Let’s face it – preparing for your certification exam can be an extremely difficult and time-consuming process. But, it can be an even more daunting task to have to prepare for your retake exam.

Retaking any exam is a bit of a nerve-wracking experience. First, you must always consult the retake policy. For example, CPA Exam candidates have to wait at least 24 hours after scores are released before they’re eligible to apply for an exam retake, while Enrolled Agent candidates have only 4 opportunities to pass the SEE Exam between May 1 through February 28; if they don’t pass during this timeframe, they must endure the waiting period between testing windows for their retake.

Aside from exam retake policy – and having to pay an extra exam fee, your primary concern is most likely obtaining that passing score. 

Of course you wanted to pass the first time, but it’s totally okay that you didn’t. Plenty of things get in the way from attaining that passing score on the first attempt – like work, school, family, and all the other personal issues that pop up along the way.

If you feel like you need to take a break from studying or want to add a bit of a cushion between your next exam appointment – you should. Take a break if you need to. There’s no need to get overwhelmed and add further, undue pressure on yourself to jump right back into your retest. Sometimes a break will do just the trick to reset your mind and get you ready for your next exam attempt.

The most important take away from a failed exam is learning from that experience. Try to think back to the aspects of the exam that tripped you up and be sure to study those things doubly to prepare for the second time around.

Lastly, you should evaluate your study materials – from your certification program study materials, exam reviews, practice tests, or whatever else you’re using as your primary methods of study. Try to think critically about whether these study materials really prepared you for the exam or not. Some exam reviews are stronger than others in different ways – maybe some have great videos, others have compelling books, but ultimately the best study materials are the ones that save you time studying and incorporate tons of reference materials so you can learn the most about what you’re learning and why it matters. We recommend using an exam review that incorporates adaptive technologies so you can ensure your studies are focused on the content you know the least – ultimately saving you time studying.

By the way – it’s totally okay if you need to sit for your retake exam a third time, or fourth time; as long as you feel confident in your knowledge of the material — no matter what number retake your final exam ends up being — then you’re on the path to success!

Are you preparing to retake your exam?

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