The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we know it. As such, many CPA candidates are struggling to find motivation to study, while coping with the new stresses and challenges presented by this crisis. Furthermore, many candidates that were on the brink of sitting for the CPA Exam have had their exams cancelled due to Prometric Testing Centers closing until at least April 16. Of course this date may be extended as the news surrounding the virus is continuously changing.
Here's a quick, 3-minute video from Roger Philipp, CPA, CGMA in which he discusses 5 helpful tips for CPA Candidates during the COVID-19 Pandemic:
It’s no surprise that we're hearing the same question from so many CPA candidates: “What do I do now?” It’s a great question! With so much uncertainty, it’s hard to know where to take the next step. But we’re here for you! We gathered some wisdom from our expert team of educators and industry practitioners to provide you with some guidance in navigating your CPA studies during this trying time:
1. First, breathe.
Before you do anything take a step back along with a deep breath. This situation is unprecedented, so it's completely understandable that you may be frustrated, disheartened, upset and frightened. Allow yourself the space to feel that.
2. Check your CPA Exam status.
If you believe your exam has been cancelled due to the current situation, be sure to contact NASBA or your State Board to ensure your NTS has been extended. If possible, reschedule any canceled test dates for the end of April, or for as soon as possible.
3. Don’t lose all of your hard work!
If you were close to completing your studies for an exam part, it’s important to retain that information. We recommend devoting 45 minutes to an hour each day to ensure key concepts remain fresh. A great option is to take a 15-20 question quiz pulled broadly from all course chapters. Check your course Performance Reports to identify weak areas, and revisit any topics in which you are falling short.
4. If time permits, start studying for your next exam section.
If, and only if, you have extra time beyond your daily refresher sessions (in tip #3), you can consider studying for a new exam part. We normally recommend our students study for and take a part before moving onto the next section, but there’s nothing normal about our circumstances now. So if you have the mental space to start plugging away at the next section, do it. Just don’t forget to continue revisiting the other exam part you were ready for.
5. Take advantage of the “Shelter in Place” order.
Traditionally, preparing for the CPA Exam can feel isolating when you know you are missing out on social activities. But guess what, there’s no more need for FOMO when everyone you know is also stuck at home. As long as your life permits, this is the perfect excuse to hunker down and focus on your studies.
Ultimately, you had a goal that was and still is significant.
Even if everything that’s happening in the world is shifting your focus, that’s okay. Now is a time where we all have to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. But don’t lose that dream. Things will settle, even if it’s into a “new normal”, and you’ll be grateful for the ability to pick up where you left off and come back stronger than before.