Exam Quotes: Motivation to Pass Your Exam

motivational exam quotes

For those who are preparing for the CPA, CFA, CMA, CIA, or EA exams, or any board exam for that matter, you understand that this task requires a huge amount of time, effort, and sacrifice. And at some point, we all need something to motivate us as we continue on with our studies.

Therefore, I have compiled my favorite quotes that encouraged me all the way to CPA Exam success. I hope you find these quotes helpful.

Also, I think that it’s important to know about the person behind these famous quotes. So, please take the time to skim through the bio summary.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Frits Ahlefeldt (Hiking Artist) for the illustrations.

Finally, I’ve organized these motivational exam quotes according to how they address these 6 attributes of success:

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

Exam Quotes for the CPA Exam


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 is the 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 Failure

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

Baroness Margaret Hilda Thatcher (1925 – 2013) 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 preeminent 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 These Motivational Gifts for Everyday Wisdom and Inspiration

Studying on your own is tedious work. It’s best to have study buddies, but when that isn’t possible, these mouse pads, mugs, fridge magnets, and tees can help you through the journey of studying.

Send yourself a gift today. You deserve it!

motivational exam gifts

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

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  • Dorothy says:

    Awesome quotes !!! Were Really helpful during my exams…..

  • Stephanie says:

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

  • Prince says:

    nice..i love it..i had learned something from it!!

  • Stephanie says:

    Thanks for your contribution Pradeep 🙂 Stephanie

  • Preston says:

    Destiny Does’nt Matter , Journey Does……….

  • Stephanie says:

    edalyn thanks for stopping by and all the best to your exam! Stephanie

  • Bob says:

    I love em!! Thanks.

    Need to go study now!!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Madhu says:

    It inspired me both personally and professionally…

  • 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

  • faith says:

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

  • Stephanie says:

    Faith, congrats to Alice and Jane!

    Cheers, Stephanie

  • Norman says:

    Very motivating thank you……………

  • 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

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Indra thanks for sharing your quote. Stephanie

  • Tania says:

    thank u.. for the collection

  • Dastida says:

    These are the best exam’s quotes that i haver read till now.Thank you very much. 🙂

  • 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.

  • honey says:

    Thanks, this helped.

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

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

  • Azhan says:

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

  • kennedy says:

    thank u 4 your collection .i know a’m going to improve.

  • avdhoot says:

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

  • Anthony says:

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

  • la'abes says:

    The motivations keeps me focus on studies thanks.

  • Jay says:

    I really feel motivated after reading these quotes….itz gud for us to ve u!..thankyou

  • HAJRA says:

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

  • Stephanie says:

    Glad to know many of you love these quotes. All the best! Stephanie

  • 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

  • felix says:

    thank you so much stephanie, these quotes are so helpful God bless you!

  • Smart says:

    Fantastic xams quotes, i’m inspired by your lovely quotes.

  • TW says:

    This is really helpful and inspiring ! Thanks for sharing them 🙂

  • 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! 🙂

  • 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)

  • donkor perez says:

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

  • 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.

  • Ankit says:

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

  • 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…

  • Oby Akaegbobi says:

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

  • 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

  • mwansa kalikeka says:

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

  • 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

  • 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 🙂

  • adeola says:

    Love it helped me pass

  • Uteng Dube says:

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

  • Waqar says:

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

  • Waqar says:

    My Fav
    “The Best Way To Finish A Unpleasant Tast Is To Get Started”

  • Mpho says:

    Thnx alot its so motivated, i realy hope i will pass with flying colours

  • sushma says:

    superb quotes…

  • Yash says:

    Thank You So Much 🙂
    Really nice compilation.

  • 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.

  • Sri Harsha bojja says:

    nice collection buddy 🙂 Good work n thank you 🙂


    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.

  • Ghazal says:

    Thank you.

  • Biwash khanal says:

    This is really a great collection.. a power pack i would prefer to say.. thankyou stephanie !

  • Nitin says:

    loved it ….
    Thanks ….
    Hope to do good in exams .
    pray for me …

  • Irshad khan says:

    very inspired quotes…
    I have learned so much 4rm it…

    thanks for sharing 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • Seth says:

    Really inspiring quotes. it made my day. Kudos and thanks a lot

  • 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

  • Poojashah says:

    Thanks a lot Stephanie, your doing great work, lots of blessings:)

  • rani says:

    awesome quates i just love it .thanks and hope that u will send more quates

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • pawan says:

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

  • reena says:

    it was worth reading i loved it so inspirational

  • Omolola says:

    Really love this quote “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” ~ Max DePree.

  • Ghazal says:

    I PASSED MY EXAMS !!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks again for the motivation!

  • Shah Aasif says:

    thanks, for giving birth to my new confedence

  • 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!

  • Akash says:

    I guess the same tips apply to my CA examinations coming next month too… 😀

  • sufaira shrin says:

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

  • digant says:

    Thank you…


    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

  • daniel s says:

    “live your life the way you like” always make the people to look up u

  • 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.

  • Misam mirza says:

    thank you so much for this inspirational quotes…

  • 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

  • mike says:

    This is not only a morale booster but also gives carriage, confidence and rejuvenates hard work thanx

  • Joseph kamau says:

    This is awesome like helpful and inspiring,educative quote i am doing my exam after two week so anyone can send me success p.o. Box 22531 00400 Nairobi

  • A.DEEPIKA says:





  • divyashree says:

    It helps me my friends to motivate us that. “Exams are not boring it makes our life beautiful”. Its so useful.

  • Bashir says:

    Thanks for these inspirational quotes



  • Nharh says:

    I really love this quotes,they are very inspirational,educative…have learned alot of things in your lovely quotes….I have exams in two months time…?

  • i will not say had says:


  • Sun. says:

    Stephanie,Really it inspired me a lot….thank you nd ur group for uploading i can bet it will help me a lot during my exams …….the 1’s that inspired me the most i hve rlwritten it on a piece of paper and had pasted it on the wall of my study room it’s helping me a lot to jill myself

  • Dheeraj says:

    I realy inspire with this lines

  • Sam says:

    Very good quotes for students who wants to success in their life. It inspired me a lot.
    It gave me the inspiration to prepare hard for my exams…
    Thanks for the quotes.
    I eagerly waiting for more quotes

  • Divyashree K says:

    Awesom quotes Stephanie… Inspiring & really keeps motivated, not only for the exam for lot many things in life. Thanks lots for it!!
    Will for sure write it on a paper & stick on my lappy 😉

  • Leslie says:

    Thanks Stephanie. This is what i need right now. almost losing my hope.

  • David (water) says:

    I love those quotes, they enhanced me more.

  • Chenjo Joseph says:

    Really inspiring and motivating quotes of all times. Thanks a lot.

  • fadhul says:

    Tomorrow…my exam beginz ….. I’m not study anything ….. but I haven’t fear…bcoz one exam sheet can’t decide my future

  • T.ponnudurai says:

    It gives us confidence .THANK YOU

  • akansha rajput says:

    Thnks it will really help me in my exams.

  • JJ says:

    good quotes. … inspiring. ….

  • VAIBHAV says:

    Excellent quotes!!!These will help me excellently for my board exams,ICSE 2017.(Std X)

  • the person says:

    inspiring quotes there huh

  • Andrea says:

    Exams are tomorrow and after reading this I’m picking on the game and it’s making realise that I need to pick myself up and start on with my work. If it’s not today then it’s never.

  • Asif Kashmire says:

    very nice
    Tomorrow…my exam beginz ….. I’m not study anything ….. but I haven’t fear…bcoz one exam sheet can’t decide my future

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  • Asante christil says:

    Very empowering,I think I would be in the university next year as I prepare for mu nov/dec exams next month this year ?? but here is my own quote which I wrote my self —“Failure comes when there is a mistake ,but success embrace’s when there is a correction” ~Asante christil thanks @Stephanie

  • Rajkishore says:

    God bless you .thanks stephenie.you are the candle of my life

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