Friday, September 19, 2008

Writing The Uniform Final Exam

All they heard was that I was in an accident like GEICO
They thought I was burnt up like Pepsi did Michael
I must gotta angel
Cause look how death missed his ass
Unbreakable, what you thought they called me Mr. Glass?
Look back on my life like the ghost of Christmas past
Toys R Us where I used to spend that Christmas cash
And I still wont grow up, I'm a grown ass kid
Swear I should be locked up for stupid **** that I did
But I'm a champion, so I turned tragedy to triumph
Make music that's fire, spit my soul through the wire
--K. West
Shamrocks is not a personal blog.

I write mainly about world events from my small corner of the globe, and sometimes if Canada decides to do something interesting, I'll pay attention to it. I don't talk about what's going on in my life either, except if it's something pretty significant. And this doesn't exactly endear me to my anemic (er, that should read "non-existent") readership.

Anyways, this week I wrote the Uniform Final Exam (UFE, pronounced "You-Fee"), which is generally regarded as the last major step in obtaining the CA designation (Chartered Accountant). It was three days (13 hours) of fairly intense test writing.

Here's how the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountant's describes the UFE in relation to the 2007 test:
TORONTO, November 30, 2007 – 2,327 CA students have successfully completed what is one of the most challenging professional examinations in the world - the CA Profession’s 2007 Uniform Evaluation (UFE).


A national three-day evaluation, the UFE assesses CA candidate competencies including knowledge, professional judgment and ethics. The UFE is an important component of the CA qualification program, which includes a university degree requirement, a professional program of rigorous course work, practical work experience and other examination requirements. Only those who complete this entire program successfully are entitled to use the internationally recognized CA designation.

In western Canada, the program that leads up to the UFE is long. It is 6 modules of intense study while you work, articling at a public accounting firm.

I've been through 2 years of prerequisite classes, 3 articling firms over 33 months (but the same one for the last 2 years), 6 study modules, 5 residences, 3 busy seasons, 80 hour work/study weeks, 3 months of pure study (this summer), a serious car crash on my way to client's that I was lucky to walk away from, housemates that were alcoholics and/or hardcore bikers, one summer in a slum, audits on Canada's forgotten native reserves, computer problems galore and some other dirt I won't even get into.

I am not complaining, but it's the hardest thing I've ever done. So far.

I started doing my prerequisites for the program almost 5 years ago. I went from BCIT to UBC's accounting program, to studying accounting every day on the trains in Japan while I went to and from work as an English teacher.

There were endless days when I was working all day in Vancouver only to run out to UBC to spend a night in the lab or in class (or fight with some bloggers right around the time Warren Kinsella threatened to sue me), and countless days I fell asleep on the train on the way to Kyoto, Osaka, Takatsuki and Nara with my head in an accounting text. There were many more weeks spent working on the island and commuting home up and down the island highway, and countless more spent working and studying back in Vancouver again.

I'm glad its almost over - The marks for the UFE come out December 6, so I find out then if I passed.

Here's K. West's best song (and one I can relate to) where he discusses his own struggle and his car crash that almost took him out:

Good dude, Bad night, Right place, Wrong time
In the blink of an eye his whole life changed
If you could feel how my face felt you would know how Mase felt
Thank God I ain't to cool for the safe belt

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