It’s a unique time to be sitting for the CPA Exam, we know. With that comes a whole set of new unique challenges to face, too. One of which is wearing a mask during the CPA Exam.

As we stand, the CPA Exam must be sat in person with no remote testing abilities. Because of that, and current CDC guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, a mask must be worn for the entire four hours per CPA Exam section. For those of us that had no experience wearing a mask until now, this can seem a little daunting – and staying focused during it feels impossible. So we’ve gathered some of our top tips to help you prep for wearing a mask during Exam day.

Wear a mask during practice exams.

It’s no secret that you’d rather be comfortable when at home, practicing for the real deal. But that’s not in line with what the experience will really be like – and we recommend replicating exam day down to a t. Right now, that doesn’t just mean silence, but also wearing a mask. Otherwise, you might find yourself fiddling with it and distracting yourself on the big day.

Try out different masks to find the right one for you.

There’s a range of mask types, and some are even made from different fabrics. Finding the type, and size, that best fits you is crucial to feeling comfortable on exam day. An ill-fitting mask that digs in, or is too loose, could leave you wasting time and effort trying to fix it.

Get all other distractions out of the way, too.

This is less of a tip directly surrounding masks, and more of an overall piece of advice. In a similar way to how a mask may act as a distraction, properly prepare to mitigate other distractions too – whether it’s wearing your hair away from your face or choosing an outfit you’re comfortable in.

While it may not seem like a big deal to spend 10 seconds thinking about your mask, or fiddling with the bands around your ears, that time can and will add up quickly. Preparing yourself appropriately for the CPA Exam by practicing while wearing the mask, and removing other distractions, will allow you to excel without anything pulling you back.