Students frequently ask us if a particular exam is difficult to pass. I have spent some time thinking about this, and determined that the answer is “No, the exam is not difficult to pass. In fact, it should be easy to pass.”

If you are properly prepared, then the exam should be easy to pass. In other words, if you know the material tested on the exam, then taking the exam is just a process of answering questions you are prepared to answer. Of course, there may be a few questions that you are uncertain about, but if you are properly prepared, you should know that you passed when you leave the exam.

A better question to ask is, “Is it is difficult to prepare for the exam?” While this question is a bit different, the answer is similar. While not every topic will be easy to learn because some concepts are difficult to learn and take time, overall you should feel confident as you prepare to prepare to pass the exam if:

  1. You have decided that you want to pass the exam (this means that you are properly motivated and will actually study), and
  2. You have the right exam prep materials for your learning style, background, and experience.

I can’t help you find the internal motivation that you need to study for the exam, but I know that you should find it before you start studying. You can read this previous post for thoughts on internal motivation:

I also can’t make your decision about what study materials are the best for you, but I can tell you some things you should think about and look for when you choose study materials:

  1. Do the materials offer multiple ways to learn? Do they have only a textbook to read, or do they have videos as well? Are there flash cards? Everyone learns differently, and you want a provider that will help you learn in the ways that are most effective for you.
  2. What guarantees are offered with the materials? Does the provider have a financial interest in making certain that you pass because they will have to pay something if you fail, or do they want you to fail so that they can sell you their materials again next year?
  3. How will the provider support you while you are studying? Do they have dedicated experts to help you? Will they give you updated materials if the exam changes while you are studying? Or will you have to pay again after a certain period of time?

Most importantly, look at samples of materials before you buy. Any review course provider should want you to see their materials and it should be easy for you to find and review them. We offer free samples of our materials on our web site.

We look forward to helping you achieve your certification and making it as easy as possible with complete, comprehensive, and clear materials. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have about preparing for the exams. We work hard so that the exam can be easy for you.

Brian Hock, CMA, CIA

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  1. Ben on October 8, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Fantastic advice and insight

  2. Mahmudul Hassan on May 4, 2020 at 10:36 am