FAR is Over. Sunglasses Please!

Virginia is a weekly Club 75 Blogger as she documents her journey through the CPA Exam. She has been a member of Another71.com's Club 75 since December 2010.


I took FAR this past week, which was the third time I have sat for FAR (61, 73). I actually thought things were going well through the test, until I received a computer error message. I have sat for the various sections of the CPA exam 13 times (ouch) and this was the first time I have ever encountered any computer problems at Prometric.

I was flying through the multiple choice testlets and was in the TBS. I was actually on tab 6 of 7, almost done, when an error message popped up.

As much as I wanted to click “close” or whatever the little button in bottom right corner of the message said and move along with my exam I knew that wasn’t the right move. Based on everything I had previously read about the CPA Exam, I knew I had to leave the message up and go tell the Prometric staff right away. That’s what I did.

The message said I would lose any work not saved. What? Any work not saved? I’m sorry, was there a “save” button on the exam, because I missed it. While I waited for the Prometric staff to come back out from checking my computer, I was silently panicking that I lost the first 5 tabs I had done in the TBS.

Another worker at Prometric told me I should have not lost any work except anything done in the last 60 seconds. Awesome, because 60 seconds prior I was just blankly starring at the screen, wondering why my testing neighbor decided to wear an insane amount of perfume that day. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for people smelling nice, but when everyone around you is choking on the air they’re breathing, then it’s too much.

The original Prometric worker that I informed of my problem came back out to tell me he thought my Ethernet cable must have been loose and I must have kicked it out, so he switched me to a different computer. Whether or not I completely believed that’s what happened, I took the rest of the test with my legs wrapped around the back of the chair. I was extremely relieved to find out that I had not lost any work, but the whole thing really threw off my concentration.

I find it easier to answer the TBS questions on my scratch paper first, and then enter it into the test. This way I don’t fall for any additional answer choices. I was so relieved I had done this because when I sat back down to finish my test I double-checked tabs one through five to my scratch paper and made sure all my answers were there.

I tend to be a really fast test taker and always have been. I have never been able to dwell on questions I don’t know, because that only stresses me out. Despite my computer troubles I finished FAR with just over an hour to spare. I don’t like to speculate on how I did on tests I took. The fact is, the test is over and there’s nothing I can do about it now. I stick with my motto, “no score is better than a failing score

I walked out to my car expecting to feel free, but I didn’t. I thought of how much I had to do like laundry, cleaning, and heck, the potential of having to hit the books in a few weeks. I am waiting on my REG score from January, and of course FAR that I just took. I could potentially be done, or have to retake both of these.

While this cloud is still hanging over my head, I must say, it is nice to not have to study for anything at the moment.

I mean, get me some sunglasses, because the light at the end of this tunnel is pretty bright.


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kobebryant168 12 years ago

Hey Virginia Thanks for sharing this info with us, best of luck and I like the way you are being optimistic, put on your shades girl btw, beautiful charming face :) your lucky number today is 75

Kim 12 years ago

The perfume comment cracked me up. That happened to me on my very first exam, and it really did not help my concentration. All I could think was, "Is this REALLY the place you need to be wearing strong perfume? Maybe a new rule needs to be implemented." Anyways, good luck and try to relax through the wait!

Jeff - another71.com 12 years ago

At one of my exams, I sat next to someone who was "sharing" the opposite of perfume.

BluMerle 12 years ago

Hi Virginia! Thanks for sharing your FAR experience with us. I hope you knocked it out, and I hope that you ko'd REG too! I'm taking FAR on the 24th, so hopefully after my exam is over I'll be rockin' the sunglasses too. FAR is my last section so I'm looking forward to what I like to call the "showdown".

Barry 12 years ago

Great job Virginia. You seem to have a good handle on the emotional aspect of the CPA exam, in which I believe is half the battle. Good luck on your results!

Virginia 12 years ago

@kobebryant168: Thanks!! I wonder if we're still pulling for 75's with the possible score change! Either way, I'm just pulling for "passing"!! @Kim: Maybe no more Prometric rules, I feel like I have a checklist of things I can and cannot bring on test day. But a "smell neutral" rule would be awesome... not too flowery, not stinky. @Jeff: Ew!! Nasty! @BluMerle: I like it, the "showdown"! I'm gearing up for Ethics next, just to get it done with. @Barry: Thanks, though I think it took awhile to get that emotional aspect down, and I am not quite sure I've fully conquered it!