CPA Hot Topics 11/18/10 – The Leopard and The Gazelle

Garrett Gleim sends CPA candidates bimonthly emails concerning different aspects of the CPA exam. Candidates can see the most recent email and all the archives here on the CPA Candidate Forum.

I recently returned from Kenya where I attended the wedding of one of my college roommates. It was an amazing trip, especially having the opportunity to see the Masai Mara National Reserve. Kenya’s Masai Mara connects at the Kenyan-Tanzania border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. If you ever have the chance to travel to Kenya or Tanzania, I highly suggest taking the opportunity to do so.

During one of our day safaris, we came upon a very old male leopard. It’s not unusual, but not common, to see leopards or be able to follow them. They are shy animals that usually run away and hide whenever humans are near. Since we had the opportunity to follow this leopard, we did so in our Land Cruiser, but at a very safe distance.

Eventually, the leopard stopped at the edge of a thick brush area, and we waited to see what he would do next. During this wait, we saw a gazelle at the other side of this thick brush. As it turns out, the leopard was stalking this gazelle. Strangely, the gazelle was frozen with fear. Even though she could ascertain the danger she was in and actually had the opportunity to use our Land Cruiser as a sort of shield and flee safely, she did not take any opportunity to run or defend herself. She was just frozen. In the end, we witnessed the cold reality of the food chain and how the African bush works.

During my absence, I received numerous emails about CPA candidates letting the CPA exam rattle them. These emails reminded me of the leopard and the gazelle. You cannot let the CPA exam cause you to lose your composure. If you have been using our system and answering CPA questions, then you have had a lot of practice. You might come upon a question that you forgot or do not know how to answer, but you need to relax. By tensing up, all you are going to do is freeze and lose your ability to answer questions effectively. When you start to become nervous, just take a few seconds to relax and compose yourself. Remind yourself that you have become a “pro” at answering CPA questions, and then continue answering them in a professional manner.

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