Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Are tests always this hard?

This week I finally received notice that my application for Accreditation in Business Valuation was accepted. I now have three more letters after my name. This was an inordinately difficult credential to obtain.

Last year I spent the better part of six months pouring over books and official materials studying for the ABV exam. I spent 40 hours in classroom lectures on the subject. All that was hard work, but the painful part was the exam.

When I arrived at the test center last fall, it started to rain. On top of that I wasn’t feeling well. Perhaps it was nervous tension over the test or possibly something I had eaten the night before. Whatever it was, my stomach wasn’t contemplating sitting in a testing center for two 4 hour blocks of time. I made it through the first 4 hour block OK, but that’s when things turned ugly.

I went out to my car to eat lunch and got soaked by the pouring rain. As I went back in to continue the test, my stomach suddenly woke up and gave me the 2 minute warning - find a restroom, NOW. I was told that the only restroom was around the outside corner of the building. After walking in the rain around the building a security guard noticed my panic stricken look and directed me down an alleyway (no roof here either) to the restroom. I made it to the restroom in time but took on several gallons of water in the journey. I returned to the test center so cold & wet that I squished when I sat down.

Once inside the testing room, you cannot leave without terminating the test. I lasted about 3 hours before round #2 began in my stomach. It felt like two cats chasing a ball of yarn inside me. The last hour alternated between me trying to focus on the questions or my rapidly pressurizing abdomen. The last 15 minutes of the exam I could barely sit still and feared a major environmental disaster was imminent. I clicked through the final questions with the fastest guesses I could muster, grabbed my stuff and duckwalked to the restroom. At this point I didn’t even care that it was still raining. (no further details here…)

By the time I got home I was soaking wet, felt like I had been slugged in the stomach, had a cold, and was convinced I had failed and would have to retake the exam. Also, my daughter’s car had broken down in the middle of nowhere on her way home from Northern California for the holiday. She abandoned it 180 miles from home and needed a ride. All in all, just another day in paradise!

All I can say is that it’s a good thing I did pass, because I don’t think I’d be willing to do that again anytime soon.

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