Testing during a pandemic requires patience and a bit of foresight. I decided to change my typical approach; I immediately applied to sit for REG after receiving passing results for FAR (thanks for your fantastic material that helped me pass, UWorld Roger CPA!). After experiencing two test cancellations from the Prometric center while preparing to sit for FAR and getting pushed back nearly three months from my original test date, I was determined to feel more in control of my testing experience for REG.
Feeling confident that I would find plenty of openings this time around, I scanned through the Prometric center seat availability tool and entered my ideal two-week testing window; the search results came up with no availability. I entered the next two-week testing window, again, with no availability. At this moment, panic began to set in as my new test date was inching closer to my team’s most significant tax deadline. After my fourth round of checking two-week window slots, the first available date was 15 days before my major work tax deadline, so much for feeling in control of this exam.
There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to get scheduled early during these uncertain times; exams can get canceled unexpectedly. Also, the longer you wait to sit for a CPA exam, the less fresh the material is in your mind. Sure, we all say it’ll give us more time to review…but are you reviewing with that extra time? Like actually reviewing, or are you finding yourself reviewing more episodes on Netflix rather than studying? Trust me; I get it, I know it’s hard to maintain focus! The biggest obstacle I experienced while I waited three additional months to sit for FAR was trying not to memorize the answers. Reviewing the same questions too many times is inefficient, especially if you’ve just remembered the answer. You learn the best and most efficiently while being actively engaged in the material, taking notes, and seeking understanding.
I’ve been asked multiple times what’s driving me to test for the CPA exam now, why not wait? There’s a lot that pushes me; I have a husband that believes in me, I have a family cheering me on, I have work associates always inquiring on how’s studying for the CPA going? But surprisingly, one of my biggest motivators comes from my Latin teacher in my sophomore year of high school. Having a bit of a teaching background myself, I can promise you, she was terrible. She had both my older brother and sister as students previously, and for them, the school was a breeze. They were both honor roll students and always top of their class, then I came along, the average kid. My Latin teacher was known for being strict, and had written a sentence on the board and picked me to translate it in front of the class, I didn’t know the answer, so after cautious hesitation, I sadly replied, “I don’t know.” She looked at me and said in a sarcastic voice, “why are you not as smart as your brother and sister?”
We have a choice when we encounter people in our lives who don’t think we’re enough; we can either choose to believe them or choose not to accept their beliefs. Being a sophomore in high school at the time, and despising Latin class, I decided not to believe her, and I decided two things at that moment: 1.) I would always treat people with respect and kindness and 2.) I was going to prove her wrong.
In the end, I gained something much more from that Latin teacher than learning root words. Anytime I feel like giving up, or doubt fills my mind, I recall that experience and find strength inside myself to push forward. This is the reason why I continue to test now rather than wait. If there’s anyone in your life who may have put the seed of doubt in your mind on whether you have what it takes, please know that it’s your choice on how you define yourself, and I hope you prove them wrong.
If you may have any concerns about testing at the Prometric center during this time, please check out their new policies so that you can see the additional precautions that they have implemented: https://www.prometric.com/covid-19-update/test-center-policies. Please don’t wait to sit for the CPA exam, find what motivates you, and get it done; you’ll come out of this pandemic stronger than ever!
— Laura D., guest blogger for UWorld Roger CPA Review