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I failed the CPA exam

It may be the worst-case scenario, but it's certainly not the end of the world if you failed the CPA review exam. A lot of first-time exam takers might get their scores back and think, "I've failed the CPA review. There's no hope for my career now!"

Not true in the slightest. The reality is, many CPAs who've gone on to establish successful accounting careers failed their initial attempts at the CPA exam. Some even failed it—or certain sections of it—multiple times before they reached the scores they needed.

So what should you do if you've failed the CPA review exam?

First off, don't give up. That's the biggest step to take, because if you throw up your hands and walk away, of course you'll never make it. You fail 100% of the attempts you never make—and a second time around could easily go much better for you. 

The next steps will depend more on your specific scores in this instance. If you missed passing by just a few points, the likelihood is you've already got an excellent grasp of the material and just had an "off" day or need a smidge more practice and review. 

The other big thing to do is analyze your CPA exam results. Look at your score report and see which areas you fell short. These then need to be your focus topics and sections as you continue studying for your next attempt. You may have even left the exam center knowing which sections gave you lots of trouble. By giving these areas more attention, you can optimize your study time and assure you're far more prepared when you go in to retake the exam. Of course, keep every section fresh in your mind throughout the process!

In the simplest terms, step back and assess the areas that tripped you up. Then nail those down in further studies, and then get back in the exam arena and keep trying. When you have a strong CPA review course as well as experienced instructors and proven study materials at hand, it's only a matter of time before you get the scores you need to pass and embark on your exciting new CPA career!

So the next time you think, "I've failed the CPA review. I might as well give up." recognize that this is only the first step in your journey. The key comes in persevering and taking as many steps necessary to reach your goal.