Staying Calm During the CPA Exam

JoMarie is a weekly Club 75 Blogger as she documents her journey through the CPA Exam. She has been a member of's Club 75 since October 2010.

Hello everyone!!

I hope everyone have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!! I spent my time with Wiley Test Bank, Yeager’s Listen & Learn, and Jeff’s NINJA Notes.

The last few times I’ve sat for exams something has happened. I panic!! When I arrive at the Prometric test center, I arrive all cool and calm, and tell myself, “Here we go again, just try your best and clear your mind of everything else.”

Someone signs me in, gives me my pencils and scrap paper, and shows me to my computer. I enter in my code and get myself situated and then I start answering questions.

Then something happens. I come across a question that I draw a blank on or I don’t know. Instead of skipping and coming back to it at the end of my testlet, I PANIC!!! I read and reread the same question and spend too much time on one question.

Doing that, of course, wastes my time, and at the end I run out of time. I believe that’s why I’ve gotten almost passing grades, like a 74 in Regulation.

Well, I’ve been practicing not to panic. It happened this morning when I was reviewing for Audit. With this week being my final week before my Audit exam on July 11th, I’m doing mini tests per topic, so I know what to work on before Monday. Well, I had one of my panic attacks and I messed up the remainder of the mini test.

I was ready to say “forget it, I will never pass this exam!!!” I took a little break, went to run some errands, then came home and worked on some more MCQs. Again, I came across some questions I wasn’t sure of, but this time I didn’t panic.

I made an educated guess and moved on. That’s all that we need to do. Move on from questions we are not sure of.

This testing window is going to be a for sure test. With me sitting for 3 parts in the next two months, I need to move on past my panic attacks.

I’ll write next week and let you know how Auditing went for me. Hopefully, it’ll go smoothly and I can move onto Regulation with Becker, Jeff’s NINJA notes, and Wiley test bank; and Financial Accounting and Reporting with Roger’s Review, Jeff’s NINJA notes, and Wiley test bank.

Till next time!!


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Barry 12 years ago

JoMarie, Great point that you brought up about panicking. The other point that I want to remind you is that some of the questions are not graded. So that question that you are panicking about may not even be counted. My suggestion would be to focus on answering the questions to the best of your ability, and forget about it. All the best, Barry