The Night Before
You've been preparing for weeks. Flash cards, homework questions, timed tests, and finishing up your CPA Exam Review course. Boy, are you prepared. But don't think that everything stops the night before the exam - you want to make sure that each and every tiny thing that you do has a positive effect on your test taking abilities the next day. Don't let one mistake the night before ruin all of your hard work. Ensure that you are making the most out of your time before you walk the green mile in the morning. Although many of these suggestions seem like no-brainers you would be surprised how easily last-night-jitters can make you forget a few simple things.
Eat a Well-Balanced Dinner
This means no fast-food the night before. The grease and high caloric content of fast food will leave your body craving nutrients and make you feel lethargic and slow. You want to eat a meal that will boost your energy the next day, guaranteeing you will have maximum brain power when the exam starts. We recommend carbohydrates, much like how athletes are known to have spaghetti dinners before big race days. Foods high in grains and whole wheat will provide you a slow release of energy in the morning so that you can make it through the grueling hours of the test.
Get a Full Nights Rest
Make sure that you go to bed early and get plenty of good sleep. Not everyone requires a full 8 hours, but make sure that you stick to your regular sleep schedule and arent staying up late cramming. That means to ask your spouse to handle late night problems with the kids that night, pull the blinds closed to avoid any light, get some ear plugs, or anything else that will provide you a quiet and relaxing environment to doze in. As an added bonus, minimizing the amount that you wake up throughout the night will increase the length of your REM sleep (shown to have a positive effect on problem solving capabilities). Sleep is probably the most important part of your night before ritual without it you will be groggy, inattentive, and not at your peak performance.
You want the morning of the exam to go as smoothly as possible. This means preparing the night before. Some things you will want to do the night before to make sure you are sweat free:
Plan out your breakfast
Print out directions to Prometric and know what your parking options are
Write out any directions for the babysitter and/or pack food for your kids
Pick out your clothing in fact lay out your clothing.
Find everything you need to take with you: Two forms of ID, your NTS, your preprinted driving directions, keys, wallet, cell phone. You dont want to be late the next morning because you couldnt find your keys
Set your alarm, and maybe a back up alarm too
The Morning Of
You've adequately prepared the night before and you're sure you are prepared. But there are a few things you want to make sure to do the morning before the test too. The following tips will ensure that all goes smoothly on the fateful day.
No snooze button this morning, buddy! Hop right on out of bed and get going! Whatever you need to do to wake yourself up now is the time. However, we suggest avoiding caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea as they can make you crash during the exam and can cause you to take unnecessary restroom breaks that waste testing time. Instead of coffee, try splashing your face with warm water or having a wheatgrass shot. Turn on some tunes to help you get motivated.
Eat a Well Balanced Breakfast
Just as important as dinner the night before is making sure you have an appropriate breakfast. You dont want something that will come back to haunt you during the test avoid any fast food options and opt for something a little healthier instead. Fresh fruit in the morning can increase your energy levels by providing a small amount of sugar, and the protein in eggs can temporarily boost brain power.
so that you can arrive early. You need to be at the Prometric facility 30 minutes before your test starts but there is no harm in being even earlier. That way, you have time in case any other morning nuisances creep up (stopping for gas, dropping the kids off at school, getting lost).
By preparing ahead of time, you can make sure that your CPA Exam day goes completely smoothly.