Having an exam day ritual is almost as important as making sure you studied enough for the section you are sitting for. What many people don’t realize is the exam has a psychological effect on many people. Going into the exam tired, hungry, or rushed, can completely throw off your game. Always make sure when going into the CPA Exam that you have a plan from the minute you wake up to the minute you arrive at the Prometric Testing Center!
How Should I Prepare?
- Make sure you know where you are going. Look up the location of your testing center and drive there within a few days of your test so you know about how long it will take to get there.
- Print your NTS in advance. Anything can happen when trying to print. Your printer might run out of ink or decide it doesn’t want to work. It can be very stressful if you try to print the day of your exam and something goes wrong!
- Plan your outfit ahead of time. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but Prometric actually has a strict dress code, along with other regulations, which you can read about here.
- Plan to give yourself plenty of time to get ready before heading to your test. Sleeping in is glorious, and we don’t get to do this very often, but sleeping in on exam day can actually make things more stressful. If you sleep too late and end up on a tight schedule, it will increase your mental anxiety and can affect your performance. It’s critical to have a clear and calm demeanor when going into your exam.
- Speaking of food, make sure to eat a hearty and healthy meal before your exam. The CPA exam is exhausting and you need plenty of fuel to get through the four-hour marathons. No matter what time of day you take your exam, it is very important to eat a healthy and satiating meal before your exam. You will have some breaks where you can snack a bit, but the majority of those breaks are counted against your clock.
- Do not study the morning of your exam. People have differing opinions on this, but I strongly believe you should not study on your exam day. Working through those multiple choice questions and simulations is already exhausting, so you want to save your energy for the test. Plus, if you don’t know the material on the morning of your exam, looking at it once or twice probably won’t help much.
- Take the day off prior to your exam (if you can). It’s important to take the time to rest up before your exam. Like I said, the exam is a marathon. If you can use some vacation time, use it for the day before your exam as well. It’s okay to use that time to review a bit, but try and keep it to a minimum.