detour-signLast week I finally sat for the FAR exam. The exam itself was not any more difficult than the other exams I have taken, but the vast amount of material you need to be prepared for can be overwhelming. Around Section 21 or so Roger says it might be a good idea to go back and review some of the prior sections to keep them fresh in your mind. As I went back I remember thinking to myself, “That’s on this exam? I thought I studied that for REG.” It seemed like so long ago, but it was not. It had only been a couple of weeks.

When I got to the Government and Not-For-Profit sections (29 and 30), I remember telling my husband, “These two little sections were a sixteen-week course for me; and the present value and bonds sections were a different sixteen-week course.” So the FAR exam is close to the equivalent of 15 sixteen-week courses. I knew this would be one of those exams that would be better for me not to take days off from studying because I didn’t want to risk losing concepts, or mnemonics from my brain. Nothing but study, study, study…and of course…work. It’s funny how when you devise the “perfect” plan, something always gets in the way.

The two weeks leading up to my exam, Roger CPA Review decides to update their website. Not an ideal time for me (and I’m sure others), but obviously they could not do it at a time that would make everyone happy…it just happened to be me. Don’t get me wrong. I love the new format! I like that you can play the video at an increased or decreased speed, the quick rewind option, and that you can highlight the text on the screen. I don’t really use the physical book much at all so that feature is especially helpful for me. I am able to work around that obstacle.

A week before my test, as I was studying, my dog had an “episode,” so I spent the next two days in and out of the vet’s office as they ran tests and examined her. This dog is the epitome of good health. At 12-years-old, she still runs up the stairs and pulls hard on the leash as she encourages me to walk faster. But this had to be the week it changed. Of course she takes the top spot on my priority list above the exam. They believe it to be a heart issue although none of the tests indicated any abnormalities. By the second day after it happened, she was back to her energetic self and studies were able to resume as scheduled. I think it was her way of getting more attention from me.

As we diligently prepare to take these difficult exams, things come up beyond our control. There is no sense in worrying or complaining about the circumstances that negatively affect our “perfect” plan. Just get back on track when you can and keep pushing forward. For me, I know that having to overcome all the obstacles will make the title of Certified Public Accountant even more rewarding.

-Donna Elish, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review