This paper describes an approach to teaching intermediate financial accounting employing testing as a teaching and learning tool, not just an assessment tool. Using exams in an analysis‐of‐diagnostic‐exam‐driven teaching and learning cycle (ADEPT Learning Cycle), students received feedback on their proficiency on selected topics. The instructor used the results to direct students on corrective steps to resolve deficiencies and to direct targeted, immediate one‐on‐one tutoring as needed. Students had to complete each diagnostic exam successfully (80 percent grade) before interim exams. The study reports better student performance in Intermediate I for ADEPT students. Student satisfaction indicated on course evaluations also was extremely high. Further, the study reports superior performance in Intermediate II by Intermediate I ADEPT students compared to other Intermediate I students. Finally, 100 percent of “pre‐Intermediate I” accounting majors in the ADEPT approach class completed accounting degrees compared to less than 80 percent of other “pre‐Intermediate I” accounting majors.