For more than 11 years I have spent the last three or four months of every year urging CPA exam candidates to schedule their exams lest they miss out on desired dates. Now that I think about it, it’s actually been closer to 13 years, as I started in CPA review way back in 2007. Yeesh, how time flies. But yeah, the last quarter of the year is typically jam-packed with procrastinators trying to cram in one last section before the clock strikes midnight on January 1 and it can be difficult to get the dates and/or locations you want. This has always been the case and no doubt will be the case this year as well, perhaps more than ever with Prometric and exam-takers still catching up from the Coronavirus closures earlier this year.
You don’t need me to tell you this year has been an absolute dumpster fire. Most of us are hanging precariously from the last shred of mental stability we have, serotonin left the building back in April, and there’s really no place to hide. Yeah, it’s bad. This isn’t really news to any of you.
Earlier this year, we encouraged you to get the CPA exam done with and gave you a schedule that would help you get it done in just six months. And that’s still a good suggestion for many people. There are just four CPA exam score releases left for 2020 and for people who do better when they have a goal to work toward, keeping their sights set on knocking out a few exam sections might be a kind of comfort in uncertain times (God I’m sick of that phrase).
But for others, just getting out of bed is a Herculean task. What I’m about to say is for those people. The ones who cry at “we’re in this together” commercials. The ones who have withdrawn from friends and family so deeply that they barely know how to interact with human beings any more. The ones who don’t even turn on the lights in the evening because a light switch is just too much effort. The ones who stare at the wall wondering when we’re going to wake up from this collective nightmare. You know who you are. I know who you are because I’m one of you. So to y’all, listen up.
You don’t have to take the CPA exam this year. Seriously. Nothing bad will happen, the world will keep spinning, and the exam will be waiting for you on the other side. I’m going to repeat that in case you missed it: YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE THE CPA EXAM THIS YEAR.
It’s that simple. Don’t take it. Don’t stress over missing out on some arbitrary goal you set for yourself in the past when things were very different and the future looked, well, less like something you sift out of a dirty litter box. Who gives a shit if you can’t schedule the dates you want, let some other sap worry about that.
It can be difficult to simply say “fuck it” and let the cards fall where they may but if there was ever a time to do exactly that, it’s now. The only consequence of not taking the exam this year is that there’s no chance for you to be licensed before the year is over. So what. You have your entire life to be a CPA.
So that’s it. Just don’t take the exam. That’s my CPA exam advice for 2020. If you manage to get it done, good on you. But if you’re one of the many who are currently wandering through life like a lost NPC with bad pathing, go ahead and give yourself permission to simply not give a shit about it for now. You have enough to worry about.
Now go take a nap.