Coffee Stains and Dodging CPA Exam Questions

07 Apr 2011

Club 75 Candidate Bloggers

Virginia 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 December 2010.


There seems to be some sort of misconceived notion that as a CPA Exam candidate I enjoy talking about the exam. That is far from the case. After long hours of studying, the last thing I want to talk about is the CPA Exam. I’m not sure if some coworkers just find it as common ground for conversation, or they think I want to talk about it, but man oh man that is the last thing I want to discuss.

If anyone has a great response to dodge CPA exam discussions (especially with non-CPA-Exam-Candidates) but is professional, I’d love to hear it! I have yet to come up with something that is polite, so I usually let the person go on talking, while I smile and nod and answer their questions.

Getting back into studying has been tough. I had about two months of complete lack of studying waiting on scores, which was awesome. I am extremely anxious to be done though, so I think that is motivating me to keep moving. There is also a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel still. I know after I take REG I do not have anything to study for. I know I can breathe again in a few weeks, while just waiting on scores, and that is a good feeling. Maybe have a life again? Gosh, that sounds…awesome.

Congratulations to my fellow bloggers Jay, Brad and Hattie who recently found out they passed sections! Passing FAR for me this past window was a definite boost in my self esteem.

As an auditor, I work at my client’s locations, which means my schedule varies from week to week. My start and end times of my work days vary, my commute varies, and my method of commute varies (drive, Metro, walk). I definitely can’t study on my lunch break at a client, so any work day studying is out of the question for me.

This changing schedule has always been hard for me to find adequate study time during the week.

I generally cram excess studying into my weekends to make up for the lack of studying during the week. I’m having a hard time finding a weekday study rhythm when I barely know what the work day will look like until I’m upon that day. Some days I find myself waking up at 4:30am just to get in needed study time.

Those days are the worst because I already feel drained and tired by the time I arrive at my client. I want to be on my A-game for each client I work with, and the audit team I’m on, but on those early morning days, it just doesn’t feel possible.

The one thing that keeps me trucking through my studies is coffee. I wouldn’t peg myself as a huge coffee drinker. I try to not drink it every day as I don’t want to need it when I wake up. Studying though, leaves me downing coffee left and right.

I think I will need a coffee-detox when I’m done with this exam. I generally wake up early, but waking up earlier than some people go to bed leaves me filling up the espresso maker first thing in the morning. I find myself studying at some nearby Starbucks as well, which of course leads to more coffee. I climbed into bed with my Gleim book the other day (I know, be jealous) and realized it has become coffee-scented.


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Mary 13 years ago

I have the same problem. They do not have anything else to talk about but this exam. My fail safe go to in switching the conversation is to talk about the weather or something my crazy dog did.... if all else fails, just pass out. That's right I said it. Stumble, trip, or flat out drop down on the floor. They will have to stop talking about the CPA exam... right?