I have been studying for the CPA Exam for the past 7 years. It has been a long difficult journey
for me because I’ve literally had to put my life on hold in order to make this exam a top priority.
I’ve had to sacrifice fun, material possessions, traveling, family functions, and relationships all
because I didn’t want a CPA license to be the sacrifice. I’ve literally had to live a life of
separation (only those truly called by God will understand what this is like).
This, by far, has been thee most challenging thing I’ve ever had to endure. For those who don’t
know, the CPA Exam consists of 4 different exams (sections), and you must pass all 4 sections
within an 18-month window. If you don’t, any exams you’ve passed will expire after 18 months
and you will need to pay for them and take them again. Each section of the exam requires 100-
150 hours of study time. Let that sink in.
I have sat for this exam 19 times! I have spent nearly $10,000 on application fees, exam fees,
and review courses. I have spent thousands of hours of my life studying for this exam over and
over again. I’ve passed exams (some multiple times), lost exam credits because I couldn’t pass
all 4 exams within 18 months, paused studying due to life circumstances…. Sometimes I would
even give up, but each time I wanted to quit and tried to quit, my spirit would remain unsettled
and I would never have peace about not accomplishing this task. God would never let me put
my plans before His, and each time I tried to put my desires before His, it would never work
This cycle of passing exams, losing exams, starting over, or never quite finishing has been
draining and discouraging. As of December 2021, I had 3 out of 4 exams passed. I began
studying for REG after the 2022 tax season and failed twice. On August 9, 2022, when scores
were released, I found out I got a 74 when I needed a 75 to pass REG and officially be done with
the CPA exam. I literally told God, “How could you let me fail again?! I just want to be done!
How many more times will you make me take this exam and waste my money on this exam?!
How is this helping me be a good steward over my finances?!”
I was angry and full of anxiety primarily because my FAR score was expiring on 9/10/22. I had
less than 30 days to retake REG…AND PASS! I had to adjust my study method swiftly, so I began
to research topics I wasn’t quite grasping on YouTube. I came across this video from Darius
Clark on corporate basis and was floored!
I knew it wasn’t by accident that I was having this epiphany in this moment. God wouldn’t just
let me stumble upon this video for no reason. None of the review courses I was using at the
time had explained corporate basis in this way with so much clarity. I was seeking for an
answer, and God literally gave me the answer I was desperately searching for. So, I took a leap
of faith and bought a monthly subscription to Darius Clark’s review course i-75.
I primarily needed to increase my knowledge in Entities and Property Transactions, however, I
was curious what Darius had to say about other REG topics, especially the areas I was stronger
in. I was shocked to learn something I didn’t know before in nearly every video I watched. I had
finally understood various concepts without feeling burdened with memorizing the material.
Some videos made me completely scratch what I thought I knew with what I had just learned!
How many people are so stubborn in what they think they know that they completely reject the
new methods being introduced to them? Some people say, “What you don’t know can’t hurt
you.” But the truth is, “What you don’t know actually CAN hurt you.”
As I went through the REG course, I no longer felt like I was studying – I was actually learning
and comprehending. I personally love to learn and I love to listen to wise men teach, so
listening to Darius teach on various topics wasn’t even strenuous for me – I thoroughly enjoyed
I know it sounds bizarre to use the word “enjoy” with studying for the CPA exam, but the best
teachers can take the most complicated concepts and make them easily digestible. They serve
things one bite at a time, hence why the i-75 way is truly the best way to pass the CPA exam.
Darius teaches his students to always predict the next question. The way Darius trains CPA
candidates for battle is why so many of his students win this war and become warriors!
I took REG on 9/7/22. I logged into my CBA account on 9/10/22 and saw “EXPIRED” next to my
FAR score. Whew…. Scores were released on 9/15/22, and I logged into my account and saw,
“CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE PASSED THE UNIFORM CPA EXAM!” I literally felt like God
resurrected me from the dead! I truly don’t know if I would have had it in me to continue on
what seemed to be a never-ending journey.
As much as I hated the fact that I had to spend money on more study materials and exam fees, I
began to see why God had allowed me to fail REG. One of my favorite preachers says, “Life is
lived forward, but understood backward.” – Dr. Dharius Daniels. Had I not failed REG, 1) I never
would have received so much clarity on various REG topics, 2) I never would have been given
the opportunity to connect with Darius Clark, and 3) I never would have passed REG in the
duration of time that I did. I could only imagine what would have happened if I found Darius
Clark and i-75 sooner – I probably would have been done with this exam years ago and could
have saved so much time and money.
The CPA exam is going to be changing in 2024, and I don’t believe CPA candidates need to
worry about a thing. If you pass any one of the four sections before the exam changes, then you
won’t lose your exam credit, nor will you need to take the section in the new version. You will
only have to take the new version of each section if one of your scores expires, which is nothing
new. It’s hard to say if the exam will become more difficult, but one of the goals is for the
information tested to be more relevant.
Change always scares people, which doesn’t make sense because a failure to evolve results in
extinction. The last time the exam changed was in 2017. If you go to Wikipedia, you can see
how pass rates increased for every section after 2017. I believe that the specialization of study
within the BEC section will result in a further increase of pass rates. We all agree that the CPA
exam covers way too much material given the specificity of people’s career choice after they
become a CPA. Hence why some people don’t even see the point of passing the exam anymore
nor do they even desire a CPA license because they think they’re just going to keep doing what
they do now after they get a CPA license – so they tell themselves.
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7 that, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” This basically
means whatever you think about yourself you’ll become. Whatever you meditate on you’ll act
upon. This is why it’s so important to be mindful of what you watch, what you listen to, and
who you listen to. Because you can connect with the wrong person who will tell you lies and
you’ll eventually begin to believe them to be the truth. Some people have become so
discouraged with this exam that they begin to believe lies about themselves, what their capable
of achieving, and what a CPA license will do for them. This is also why surrounding yourself with
the right people matters.
I am personally of the belief that a CPA license is worth it despite the rigorous process of
becoming a CPA. As frustrating as this journey has been, I am proud of myself for not giving up
and finishing this race! Some of the greatest people in history have failed the most. This has
definitely been the greatest thing I have ever accomplished. And to think that one day this will
soon become the smallest thing I’ve ever achieved is amazing to me. I am excited for the doors
that will now be opened to me that would have otherwise stayed closed. Now that I’m a CPA, I
can finally start living my life and walking in my purpose.
It’s about time.
Lindsey Garcia, CPA
FAR – 64, 66, 74, 71, 73, 76
AUD – 78, 73, 75 BEC – 71, 68, 80, 83*, 72, 77
REG – 56, 71, 74, 82
“What the enemy meant for evil, God has turned it around for my good!”