Certified: Waiting, waiting, waiting

Written on Mar 22, 2018

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 two of Emily Pennington’s story. Read the first part here.

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

Waiting is a nerve-wracking part of the CPA exam. For Emily Pennington, her wait right now isn’t for a score, but for something that could be just as important when it comes to her CPA exam experience.

Pennington sent in forms to request adequate test accommodations for her blindness and has yet to hear back. She’s in limbo until then, as she wants to know what she’ll be given before she begins studying material or scheduling test dates.

emily-pennington“Right now, it’s all about getting accommodations,” she said. “Once I get that figured out I’ll look at the sections.”

This isn’t the first time she’s had to figure out accommodations for tests, as she’s also taken the graduate management admission test and law school admissions test. Being blind has made her a planner when it comes to life, Pennington said, to ensure she’s prepared for whatever comes up.

“I plan for classes and make sure materials are accessible, (especially) when I take tests like the CPA exam,” she said. “I can’t just focus on studying and walk in on test day. I need to be sure the accommodations are ready. It also makes me more aware of differences and in some cases more open-minded to different disabilities or cultural things.”

After wrapping up her capstone course and graduating from Xavier University, Pennington will start an internship this summer at Beech Acres Parenting Center. She’ll assist the human resources department with tasks such as reviewing company policies and background checks.

An internship, studying for the CPA exam and preparing for law school this fall would be enough to make anyone’s blood pressure rise, but Pennington has learned what works best for her when dealing with stress.

“I always try to go to bed early and get a lot of sleep,” she said. “I favor sleep over burning myself out studying. I try to get things done early so I can have the evenings to myself.”

Pennington’s propensity toward planning should serve her well once she gets into the throes of studying for the exam. But for now, she waits.

Next time: The decision on accommodations

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