The CPA fanadinana fandaharam-potoana is pretty confusing because there are so many different testing windows, exam dates, blackout months, and other oddities. Fanampin'izany, recent global events have made the situation even more confusing with numerous cancellations and rescheduling for seemingly every event. Noho izany, the scheduling process can difficult to figure out for first-time candidates.
Ary noho izany, let’s take a look at each one of these scheduling topics and try to answer most of your CPA examination questions.
How to Schedule the CPA Exam
The first step in understanding how to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination is figuring out the scheduling process. After your CPA application has been approved by your state board of accountancy, you will be notified that you are eligible to sit for the exam with an Authorization to Test (ATT). Raha tsorina dia, this document typically gives you 90 days to pick which section of the exam you want to sit for. Once you decide which section or sections you want to sit for, you can register for them and pay the applicable fees on the NASBA website.
- 1.Becker CPA Review Course Endorsed by Big 4 Accounting Firms
- 2.Surgent CPA Prep Course Best Technology + Save $1,100
- 3. Wiley CPAExcel Review Course Best Instructor Support
- 4.UWorld Roger CPA Review Courses Best for Engaging Video Lectures
- 5.Gleim CPA Review Course Most Task-Based Simulations
CPA Exam Notice to Schedule (NTS)
About 3 ny 6 weeks after you pay your registration fees for the CPA exam parts you signed up for, you’ll receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS) for those sections. This is the document that legally allows you to sit for a section of the CPA exam in the United States. After you receive this document, you will be able to schedule a testing date and time with a Prometric testing center. Be aware! Without this document, you will not be able to schedule a testing date. koa, your NTS is only valid for 6 months. Noho izany, if you don’t schedule your exam within that window, your NTS will be invalidated and you will be required to pay the same exam fees in order to get another one.
That’s the basic process of scheduling your exam. Now that you understand how the scheduling system works, let’s look at when you can actually schedule your exam.
CPA Exam Testing Dates
|Testing Windows||Blackout Dates|
|January 1 - March 10||March 11 - 31|
|April 1 - June 30||None (Continuous Testing)|
|July 1 - December 31||None (Continuous Testing)|
CPA Testing Windows
Testing windows are the CPA semester dates that candidates can schedule and sit for the exam. matetika, these windows include the first two months of each quarter and follow this pattern: two months of testing followed by one month of no testing. Noho izany, January – February, April – May, July – August, and October – November are testing months that are available for candidates to schedule exams. koa, candidates can typically make an appointment for a specific date and time 6 days per week during any testing window at their local Prometric testing center. Na izany aza, one important note to consider is that you are not able to schedule to sit for the same section multiple times in the same testing window. If you fail a section in January, you will not be able to take it again in February. Noho izany, you will have to wait until March to retake it again.
CPA Blackout Months
In the past, blackout months were the dates that Prometric does not offer testing for the CPA exam. These dates included the third month of every quarter: March, June, September, and December. Na izany aza, NASBA recently announced Continuous Testing for the second half of 2020 in response to current global events. Noho izany, you’re now able to apply for and take the CPA exam at any time without any blackouts.
18 Month Rolling Window
The 18-month rolling window doesn’t have anything to do with scheduling your exam dates. Instead, this is the time period in which you need to successfully complete all four sections of the exam. Raha lazaina amin'ny fomba hafa, you have 18 months to complete the remaining three sections after your first completed section. If you can’t pass all four sections within the 18 month time period, the first passed section will drop off or be invalidated. Noho izany, if you passed FAR in January Year 1 and were unable to pass the remaining three sections until October Year 2, your passed FAR exam will no longer be valid. You will have to retake FAR again.
The moral of the story is to pass all four sections in as soon as you can. You don’t want to have to retake a section that you already passed.
CPA Exam Costs and Fees
There are a variety of costs and fees associated with sitting for the CPA exam. None of them are that expensive, but they do add up over the entire exam. Here’s a list of the fees and what you can expect to pay.
|Application saran'ny||$25 - $200|
|NASBA Exam Fees||~$180 per section|
|AICPA Ethics Exam||$125|
|CPA License Fee||$50 - $500|
There are a couple of things to understand about these fees. voalohany, the application fee is only a one time cost that varies by state. This is the fee you pay to your state board for your initial application. Ary noho izany, once you’re approved to take the exam you don’t have to pay this again.
faharoa, the NASBA fee is the cost to take the exam. You pay this every time you sign up for a section. Keep in mind, you don’t pay this fee when you sit for the exam. Instead, you pay it when you sign up. Noho izany, if your NTS expires, you will have to pay this fee again for the same section.
fahatelo, some states don’t require an ethics exam. Some do. ny farany, it just depends on where you’re applying.
fahefatra, ny CPA licensure fee varies drastically between states. Noho izany, you should check with your state board to see what your initial and annual fee will be to maintain your license.
Get Discounts On CPA Review Courses!
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $1,100 off Surgent CPA Ultimate
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $1,000 off Wiley CPAexcel Platinum
Cyber Monday Sale! CPA Premium Gleim Review Discount –
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $543 – Fast Forward Academy
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $700 on the Becker Premium
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $400 off on the Becker
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $800 off on the Becker
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $550 off Wiley CMAexcel Platinum
UWorld Roger CPA Review Save $570 off Premier!
UWorld Roger CPA Review Save $400 off Premier!
Cyber Monday Sale! Save 20% Off Surgent CPE Unlimited
Black Friday Sale! Save $500 off the Becker Advantage
Lambers CPE: 20% off 2-Year & 10% off 1-Year
Cyber Monday Sale! Surgent EA Ultimate Pass Review Coupon
Surgent EA Premier Pass Coupon – Save $140
Cyber Monday Sale! $509 off Surgent CMA Ultimate Pass
Cyber Monday Sale! Gleim CMA Premium Review Discount –
PPI2PASS Save $500 off PE Exam Review Courses
Save $500 off FE Exam Review Courses
Save 15% OFF PPI2PASS SE Review Material Discount Code
Save 15% OFF PPI2PASS PE Review Material Discount Code
Save 15% OFF PPI2PASS FE Review Material Discount Code
Black Friday Sale! Save $50 off School of PE
Cyber Monday Sale! Save 50% OFF Aceable Agent Real
Cyber Monday Sale! Get 40% OFF Mbition Real Estate
Save 10% off McKissock Learning Appraisal Education, Home Inspection.
Cyber Monday Sale! Save 40% off The CE Shop
Save 40% OFF Prep Agent Real Estate Course!
10% Off AYPO Real Estate
Save $1,000 off Surgent CPA Premier Pass!
Save $700 off Surgent CPA Essential Pass!
PM PrepCast CAPM Discount
$200 off Surgent CMA Review Premier Pass
$150 off Surgent CIA Review Course
Save 10% off Wiley CIAexcel Review Course
Get $400 OFF CMA Exam Academy!
Black Friday! Save 70% on Grey Campus Self-Learning Courses
Save 10% on Grey Campus Self-Learning Courses
Save 10% on Grey Campus Live-Online and Live
Black Friday! Save 20% on Grey Campus Live-Online and
The Agile PrepCast Elite for PMI-ACP Discount
Surgent EA Premier Pass Coupon – Save $140
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $157 Gleim EA Review
Lambers EA – Save $300 & 1-Year FREE CE
Lambers EA 1-Year FREE CE
Brain Sensei $50 OFF PMP Course!
Brain Sensei $50 OFF CAPM Course!
10% off Exams PM PMP & CAPM Courses
Black Friday Sale! Save $50 off Edumind PMP/CAPM Review
Save $300 off Edumind PMP Review
Save $200 off Dooey.org PMP/CAPM/PMI-ACP/Lean Six Sigma Review Courses!
Black Friday Sale! Edumind ARE Review 65% eny
Save $300 off Blueprint LSAT 12-month Self-Paced
Black Friday! Save $350 off Blueprint LSAT Live Course
Black Friday Sale! Save 10% off Blueprint LSAT Tutoring
Save $200 off Blueprint LSAT 6-month Self-Paced
Save $100 off Blueprint LSAT 3-month Self-Paced
LSATmax only $67/month
Black Friday Sale! Save 25% off LSATmax Courses
10% OFF Alpha Score LSAT Coupon Code
Cyber Monday Sale! Princeton Review Ultimate LSAT Coupon –
Save 10% off Wize LSAT Exam Review
Save 10% off LSAT Lab
Cyber Monday Sale! Save 25% On Kaplan LSAT
10% OFF ExamsPM Offer (PMP or CAPM Certification)
$87/month Master of Project Academy PMP and CAPM Courses!
Save 15% off Velociteach PMP, CAPM, PMI-ACP Classes
Save 10% off Crushendo Bar Prep Products
Save 10% off Bar Prep Hero Bar Review Products!
Save 10% or up to $100 off Quimbee Bar
Princeton Review Ultimate GMAT Test Prep Promo Code –
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $350 on Kaplan DAT
Save 10% off Wiley CFP Review Course
Save 10% off Wiley CAIA Review Course!
Save 10% off Wiley CMT Review Course
Save $200 off Prep Expert PSAT 4-Week Course!
Save 10% off Wiley FRM Review Course
Save 20% off Analyst Prep CFA/FRM Review
Cyber Monday Sale! Princeton Review CFA® Coupon – Save
Cyber Monday Sale! Save $500 off Wiley CFA Platinum
Cyber Monday Sale! $238 Off Gleim CIA Review Discount
10% off Achievable Series 7 Exam Review
Save 20% Off Surgent SIE Essentials Pass
10% off Achievable SIE Exam Review
Save 10% off Series Exam Prep at Securities Institute
Save 20% off Securities Training Corporation
Save 10% off ExamFX Securities Exams
UWorld Roger CPA Financing Offer
Surgent CPA 5-Day FREE Trial Offer
Cyber Monday Sale! Princeton Review Ultimate ACT Test Prep
Cyber Monday Sale! Princeton Review Ultimate DAT Test Prep
Cyber Monday Sale! 50% Off Prep Expert SAT Courses!
$200 Off Prep Expert SAT Courses!
$200 Off Prep Expert ACT Review Course!
Cyber Monday Sale! 50% Off Prep Expert ACT Review
20% off OnCourse Learning Continuing Education
Cyber Monday Sale! Save 30% off OnCourse Learning Mortgage
CPA Exam Sections
Before you go and pay NASBA a bunch of fees to get your NTS, you should stop and figure out what part you want to sit for. The four parts of the examination are:
- Auditing & Attestation
- Financial Accounting & Reporting (business enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, and governmental entities)
- Regulation (professional responsibilities, business law, and taxation)
- Business Environment & Concepts
The examination takes at least two days. Each of the four parts of the examination is graded on a scale of 0 ny 100. The minimum passing score is 75. Each part tests candidates on different topics and areas of study. They all consist of the same basic format: multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations. The one exception is BEC which also has a small writing component. Here’s a summary of what each section tests.
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) is the longest section of the exam and tests candidates on the following financial accounting and reporting topics.
- 17-23% concepts
- 27-33% accounts and disclosures
- 27-33% transactions
- 8-12% governmental
- 8-12% not-for-profits
Audit (AUD) tests candidates on the following auditing topics.
- 12-16% engagement acceptance and planning
- 16-20% entity and internal control
- 16-20% procedures and evidence
- 16-20% reports
- 12-16% accounting and review services
- 16-20% professional responsibilities
Business Environment and Concepts (bec) includes managerial accounting topics, economics, and internal accounting concepts. This is also the section that most heavily tests financial ratios. BEC includes a short writing task-based simulation. Some candidates have troubles with this component while others think it is a breeze.
- 16-20% corporate governance
- 16-20% economics
- 19-23% finance
- 15-19% IT
- 10-14% strategic planning
- 12-16% operations management
Regulation (REG) is the section of the exam that has the least to do with financial accounting. This section mainly tests the following business law, individual taxation, corporate taxation, and business structure topics.
- 15-19% ethical and legal responsibilities
- 17-21% business law
- 11-15% federal tax process
- 12-16% gain and loss taxation
- 13-19% individual tax
- 18-24% taxation of entities
What Order Should You Sit For the CPA Exam?
There are a lot of different theories about this. Na izany aza, I always suggest candidates sit for their strongest sections first. I talk more about which CPA exam you should take first in this blog post. koa, I also suggest the best order to take each section in this post. Before you worry about what section you are going to take first, you will need to pick out a CPA prep course.