Topics on the CPA exam vary and are determined primarily by the results of a “Practice Analysis”: a periodic study of public accounting practice and evaluations from CPA practitioners and educators. Its goal is to identify and evaluate the knowledge and skills required of CPAs entering the profession.
The computer-based exam is broken down into four separate exams (referred to as sections):
There are 3 different types of questions on the CPA exam:
The CPA exam is offered quarterly in what is referred to as a “testing window.” The testing window is generally the first two months in a quarter for a calendar year. The third month is referred to as a “blackout month.” The 2018 testing schedule is as follows (the 2019 testing schedule will be posted when announced by the AICPA). Each section may be taken separately, during one of the following testing windows:
Eligibility requirements to take the CPA exam vary by jurisdiction; for instance, undergraduate coursework or degrees required to sit for a CPA exam in the state of Colorado differs from the academic requirements in New York. Please check with your desired accountancy board. (The NASBA has links to all 54 jurisdictions.)
The CPA exam is provided through the cooperative efforts of three organizations, all of which you will need to communicate with in order to register for and take the exam:
Learn more about applying for the CPA Exam with our CPA Exam Application Guide.
To apply and sit for the Uniform CPA Examination, it will cost about $1,000. This includes the first-time application fee which varies by jurisdiction, as well as the examination fee for all four parts.
The pass rate for the CPA exam is only 46%. The pass rate among Wiley CPAexcel students is 87%.