The Cougher: A Distracted REG Exam Experience

Patrick is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

I'm writing from McCarran International, waiting for a flight back to Seattle, where I will attend Pacific Coast Banking School for the next two weeks.

I spent the day prior to the exam working a few questions but mostly reviewing notes, trying to rest my brain as much as possible before the big day.

I told our kids that after the exam, we would celebrate by going to The Strip. We had never told about this place until now. “What's the Strip like?” my daughter asked. “It's wild.” I told her. “Wild, like Baskin Robins?” Yes Sweetie, just like Baskin Robins.

My test was at 1:30 so I spent the morning in my office, going over notes and flashcards until my head started to hurt. For the last hour, I just watched Guns n' Roses and Cinderella videos on Youtube and it seemed to help.

I felt pretty relaxed going into the exam. I always worry about now knowing the answer to the first question, that somehow it will set the stage for the rest of the exam. It stumped me for a few seconds but I finally figured it out. I checked afterward and I know I got it right.

I breezed through the first section in about 20 minutes and was feeling pretty good. That's when it started … the cougher. This woman across from me would not stop coughing and refused to get a drink of water. Very distracting.

At first I felt bad for her. If it were me, I'd be reluctant to take a water break for fear of losing valuable time. But this went on for a whole hour and it seriously messed up my train of thought, causing me to re-read the questions many times over. Finally one of the administrators brought her some water which helped a little bit.

I started the sims with an hour and 40 minutes left and I left with three minutes to spare. I finished much earlier but I always stick around to review my work. I felt much better about this test. If I failed, it won't be by much. I wouldn't be surprised if I lost a point because of the cougher … But you can't know what you can't know.

OK, I have a flight to catch. I think I will order me a gin and tonic and stare at the scenery. I think I deserve it.

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