The information posted on PayrollTalk is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining accounting, payroll, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.

I couldn't pass CPP exam:(

Hello everyone,
I'm doing payroll almost 8 years but I use ADP system. They file taxes for us. I thougt I should learn payroll taxes and educate myself and get CPP certificate. I joined local chapter study group this summer. I releazed I have to learn a lot to get certificate. I coudn't really study until I finish my course but after that I start studying harder. I made cards and I highlited every important part in the book and I did a lot calculation and I took apa KAC twice. I couldn't get more that 60% so I know I wasn't ready for exam but my husband said try and get some experience. I was going to exam I know I can not pass so I didn't disapointed. I scored 213
I had to score 300.

I will take this exam April again and I study every day until my exam. I don't give up. I'm doing this for educating myself. I'm not trying to change my job or my status at work. I'm payroll manager. I think that I should have CPP. Good luck everyone taking this exam. I'm having fun studying and learning about reall payroll.

Comments

  • A co-worker at a previous job passed on the 3rd attempt and my former manger passed on (I believe) 2nd attempt. I haven't tried it yet.
    Don't be discouraged. Note which topics gave you the most trouble and focus your studies there. If it was easy, everyone would do it! :)
  • Oliver wrote:
    A co-worker at a previous job passed on the 3rd attempt and my former manger passed on (I believe) 2nd attempt. I haven't tried it yet.
    Don't be discouraged. Note which topics gave you the most trouble and focus your studies there. If it was easy, everyone would do it! :)

    Thank you very much for your reply! I think I'm very brave that I can tell everyone from this forum I couldn't pas the exam. I think that not easy to say it for a lot of people. I was hoping that some people reply and say " I couldn't pass the exam too" What we can do for passing this exam. Actually I would like to discuss here what else we can do in according to pass this exam. Of course, it is very difficult and I just start studying this summer. I releaze that I really have to know details. I don't practice at work because ADP does taxes for us. I will keep studying and never give up.

    Thanks again for your advice:)
  • I did pass on my first try, but I studied like crazy for six months before I finally took the exam.

    My suggestion for you, beyond reading the payroll source and answering the questions at the end, try to participate in a study group class whether it be online or at a local APA chapter or local college. I participated in an online study group and it made all the difference in the world. I learned so much from my classmates and instuctors. They had excellent resources and practice tests.

    A lot of people swear by Pay Train through APA. It's a course that you load on your own computer and do at your pace. I think you can view a demo from the APA website to see if you'd like it.

    Study, Study, Study... Good Luck for the next time that you take the exam!
  • Kathie wrote:
    I did pass on my first try, but I studied like crazy for six months before I finally took the exam.

    My suggestion for you, beyond reading the payroll source and answering the questions at the end, try to participate in a study group class whether it be online or at a local APA chapter or local college. I participated in an online study group and it made all the difference in the world. I learned so much from my classmates and instuctors. They had excellent resources and practice tests.

    A lot of people swear by Pay Train through APA. It's a course that you load on your own computer and do at your pace. I think you can view a demo from the APA website to see if you'd like it.

    Study, Study, Study... Good Luck for the next time that you take the exam!

    I joined local study grup this summer APA washington DC area. It was very helpful. I viewed demo Pay Train and I was thinking about it. My company doesn't pay my classes so I think that paytrain is expensive. I'm still thinking about it. It might worth it.

    Thank you for your advice
  • If you can afford PayTrain, it is extremely useful. I used it for about 5 months before I took the test. I also took the Payroll 201 class (which also uses PayTrain). PayTrain helps a lot because you can do the questions over and over until you know them and when you take the tests it tells you which sections you need to study more. Good Luck on taking the exam again.
  • If you can afford PayTrain, it is extremely useful. I used it for about 5 months before I took the test. I also took the Payroll 201 class (which also uses PayTrain). PayTrain helps a lot because you can do the questions over and over until you know them and when you take the tests it tells you which sections you need to study more. Good Luck on taking the exam again.

    thank you for your advice
  • I thought pay train was very helpful. I went through once a day for a couple of months and studied for around 5 months. Mostly used pay train (games were good) and the APA Payroll Source.

    I also had a great employer at the time. They picked up the tab for pay train & the exam. I was given a paid day off before the exam to prepare. When I passed the test I was given a 3% raise.

    My best advice is to know what you know, and know what you don't. Reinforce what you know, and spend the majority of your time gaining knowlege in the areas you scored low on or are unfarmiliar with.

    I know a lot of people who did study groups. Each documented a couple of chapters from the Payroll Source and shared notes. About 1/2 of them did not pass.

    I have always felt comfortable with reading and taking the notes myself because that way I knew the information was correct. Study groups are great only if you do not rely on other people to tell you what all the facts are. Researching yourself in my opinoin is the best way to learn.

    Take care and best of luck!
  • And I think I remember that the "core" type of questions are weighted more heavily than questions about arcane regulations and laws that are as common as hen's teeth. :P
  • I am going to take the exam next year, and I am plan to take the class. Thank you for the information.
  • Hello,

    Responding on old post but anyone recently tried pay train and would like to share material?

    msrison
  • Hello,

    I enrolled in the bootcamp, purchased pay train, studied for 6 months, and I failed the exam today. In my opinion, the bootcamp was ineffective because we went over a lot of information that wasn’t on the exam. My advice to anyone taking the exam is to know your forms like the back of your hand.
  • Pay Train is great, The Payroll Source Book is very good, and study groups can be good. Or not. The key is you do not need a perfect score to pass. Focus on the bread-and-butter stuff you will actually use. For example, I know that in 1986 or 87 the FICA rules changed for governmental employers. Never having worked for the government, I do not care what the new (or old) rules say. However even though I use ADP, I know I have to know the deposit rules cold. 401(k). Section 125. Overtime. Minimum wage. Those 5 items I just mentioned are probably half the test.

    I am not saying to ignore the forms, but get the basics cold first. Things like statutory and non-statutory employees are less important, but they are not difficult and there will be a question on them. Learning all 50 or so of the FICA employer exceptions would take forever and might not get a question. Memorizing the instructions for every line on every form will take forever. However there will be a question on the 940, it is a short form, and worth learning the basics if not the detail. Same with the 941. You do not need to quote the instructions, but you do need to know what the form is trying to accomplish.

    Pay Train will show you were you are weak. Payroll Source Book basically is the study guide for the CPP. Study groups could be studying or they could be talking about the local sports teams. Caveat Emptor.

    [Deleted User]
  • Concepts like FITwages, FICAwages, and FUTAwages are very fundamental, as are their related taxes, and how 401(k) and Section 125 pre-tax tie in. If you do not have that down, you have nothing. If you understand these concepts, the forms all of a sudden start making sense. These however are all IRS concepts (IRC) and have NOTHING to do with DOL concepts (FLSA) such as minimum wage and overtime. While IRC and FLSA are the two big laws, there a half a dozen others you also need to learn. You need to ask your self which law is the question you just read interested in.

    And FLSA in particular is often called "exceptions-R-us". Anyone who thinks that they understand the overtime rules, ask them to name the 100 or so exceptions to the standard rules. There are 4 (or more, depending on how you count them) so-called White Collar exceptions. That leaves 96 or so to go. Anyone who thinks they know the standard overtime rules should know what regular rate of pay is, and what the difference between discretionary and non-discretionary payments is. This is very fundamental stuff that will be asked more then once on the test.

    rrupert
Sign In or Register to comment.