CPA Exam Scheduling - Registration & Application
CPA Exam Basics
Your 1-stop-shop to CPA requirements, exam content & structure, plus tips to pass!
Are you a CPA Exam candidate who has met all the requirements to sit for the CPA Exam and are now ready to schedule your CPA Exam? If so, you’ve come to the right place! The CPA Exam may be scheduled by visiting the Prometric Testing website and choosing a test date and location at least five days prior to the exam date. Before getting started on the scheduling process, be sure that you have met all the CPA Exam requirements of the state in which you will sit for the CPA Exam.
How to Register and Apply for the CPA Exam
There are a few requirements you must meet in order to register and apply for the CPA Exam. Those steps include academic, age, and residency requirements. However, CPA Exam eligibility is determined by each of the 55 United States jurisdictions and territories. The US territories include Guam, Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands.
Be sure to check with your State Board of Accountancy to find out what you will need before registering for the CPA Exam. This also includes finding out about CPA Exam costs. A high level overview of the steps to apply for the CPA Exam are as follows.
Now, let’s take a deeper dive into each of the steps needed to schedule the CPA Exam.
1. Eligibility to Sit for the CPA Exam
Generally, for CPA Exam registration, CPA candidates will need to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited United States college, university, or equivalent type of institution in another country and complete at least 150 hours of academic coursework. Some states, called Provisionary States, will allow candidates to sit for the CPA Exam after 120 hours of academic coursework are completed. Other states require academic coursework to include a certain number of hours of upper-level academic and business coursework to be a part of the overall studies. That is why it is imperative that you are clear on what your state requires to sit for the CPA Exam before you schedule your CPA Exam.
Some states, jurisdictions, and territories also have a minimum age requirement to sit for the CPA Exam. Generally speaking, the minimum age is 18 years old, but in a few states, you must be 21 years old.
Most states, jurisdictions, and territories require that CPA candidates be a resident for at least six months prior to sitting for the CPA Exam. However, some jurisdictions do not have residency requirements. You can find out what your state requires by navigating to the state specific CPA requirements pages listed below.
Once you meet the educational and residency requirements to sit for the CPA Exam, it’s time to apply to sit for the CPA Exam. There are two ways to register for the CPA Exam. You can register for the CPA Exam through the National Board of Accountancy (NASBA) or through your State Board of Accountancy. How you register for the CPA Exam depends on the state in which you plan to sit for the CPA Exam.
If you live in one of the following states, you will apply to sit for the CPA Exam at NASBA’s CPA Examination Services (CPAES).
Candidates who apply through CPAES must apply online through the CPAES application system. All required application documentation and fees will be submitted to them directly and not through the State Board of Accountancy.
For those candidates who live in the following states, you will apply for the CPA Exam through the State Board of Accountancy.
2. Submit Transcripts and Application Fee
Before scheduling your CPA Exam, be sure to know what all the documents are needed to schedule the CPA Exam and have them ready. You will need to submit your academic transcripts from all the institutions you’ve attended. If you have education that is outside of the United States, you must have your international transcript validated by NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES) or a transcription service provider that is approved by your State Board of Accountancy. Finally, you will need proof of identification, such as a state driver’s license. Keep in mind that the name on your CPA Exam application should match the name on your proof of identification.
3. Receive the Authorization to Test (ATT)
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.
4. Obtain Your Notice to Schedule (NTS)
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.
5. 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 CPA Exam is administered by Prometric Testing Centers, which are open year-round, 6 days a week, with locations across the US. You’ll visit Prometric.com 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 one month before you want to sit for the CPA Exam to ensure you have a seat.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.
- Schedule your CPA Exam
- Locate a Prometric test center
- Reschedule your CPA Exam
- Cancel your CPA Exam
- Confirm your CPA Exam test date
CPA Exam Checklist for US Candidates
- Go to the CPA area of the Prometric Testing Center Website.
- Choose “Locate” on the left navigation bar. Choose which CPA Exam section you want to take in the drop down menu of the ProScheduler.
- Click next and navigate to the “Find a Test Center” page. Put in your address and requested date(s) to find a test center on the day you prefer.
- Choose the location for the closest test centers that are populated. If you don’t find a testing center that is close to you, try toggling different dates. Locations will populate based on testing date seat availability.
- 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.
- Read the Identification Policy carefully before proceeding and clicking the next right arrow at the bottom.
- Read and agree to the Policy Notice and Personal Data Privacy Disclosure & Consent.
- Put in your exam Section ID and the first 4 characters of your last name on the next screen. Then click on the bottom right arrow.
- Choose your testing center location and then click on “Schedule an Appointment.”
- Finally, choose “Complete Registration” to complete your CPA Exam scheduling.
CPA Exam Checklist for International Candidates
A passport is required to test for the CPA Exam at an international location. 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. If you don’t see yourjurisdiction on the NASBA Website, then that means you cannot take the CPA Exam internationally through that jurisdiction.
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. After you’ve completed the registration process for each CPA Exam section, you’ll need to wait 24 hours before you’re able to schedule your exam.
- Choose the location where you want to take the CPA Exam. The CPA Exam is offered internationally in these locations: India, Nepal, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.
- Choose “Schedule an Exam.”
- Review and agree to the policy information before proceeding.
- 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.
- Choose your location, date and time, and then choose “Complete Registration.”
How to Reschedule the CPA Exam
CPA candidates may reschedule or cancel their CPA Exam test dates by reaching out to Prometric testing centers. If you contact Prometric at least 30 days prior to your testing date, there is no fee for rescheduling or canceling your exam. If you contact Prometric between five and 30 days before your exam, you will need to pay a fee directly to Prometric. If you reach out to Prometric in under five days prior to your exam, you will have to pay the full amount for the CPA Exam section you are canceling. Please note that you will not be able to change your CPA Exam test date if it is under twenty-four hour notice. At that point, you will need to reach out to your State Board of Accountancy for further direction.
CPA Exam Registration and Application FAQs
If you have any problems scheduling, rescheduling, or canceling your CPA Exam, submit an email request for help, or call Prometric at 1-866-PROMETRIC (776-6387).
Official academic transcripts must be received directly from the institution. Most State Boards of Accountancy have both an electronic way to receive transcripts and a mailing address to which you can send transcripts. Please contact your State Board of Accountancy to find out which method they prefer.
Most states require United States citizenship as a requirement to sit for the CPA Exam. The only states that do not require US citizenship are Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Hawaii.
Yes, your ATT (Authorization to Test) does expire after 90 days. Once you have submitted all the 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.
After receiving my Notice to Schedule (NTS), do I have to schedule my CPA Exam within a certain period of time?
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 have applied to take.
There are many theories about the order in which you should take the CPA Exam sections, but ultimately 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. 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.
Deciding when to schedule your CPA Exam should be determined by a couple of factors. If you’re motivated by a “testing date,” then scheduling your CPA Exam early and working toward 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.