FYI...this post is not really about infertility. There are references to it, but infertility isn't the basis of my post.
I have a dilemma on my hands that I keep battling with. I have been talking about big nasty (aka the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) test) to you Bleaders probably since I started this blog and now the time is drawing near...maybe. Let me play out the dilemma for you and tell me what you think.
I am currently in my last class of the CFP series (yay me!) which is set to end on June 14th. The CFP test is only offered in March (obviously missed that one), July and November. Technically speaking, I could finish my last class, take that test and hopefully pass right out the gate, then whip around and take a cram course in Phoenix, then do nothing else but study for 2 weeks and attempt the CFP exam. I guess I should tell you about the CFP exam so you have some idea of what I am up against.
The CFP exam is to financial planners what The Bar is to lawyers, except we aren't required by law to take it. (Ok lawyers, don't get mad and say "well, then it isn't like The Bar!") CFP is something that you can deal without, but you are much more respected with it. It is a 2 day test (four hours the first day and 2 three hour sessions the next) and has about a 50% pass rate. It is multiple choice, but by no means easy. When you leave after the second day of beating, you don't get your score because the exam is curved. Meaning if a certain percentage (don't know what it is) get a question wrong, it gets thrown out. You get your score a month and a half later (March scores are due out this week).
I have been working on my CFP since about August of 2008 and I am over it. It takes up a lot of my time during the week (I study about 8 hours a week plus have 2 two and a half hour classes a week = 13 hours out of my 40 hour (ha!) work-week). There are many other things I could be doing during that time period to help the business succeed, but I am studying. Not to mention the weekends that I study or extra hours when it comes to test time, like right now. I just want it done.
To take the CFP in July, I really have to buckle down and get through this course and seemingly start studying for the cram course before I even finish the class I am in (the cram course people tell me that is about an 8-12 week process).
Here are the reasons I came up with to take the test in July:
1) I get really stressed out over tests, so the more time I have to think about it, the more stressed I will be.
2) I would get to see what the test is like and with any luck pass.
3) The information would be fresh in my brain, so hopefully more luck to pass.
4) If I didn't pass the July test, I would still be able to take the November test and hopefully be done this year!
5) June is looking like a calmer month at the office which gives me more time to study without taking me away from my work.
6) It's possible with all the laws Congress is working on that the July test could be a bit easier because some of the Estate Planning stuff hasn't been hashed out yet and would be by November making the November test harder.
7) I would be done now and not in November!
8) The sooner I get done with this, the sooner we can do IVF because I will not do IVF while preparing for this test. No way, no how.
Here are the reasons to take the test in November:
1) I get really stressed out over tests, so this would allow me more time to let the information soak in and let me study until I knew it backwards and forwards and upside-down. (I have learned in the past this is good for me and my test taking).
2) The timing is so very tight. I would basically have to give up all other aspects of my life for June and the beginning of July to take the test in July, whereas if I took it in November I could study at a more steady pace but still have a life.
3) I would have time to possibly take two cram courses from different companies, thereby getting a variety of information and hopefully being better prepared for the exam.
4) I would still be done in 2010.
5) The test isn't only about memorization, but also the applying the concepts. So, more time to understand this too.
6) This gives us more time to work on conceiving on our own, without IVF, and possibly do it spontaneously (as Dr. H would say), which is also a dream of mine.
7) I don't think we are ready to do IVF yet (I know I am not) so this would give us another reason to wait on that at least until January 2011 to do IVF, with good cause.
Here are the things that throw a wrench into my thoughts:
1) If I get pregnant spontaneously, there is no good answer. Either I take the test under extreme pressure in my first or second month, or I take the test in any month of my pregnancy maybe with a little less pressure.
2) Congress debating the Estate Planning laws.
3) If I walk out of the test in July and think I passed and don't study only to learn I failed, then I have wasted a month and a half of studying. If I walk out of the test in July and think I failed and study again only to learn I passed, I have wasted a month and a half of studying.
4) I have to decide before June 1 (as the July test is July 17-18) and I will be barely in the middle of my current class, so tough to determine if I have a grasp of the current material only to add more to study.
I would give my left arm to someone who said, "I am 100% you will pass the July exam." Obviously, no one can do that for me (and to be honest, what would they do with my left arm...I am right handed!) I guess I am leaning towards the November exam a bit just because it doesn't put so much pressure on me and I can not only let the concepts soak in but the application of them. But I really, really, really want to be done NOW! And if you know me, you know this is a common thing...I want what I want and I want it NOW! I want to have lost the weight now. I want to be pregnant now. I want to be done with the CFP now. (My Mom told me the other day when we were discussing this that in the middle of Kindergarten I told her "I wanted to go to first grade now because I was done with Kindergarten." So I have had this issue my whole life apparently!)
Oh, and I have talked to other people about this decision. Many in fact! My former boss, my boss/Mom, another friend of the family who knows the business, my husband, people in my current class, people who have recently taken the CFP exam and passed recently, other friends, and myself over and over in my head.
I guess those are all my reasons. And no one can really tell me how to proceed, only I can determine my readiness, and at this point that is difficult for me. Maybe that says that I need to wait until November. AAHHHH!
Thoughts dear Bleaders?