Regrouping after failing a CPA preparatory course exam

Jul 15, 2022
Photo credit: HayDmitriy/
If you have recently been unsuccessful in a CPA preparatory course exam, you may be feeling down and disappointed. Below are some suggestions on how to refocus and prepare for success in future exams.

Whether it’s been a while since you studied or you are completely new to accounting education, you are not alone. Many CPA students encounter difficulties at some point as they work toward obtaining the CPA designation. Before your next CPA preparatory course or exam, keep in mind the following: 
  • You are allowed three attempts at each course. Rewrite exams are considered another attempt at the course.
  • We recommend taking only one core course per semester. Students taking one core course tend to outperform students registered in two. If you are considering registering in two core courses, please contact to discuss your options.
  • If you are struggling with your course, private tutoring is available. Further information can be found in Brightspace (D2L).
  • You may want to take advantage of free courses offered through Coursera: Learning How to Learn Course and Mindshift Course.
  • You can connect with your classmates through the course class list in Brightspace (D2L). Studying with another person can be very helpful.
  • The CPA preparatory courses section of the Certification Resource Centre offers valuable resources, including guidance on the structure and administration of courses as well as regulations for course examinations. 

Additionally, below is a reminder on study habits that can be beneficial to your success: 
  • Stay calm; don’t panic.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • If possible, choose a study space that is quiet, comfortable, and distraction free.
  • Develop a daily study routine so you avoid leaving coursework and studying to the last minute. Consistent daily effort is key for longer retention.
  • Find out what works for you. Are you an early bird? Study in the morning. Are you a night owl? Study at night. 
  • Take regular breaks when studying and remember proper nutrition, hydration, sleep, and exercise.
 We hope this information is helpful as you work towards successfully completing your studies.