The CPA exam allows you to become licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This gold-standard exam is meant to prove to future partners and clients that you have the skills necessary to be a trusted financial advisor. Scheduling a time to take the CPA Exam does not have to be stressful. The following information will help you get started on scheduling your CPA Exam.
How to Apply for the CPA Exam
The first step to scheduling the CPA Exam is to determine if you are eligible to apply. You must have completed a certain amount of educational semester hours before you will be able to sign up for the exam. In most states, this is between 120 and 150 semester hours. The exact amount will vary from state to state, so it’s important to do your research before applying and to contact your State Board of Accountancy if you have any questions.
Applying for the CPA Exam on NASBA’s Website
To apply for the CPA you will need to fill out online forms and pay any necessary fees through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Visit their website and provide the necessary information, including where you will be taking the exam. Keep in mind that you will not be able to decide on details, such as what day you want to take the test, until you have received approval to test from NASBA. This process can take up to two weeks. Some exceptions may apply depending on the location where the test is being taken.
Schedule the CPA Exam
Once you know you’re eligible to take the CPA Exam, and you have received a Notice to Schedule (NTS) your test from NASBA, you’ll want to find a time to take it that is convenient for you. If desired, you can double-check your information from the NASBA website before proceeding to ensure that everything looks good. Depending on what state you are taking the test in, you should have a few months to think about when to schedule and sign up for a specific time to test. When you’re ready to schedule your CPA Exam, be sure you have your NTS, photo identification, and a calendar ready. Then, you’ll login into the Prometric Testing Center at prometric.com to schedule your exam and to review your CPA Exam schedule. Prometrics administers the CPA Exam and has many locations across the United States. These testing centers should be relatively easy to work with and accessible to you in most areas. If you need to travel to a testing center, be sure to factor that into scheduling.
Prometric testing centers are open throughout the year. They are also open six days a week with hours ranging from morning to evening, though exact times can vary slightly from location to location. Create your CPA Exam Schedule in a way that is convenient for you, keeping the above advice about strategic scheduling in mind. Remember, on the Prometric website, you can schedule your CPA Exam, locate a testing center, reschedule and cancel your exam, and confirm your test date.
What Needs to Be Scheduled?
The CPA exam is divided into four parts. Each of the following will require you to schedule a different time in which to sit in the test:
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
- Regulation (REG)
You will be given an 18-month window in which to complete all of your CPA Exam. The sections that you have passed will expire if the rest of the test is not completed within 18 months of passing them. This is often referred to as the “rolling window” for testing.
Scheduling for Success
Since you must be able to pass all sections of the exam within the required time frame for your scores to count, it is worth considering strategic ways to use your CPA exam schedule to set you up for success. Consider studying for the exam section by section, leaving plenty of room before tests to feel comfortable mastering the next round of information. One suggestion from UWorld Roger CPA Review is to start with the sections you find most difficult, as it helps ensure that you will have plenty of time during the rolling window to complete easier sections.
Once you’ve successfully scheduled the exam it’s time to start studying. Remember to pace yourself and take the time to master the necessary concepts. Having your CPA license is a huge step forward in your career, and it is worth all the hard work you put into passing exams.