Exam Quotes at Their Best: 38 Motivations to Pass the Exam

motivational exam quotesFor those who have the experience in preparing the CPA,  CMA , CIA exams or any board exam for that matter, you’ll understand the huge amount of time, effort and sacrifice for this exercise, and at some point, we all need something to cheer us up to continue the quest.

I have taken the time today to write down my favorite exam quotes (written on post-its around the desk and monitor) that have encouraged me all the way to CPA exam success.

I hope you will find them helpful. I also think that it’s important to know the person behind these famous quotes so please take the time to skim through the bio summary.

Big thank you to Frits Ahlefeldt (Hiking Artist) for the illustrations.

These motivational exam quotes are organized into these 6 attributes of success:

  • Diligence
  • Persistence
  • Taking the Initiative
  • Learning from Failure
  • Facing Challenges
  • Living A Fruitful Life

Exam Quotes For The CPA Exam

CPA: Can Pass Attitude

Do It Once, Do It Right. Get It Over With!” ~ Nan, CPA Forum member

Begin NOW thinking about how you will rejoin civilized society, but at a much higher level than you were when you started up this road, because you will have your CPA license.” ~ Nan

Exam Quotes On Diligence

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work learning from failure.” ~ General Colin Powell

Colin Powell (1937 – ) is a retired four-star general in the US Army and the 65th United States Secretary of State (and the first African American appointed to this position) serving under President George W. Bush from 2001-2005.

Few minds wear out; most rust out.” ~ Christian Nextell Bovee

Christian Nextell Bovee (born 1820) was an American author from New York City. Many widely circulated quotes from him comes from his two publications, Thoughts, Feelings, and Fancies, and Intuitions and Summaries of Thought.

Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.” ~ Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) was a famous eighteenth century English poet best known for his quotes and for his translation of Homer. He is the third most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson.

Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” ~ David Bly

David Bly (1852-) is a Minnesota politician and a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives representing District 25B.

Exam Quotes On Persistence

Exam quote on success

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ~ Robert Collier

Robert Collier (1885 – 1950) was an author of self help, and New Thought metaphysical books in the 20th century.

A lot of us would like to move mountains, but few of us are willing to practice on small hills.” ~ Anonymous

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” ~ Chinese Proverb

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” ~ Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) was a theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. He is often regarded as the father of modern physics.

exam quotes on persistence

Exam Quotes On Taking The Initiative

Recipe for success: Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.” ~ William A. Ward

William A. Ward (1921 – 1994) is one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims. He is the author of Fountains of Faith.

The best way to finish an unpleasant task is to get started.” ~ Anonymous

exam quote on taking intiative

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) was an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best-selling books of all time.

You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement.

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” ~ Conrad Hilton

Conrad Nicholson Hilton was (1887 – 1979) was an American hotelier and founder of the Hilton Hotels chain.

Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.” ~ Jules Renard

Jules Renard (or Pierre-Jules Renard) (1864 – 1910) was a French author and member of the Académie Goncourt, most famous for the works Poil de Carotte (Carrot Top) and Les Histoires Naturelles (Natural Histories).

Procrastination is the thief of time.” ~ Edward Young

Edward Young (1681 – 1765) was an English poet, best remembered for Night Thoughts.

motivational exam quote

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.” ~ Yoda

Yoda isthe Jedi Master in Star Wars.

If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” ~ Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts (b. Eleanor Marie Robertson) (1950 – ) is a bestselling American author of more than 165 romance novels, and she writes as J.D. Robb for the “In Death” series. She also has written under the pseudonym Jill March, and some of her works were published in the UK as Sarah Hardesty.

Exam Quotes On Facing Challenges

I’m not telling you it is going to be easy — I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it” ~ Art Williams

Arthur T. Williams (1939 – ) is a former professional basketball player in America.

The most painful thing to experience is not defeat but regret” ~ Leo Bascaglia

Felice Leonardo “Leo” Buscaglia (a.k.a “Dr Love”) (1924 –  1998) was an author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California.

exam quote on facing challenges

Tough times never last, but tough people do.” ~ Robert H. Schuller

Robert Harold Schuller (1926 – ), is an American televangelist, pastor, and author known around the world through the weekly Hour of Power television broadcast that he founded in 1970.

Doubt whom you will, but never doubt yourself.” ~ Christian Nestell Bovee

Christian Nestell Bovee (born 1820) was an American author from New York City. Many widely circulated quotes from him comes from his two publications, Thoughts, Feelings, and Fancies, and Intuitions and Summaries of Thought.

Exam Quotes On Learning From Failures

When I was young I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures, so I did ten times more work.” ~ Bernard Shaw

exam quote on failure

Bernard Shaw (George Bernard Shaw) (1856 – 1950) was a talented Irish playwright of more than 60 plays. Nearly all his writings deal sternly with prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy to make their stark themes more palatable.

Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” ~ William Durant

William Durant (1861 – 1947) was a pioneering industrialist and founder of General Motors Corporation.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ~ Carl Bard

Carl Bard (1907-1978) was a Scottish Theologian Religious Writer Broadcaster.

You’re never a loser til you quit trying.” ~ Anonymous

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~ Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931) was an American inventor, scientist and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

exam quote on facing challenge

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard (1856 – 1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. He was an influential exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement and is, perhaps, most famous for his essay A Message to Garcia.

Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never.” ~ Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874 – 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He served as Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955.

Exam Quotes On Living A Fruitful Life

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. it’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.” ~ Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher (1925 – ) served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She is the only woman to have held either post

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is for you.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) was an American essayist, philosopher, and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid 19th century. His teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid 1800s.

We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” ~ Max DePree

Max DePree is an American writer. A son of D.J. DePree, founder of Herman Miller office furniture company, he and his brother Hugh DePree assumed leadership of the company the early 1960s. He succeeded his brother Hugh as CEO in the mid-1980s and served in that capacity to 1990. His book Leadership is an Art has sold more than 800,000 copies. In 1992

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement.

If you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life.” ~ Confucius

Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC) was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese thought and life.

exam quote on positive thinking

Learn something new every day under the sun. You will never get old if you do.” ~Lois Bey

If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” ~ Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931) was an American inventor, scientist and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

Check out My Favorite Books on Wisdom and Inspiration

Our best friends whenever we get angry, frustrated and down like a deflated balloon.

Each of them cost less than 2 cups of starbucks coffee :)

A collection of 100 inspirational quotes beautifully illustrated by Artist Lisa Congdon. Perfect gift for graduates, colleague farewell… friends and families about to start a new phase in their lives.Great quotes from inspiring people from all cultures and background. Very helpful when we need affirmation in all aspects of our lives.Excellent bedside book by fellow blogger-author Joe Tichio. Life is worth living even after a boring and uneventful day at work.


  1. Stephanie says

    Glad to know Dorothy — write your favorite one on post-it and stick it next to your monitor! Stephanie

  2. syengo dennis says

    Hi what a wonderful quotes!kudos…..prepare one so that i can worm up my sister who is taking KCSE this moment.reply via my submitted email.

    • Stephanie says

      Thanks Syengo dennis. Glad you find them helpful. Best of luck to your sister’s exam! Stephanie

  3. priyanka says

    they are superb and sooooooooo innovative.well quoted for my preparation.i even passed the link to all of my friends…….

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Priyanka, glad to know you find the quotes useful! Good luck to you and your friends on the exam! Stephanie

  4. Adam says

    Thanks for uploading such nice quotes…. It is always so much helpful when we get motivated during our student life…thanx a lot

  5. faith says

    wow!, very motivate words!, especially for my two cousins who have just cleared class 8. Alice & Jane. Thanx guyz.

  6. indra says

    “A Man can liv 4, 40days without food!
    3days without water!
    8mins without air
    But not a second without hope!
    so Nevr lose ur hope”
    -Dr A.P.J. ABDUL Kalam.
    Eminent scientist,Former president of India

  7. Justice Nana Yaw Ofosu says

    God bless you for this motivational messages. this will help students who are preparing for their final examinations and the general public as a whole. it is my prayer that any body who reads through this motivational messages would be blessed.

  8. Great motivative quotes helpful at the period when we need confidence .Thanks says

    Thanks …. The quotes are great …. !!!

  9. avdhoot says

    I really appreciate your work.
    Thanks for all these quotes, It really inspires me…

  10. Anthony says

    Great motivative quotes helpful at the period when we need confidence. I really Love this QOUTES.TY!!!

  11. HAJRA says

    superb quotes 4 me to send my dear students to keep them focus to their studies….

  12. paul says

    i just want to thank for inspiring exam quotes. they have totally changed my attitude towards studying and also towards life in general. THANKS again Stephanie

  13. An Arifriday says

    OMG! These are amazing.
    I had to make these for my Teacher so that she could give them to the whole school.
    Thank God I found this Site. =D
    This is AMAZING!
    Thank You so much for sharing ’em! :)

  14. says

    These Quotes were highly Innovative, Motivating and really Inspiring. This will definitely help students who are preparing for their examinations and the general public as a whole. I really appreciate the good work you are doing Stephanie. God Bless You.

  15. Arthur says

    These quotes are brilliant and a few have helped me through my exams, thank you for taking the time to do this you are truly inspirational yourself.
    Here is a couple which helped me in tough times:
    1) “The Future is for those who prepare for it today”- Malcom X

    2) “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”- Rocky Balboa (I just love this quote)

  16. donkor perez says

    all the quotes are magnificent.my best quote hav’nt appeared yet, wish to see it soon.Keep it up

  17. says

    For certain this is my favorite amogst all,”Learn something new
    every day under the sun.
    You will never get old if
    you do”. Everyday I tapped in the sun to school and today I have promoted and I will use it for the next level thank you.

  18. Ankit says

    Really you are all awesome persons who who submit the thoughts and make a person really best

  19. Mohamed pedro says

    Thanks u guyz for doing such good job like this…Am now motivated for my w.a.s.s.c.e exam…

  20. Oby Akaegbobi says

    Successful people opmistic people. They never quit even when conditions are unfavourable.

  21. Manoj says

    To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. “I will drink the ocean”, says the persevering soul; “at my will mountains will crumble up”. Have that sort of energy, that sort of will; work hard, and you will reach the goal – Swami Vivekananda
    (Most famous philosopher from India) , pls clk the link http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Swami_Vivekananda

  22. mwansa kalikeka says

    God bless you for this motivational messages please send more now……………..

  23. Cheswa Chengo says

    Might I first commend the great work you’re doing. I find whenever I read these quotes in the morning I have increased strength to do what I need to do that day.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Good for you! If so you should write some down on post-it and paste it around your desk/computer. That’s what I did when I took the exam. Stephanie

  24. Sher mohd says

    “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are probably right”- Henry Ford
    “you must be the change you wish to see in this world”- mahatma gandhi
    and these quotes are amazing :)

  25. Uteng Dube says

    Wow what life-filled quotes.they are jus superb eg”We cant become what we need by remaining what we are.”

  26. Waqar says

    Great Quotes You Collected I Have Copied Into A Document File These Quotes Really Moved Me Thnx Spef 😀

    • Stephanie Ng says

      :) Simple words great message. These people are amazing to come up with thought provoking quotes.

  27. gigi says

    i will mark the date today as i read all your collections as one of my motivation to start studying for my boards. thank you for inspiring me. i know i can pass it. just 1 take.


    Thank you very much for such inspiring quotations. I am a class teacher of Grade 12 & It really helped my class students to prepare for the final Exam.

  29. Quia says

    Thanks for sharing these motivating quotes.
    Honestly, I always go to this site when I am at my lowest, or when I am procrastinating… and it is effective :)

  30. Poojashah says

    Superb quotes, I am planning for cpa after 10 years gap in education, I am on h4 visa from India have bachelors degree and diploma in business management
    , I don’t know how it’s gonna be, but deep within have faith that I will do it, and with ur motivational quotes it will be superb journey thank you

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hello Poojashah, glad you see you here! My very best wish for you! Stephanie

  31. Mercy Adzo Dzifa says

    Inspiring quotes. If I had read this before my B.E.C.E exams,it would have impact but anyway God gave me success. I am going to read this to the final year students of my alma mater and I know it will be of great help. Thank you and God bless you.

  32. Dhitika says

    I have completed class 12.
    I took a gap year after that as I did not perform well in my entrance exam. Back then I swore to rock the exam. But now, 10 days before the exam, honestly, I am not prepared. I haven’t studied physics and chemistry, I haven’t worked on my weaknesses in biology. In short – I can see history repeat itself. And the worst part is- now that I am trying to study – I can’t retain anything!
    PLEASE HELP ME. A lot of expectations ride on me.

  33. pawan says

    Thq……. Today is my exam and these quote surely going to help me a lot…. Thq Stephanie

  34. Marie says

    Greetings, Ms.! I am from the Philippines. Last september 13 and 14, I took my licensure examinations. Prior to that, I was feeling very nervous(in a very badway) and had no confidence at all. I even stopped reviewing for the exams because I felt so tired and it seemed that the studying was of no help. I was becoming more depressed as each day passed. So one night I went online and desperately searched for motivational and inspirational quotes and so I found your website. I took everything down on my notebook, so that each time I am about to start reviewing, I would prep myself up first before actually studying. It actually helped! I am now a registered Medical Technologist:) praise the Lord and thank you!

  35. sufaira shrin says

    nice ……..this really helped me in exam days…………………………………….


    Those are awesum words…they really motivate me to never give up expecially now that im facing final examination to make it to pre-matric next year….thank you every much im going to study hard and make it

  37. Shraddha Patil says

    Amazing and inspiring words full of positivity and hope! Thank u so much for this. Yes, if we decide and work efficiently and wholeheartedly, then success if definitely ours.

  38. harsha vardhan says

    thank you so much this made made me inspire and helped for my exam and keep giving this type types of thoughts and make us inspired people