CPA Exam Review News Blog

CPA Students: Approaching the Challenge of Resiliency

Posted by Dr. Phil Yaeger on Aug 14, 2017 12:19:14 PM


When it comes to passing the CPA exam, you quickly think about the four sections of the exam, about the days of studying it will take to pass, and about what taking on this challenge will mean regarding future opportunities in your professional career. This is all easy to approach in terms we normally think of: you need a 75 to pass, you can predict the study hours, and you are most likely already making plans when it comes to your advancement. What may not have crossed your mind is the intangible side of passing the exam, and it goes far beyond the goal of receiving a 75 passing score.

We're talking about the fact that your journey will most likely take some twists and turns you would rather do without. As much as you might like to punch the number to success, after a single attempt, you will also benefit by looking into the psychology of what it takes to succeed after failure.

Psychology itself is the study of the behavior of the mind. Again, it can be easy to focus only on our external behaviors. How much time do we need to study? How quickly can we pass? What study materials do we need? What we don't usually think of right away is how to best approach the pressure of the exam, and its inevitable side effects.

It's important to take a look into our psychology because what is going on in our mind and our mind's behavior is the foundation upon which all the hours of studying and frequent tests are building on. The root Greek of psychology breaks down into "logia" meaning "the study of something" and "psyche" which means "breath, spirit, and soul". We are not looking into success in and of itself, so much as we are what it takes to succeed after failure. How do our "breath, spirit, and soul" react to the high stress, the pressure of test taking, and possibly needing to bounce back after failure?


"Suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little" - Viktor Frankl

The key here is resiliency -- responding positively in the face of adversity. This is a hot topic in today's world for athletes, politicians, doctors, and students, all of whom are regularly exposed to high-pressure situations. The theme of resiliency is far reaching and can be found when sports psychologists help athletes tackle mental hurdles to Viktor Frankl helping his fellow victims of the holocaust find hope and meaning, developing logotherapy along the way.

You may think (correctly) that these two things are so far apart that you believe (incorrectly) they should not be approached the same way. Frankl himself argued against this, saying in his book Man's Search for Meaning that:

"A man's suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the 'size' of human suffering is absolutely relative."

Basically, when adversity happens in any capacity, it is felt, and when it is felt, it should be dealt with the best way possible.

When it comes to studying and implementing resiliency there are few more expert than Dr. Marc Schoen. He has specialized in mind-body medicine for over 30 years and currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine. He works with professional and college athletes, as well as executives and UCLA medical students, in strengthening their ability to thrive under pressure. He has developed what he calls "Pilates for the Brain" to train hardiness and resilience by rewiring the fear region of the brain which is responsible for Performance Under Pressure.

This all goes back to the performance of your psyche, your "breath, spirit, and soul" response to the adversity and discomfort you are about to face. Our goal is to bring together our extensive experience of doing what it takes to pass the CPA exam with Dr. Schoen's ability to train your brain to react at an elite level. This combination will help you perform at your very best on exam day by tapping into your brain’s ability to problem solve with higher order processing even under immense pressure.

We've got a webinar going on this Wednesday, August 16th at 11 AM Eastern time. We hope to see you there to kick start your path to success.

Tags: CPA Exam Prep