On January 29th I took the Communications exam for the second, and hopefully last, time. It has taken me a month to decide on actually finishing and posting this because it is kind of personal. In the spirit of full disclosure, and to offer solidarity to my comrades who are now taking or are considering taking the CP Exam, I have made the leap. Should I not pass this time around, I believe I know which questions gave me the most trouble and will focus on studying those topics for attempt number three. I would fill you in on which questions/topics those are but NALA prohibits discussing the questions that appear on the exam. I would hate to inadvertently disclose too much and then lose the designation I have worked so hard for.
Nevertheless, I studied chapters one and two in the Review Manual, read Writing for Lawyers, and read Elements of Style in preparation of the exam. I could have spent more time reviewing vocabulary words… but I do not believe that is what will break me – hopefully. This amount of reading, in about one month’s time, is not for the weak. It is grueling; and the other parents at karate class will look at you funny. By the end, I felt like the manual was Charlie Brown’s teacher. This is very likely because I have read these chapters four times now. Admittedly, my writing and editing skills have improved since I started studying a year ago.
Even if you are not planning to take (or are in the process of taking) the CP Exam you should totally read Writing for Lawyers. It is amazing, hilarious, and insightful. I might have said this before, and apologize for being an infomercial, but it really is good.
I must admit that I was definitely nervous about taking the exam again. It was not necessarily the content that has me worried but the fear of “failing…again.” Last time I took the exam, I missed passing by thee points. In a world of pass or fail, three points feels like tripping at the finish line – and not the good trip where you fall across the line and still win. No, the crappy one, where you roll like a weirdo and skin your knees. What if I did worse this time? Or, what if I miss by one? How many times will I have to take Communications before I figure out the English language? All of these questions, and more, were constantly on my mind hindering my concentration and contributing to my procrastination. I also kept this testing period low-key – most people forgot that I was even taking the exam (including myself). I did this because I did not want to have to tell everyone multiple times when the test was and when the results would be in. Also, I do not want to have to see everyone’s pity eyes if I end up having to take it again.
There were a few times that I seriously considered giving up. I felt comfortable on the day of the exam though because I realized that this is a goal I had set for myself many, many years ago and I need to see it though to the end. Not only would I forever mourn not following through, but I would be setting a horrible example for my children, the girls I mentor, and the rest of my family and friends.
The results should be sent out and received in the next couple of weeks. I am, of course, extremely hopeful that I passed so that I can move on to my next project/goal. However, I may have to take Communications again, and again after that, and that is okay. I am at peace with that concept. If you have every had similar feelings, know that I feel ya. You can make it through to the end, just like I will.
Onward and upward.