The Question about the CPA Exam I Fear the Most


Once you begin your CPA journey, it becomes difficult to dodge some of the obvious questions that you’ll be asked by friends and coworkers.  The questions are innocent, but may end up adding additional stress or pressure on you while you’re studying and preparing for the exam.

There are three questions, in particular, that I get asked quite frequently from friends, family and coworkers:

  1. How is the CPA Exam going or how many exams have you passed?  While this may be an obvious question for one to ask, most CPA candidates prefer not to be asked this question. It’s not because we are shy or socially incompetent, but mainly because the answer we give may end up resulting in numerous follow up questions that we just don’t want to answer at the moment.  It becomes even more difficult when trying to explain your answer to someone who has no idea what the CPA Exam is like.  He or she will not be able to relate to the difficulty and stress that comes with preparing for and taking the exam.
  2. Just study and you’ll be fine!  This is more of a statement than a question, but I get incredibly frustrated with those who decide to give me this “million dollar advice.”  It’s frustrating because they have no idea how many hours of lost sleep I’ve already accumulated while studying for the exam.  Also, what kind of advice is “just study and you‘ll be fine!?”  I understand it’s probably coming from a good place but I always want to say, “You honestly have no idea what you’re talking about!”  Hopefully some of you can relate to this, because I may just be coming off as a stuck-up CPA candidate.   
  3. When is your next exam?  Personally, this is the question I fear the most, simply because this question tends to put additional pressure or me to pass my next exam. No CPA candidate wants to fail an exam but if you do, you absolutely do not want to have to go into work the next day or explain to friends and family that you failed the exam.  It is hard enough dealing with the failure and coming to terms with it and then realizing you’ll have to go through the same horror for a second or even third time depending on when you pass the exam.  The most difficult part is then trying to explain to someone why you failed.  If you’ve never sat for the CPA exam, then you have no idea what a CPA candidate is going through.  Simply stating that you failed because of the SIMS means absolutely nothing to your friend or coworker.  To them that probably means you didn’t study enough to answer the question when in fact the simulation just had absolutely nothing to do with the section you were preparing for or wasn’t mentioned in your studies!

In the end, I understand most people are just trying to be nice and discuss something that’s very important to me.  It’s just get frustrated due to the amount of times I hear the same exact questions asked over and over. Hopefully I’m not alone.

If you’ve had to deal with the same situation, how did you handle it? Leave a comment below.

Happy Studies All!

– Chris Boate, guest blogger for Roger CPA Review

Scroll to Top