Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

CPA Exam Administrators Understand Things Happen But Just Breathe Through It, Mmkay?


NASBA, the AICPA and Prometric work together to ensure that you receive a fair test experience. However, sometimes things can happen during the test that are completely out of your control. Often, when something unexpected occurs during the Exam, candidates report becoming “unglued.” They begin to fret about what the incident may do to their Exam, and they worry that they have lost testing time or that the Exam will not restart or will be lost, or that they will lose what they have already completed. These concerns lead to an increase in agitation and anxiety, resulting in a loss of focus and concentration.

Translation: before you freak out, make sure it wasn't your shaky foot that kicked out your testing station plug, if not a catastrophic Prometric shutdown that just ate your entire exam.

I also enjoyed this part:

The staff at Prometric testing centers will do their best to resolve technical issues related to your exam. However, for security reasons, they are not permitted to be familiar with the functionality of the Exam software and are not able to provide information concerning the actual content or navigation of the Exam. If you have concerns about the content of the Exam, please contact the AICPA after you have finished at [email protected].

Read: the only people you can report these issues to as you are taking the exam should anything at all go wrong with the exam because they have your iPhone locked up somewhere, afraid you might Instagram your 10 minute intro screen or sell the CPA exam to unscrupulous Internet pirates.

But, it's cool, the testing center is on it. Meanwhile, you should probably just breathe and stretch and… think positive:

Once you have turned over the issue to the testing center staff, rest assured the staff will resolve the issue. If you have to wait while they are working on the difficulty, use the time to keep your focus and concentration. Use the techniques described in Part I of this series to lower your level of anxiety. Apply the deep breathing methods, the stretching exercises and the positive thinking strategies in order to remain calm.

At this point, you've been trapped in Prometric for two hours (probably because you chose not to forfeit your exam and wait this out) and you're starting to picture the future nail tech testing beside you as a turkey with undulating scent lines rising from her. You have a possibly expired Larabar in your jacket pocket but your jacket is in the locker and OMGYOUARESOGOINGTODIE!!!!

Just breathe. No matter what happens — computer malfunction, fire drill, terrorist attack on Prometric — all you have to do is breathe.


Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Comments are closed.

Related articles

a dry pipe in the desert

AICPA Council Approves 12-Point Plan to Do F*ck All to Solve the Accountant Shortage

Last week, the AICPA released a revised pipeline acceleration plan, the goal of which is to get more young people into accounting to save the profession from extinction. To save you a click, I’m putting it here. At its spring meeting in Washington this week, the AICPA’s governing body (“Council”) approved this plan. Yay. Cue […]

hand checking things off a checklist

Here’s the AICPA’s Revised 12-Point Plan to Herd Students Into Accounting

Good news, everyone! The AICPA released an expanded pipeline plan today.   If you assumed the plan would revolve around an aggressive effort to bully firms into paying people what they’re worth, you’d be wrong. “The detailed plan features input from a significant set of stakeholders and calls for those stakeholders to work together to […]