Are you familiar with the CPA exam?

Be informed about CPA Exam application process, content and structure, and passing requirements!

You must meet certain education, examination, and experience requirements, so as to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Accordingly, to sit the CPA Exam, you must meet certain education requirements. You must pass the CPA Exam to satisfy the examination requirement. To be licensed, you must also meet certain minimum experience requirements.

The exam consists of two sections, i.e., Core Section and Discipline Section, as follows:

  • Core Section
    • Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
    • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
    • Taxation and Regulation (REG)
  • Discipline Section
    • Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR)
    • Information Systems and Control (ISC)
    • Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP)

Exam candidates must sit and pass all Core Section courses. However, students must select, sit and pass only one of the Discipline Section courses. There are no restrictions on the order to sit any of the courses.

Requirements Summarized

Administering Bodies

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants — together with National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and state boards of accounting — develop, manages, scores and administers this examination. The CPA Exam is part licensure requirements in the US to do public accounting work.

CPA Exam Test Centers

Prometric Testing Centers administer the CPA Exam throughout the year and each section must be passed with at least 75 marks within a 18-month rolling windows starting when pass your first course.

Exam Difficulty

This is a challenging exam and requires you pass all parts within a 30-month window. Otherwise, you loose the initial passed course and a new 30-month starts based on the next oldest passed course. On average pass rates for the past four years have been approximately 45% to 56%.

CPA Exam Structure

The CPA Exam has six (6) courses divided into two sections: core (3 courses) and discipline (3 courses) section. All candidates must pass the three core exam sections, as well as one discipline exam section.

CPA Exam Requirements

CPAs are regulated at the state or territory level. Generally, candidates must apply to a state or territory to take the CPA Exam. States or territories have unique minimum application requirements which must be met before a candidate's exam application is approved.

Apply For The CPA Exam

You can submit your CPA Exam application at any time during the year. Check to ensure you meet the minimum requirements of the state or territory of interest. You will receive a Notice-To-Schedule (NTS) once approved. Use the NTS to schedule at a Prometric Center.

CPA Exam Content

The CPA Exam content is updated periodically to reflect current trends and requirements. The AICPA publishes a detailed content specifications (Blueprint) on the entire exam.

CPA Exam Scoring

The passing score for each part of the CPA Exam is 75 (not 75%, just 75) with the highest score being 100. The score is determined from a combination of factors, which include weighed combination of scale scores, difficulty of questions and testlets and multi-stage testing.

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