Failed the CPA Exam? Don't Panic—Try Again!
Lewis Daidone discusses options for CPA candidates who've failed one or more parts of the CPA Exam. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and consultant to financial services firms and technology companies.
Taking the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination is a crucial step on the road to becoming a successful and respected accountant. However, it is a road paved with challenges. The examination is an exhaustive, 14 hour, four-part test that requires years of dedicated preparation. Approximately half of all applicants fail. Credit for any section passed is valid for 18 months from the date the exam was taken. Examination credit expires by section.
If you've failed one or more parts of the CPA Exam, don't despair! You can take the CPA Exam as many times as your schedule (and your sanity) allows.
Failing with a score of 70 – 74
If you failed one of your sections by only a few points, apply for a Notice to Schedule (NTS) to reschedule the failed section as early in the next window as practicable, and begin seriously reviewing the previous materials. You've demonstrated that you've got a strong grasp of critical concepts within that section, and you just need to pay a bit more attention to some of the nuances. You already have the exam fresh in your mind, so you're definitely in a great position to do well on the retake.
Failing with a score of 70 or lower
Those who've failed one of the exams with a score under 70 probably aren't comfortable enough with the material to retake the test successfully early in the next testing window. If you are secure in your grasp of the materials for the next part that you are studying for, continue on your current track, take that exam, and then return to the section you failed. Schedule your re-examination late enough in the following window to give yourself enough time to really nail down all of the materials.
Remember, you have 18 months to pass all four sections of the CPA exam, so use them wisely. Don't let your stumble intimidate or discourage you; stay the course and conquer that test!