As the end of November approaches, many CPA Exam candidates will be making plans to see family and friends, unpacking their winter clothes as sweater weather becomes more tangible, and—most importantly—coming across the last CPA Exam testing window of 2015.

Yes, that’s right. November 30th marks the end of the 4th quarter testing window before the December blackout month and before we roll into the New Year that is 2016. After an entire years’ worth of studying and testing, we know it can be challenging to keep up the momentum. So we’ve put together a few tips on how you can use this time to reinvigorate yourself and your studies. 


According to NASBA’s score release timelinevirtually all candidates who take the exam on or before November 30th will receive their score by December 9th (or December 17th in a tiny number of cases). What an amazing holiday present to yourself when you’ve realized that all of your blood, sweat, and tears pouring into studying for the CPA Exam really paid off. It will also make for fantastic conversation during your holiday gatherings; a great present you can also give to your loved ones who will have some more you time now that you’ve crossed one off the list!


Take a look at the bigger picture: do you want to be a guinea pig for the 2017 CPA Exam changes? Our guess is probably not. With so many changes taking effect, many candidates are trying to sit for and pass all sections of the CPA Exam in 2016. So whether you’re just taking your first part at the end of the month or you’re halfway done, focus all of your study efforts now so that you have an advantage in time. Taking and passing a part of the exam in November 2015 gives you all of next year to pass the rest and avoid the 2017 changes. 


As can be seen in these AICPA reports of quarterly pass rates, pass rates tend to be lowest during the last quarter (Q4). It may be that candidates by this time are pretty burned out, are beginning to lose some ambition, and are generally stressed by the upcoming holiday season. But, instead of getting discouraged, we say to use this to your advantage. Let this be a type of motivation for you to buck the trend and pass with flying colors. Take that, AICPA reports of quarterly rates! 


In the holiday spirit of thankfulness, don’t think to yourself, “Ughhh, I HAVE TO study…”. Try changing your mindset to one where you think, “Yay, I GET TO study!” and think of ten reasons why you are incredibly fortunate to get to sit for the CPA Exam. Proving that you’re an accounting black belt is one. Having the privilege to have access to education and professional/personal development and growth is two. What are your other 8? We’ll let you come up with that on your own (wink).