Applying, Scheduling, and Sitting for the CPA Exam - Class Bench | Class Bench

Applying, Scheduling, and Sitting for the CPA Exam

How do I apply for the CPA Exam?

Detailed information on how to apply, including state-by-state eligibility requirements and downloadable application forms can be found at

1. To begin, you apply and pay a fee to either the appropriate state, jurisdiction board of accountancy or National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), which will determine your eligibility to sit for the exam.
2. Once you have been deemed eligible, you will receive a notice to schedule (NTS), which is required before you can schedule an exam date.

3. You then have a six-month window (except in specified states) during which you must schedule your first exam ( or 1-800-580-9648).Exceptions to the six-month window include: Texas (90 days); California, Hawaii, Louisiana,and Utah (9 months); and North and South Dakota, and Virginia (12 months).

How long does the application process take?

For first-time applicants, the application process varies by state, and may take up to six weeks.Re-examination candidates can typically expect a shorter application period. Accurate completion of applications and timely submission of all required information can help avoid delays.

When should I start the application process?

As soon as possible once you’ve decided to take the exam, and at least four months before the date on which you actually want to take it. Completing the exam process involves very strict deadlines and limited timeframes, including receiving your notice to schedule, the window for scheduling, and the 18 months you have to successfully complete all four parts of the exam.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Prometric recommend locking in a specific exam date at least 45 days

in advance. For example, if you want to sit for an exam on May 15, you should contact Prometric by April 1 to make sure your chosen date is available. To ensure receipt by April 1, you should begin the application process in early to mid-January.

You will not be permitted to schedule your exam fewer than five days in advance of its date. For any specific date and testing site, candidate demand and site capacity may affect availability.

How, when, and where is the exam administered?

The CPA Exam is offered only in a computerbased format at authorized Prometric test centers located throughout the United States and its jurisdictions, Japan, Brazil, Bahrain,Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. It is administered year-round, five or six days each week, except during the third month of each quarter.

Prometric offers a “Test Drive” prior to the exam date to familiarize yourself with the look and feel of the exam environment. For more information or to schedule, visit

Must I meet the educational requirements before I take the exam?

Some jurisdictions allow candidates to sit for the exam before completing all educational requirements provided the requirements are met within a certain time period. Each jurisdiction determines the rules under which its candidates may sit. For more information about each jurisdiction’s educational requirements, refer to

May I physically sit for the exam outside of my state or jurisdiction?

You may sit for the exam at any Prometric location regardless of your jurisdiction of application. However, you can only be registered with one state at a time. You must meet the licensing state’s requirements, regardless of the physical location in which you choose to sit for the exam and verify all pertinent information with the state board of accountancy to which you are applying.

How much does taking the exam cost?

The cost for the exam will vary for each jurisdiction. Estimated costs for first-time candidates applying to take all four sections typically range between $850 and $1050 (

How many sections may I take at a time?

You may sit for one or more exam sections during a given testing window, but you may not take the same section more than once in a given testing window. A failed section may be retaken in the next testing window, provided a new NTS has been secured. Candidates can sit for the exam in the first two months of every calendar quarter.

Q1 Jan-Mar 10 Open Mar 11-31 Closed
Q2 Apr-May Open Jun Closed
Q3 Jul-Sept 10 Open Sep 11-31 Closed
Q3 Oct-Dec 10 Open Dec 11-31 Closed

During the anticipated launch window of the next version of the exam (April-June 2017), the 10-day extension will be suspended. Suspending the extension for the launch window will be necessary to allow time for the AICPA to properly calibrate the exam for scoring. The 10-day extension will be reinstated for Q3 and Q4 of 2017.

What if I must change my scheduled exam date?

You may reschedule appointments with Prometric up to 30 days in advance of the scheduled date at no additional charge, or within 6 to 29 days for a fee of $35. Otherwise, you must pay the full Prometric fee for the section you wish to reschedule. If you cancel an appointment without rescheduling or fail to show at the scheduled time, you will not receive refunds of any fees.

Key CPA Exam resources

  • AICPA (
    The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is responsible for developing and scoring the CPA Exam.
  • NASBA (
    The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy maintains the National Candidate Database, provides candidates with NTS, and keeps records of candidates who have passed the exam.
  • Prometric (
    Prometric is the organization in charge of the test centers where the CPA Exam is given and is responsible for scheduling exam appointments, administering the exam, and sending the results to the AICPA for scoring.
  • State Boards
    Regulate the accountancy profession in the U.S. and serve as the licensing body for CPAs.

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