11 Steps to Prepare for the CPA Exam

The CPA Exam can be a daunting process: from the different state education requirements, application process, studying, to scheduling and sitting for the CPA Exam. So we’ve put together an interactive CPA Exam Checklist to make sure nothing falls through the cracks!

Research and complete your state’s education requirements to sit for the CPA Exam. Every state has different education requirements to sit. Some even require you have less units to the exam, then earn more to be licensed. You will want to check the state requirements of that you wish to be licensed in, rather than where you live or went to school. Note*: you can apply to any state, while physically taking the exam in another state.

Step 2: Enroll in a CPA Review Course  A good note of thumb is when you begin the application process, start studying for the exam. That way, when you your notice to schedule, BOOM! you are ready to take your first part.

Step 3: Apply to sit for the CPA Exam. Visit www.nasba.org/exams/cpaexam

Step 4: Submit transcripts and application fee. The fee and requirements are going to vary from state to state, however, be sure to submit all transcripts – even if your credits to the university where you received your degree

Step 5: Receive approval to take the CPA Exam. It may take 2-8 weeks to get approval from your state board so be sure to study in the meantime. In many states, approval is called an Authorization to Test (ATT).

Step 6: Select exam sections and pay required fees to NASBA total fees range from $650 $950. Only sign up for the sections you plan to take with your first NTS. Why? Say your NTS is only good for 6 months. You sign up and pay for all 4 parts, but only take 3. You then loose the fee for the 4th part, and have to pay for it again. 

Step 7: Begin studying for selected exam section(s). By now you should have your course in hand and know which sections are you preparing for first.

Step 8: Receive Notice To Schedule (NTS). You application process has gone through and your NTS is in hand – yay!

Step 9: Schedule your Exam at www.Prometric.com Testing slots fill up fast (especially the last month of every testing window) so be sure to schedule them early. Keep in mind that if you have to take it on a certain date, be flexible with the location. And vice versa, If you have to take it at a certain location, be flexible with the date. 

Take your Exam at a Prometric Testing Center. Here is an interesting video on what to expect at Prometric. And be sure to bring 2 forms of ID!

Step 11: Receive scores approximately 1 month after testing. Candidates have 18 months to pass all four sections of the exam.

Then wash, rinse, and repeat steps 7,9,10, and 11 until you are a CPA!

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