CERTIFIED: Play to win

Written on May 24, 2018

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

Certified follows a group of aspiring CPAs while they prepare for and take the various sections of the CPA exam. We started following our candidates in May 2016, and this is part five of Donald Jungquist’s story. Read more here.

The hard work preparing for the CPA exam has so far paid off for Don Jungquist. He passed his first section easily, scoring a 90 on Business Environmental and Concepts (BEC).

Don Jungquist“That really is a huge confidence booster,” he said, especially as he goes into studying for the next section, Regulation (REG).

He’s altered his study schedule and now gets up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. every morning. It’s been a challenge to adjust to the earlier wakeup time, but he said it’s making a difference and it’s much easier to concentrate. Although he is happy with the benefits of early morning studying, getting less sleep sometimes comes with a cost.

“I get migraines sometimes, and they usually get triggered when I’m not sleeping enough,” he said. Recently he missed an after-hours work event because of a migraine.

Thanks to some staffing transitions at work, Jungquist has been busier than normal and not getting any time to study during the day. He’s going through the growing pains that come with starting with a new employer and having a new career trajectory.

“There are days where I feel great and I know what I’m doing, and a problem comes up and I know how to solve it,” he said. “… And then there are some days where I’m working on something and I just don’t even know what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s hit or miss, but it’s definitely getting better.”

With studying and work, he hasn’t had time to get to the gym for the past couple weeks, which he said is one of the ways he relieves stress. He said he reminds himself that he might feel overwhelmed now, but he won’t always be studying for the CPA exam, and eventually things will become more manageable.

When he becomes discouraged, he reminds himself of his score on BEC, and how he felt leaving that exam.

“I try to remind myself I did really well last time and it’s not like I need a 90, I just need a 75,” he said. “It really helps that I did well on that one. It’s important to stay focused, because it’s easy to think it’s all gloom and doom and I’m trying to stay positive.”

Next time: The aftermath of taking REG

Sponsored by MDS CPA Review and Yaeger CPA Review.

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