What to Bring to the CPA Exam

It’s important to know exactly what to expect on the day of your CPA Exam, especially when it comes to rules and regulations at the Prometric Testing Center. Learn more below.
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Prometric Testing Center Rules and Regulations

Whether you need a refresher, or it will be your first time stepping foot into a Prometric Test Center, we have all the rules and regulations you'll need to know when you're taking your CPA Exam.


All first-time applicants are required to pay both an application fee and examination fee (which is listed below) when they submit their application to take the CPA Exam for the first time. Application fees can be anywhere from $30-$200, depending on the state.

Any reproduction or disclosure will result in filing of civil and/or criminal charges against you & anyone directing or conspiring with you.

Procedures & Breaks

Original, valid, government issued photo & signature-bearing identification is required to take the exam. Validity & the number of acceptable IDs are predetermined by your test sponsor.

You will be scanned with a metal detector wand prior to every entry into the test room. You will also be required to raise your pant legs above your ankles & turn all pockets inside-out, & raise shirt sleeves above your wrists. 

For U.S. Candidates only regarding eyeglasses and jewelry:
Removal of eyeglasses is required for visual inspection to ensure they don't contain a recording device. Large jewelry items must be stored in locker for this reason.

During scheduled or unscheduled breaks, you must sign out each time you leave the test room. The Test Center Administrator will let you know what is permitted during your break.  

When returning from a break, you must go through all security check. This can include presenting valid ID, signing in, and if required by the test sponsor, providing a fingerprint to be re-admitted to the test room.

Prohibited Items & Conduct

Weapons are not allowed in any Prometric Testing Center.

Unauthorized personal items may not be brought into the test room. 

 Written notes, published materials, or other testing aids are strictly prohibited in the test room, except where allowed by your test sponsor. 

Written notes or electronic devices discovered in the test room will be confiscated. 

Only soft ear plugs (with no wires/cords attached) and center-supplied tissues are permitted in the test room.

 All materials issued by the Test Center Administrator must be returned at the conclusion of testing. Used scratch paper must be returned before new ones will be issued. 

Light clothing items removed for comfort such as sweaters or jackets must be hung on the examinee's chair, not placed in laps or on the workstation desktop.

Talking to candidates in the test room, referring to their screens, testing materials, or written notes is strictly prohibited.

Be sure to think positively. Remember the CPA Exam is largely a mental game of strength. So, the more positive you remain, the more success you will have. Remember, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” Passing the CPA Exam is a challenge you can and will conquer if you believe in your yourself, put in the hours to study, and set yourself up for success!

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Day of the CPA Exam Q & A

In order to ensure you get through all the questions during the CPA exam, you should spend approximately 75 – 84 seconds on each MCQ, 15 – 25 minutes on TBS questions (based on complexity) and 10 minutes on research questions.

Yes, the CPA Exam does allow for breaks during the Exam.

A 15-minute standardized break is presented to candidates after the first Task Based Simulation (TBS) testlet. This break does not count against the candidate’s testing time. If the candidate hasn’t returned and started the second TBS testlet before the 15 minutes expires, then the Exam clock will restart. Candidates can continue to choose to take a break between any two testlets; however, it will count against their test taking time.

On the day of your scheduled exam, you must present:

  • Valid (unexpired) and acceptable identification
  • Your Notice to Schedule (NTS)

You will not be allowed to sit for your examination without your NTS. The name on your identification must match the name on the NTS.

In order to take your exam, you will need a government issued identification and your Notice to Schedule (NTS). You will be provided a small locker to store your personal belongings as you will not be able to take them into the test room. Light clothing such as scarves, sweaters, or light jackets may be worn in the test room, but if removed must be placed on your chair and not on the workstation.

You are not allowed to bring the following into the test room:

  • Written notes
  • Electronic devices
  • Food and beverages
  • Hats
  • Outerwear
  • Watches
  • Notebooks

Weapons are strictly prohibited for all Prometric Testing Centers.

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