The Board Exam
First, that exam was by far the most difficult test I've ever taken. You are only allowed to take a picture ID and your locker key into the test area. The testing area is a bunch of cubicles in a row with a computer, keyboard, mouse, and earplugs at each station. When you check in, the secretary gives you two pieces of scratch paper to use during the exam.
My exam didn't start until 5:30, and I really hadn't eaten anything all day because I was so nervous. (This is typical for exams, but even more pronounced for this board exam.) Then, each time you check into the exam or leave to go to the bathroom, you are photographed, fingerprinted and asked to sign your name- just a little more pressure added to the pressure cooker.
The exam is 5.5 hours long, it took me a little more than 4 hours to take it. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a great test-taker. I can talk myself out of or into any variety of answers. However, I think the hardest part of this test was simply its length- staring at a computer screen for that long takes its toll.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to know my results or not- I walked out of the exam feeling like such a failure. There were a lot of difficult questions with no clear correct answer. I was tired and hungry through most of the exam which made concentrating difficult. I was fairly convinced that I would have to take the exam over, and I was embarrassed just thinking about explaining it to my family and my employer.
As it turns out, I couldn't wait to see my results. The next morning I logged onto the FSBPT website and paid $57 to get my individual score report. I PASSED!