Olu Egunjobi, CPA, an Audit Associate at Ernst and Young and star Wiley CPA student offers great advice for current candidates on how to manage stress and things you can do to ensure you feel confident on exam day.

A Quick Recap

Olu Egunjobi lives in Boise, Idaho, and just finished his master’s degree in Accounting from Boise State University. After graduation, he was offered a position at a prestigious accounting firm Ernst and Young as an Audit Associate. During his time at Boise State University, he managed to cruise through the battery of the CPA exam using a compressed exam approach

Make Managing Stress a Top Priority

Part of Olu’s success can be attributed to his preparation—not only on exam day but throughout the time he was studying for his CPA exam. Since he had long days—with a young family—stress levels were high.

“My day would go from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, sometimes later,” he says.

“During that time I made sure I was constantly managing my stress, working out, playing soccer with friends, eating healthy, and doing other wholesome activities, like going to the park with my family or going on dates with my wife. Sometimes to relax, I would take the baby for a little while, or watch an episode of one of my favorite TV shows. Those types of things helped to take my mind off the exam.”

Managing stress proved critical, especially because Olu was attempting to condense all four parts of the CPA exam into a short window. “I tried to be emotionally and physically healthy to help me manage those threats.” 

Disconnect a Day or Two Before Your Exam

Exam day proved to be a challenge as well. For Olu, he got some advice in an online chat. Or rather, he learned from others’ mistakes. “There are a couple of groups on Facebook where you can post questions and comments, and I’d hear people say, ‘On exam day, I was just too tired because I stayed up studying all night.’

My approach was to completely disconnect a day or two before the exam. I’d get as much rest as I could the night before, at least eight solid hours of sleep, so I’d be fresh for exam day.

I think that helped me not be nervous as well. When you’re tired, you tend to get nervous, I think. My approach was to study steadily for like four weeks, so another day wasn’t going to make a huge difference in terms of how much I was prepared.”

Control Your Nerves on Exam Day

On exam day, Olu would wake up at 8:30 and do a quick review of his notes. “I focused on shaking off my nerves, especially for FAR, my first exam,” he says. “I was nervous for that one, but I was much calmer for the remaining three. I just feel like being nervous wasn’t going to help me at all. If anything, it was going to make the situation worse.”

In the end, Wiley prepared Olu well, both in terms of content and demeanor. While he managed to use both Wiley and Becker (thanks to free access from his employer), he preferred Wiley for many reasons.

“I was really happy that Wiley had so many good quality questions to work on. If I had to pay for a single product out of my pocket choosing between Wiley and Becker, I would pay for Wiley. Not only because the overall quality is better but because it’s actually cheaper!”

Check out this blog post for Olu’s honest assessment of using Wiley and Becker for preparing for the CPA exam.