degree within 3 years? I’m a 2nd courser.Thanks ahead.

    • says

      Hi, I’m not sure about your case because currently most if not all schools have a 5 year curriculum for BS accountancy. During my time, it was only for 4 years and I actually finished mine in 3.5 :) Thanks.

  2. red says

    hi rey thanks for these tips. im working student and currently i review at prtc. i cannot manage my time between my work and review. my schedule for review class is weekends. im 29 years old already, and i always demoralized because i cannot grasp the lessons easily due to fatigue and stress of my work. by the way, i already took the exam twice, in 2007 and 2008. i plan to take the exam on may 2014, the problem is i cannot quit my job because i need to support my family. hope you can give some advise and tips. thank you and more power!

    • says

      Hi red. Frankly, (this may be hard a bit) you really have to make a choice. With your situation, passing is still possible but would be very hard. Because all that energy, time, focus and attention are split between your work and review. I have known a number of people like you from friends and co-workers who were very passionate at first on enrolling with those review programs. But eventually their desire wanes due to hectic schedule and stress. And they just quit the review and on becoming a CPA altogether. Here’s what I usually tell them and now including you.

      – You can save money for the moment. Until such time that your savings will be enough to support your family while you are reviewing. This implies that you will not work and review at the same time. It will take time but who says you should rush it?

      – If you are ready to quit your job. Don’t just resign, instead make an arrangement with your employer. Request for them to hire you back just in case you didn’t make it.

      – I don’t know what happened in your last tries but if you were working and reviewing at that time, well i guess you should have learned a lesson by now. What I am saying is that after all those years, you are still thinking of being CPA, something tells me that you really have the desire for it. Most people have given up after the first try. Add to that desire a “lasting focus”, and you will soon become what you always want to be.

      • red says

        hi rey. thank you very much for your advise. maybe its time to quit my job. its difficult but i need to make a choice, hopefully i can make it this coming may 2014. Pass or flunk, i will pm you. hehehe. again, thank you and more power!

        if it is okay with u, from time to time, can i post some questions? about anything. hehehe…

        • says

          Hi Red,

          I was once a working student like you. Working at the same time reviewing for the CPA board exam. It’s hard, yes, but in my case, I was a fresh graduate back then. It was 2007. I am now a CPA and an audit manager in the largest professional services firm in the country. Working while reviewing should have no problem if you can maintain the balance. While reviewing, you should avoid overtime and devote extra time for your review. That is what i did in my time.

          However, in your case, you are far from the college days already. What I am trying to point out is, a loy have changed already. Year on year, new standards become effective that is entirely different from what we have learned before. New tax laws and regulations, new financial reporting requirements. I would like to assume that your work updates you regarding all those new. But that usually isn’t enough.

          The best thing you can do now is update yourself with all those new and yes, that means focus and quit your job. But first, assess what you still know, as that significantly matters in deciding what else you need to know.

  3. andrew says

    kuya, ano advice mo para maretain ang information na inaral mo from the first month para macarry mo sya hanggang board exam.? madalas po kasi nakakalimutan ko mga ibang concepts after a few weeks. thanks!

    • says

      Hi Andrew. Suggest ko magbasa ka ng magbasa ng books and other materials. At hindi lang once, gawin mong twice, thrice. Balikan mo nang balikan. And then try mo din i organize yung mga natutunan mo. Our brains love connections and associations. Konek mo ung mga natutunan mo sa theory papuntang problems. Associate mo ung mga topics sa isang subject to other subjects. At ang importante is yung basics dahil dito mo itatayo ung foundation mo. I master mo ung madadali at paulit ulit na concepts then start to build up from there.

      • JC Dungo says

        Hello Mr. Rey im a fresh graduate of bs criminology and i know i can apply all those tips on my own review time. I just wanna ask what to do since i had everything that is so much distracting me. Cellphone, Tablet.. What should i do for this? Can you help me??

  4. JC Dungo says

    Hello Mr. Rey im a fresh graduate of bs criminology and i know i can apply all those tips on my own review time. I just wanna ask what to do since i had everything that is so much distracting me. Cellphone, Tablet.. What should i do for this? Can you help me??

    • says

      Hi JC. While you are still not in review, try to “unplug” yourself and see what happens. Go to a province this weekend where there is no internet connection and phone signal is low. If you could survive that, it’s a good start.

  5. krizamitz says

    hi sir rey.. im a current reviewee and hoping to make it this oct. board exam.. working po kc aq so weekend session ung sched q sa rvw center.. and almost 1 month n lng before the actual.. im having this feeling of doubt or should I say, fear to take the exam because i don’t know how to manage my time with the remaining days..as well as my friends.. we filed a leave to at least cope up.. do you think we can still make it? thanks in advanced.. really need words of encouragement.. :)

    • says

      Hi krizamitz. Yes you can still make it. But there’s so many things to consider here. How’s your pre-board? How “structured” is your knowledge of the subjects, how confident are you on answering unfamiliar questions etc… The last few weeks before the exam should be spent more on information collation. Meaning up to this point, you have already gone through everything and you are just now organizing those bits of information in your mind so you can “call them up” anytime during the exam. Practice with your friends and throw each other random questions and try to assess yourself.

  6. pg says

    hi rey!
    im working in very good firm, so much opportunities but so behind because im not a cpa i really wanted to take and pass the board!this will be my 2nd take back in 1997. how can i start my preparation

    Eager to hear from u so soon!

    • says

      Hi pg. You can start by updating your knowledge with the latest standards and applicable laws. Since you are from a good firm, find a CPA who can mentor you personally – it will help. Adopt techniques from successful passers until such time you can formulate your own. Look back from the results of your first exam and see your weakest subjects and start from there in order for you to build confidence. Take advantage of your working experience because some concepts are easily understood when viewed in actual practice scenarios which you are already in.

  7. Luijie vinuya says

    Hi:)) i just want an advise. After our first pre-board, medyo di na po ako nagfocus sa review ko dahil nahhrapan po kami sa pagkuha ng tor. Until now, wala pa rin kmi. But sabi nila mbbgay daw sa last day of filing, should I take na po ba sa october 2013? Feeling ko po kasi di na ko ready, pero gusto ko na pong magtake at ayoko pong bumagsak. I have 1 month left to review lht po ng na-miss kobg topics. Nagddalawang isip n po ako. Advise po sir. Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Luijie. Forgive my honesty. I can tell that you are not yet ready. And if you are not ready, please don’t go for it. There’s only one month left and you are still worrying on other stuff. You should have fixed these things months back. If your tor bothers you, it can impact your preparation in a negative way. You can postpone the exam. What you can do is learn as much as you can from your current review and extend your preparation to the next exam.

  8. robeolyn nodalo says

    hello sir,
    guato ko po maging cpa i graduated last 2008 and i am a working mom also, since matagal na po ako graduate madami na po ako namiss na topic at nakalimutan ko and gusto ko muna magself study bago mag review sa review center ..ang probelm ko diko alam kung san ako maguumpisa magreview and san ako pwedeng kumuha ng magiging reference ko na gagamitin as review material…hope u can give me a piece of advice for my problem, it really make a lot of help…pls..reply on my email….tanx..po..

  9. arnel lumboy says

    Hi sir my problem is bsba mgt acctg grad from navotas college-state college po ako and want ko ipursue ang bsa sa rtu?pede kaya ako mka pagenrol dun?any idea lng po tnx..and mkakatulong ba ang pag mamasteral ko muna bgo mg patuloi ng bsa?like Msc-Tax,or M.M hirap kse ng my work wlang pngsupport sa mhal na schools.tnx po

    • arnel lumboy says

      Thanks sir. Gusto ko po sana kase sir, If before ako mg BSA want ko mag master na mkakatulong sa pag CCpa ko (like sa board exam) at the same time mdadagdag na degree pag ngng cpa na ko hehe.salamat ulit po.. MBA po kase nde nkakatulong pag wala kang xperience na managerial/supervisory level po..TY po

  10. robeolyn nodalo says

    hi sir rey, hinahanap ko po ang reply nyo dun sa e-mail add ko kasu dko po nkita ang reply nyo..diko po alam kung bakit di nareceive sa email ko baka ngloko ang yahoo that time or ung email ko mismo i dont know…sayang……anyway tanx po sa reply niyo ..if you dont mind sir ok ng po ba na dito nlng sa site nyo kau mgeply ulit …pasenxa na po gustong gusto ko lng po kc marining ang payo nyo….tanx in advance po…God Bless u…

  11. jan reyes says

    hi..i’m a fresh grad po pero tingin ko hindi kagandahan ang foundation ko dahil late ko n narealize na gusto ko pala maging cpa..dahil dun d ko nasiryoso stidies ko before..is it possible n pumasa pa dn ako kahit ngaun palang ako magfofocus during the review?thanks..

    • says

      Hi jan. Parang pareho lang tayo. Sa case ko, nagseryoso lang talaga ako nung last two years sa undergrad. Kaya naman nahirapan ako sa review and sa exam. Yes, papasa ka pa din but be prepared to challenge some level of difficulty.

  12. says

    hi po.. i’m a 3rd year BSA student. Paano po ba ang tamang pagmamanage ng time to study especially kung puro major subjects na ung kinukuha mo? Kc po kahit todo aral at puyat na po ako, sometimes bagsak pa din po!

    • says

      Hi Gerald. Wag masyado sa puyat. Make sure lang to study every night. Always start by re-reading the topics discussed. Tapos test mo agad sarili by answering questions and problems. Ganun ung cycle, study tapos apply agad para ma retain.

  13. Jinky Lopez says

    Hello! I have plans of taking the board next year. I am 36 and did not get the chance to pursue this when I was still a fresh grad. As of now, I plan to allocate 6 months to prepare through self-review then after which I would go to a review school and eventually take the exams.

    Is this a good plan? What do you think? Thanks and God bless :)

    • says

      That’s good. Slowly but surely. Make sure to have a well organized self-review and cover all subjects. Then when you go to review school, take the weekday schedule and assess what you have learned during the self-review.

  14. Mico says

    Tnx for this advice! Haha me and my girlfriend are both going to take the exam in May 2014.. We’re taking advice 4 to a whole new level by not texting each other for six months or any contact.. Its gonna be hard but like you said sacrifices have to be made.. Thanks for the advice again and i hope to become a CPA in 6 months (:

  15. Vic Fernandez says

    Hello Rey,

    You gave good advice and its an inspiration, i’ve been a graduate way back 1995 and have not taken the board exam, got married and now busy working and i am not giving up on my dream to become a license accountant.

    At my present work i really need to be a cpa since i am working as a business manager and treasurer of a company, and i wanted to increase my knowledge on accounting so i need to review and if i will do so i might as well take the board exam to have the credential, as the result of aspiring to learn.

    However my accounting theory is quite obsolete, so please advice on books that are attuned to the present board exam…

    Thank you for being an inspiration to the rest of us, and God will bless you more.

    Vic Fernandez

    • Krisha says

      Hi Sir, try these books:

      P1 – Financial acctg vol. 1,2,3 by CT Valix for the concepts, Practical accounting 1 by uberita
      TOA – Theory of accounts by CT Valix
      P2 – advanced accounting by guerrero for the concepts, P2 by Dayag
      BL – notes in business law by soriano, pointers in business law by suarez
      Tax – phil. Laws on taxation by litonjua for the concepts, reviewer in taxation by tamayo for practice
      Aud theory – aud theory by salosagcol
      Aud prob – applied auditing by cabrera and auditing problems by roque
      MAS – mgt. Advisory services by bobadilla for practice

  16. Tin says

    Tnx po s advice. Tanung ko lang po kung malaking problem n nakalimutan ko n po yung mga inaral last sem lang although nakakasabay naman po ako s mga lessons during that sem? Tnx

  17. Christian Balolong says

    I’ve read this blog 3-4 months ago before taking the board exam last Oct 2013, can I just add something which I think is very useful and tested during examination, REMAIN CALM all the time during the examination period, because when you start to rattle yourself, that’s the time when your brain becomes disoriented. Another, proven on our exam, just master your review material (ex. if your from ReSA, review only ReSA materials and vice versa if your CPAR) reviewing all materials from many review schools also makes you think a lot which is a bad thing if you are preparing for a board exam. Hope it’ll help you in the future 😀 because it helped me. Just want to share my experience :)

    • says

      Hi Christian. Thanks for sharing. This proves that more doesn’t always mean better. If you have too many review materials, there will come a point that it will start to have a diminishing effect on you.

    • gretchen says

      Hi Christian, thanks for your advise it really make sense. I’d took the exam last 2012 but unfortunately I didn’t make it. I guess you’re right we just have to master our review materials and I think that’s one of my mistakes I’ve tried to gather review materials from different review schools back then because my friends advise me to do so however it didn’t work for me. I am planning to attend the review class twice and hopefully take the exam by May 2015. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  18. heizel says

    hi sir, what advice can you give to me regarding my review in the cpa exam. i took the oct 2013 exam for the 2nd time after almost 2 decades and i got a conditional grade, i just enroll in the review school in preparation for my removal exam in 3 subjects this coming may 2014, by the way sir im a full time reviewee since i took the oct exam, i resign from my previous job, thank you and more power

    • says

      Hi heizel. We had the same situation. I also was conditioned for 3 subjects. At that time I believed that there was no way I would fail in that 3 subjects. And so during my second review, I was more relaxed and confident because I knew it’s only just a matter of time. I also took full time review for the 3 subjects. My advice to you is to feel the same. You are now better than all first timers in the next exam because you have been there. When you are reviewing for the 3 subjects, aim for mastery of the topics and try to see different approaches to problems you have already encountered previously.

  19. Knoke says

    Hi,which book is good to learn self study cpa?i want to learn myself first.my English is not good so can I take cpa exam and pass?thanks u for ur detail explanation how to control mind for prepare exam

  20. ernan says

    hello sir, need a piece of advise from u. Im planning to take again board exam this May 2014. this will actually be the 3rd time. This time Ill be enrolling at resa full time. twice ako ngreview sa cpar. Im planning toget the weekends schedule and selfstudy during weekdays. What strategy would u recommend me paticularly during weekdays selfreview? thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hi ernan. This is the same schedule I had and for me it’s the best. Self study during weekdays then review classes on weekends. Here’s what you can do. Make sure to “touch” every subject within those five days. Do not focus on one or two subjects and leaving others behind. For a given weekday, you can allot 3 hours per subject (just like in the actual board). That would be one subject in the morning, one in the afternoon and if you still have the energy, one in the evening. Cycle through all subjects within those five days. Since this is not your first time to review, you can now attack any topic in any subject any time. No more “basic to complex” or “start from the beginning” scenarios here. Make a calendar of topics you will study. And always do the study-and-test routine. After a learned topic, make sure to assess yourself. Good luck.

  21. Aris says

    I’m still 1st year in accountancy and I’m really afraid and doubting my self kung papasa ba ako sa program because of the cut of grades. How would I eliminate this fear?

    • says

      Hi Aris. The cut of grades are there for a reason. Either they will frustrate you or will challenge you. I only made a decision to myself that i will be a CPA in my 3rd year. My first two years were a mess. Good thing we didn’t have those cut of grades before. You are still too early in your quest to becoming a CPA. That point of decision deep inside you will surely come. Continue still, maybe study more, work more, learn more. Keep it up!

  22. Aris says

    I really want to become a CPA someday just like my brother, ano po ba ang advice na maibibigay nyo sa akin to graduate and hopefully to pass the board.Thank you po.

    • says

      Hi Aris. Two things: Hard Work and Hard Luck. Sabi nga ni Efren Bata Reyes, “Kung magaling ka, mas malapit ang suwerte sayo” :). Seriously, I don’t think there’s any other way but to work hard for it. Others say they just got lucky, we’ll that’s good for them. Others who became topnotchers were born with superior intellects and that’s great for them. But for the majority of people like me or maybe you, we just have to make our way through it and push ourselves to deserve it hoping that with all our efforts, luck will favor us in the end just like pocketing that 9-ball in the right corner pocket with a lucky shot.

  23. puzzled says

    Hello Mr. Rey, Up until now I don’t know what to do. Graduated BSA March 2009, I took the CPA exams Oct the same year, but I failed, admittedly because I didn’t take it seriously, after the results, feeling lost, got idle for a few months, I should’ve reviewed my materials instead, *regrets* then I did apply for a job, hired, then resigned eventually after 2-3 months, I decided to review again May 2010 for Oct 2010 exams, took it and failed again, those times, felt so under the weather, it was like a “deja vu”. after 2 months of being idle again, decided to apply for a job again, hired, and worked for for 2 years. April of the current year, I realized that I gotta try it again, resigned from work, and started reviewing again for CPA exams 2013. Sadly, took the board, and I failed again. Now, I don’t know what to do anymore. Although my dream to become a CPA is still with me, and will never be complete without passing the CPA board exams. shall I try it again, or what..? I just feel like, I have lost my confidence at all.

    • says

      Hi puzzled. This is the ultimate dilemma of every failed candidate. Should I continue with this dream or just work my way to success without being a CPA? I know this is a tough one because it did happen to me. I failed the first time, idled for months, worked for months then stop, reviewed again, took the exam again and eventually passed. At that time, the only reason i decided to apply for a job and work is money. I did not have the money to continue anymore. But in terms of drive and ambition, I never really lost it despite being depressed.

      I don’t know about your circumstances or reasons for working or failing, but base on your history, i think you should continue. 2009 was not that long ago. I met someone took the first time I think 2003 or 4 and failed. She worked for a number of years in a company and felt good about it. But still she decided to take again and she passed last year.

      Her story and also many others are just like yours in a way. There are some who complained being not promoted because they are not CPA or being labeled as less-priority as compared to CPAs. It still depends on you whether you still feel that sense of “lacking” in yourself or whether it will affect your career down the road.

  24. Ann Marie says

    hi Rey, I graduated last 1998 and wants to take the board exam probably next year or early 2015. I’m 35 years old and a full time mom of 3. At the moment, I plan to have a self-review to refresh myself before I enroll in a review center. A friend of mine who passed the exam last year gave me her reviewers but it’s kinda overwhelming when I ran through the questions. Can you help me what specific books do I need to read first before answering the problems? Thank you in advance… God bless.

    • says

      Hi Ann. Dwell on theories first. Refresh your learning in concepts and principles. Try to read current textbooks first where topics are lengthy discussed before you go to reviewer books. Start with Practical Accounting theories then problems. Auditing theories then problems. MS theories then problems. Taxes and then Business Laws.

  25. Marian says

    Hi Sir,

    Is it possible to take the cpa board exam by just a self review? And not taking any review on the review center? Pls. advise.

    • says

      Hi Marian. Yes, it’s possible. But i don’t recommend it. You will not only learn more in a review school but you will be inspired more. You will have the chance to share aspirations with your classmates and hear success stories from your reviewers. In my case, hearing some motivational talk from reviewers inspired me. It made me want to be like them. I hope you consider a review school.

  26. jovy Balmonte says

    sir, pwede po ba kayo magrecommend kung saan pwede makakuha ng review materials? gusto ko muna mag self – review bago mag-enroll sa review center…. plan ko magtake ng cpa board exam on october 2014. am a graduate of bachelor in accountancy, 1987.

    • says

      Hi jovy. Yung mga updated na materials sa review center lang talaga. Or unless may kakilala ka na enrolled or dating enrolled. If your employed, sa Finance dept. usually may mga nag re review din dyan. May mga office mates ako dati sharing sila ng materials.

  27. kristine says

    is it possible to take a CPA board exam without enrolling in any review center? can i just make a self review na lang to take CPA board exam?

  28. Galle Hicks says

    Hi po. I found your thread very helpful and informative. Ask ko lang po kung ilang takes po ba sa cpa board bago mag refrrsher course? Nabasa ko po kasi sa isang thread only two daw and u need to enrol the refresher course na so not sure po ako if two or three takes.

    I plan po kasi to take the board next year, I am already 35. I was conditional on my second take but was not able to retake the conditioned subjects because of work abroad. Last year, my husband and I resigned from work there and now.I am planning to take the board. Para kasing even if you attained high post sa ibang country (I was the financial controller for seven yrs in a big hotel) its not enough here sa Pinas in order to have a good offer unless youre a cpa too.

    Anyway po I still dream on becoming a cpa and next year is my goal, nanganak din po kase ako last year so with the baby already going to two I would be really ready.

    Hope to hear from you.

    Thanks sir.

    • says

      Hi Galle. A refresher course is required if the candidate failed in two complete CPA board exams. Na conditioned ka na pala, you almost made it.

      You’re right about here in PH, being a CPA is an advantage.

      I hope you pass next year.

  29. Galle Hicks says

    Nga po pala, my husband’s niece passed the cpa board exams last oct 2013 and I borrowed all her review materials so I think I would start reviewing it. Do you think po na its okay? Coz I will enroll next year dito sa school na malapit lapit sa amin. Sa RESA po kc xa, napakalayo po dito sa place namin. I plan to take the Oct 2013 board kc aside sa ongoing na ung for may 2013 board maliit pa bby ko sa self study muna ko.

    Thanks po and God bless.

  30. Cha Tremocha says

    Hi Sir Rey!I Binasa ko po lahat ng advices mo for CPA board. Thank you! Magiging CPA na po pala ako this MAY :) babalik ako sa page na to after. :) Thanks!

  31. says

    Hi Reynaldo, I came across your blog while trying to get an inspiration on how to pass the CPA board Exam. I graduated year 2003 and never had the chance to review and take the board exam. I worked right after graduation. Now, I am in Dubai working as an Administration Manager. When they informed me there is a review school here for CPA board exam, I decided to enrol. I already attended all the sessions and honestly, I have to admit it’s like I am learning everything for the first time. I do not want to think I have made the wrong decision of enrolling for the review instead of taking an MBA. Please inspire me more with your advice. By the way, my husband and 2 young kids are with me.. So, it’s a bit hard to manage my time… :-(

  32. sinned says

    Hi sir! I am one of those aspiring cpas… I am planning to take the review this october 2014 as a first timer. ano po bang tips ang maibibigay nyo, considering the lenght of time na di ako ngbasa ng acctg books. Do i need to read those books na ginamit ng college or should I settle sa mga review materials na ibibigay ng review school. I am working right now at ngresign na ko. before mag open ng review sa may, may two months pa ko para mgrefresh, ano po bang mai aadvice nyo. pls reply po sana kayo dito at sa email ko. sinnedzed21@yahoo.com tnx po!

  33. ellimac says

    Hi Sir! I just read your blog and some of the comments & advices that you have given. It was interesting. I’m currently taking my review for the May 2014 exam, it will be my first take. I resigned from my job last January. For the month of February, I think I was still adjusting.. I mean, I’m not very good in focusing in my studies and there are a lot of distraction in the internet. I’m trying to study but my study habit cannot be compared with my roommates who study all day. I still have two months left before the exam. I really hate MS and will start studying it on April. I’m focusing now with the other subjects. There are still a lot topics that I need to go back and review. Do you think I can still manage and have a chance to pass the exam?

    Thank you! :)

  34. JHEN says

    hello po Mr. Mata.
    ang ganda po ng mga advices niyo dito. currently po ako nag rereview ng week-ends at the same time working po. hindi naman gaanong busy sa trabaho kaya nakakapag aral ako ng weekdays bago umattend ng class ko by week ends. kaya lang nahihirapan ako. siguro kasi di ko maxadong kabisado ang mga theories kaya nahihirapan ako i connect sa problem solving.. dami ko pong napulot na tips dito.. salamat po 😀

    • annmarj says

      Hi, Sir Mata thanks for the advice, helpful indeed.I took the board last year, twice.
      I almost made it. I got an average of 72 and 73, respectively. I think the problem was, during the final month before the exam I became so complacent, I completely relied on my Preboard exams.The results were good.In Addition to that, I’m working at the same time.On My first take, I attended the review on morning then work by afternoon, then on my second take, I took weekend classes. Taking the review while working was really difficult, so stressful. But then I manage to cope up with all the lessons, I took up a month leave before the actual exam.Apparently, I became so complacent due to the good results of my preboard exams,which I believe those results were well enough for me to pass. Now, I just enrolled for the refresher course. I saved enough so that I can finally resign in my work and give my full energy/ focus to the upcoming intensive review. Please just give me advice on how I can improve my problem solving skills, especially on P1, AUdPROB and MS. Those subjects really bother me. Thanks and more Power.

      -ANN

  35. issa says

    hello po sir.. nainspire po ako sa mga nabasa ko dito. maraming salamat po.
    gusto ko rin po sana magtanong..

    ganito po kasi, incoming 4th year BSA po ako, kaso i have to transfer out of Bicol University. i did not meet the retention grade for FA 2 this sem.
    di po kasi ako focused. andami ko ibang ginagawa hanggang sa wala nako enough time para sa subject na to. kasi i believe it requires great understanding din po.

    so ayun nga po, kelangan ko lumipat ng school. kaso hanggang ngayon, bothered pa po ako sa sabi ng professor namin “lilipat na kayo ngayon? ayaw nyo na mag-stay as management accounting muna dito? bakit? para di madagdagan years of study? eh musta naman yung pag pasa nyo sa board exam? ”

    nung una po naisip ko, wala yan sa professor, nasa students yan.kasi halos self study lang naman po kami. halos di naman po sila nagtuturo. pero ngayon narealize ko po, makakapasa ba ako na umaasa lang ako sa books at problems contained? kahit marami pang books gamitin.. at syempre aided with review classes after graduating din po..

  36. marco says

    Hi Reynaldo!
    I graduated year 2001 and eventually got work after graduation up to present. I was an internal auditor in my previous job for 8 years the same position with my current job and at the same time i am mentoring accounting process to newly opened subsidiary company where a mother company is my employer. its only now that i felt insecurities to those who are licensed especially here in my work. i am planning to undergo self review for 6 months for my preparation and enroll proper review the following semester. with my history since i graduated 2001 would it be possible for me to pass the exam with the planned preparation? hope to hear and be inspired from you soon. thanks

  37. richelle says

    Hi sir

    I took my first take last 2009,I failed.kc I know from myself that I didn’t gve the best of me..now im a mother of two and jobless at 29.my parents gave me my last last chance to review and tke my exam again,so I’ll start reviewing this year if God’s permit,hndi pa aq nguumpisa sobrang knakbhan nko n you know bka pumalpak nnman aq,I’m trying not to be nega but hndi q tlaga maiwasan untill I’ve read your advices.I hope I can make it knowing that nkasalalay ang future ko at ng mga anak ko sa last chance na binigay sakin..still undecided pa aq where I will have the review but I’m planning to enroll in cpar..

  38. TEKI says

    Hi Sir,

    I’ve graduated 2000 papo and that was also the time that i took the exam. Now po i’ve decided again na mag exam but I’m afraid dahil masyado na matagal and dont know where to start napo. Nag enroll ako ngayon sa review center but at the same time currently working po. Tama ba na nag enroll nako sa review or dapat nag self study muna ako. Thank you

    • says

      Hi TEKI,

      Mas ok sana kung self study muna. Tapos kung may kakilala kang nag rereview, hiram hiram muna ng materials then basa basa muna. Pero since enrolled kana, I hope yung review school me e zero based para hindi masyado mahirap.

  39. lei says

    hi sir rey, i am a 1988 graduate from pup and never been taken the cpa exam. please advise me kung may chance pa ba akong makapasa sa cpa review despite the fact na matagal na akong graduate. it is only now that i realized i want to take a review and take the cpa exam. paano ko sisimulan ang pagrereview kc nalimutan ko na tlga ang mga inaral during undergrad studies. please advice me…

    • says

      Hi lei,

      Syempre may chance ka pa. Everyone has a chance but you will never know for sure unless you take the exam. Get a hold on current accounting books to refresh your knowledge. There have been a ton of updates on standards since then but some basic principles are still the same.

  40. lei says

    just wanna ask if a 1988 accounting graduate can still try her luck to take the review and take the cpa board exam? paano ko maippasa kung studies ko during my undergrad eh di maganda ang foundation. please advise me and help me how to start, really want to be a cpa khit matagal na akong graduate. its only now narealize kong i really need to try and hope to succeed.

  41. Miaka says

    Hi… I took the CPA exam 2004 pa… Do you think possible po ako Maka pass if I’ll retake?… I’m still working at the bank right now… Do have suggestions para Maka pass ako? Pls reply…. Thanks…

    • says

      Hi Miaka,

      Yes, still very possible for you to pass. You even have a greater chance now because you have been there. But i suggest before you think forward, think backward first (if you haven’t already). What went wrong? List down your scores and explain to yourself what happened and how to improve them. You can start from there.

  42. Jasmin says

    Hi Sir Rey,

    I’ve read your tips on how to pass the CPA board exam, and thanks kasi sobrang nainspired ako lalo. I want to become a CPA, I just graduated last March 2014 and I am currently enrolled in a review school “ReSA”. Weekends ang sched ko kasi I’m working as an executive assistant. Medyo nahihirapan po ako sa pag rereview, hindi ko mamanage ng maayos yung time ko. Gusto ko pong pumasa ngayong Oct 2014 exam. I only have 3 months left, ano po ba tips na maitutulong niyo sa akin? Honestly, hindi po masyado maganda ang foundation ko sa undergrad, and after I graduated dun ko lang rin narealize na gusto ko talaga maging CPA kasi nga nakikita ko na sa working environment ko na mas may edge ka pag CPA ka. Hope you can help me po on how to cope up with my situation po.

    Thank you in advance.

  43. says

    Hi Jasmin,

    TIME talaga ang medyo critical sa review. At hindi lang basta time, kailangan “focused time”. Yung tipong walang kang ibang iniisip kundi review lang. Sa case mo medyo mahirap ata. Well anytime you feel that you are not yet ready, then you’re not ready. If pwede, extend your review up to the next exam until such time na confident ka na. Full-time review is also an option but just like others who are in your situation, it’s a real dilemma.

  44. jing says

    Hi Sir Rey,

    Totoo po ba na maiimplement na sa October 2015 board exam yung may 20% straight problems/supply the answer? Thanks po

  45. Joshua says

    Hi sir..ask ko lng po..What do you think is the best book and reviewer to read in practical accounting 2?the book of sir antonio dayag or pedro guerrero?i have a reviewer of sir pedro guerrero..or is it better to stick to answering the handouts in those review schools?or read more?im a current reviewee and i plan to take the board exams this october..thanks po..

  46. rea gilhang says

    I’m planning to review for the CPA board exam,currently I ‘m working as accounting supervisorin an apparel company…what confuses me if I am going to resign from apparel company and transfer to a company in which the nature is custom brokerage for me to able to work while reviewing?Is service company has less load?

  47. neer says

    hi p0..ask k0 alng kung mahirap p0 ba talaga ung exam?..para magkar00n na ak0 ng matinding m0tivati0n t0 start preparing ngay0n palang..I’m 2nd yr na p0…thank u p0..mabuhay p0 kay0…

  48. arlene says

    hi sir, thank you sa website nyo, nakaka inspire maging cpa….I am currently working and fortunately became a manager but it’s still haunting me to be a CPA. I will be 50 years old by 2015, huli na ba ako?
    please advise me kung paano ako magsisimula….I graduated in 1986 Bachelor of Accountancy and haven’t tried to take the CPA board. It has been my dream to become a CPA… do you think I can still do it? Please advise me. Maraming salamat.

  49. KAYABA says

    Hi sir rey, I need an advice gusto ko na po kasi magtake this May 2015 ng CPA board exam, kso nagdadoubt po ako kasi lagi nalang in any subject out of 50 ang nakukuha ko lang is 25 – 35, and my scores varies depending sa mga tanong sa exam.. sa totoo lang po natatakot na ako, diko na alam kung dapat bang magtake ako this may or not pero yung eager ko na maging CPA was still here, ang problema ko po kasi wala na akong pera kaya gusto ko mag take this coming MAY, plus kung magwowork man ako hindi po sapat kasi andami ko pong obligasyon panganay kasi ako na may tatlong college student na kapatid, at kailangan ko po silang tulungan as well as my parents… Sa ngayon po may REVIEW PROGRAM kami pero sa School lang namin hindi sa mga sikat na review center… sapat na po kaya iyon? nahihirapan ako iassess since ZERO BASED po lagi computation ng scores namin.. sa tingin nyo po sir rey anu pong score ang dapat ko makuha sa mga exams na masasabi ko pong nasa “SAFE ZONE” yung my chance po talagang pumasa.. Sana po ay mareplyan nyo itong mensahe ko I really dont know what to do anymore.. nung 4rth year ko lang po talga naappreciate ung mga topics ng board exam subjects kasi slow type po ako magisip.. sa ngayon nakagawa npo ako ng mga memory aid materials ko and bukas po ay mockboard po namin sa school.. ano pong maipapayo nyo sa situation ko.. Nagdadalawang isip po ako, kung magtetake ako ng may or hindi, gusto ko magtake kasi dala ng pangangailangan…

  50. Urgent says

    Hi po! Super gulong gulo ako. Conditioned po ako sa 3 subjects.. 2 months nalang board exam na, parang ngayon palang po ako magaaral ng todo. Kaya pa po ba yun? Nasira po kasi focus ko dahil sa social media huhu

  51. banz says

    hi po sir rey, its almost 5yrs n po ako grad at hindi po mganda ang foundation during my undergrad. do i have any chance po mkpasa ng board? ano po ang dpat una ko gawin sir rey? please advise me po, eager po tlaga ako mging CPA..salamat po.

  52. Merge Bartolay says

    Hi Sir! May I know if alam nyo po ba kung pwede na magfile for the MAY 2015 CPA Board Exam as early as now…Balak ko po kasi on March 27 mag file…

  53. ghed says

    Hi Sir.

    Advice please. I graduated last 2005. I took and failed the CPA board exam twice. I took a refresher course sometime in 2006 at NCBA. However, I did not take the CPA board anymore after the refresher course. My question is: Is my refresher certificate still valid if I take the CPA Board Exam this year (2015)? What review center will you recommend especially that I have to update myself with a lot of accounting standards? Thank u sir!

  54. yesh says

    hi sir. im a fresh graduate of BSA poh. feeling q poh kasi i dont have a strong foundation since ngayon lang din naman aq nakapagdecide na mag CPA. im palnning to take the exam on May 2015 poh. im currently working sa government poh. do you think i can make it poh sa may sapat na poh ba yong 1 year para po sa isang average student lang compared sa iba kong classmates na super talino?thanks poh. :)

  55. Seeker says

    Hi po. I just would like to ask suggestions po kung saan po bang review center maganda magreview? I know po it’s not the review center that really matters but I think choosing a good review center na suit sa accounting background ko po would also help. I graduated March 2014 and never took the board exam but worked instead kasi late ko na rin po narealize na gusto ko po maging CPA and takot po kasi ako magtake ng board. Kasi hindi po ako ngseryoso sa studies during my college years since taking the accountacy course wasn’t actually my personal choice and was just forced to take it. But after college and when I started to work already I felt like there was always something “lacking”. Kaya napagisipisip ko pong magtry taking the CPA board though I really am not confident with my ‘accounting foundation’. I do quite good on theories but weak on problems/computations.
    And another question po mas effective po ba talaga ang weekend sched kesa weekdays? Your response would really help. Thank You po.

  56. aeka says

    Hi Salamat sa Tips na sinulat mo. Sobrang na inspire ako :)
    2nd year palang naman ako pero nagreready na rin para sa board exam. Salamat talaga kasi mas na motivate akong ipagpatuloy yung course na ito. Kahit minsan nawawalan na ako ng pag asa dahil sa mga classmate kong nag shift ng course pero suddenly na realize ko na wala naman talagang madali na course and mag kaiba kami ako determined talaga na maging CPA someday. Pray nalang kay Lord.

  57. amie lopez says

    Hi sir,
    I am 40 yrs old now…with 2 kids..working as a n acctg section mgr already… i already took the cpa board right after my grad 2o yrs ago but i knew then i couldn’t passed..theh last year i decided to review in cpar and took the exam last oct 2014..but i failed.. though my company never requires me to took the board…and i think few yrs from now i can still get some promotion even without that title. Then now…i’m reviewing as a refresher in crc… but i’m too stressed…being a working mom…and in refrsher your attendance is being monitored…and got intimidated coz most of my classmates are young…plus i still need to go back again with the topics. To cope up with the discussions..honestly i almost forgot what i have gained from the last review..as if i’m starting all over again… i want to be a cpa but i’m still confused whenever i still need this….
    now i’m planning to stop my review…and have my self review first since i already have my review materials…then review again next sem…but all is not yet final…i’m still confused what i want to do….

  58. Mikejen says

    Hi sir Rey,I’m decided to take a review this July and I was not be pe able to enroll in a review center San poh ba mas magandang review center. Hindi pa poh ba ako late mag enrol sa review center pwede pla poh mag enroll as of now?First time ko pong mg take ng review,graduated poh ako last 2005 pa poh and got work for 8 years and now resigned na poh ako I’m a mother of two children gusto ko poh mag exam ng board.Will you help ko ano poh ba ung mas magnda u unahin mag review poh then take a exam or self review,enroll for review the exam..if I’m going to make self review ano pong materials ang gagamitin ko.thank you hoping for you reply..

  59. ythel derf says

    hi sir, i graduated just last year, and currently i am working as an accounting clerk, i really want to take the CPA board exam and im planning to enroll myself on a review center. I already informed my manager regarding my plans about the reveiw and i was told i can have my review if the review schedule is for evening for we have works on saturday. for now my problem is all review centers here in Davao City offers only Weekdays(Morning and afternoon classes) and Weekends (Saturday and Sunday)classes.
    i am really deppresed right now, and i think quitting my job is not an option for me.
    Do you think sir taking weekend classes and only attending the (Sunday Class) can help me get through about all the preparations? i am not planning to take the board exam on a rush though.

    any suggestions sir? or words of encouragement? i really need it right now.

  60. Jj says

    Hi sir rey, nag take po ako last may 2015. Ginawa ko po lahat ng puyat. Pero napansin ko po nung mga 1mon bef the exam nag cramming po ako feeling ko wala po akong alam. Normal po ba un?. Mag tetake po ulit ako this coming Oct.2015. Pano ko po ba i- assess ang sarili ko kung ready n po ulit ako mag take? 😕 thank you po.

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