My friend took her CFP® exam a few weeks ago and told me her preliminary results that day. When she told me her results, it really brought me back to when I found out my results. My experience was completely different from my friend’s because I took the exam before the change. When I took it, the exam was 2 days, 10 hours total. Everyone took it with a good old fashion #2 pencil and paper (the thin, grey, newspaper-y kind). Our results got posted online FIVE weeks later. The wait was painful and liberating at the same time. Ignorance is bliss, right? Nowadays, the exam is taken online and you’re done in 6 hours. Immediately after, you get your preliminary results followed by your final results a few weeks later.
A coworker and I both took the March exam this year. It was a second attempt for both of us. Taking the exam with your coworker could be the best thing ever or the worst thing ever, for obvious reasons. If you both pass, it’s double the celebration! If you both fail, well, misery loves company. The worst, of course, would be if one of you passed and the other one failed. Our results were scheduled to come out on a Friday morning. My coworker and I agreed in advance that we wouldn’t check it that morning and we would, instead, wait until the weekend. (Both of us have experienced, on separate occasions, the pain of finding out we didn’t pass and having total breakdowns in front of our colleagues. For me, it was the first and only time most of my coworkers have seen me cry.)
The Thursday before our results were supposed to come out, we woke up to an email saying that the results have already been posted. We texted one another and confirmed that we still weren’t going to check until the weekend. Thirty minutes later, I walk into the office and as I pass by her desk, I see she has this smirk on her face. I was like, “what?!” She squealed, “I PASSED!!!” Apparently, her roommate knew her account login and password and checked it for her. And when her roommate saw that my coworker had passed, she called to give her the good news. Suddenly, all eyes were on me. Literally. I had maybe 5 or 6 colleagues staring at me wide-eyed asking, “Are you going to check?!” No pressure.
I went back and forth between checking it right away and waiting till the weekend. But finally I was like, “Screw it! Everyone at the office already knows the results are out and that my coworker passed. Might as well put everyone (including myself) out of their misery.” So my coworker grabbed a laptop and we went into a bathroom stall. (It was the only way we could get some privacy.)
I logged into my CFP account and got to the last button standing in between me and my results. A sudden wave of panic washed over me and I couldn’t bring myself to click the button. What if I didn’t pass? WHAT IF I DIDN’T PASS?! was all I kept saying to my coworker over and over again. Finally, I handed the laptop to my coworker and asked her to click the last button for me while I sat across from her with my eyes closed, knees pulled up to my chest and hands covering my face. Yes, it was THAT dramatic for me.
I heard a click. Then silence. Then, “AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! YOU PASSED!!!!!”
We hugged; we cried; we laughed. It was glorious. The entire office celebrated with us over ice cream.
I think that day will go down as not only one of the best days of 2014, but also one of the best days of my life. Because honestly, passing was a huge struggle for me. And it was so rewarding to finally see all that hard work pay off.