CPA: To overcome the insurmountable

When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there. Zig Ziegler

The greatest moment of my life so far was the 10-second fault provoking call from a friend that I passed the 2015 Certified Public Accountant board examination.

Looking back from where I started, it was rooted from my college days. During those years, I was just a freshman with no definite knowledge of what bachelor’s degree that I am going to take. I just enrolled and took the accounting class. My academic background was not impressive than that of my classmates. They graduated from different distinguished schools with high regard as valedictorian, salutatorian or an honorable mention. While me, I just passed the NCAE (National Career Aptitude Exam) with an A GSA, but no high academic standing. It was a culture shock on my part when my classmates really studied the whole vacant time we have. They make library as their safe haven every time we have an in-between the class breaks. I was never used to do things they’re doing. But what choice I can get? My friends were also studying during vacant time so I was pressured to do the same thing. On the first and second year it was just so basic. My grades were not that outstanding, but just on the average level. I didn’t care how high my grades were. I was just focus on passing the subject little by little since I am not confident to graduate with same course I enrolled in the first place. I was so afraid of failure and rejection, more so with inferiority complex that I would feel if I get the lowest score on quizzes and exams. So what I did was just to study the best that I can in a short span of time to get in with the average scores. It is a basic fact that a life of an accountancy student is not just a plain rice. It has bunch of spices, bitterness and heartaches and much more with rejections and failures. Every day is a quiz day. There was never a day that we missed to have quizzes and long exams. I guess only Sundays? Saturdays were not even exempted since we’re having special classes. Every day, we get to swim into different hardships and failures and sometimes we take a deep breath due to the victories we won by passing the cutoff score. As we are reaching the high level of learning, we are also nearing to the reality of taking the board exams. The licensure exam that would decide our fate as an accountancy student. The key that would open doors of excellence and competence in the corporate world. Out of 120 freshmen, 25 of us overcome the waves and trials that our professors prepared for us. It was a great pride for my parents to see their son dressed on a graduation gown coupled with a medal of excellence in academic. But for us, it was just the beginning of the real suffering and downfall of our lives.


Twelve of us went to review school in Manila (CPAR) another twelve in Bacolod (PRTC) and me alone went to Cebu (USJR). It was a leap on my part to separate ways with them since I know myself much better than they knew me. I am a typical student that studies alone because when we organize a group study session, I leaned nothing but to waste my time chit-chatting with my friends. When the review schools started, on the first month I was competitive and focused. I listened faithfully when professors discuss about accounting, audit, advisory, theories and shortcuts on arriving at the correct answer in every accounting word problems. However, on the long run I came to lose my focus, but still fighting to regain it. Imagine the situation that you almost studied everything. You came prepared on the simulation exam with a thought that you would pass the eight subjects with flying colors. But during the exam, it was hope-losing moment to decide whether to continue the review and take the board exams or not because I failed. It seems that the preparation you made were not sufficient to answer difficult questions. The result was really disappointing and it made me decide to push harder and break harder. I tripled the time i used to study. I researched tons of review questions just to reinforce my learning. I finished several accounting review books from cover to cover. I read twice to thrice all the scopes of commercial law. And I did everything just to compensate my inferior score that was posted after our first pre-board exam. I was depressed, but I chose not live within it. I dusted up myself and recognized myself for doing great. I encouraged myself that those scores are not the real determinant of my education and learning. I am powerful beyond measure and I can make it through.

The most awaited part of every CPA board reviewees was the day of the exam. It was scheduled 4 weekends. For the first two weekends, we took the 4 accounting subjects and on the remaining 2 weekends we took the four subjects. The feeling was strange. The night before the first day of exam was a little bit unlucky. I cannot sleep at 1:00am, butterflies on my stomach are flying, cold sweats went dry and my heart beats faster, but the exam will be on 7:00am. I have to wake up as early as 5:00 am and take my breakfast so that I am in the good state of mind while having the exam. After the first subject, I can hear examinees crying, murmuring about the difficulty of exams and others discussing answers. I don’t want to hear anything. I want to separate my world from them and I don’t want to get disappointed of the results. I just carry on and channel my focus on the remaining subjects of the board exams. During the middle of the week, I can’t take it anymore. People are discussing their answers and they already validated their answers to be correct. It seems that I want to quit because I found my answers different from them. I wanted to quit to the point that my efforts are worthless because at the end of it I will fail the board exam. I called my mom to talk about the depression I felt. She told me to just go on and remember the reason why I started this quest. It made me realize that she wants to build the confidence that I lost and she wants to comfort me from the depression I am suffering that time. It was also a great decision for me to continue and I just told myself that no matter what the result would be, I won’t regret since I did my best.

Results were posted on the website 3–4 days after the board exams and on the results night, I really felt that there’s something would happen. But I just closed my eyes and said that no matter what the result would be, I’ll still thank God for everything. I’ll just go to sleep. If my phone rings in the middle of my sleep, I passed. If not, then I failed.

2:07 am, I was in a deep sleep. But I got disturbed since my phone’s been ringing. And I said to myself. This is it. And my friend called me that I passed the board exams. And in that moment, my whole world went slow and my tears fell for no reason. It was an overwhelming moment knowing that all of your efforts, the burning of the midnight candle and the restless days of my lifer were finally over. That I will no longer study tons of books and calculate thousands of accounting problems. Those tears were real. That moment was fulfilling and it was a breakthrough for me. I realized that you would never feel sorry about yourself if you did your best no matter what the result you would get. The moment of impact was intense that my every nerve of my system felt it vibrate. It was a goosebumps. It was historical. And in that moment, I run out of my room and went to my parent’s room to tell about the good news. And I finally said, Mom and Dad, you have now a Certified Public Accountant Son. And I saw my mom also cried and felt great about the results. Their hardships are now paid off. And it was a great part on their side to raise a child like me. A CPA. The insurmountable trials are made to overcome, not to skip and get lost within it.


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