How to Schedule Your CPA Exam

Once you receive your CPA Exam Notice to Schedule (NTS), you have a limited amount of time to schedule the day and time of your CPA Exam(s) based on the expiration date listed on your NTS.

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How To Schedule the CPA Exam

Are you ready to schedule your CPA Exam, but need to find out how to get started? Find out everything you need to know to schedule your CPA Exam below!

How to Determine if You’re Eligible to Sit for the CPA Exam

Before you start the process of scheduling your CPA Exam, you’ll first want to determine if you’re eligible to sit. All CPA candidates who want to schedule their CPA Exam, must ensure they have met all of their state’s educational requirements to sit for the exam prior to registration.

Note: Some states only require 120 semester hours to sit for the CPA Exam versus other states that require 150 semester hours. Find out what your state requires on our CPA state requirements page.

How to Apply to Sit for the CPA Exam

Once the educational requirements are met to sit for the CPA Exam, it’s time to apply to sit for the CPA Exam by visiting the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to complete all CPA Exam-related tasks.

Note: If you are sitting for the CPA Exam in a provisionary state, you may be able to sit for the CPA Exam a few months before completing all education requirements. Read more about provisionary states in our article, “Best States to Sit for the CPA Exam and Why!

 

Qualify and Apply for the CPA Exam

In order to take the CPA Exam, you must first meet a specific set of requirements. We’ll walk you through the necessary qualifications you must have to sit for the Exam. Then, once you’re well-versed in what’s required of you, continue on to learn your state’s CPA Exam application process.
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When You’ll Receive Your Approval to Sit for the CPA Exam

Once you’ve met the educational requirements to sit for the CPA Exam, visited the NASBA Website, chosen the jurisdiction where you’ll sit for the CPA Exam, and paid all fees, you’ll receive approval to take the CPA Exam. This approval is called the Authorization to Test (ATT). The ATT allows you to choose the CPA Exam section(s) you want to take.

Once you pay the required fees to NASBA for the CPA Exam sections you’re taking, you’ll receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) via email. Once you receive your NTS, you’ll need to sign into your account on the NASBA Website and print your NTS. The NTS indicates which sections of the CPA Exam you’re approved to take.

When You Should Schedule Your CPA Exam

There are a couple of ways to decide when to schedule your CPA Exam. Since the CPA Exam is offered throughout the year, it’s easy to find a time that fits your study schedule. However, it’s important to not wait until the last minute to schedule your CPA Exam. The Prometric testing centers typically fill up on certain, popular, dates. So, try to schedule your CPA Exam at least a month before you want to sit for the CPA Exam so you’re ensured you have a seat.

Deciding when to schedule your CPA Exam should be determined on a couple of factors. If you’re motivated by a “testing date,” then scheduling your CPA Exam early and working towards that date might keep you motivated to stay on track. If you tend to procrastinate, then it might be better to schedule your CPA Exam further out so you have time to really study prior to sitting for the exam. Another option is to study for the exam first, then schedule the exam.

Note: NASBA, AICPA, and Prometric Testing Center announced that Continuous Testing for the CPA Exam will be available to CPA Candidates starting July 1, 2020.


Important Update:
Say goodbye to blackout periods! CPA Exam candidates can now sit for the CPA Exam anytime.
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Which CPA Exam Section Should You Schedule First

There are many theories for the order in which you should take the CPA Exam sections, but there is no requirement and the decision is entirely up to you. We recommend scheduling the section you find to be the most difficult – for most, this is FAR – to ensure that you allow yourself flexibility, as the 18 Month Rolling Window only begins once you’ve passed your first section.

Find out more about the 18 Month Rolling Window here.

Once you’ve determined which section to take first, we recommend that you sit for that part of the exam immediately after studying for that same section.

For example, study for FAR and then take FAR, and so on.

StudyTake 1st Exam, then
StudyTake 2nd Exam, then
StudyTake 3rd Exam, then
StudyTake 4th Exam

How to Schedule Your CPA Exam at a Prometric Testing Center

The CPA Exam is administered by Prometric Testing Centers, open year-round, 6 days a week, with locations across the U.S. You’ll visit Prometric.com to schedule your CPA Exam.

Prior to visiting the Prometric Website, be sure to have available:

  • Your NTS for eligibility verification
  • A primary photo identification
  • A personal calendar for choosing the date, time, and location to sit for the CPA Exam.

Things you can accomplish on the Prometric Website:

  • Schedule your CPA Exam
  • Locate a Prometric test center
  • Reschedule your CPA Exam
  • Cancel your CPA Exam
  • Confirm your CPA Exam test date

Once you’ve determined which section to take first, we recommend that you sit for that part of the exam immediately after studying for that same section.

For example, study for FAR and then take FAR, and so on.

Steps to Scheduling your CPA Exam as United States Candidate

  1. Go to the CPA area of the Prometric Testing Center Website. On this page you’ll find COVID-19 emergency testing updates, information on Continuous Testing, locating a testing center, scheduling your exam, confirming your exam schedule and rescheduling and cancelling an exam.
  2. Choose “Locate” on the left navigation bar. You’ll then choose which CPA exam section you want to take in the drop down menu of the ProScheduler. You’ll click next and will be navigated to the “Find a Test Center” page. On this page, you’ll put in your address and dates requested to find a test center on the day you prefer.
  3. Locations for the closest test centers will populate and you’ll choose one of them. If you don’t find a testing center that is close to you, try toggling different dates. Other locations will populate based on testing date seat availability.
  4. Once you’ve decided on a date and a location, it’s time to schedule your CPA Exam appointment. Go back to the main CPA Exam page, and choose “Uniform CPA Exam” under Test Sponsor and Program. Click the next arrow on the bottom right of the screen.
  5. Read the Identification Policy. The Identification Policy covers the following topics: United States, Guam, International students, reschedule and cancel policy, testing accommodations, biometric consent, and important information about your test event. Read carefully before proceeding and clicking the next right arrow at the bottom.
  6. Read and agree to the Policy Notice and Personal Data Privacy Disclosure & Consent. To agree and confirm, you’ll need to choose the options that you are at least 18 years of age, or that you are the parent or guardian of the data subject and/or exam candidate, and that you are authorized to make the consent election required below regarding the collection and processing of personal data.
  7. The next screen is where you’ll put in your Exam Section ID and the first 4 characters of your last name.Then you’ll click on the bottom, right arrow.
  8. Choose your testing center location — the one you researched prior to starting registration — and then click on “Schedule an Appointment.”
  9. Finally, you’ll choose “Complete Registration” to complete your CPA Exam scheduling.
  10. Now your CPA Exam journey begins!

Steps to Scheduling your CPA Exam as an International Candidate

    Note: A Passport is required to test for the CPA Exam at an international location

  1. Apply to sit for the CPA Exam through a State Board of Accountancy that participates in international testing. Visit the NASBA Website for more information.
  2. When you receive your Notice to Schedule, you are then able to schedule your CPA Exam. The NASBA Website provides information on which jurisdictions allow for international testing. If you don’t see your jurisdiction on the NASBA Website, then that means you cannot take the CPA Exam internationally through that jurisdiction.
  3. If your jurisdiction allows international testing, then you’ll pay the international fees and complete your international registration. You will be asked to provide identifying information, as well as information from your NTS.
  4. Note: After you’ve completed the registration process for each CPA Exam section, you’ll need to wait 24 hours before you are able to schedule your Exam.

  5. Once you’re ready to schedule your CPA Exam, choose the location where you want to take the CPA Exam.
  6. Choose, “Schedule an Exam.”
  7. Be sure to review and agree to the policy information before proceeding.
  8. You’ll enter your CPA Exam section ID number from your NTS and then enter the first four letters of your last name and choose the bottom, right arrow to move ahead.
  9. Note: It’s important to properly confirm your CPA Exam section before moving onto the next section. Also make sure you put in the correct CPA Exam section ID for each section before moving ahead in scheduling.

  10. Choose your location, date and time and then choose “Complete Registration.”
  11. You’re now ready to start your CPA Exam journey!

How to Reach Prometric Testing Centers for Help

If you have any problems scheduling your CPA Exam, you can review their Frequently Asked Questions page, submit an email request for help, or call Prometric 1-866-PROMETRIC (776-6387).

CPA Candidates who want to test internationally can visit the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) page and review their International Frequently Asked Questions page.

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Scheduling Your CPA Exam Q&A

You can take the CPA Exam during the first two months of each quarter and the first 10 days of the third month of the quarter. For example, January and February are months available for testing. March 1st – 10th are available for testing. However, March 11th – 31st are blackout dates, or not available for testing. June 2017 will be a full blackout month with no testing days available.

Many test appointments can be canceled and/or rescheduled through the Prometric Website:

  • From the Prometric.com home page, click on the button for what you’d like to do (either cancel or reschedule).
  • Follow the on-screen instructions which will walk you through the process, step by step.
  • Provide the confirmation number you received when you scheduled your exam initially.

The fee to reschedule an exam varies by testing organization, as does the amount of time you have to do so without penalty. Check the procedures specific to the organization whose exam you are taking for rescheduling timeliness and penalties.

Yes, after receiving your Notice to Schedule (NTS) you have to schedule and take your CPA Exam within a certain period of time, which varies by jurisdiction from 90 days to 9 months. The NTS will state the earliest and latest date you can sit for each section of the exam you applied to take.

Candidates are allowed to take all four sections of the exam during any one testing window. However, a candidate may not take the same section more than once during any single testing window.

Yes, your ATT (Authorization to Test) does expire after 90 days. Once you have submitted all required information and fees, CPA Examination Services (CPAES) will send your application information to the National Candidate Database (NCD) for processing.

This packet of application information is known as the ATT. Once the NCD has successfully processed your application, you will receive an ATT. Within 90 days of receiving the ATT, you will indicate which parts you will take and notify NASBA.