What to Bring to the CPA Exam
On the day of the CPA exam, it is important to bring the necessary documents and items to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. Here is a list of what to bring to the CPA exam:
You must bring two forms of identification, including one government-issued ID with your photo and signature. Acceptable forms of identification include a passport, social security card, green card, driver’s license, U.S. military ID, or accountancy board-issued identification.
Notice to Schedule (NTS)
You must also bring your Notice to Schedule (NTS), which is issued by the state board of accountancy. The NTS contains your exam section ID number, which is required to log in to the exam. Make sure to bring the correct and most recent NTS, as bringing the incorrect one may restrict you from taking the exam.
In addition to your identification and NTS, you may want to bring other items to the exam, such as a calculator, earplugs, and a sweater or jacket. However, make sure to check the exam policies for any restrictions on what you can bring into the testing center.
It is recommended to pack your bags the night before the exam to ensure you have everything you need and to avoid forgetting anything important. By bringing the necessary documents and items, you can focus on the exam and perform your best.
Test Center Protocol
When taking the CPA exam, it is important to follow the test center protocol to ensure a smooth testing experience. The following guidelines should be followed to ensure compliance with the test center rules and regulations:
- Arrive Early: Candidates should arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before the scheduled exam time. This will allow time for check-in procedures, security checks, and to locate the testing room.
- Identification: Candidates must bring two forms of identification, one of which must be a valid government-issued photo ID. The name on the ID must match the name on the Notice to Schedule (NTS).
- Security Checks: Prometric test centers have strict security measures in place to ensure the integrity of the exam. Candidates will be required to go through a metal detector and may be subject to additional security measures such as a pat-down search.
- Lockers: Candidates are provided with a locker to store personal belongings during the exam. Candidates are not allowed to bring any personal items into the testing room, including cell phones, watches, and bags.
- Directions: Candidates should familiarize themselves with the location of the test center before the exam day. It is recommended to visit the test center location before the exam day to avoid any confusion or delays.
- Log-in: Once in the testing room, candidates will be required to log in to the exam software using their NTS number and a provided password.
It is important to note that failure to comply with the test center protocol may result in the candidate being denied entry to the testing room or having their exam scores invalidated. Therefore, candidates should take the time to review the test center protocol and ensure they are prepared for the exam day.
During the CPA Exam
Once inside the testing room, candidates are required to follow strict rules and regulations to ensure that the exam is administered fairly and consistently. Here are some important things to keep in mind during the CPA Exam:
- Breaks: Candidates are allowed to take optional breaks during the exam, but the clock will not stop. The time taken for breaks will be deducted from the total exam time. The number of breaks allowed and their duration may vary depending on the section of the exam. Candidates should check the exam rules for more information.
- Scratch Paper: Candidates will be provided with scratch paper to use during the exam. The scratch paper will be collected by the test administrator at the end of the exam. Candidates are not allowed to bring their own scratch paper or writing utensils.
- Exam Confirmation: Candidates should bring their exam confirmation notice, which includes the exam date, time, and location. This notice should be printed and brought to the testing center on exam day.
- Launch Code: Candidates will receive a launch code from the test center administrator to begin the exam. The launch code is unique to each candidate and should not be shared with anyone.
- Examination Password: Candidates will be required to enter an examination password to access the exam. The password will be provided by the test center administrator and should not be shared with anyone.
It is important for candidates to follow all exam rules and regulations to avoid any potential issues or disqualifications. Candidates should also remain calm and focused during the exam to ensure that they perform to the best of their abilities.
After completing the CPA exam, candidates should follow certain procedures to ensure that their scores are accurate and properly reported to the relevant state board of accountancy. The following are some of the post-exam procedures that candidates should follow:
- Score Release Dates: Candidates can check the score release dates on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website. The scores are usually released within a few weeks of the exam date. Candidates should note that the scores are released on different dates for different sections of the exam.
- Score Reporting: After the scores are released, candidates can access their scores on the NASBA website. The scores are also sent to the relevant state board of accountancy. Candidates should ensure that their scores are accurate and properly reported to the state board of accountancy.
- Appeals: If a candidate believes that his or her score is inaccurate, he or she may appeal the score. The appeal process involves submitting a written request to the state board of accountancy. The request must include the candidate’s name, address, and telephone number, as well as a detailed explanation of why the score is believed to be inaccurate.
- Retakes: If a candidate does not pass a section of the exam, he or she may retake the section. Candidates should check with their state board of accountancy for information on retake policies and procedures.
- CPA Certification: Once a candidate has passed all sections of the exam, he or she must apply for CPA certification with the relevant state board of accountancy. The application process involves submitting an application form, transcripts, and other documents to the state board of accountancy.
Candidates should follow these post-exam procedures to ensure that their scores are accurate and properly reported to the state board of accountancy. By doing so, candidates can move closer to becoming a certified public accountant.
It is important to wear comfortable clothing on exam day, as you will be sitting for an extended period of time. Dress in layers to accommodate for temperature changes in the testing center. Avoid wearing any clothing with distracting patterns or accessories, as this may violate the Prometric testing center’s rules.
If you need to reschedule your exam date, be sure to do so well in advance to avoid any fees. Keep in mind that there may be limited availability for rescheduling during peak testing periods.
Be sure to bring a valid form of payment to pay for any additional services, such as rescheduling or score reporting. Prometric accepts most major credit and debit cards.
While food and drinks are not allowed in the testing room, test-takers are allowed to bring snacks to eat during the break. Choose snacks that are easy to eat and won’t distract you during the exam.
Test-takers are allowed to bring a clear, plastic water bottle into the testing room. Be sure to label the bottle with your name to avoid confusion with other test-takers.
Understanding the CPA Exam
The CPA Exam is a comprehensive test that assesses the candidate’s knowledge and skills in accounting and auditing. It is a computer-based examination that consists of four sections, each testing a specific area of accounting.
The Uniform CPA Examination is developed and maintained by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). The exam is designed to ensure that only qualified individuals become licensed as U.S. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).
The CPA Exam covers a wide range of topics, including financial accounting and reporting, auditing and attestation, regulation, and business environment and concepts. Each section of the exam has a different number of multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations. Candidates must also complete a written communication task in the Business Environment and Concepts section.
The exam process begins with the candidate applying to take the exam and receiving a Notice to Schedule (NTS). The NTS specifies the sections of the exam the candidate is authorized to take and the testing window during which the candidate must take the exam. Once the candidate receives the NTS, they can schedule their exam appointment at a Prometric testing center.
To prepare for the CPA Exam, candidates should start by reviewing the CPA Exam Blueprints, which offer a detailed look at each section of the exam. Candidates should also familiarize themselves with the exam’s format and functionality by practicing with sample tests for each section. The AICPA recommends that candidates study for at least 300-400 hours for each section of the exam.
Frequently Asked Questions
What items are allowed in the testing room for the CPA exam?
Candidates are allowed to bring a valid, unexpired government-issued photo ID, their Notice to Schedule (NTS), and a locker key to the testing room. They are also allowed to bring a basic calculator, which must meet the specifications outlined by the testing center.
What is the dress code for the CPA exam?
There is no specific dress code for the CPA exam. However, candidates are advised to dress comfortably and in layers, as testing room temperatures can vary.
Can I bring my own scratch paper to the CPA exam?
Candidates are provided with scratch paper and pencils at the testing center. They are not allowed to bring their own scratch paper or pencils.
Do I need to bring my own calculator to the CPA exam?
Candidates are allowed to bring a basic calculator to the testing room. However, the calculator must meet the specifications outlined by the testing center. The testing center will provide an on-screen calculator as well.
Is there a limit to the number of breaks I can take during the CPA exam?
Candidates are allowed to take breaks during the CPA exam. However, the time taken for breaks is included in the total testing time. Candidates are allowed to take unscheduled breaks, but the clock will not stop during these breaks.
What is the process for rescheduling the CPA exam?
Candidates who need to reschedule their CPA exam must do so through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website. The process and fees for rescheduling vary by state. Candidates should check with their state board for specific instructions.