CPA Exam Sections
Format and Content Areas For 2023 - 2024 Exam

FREE eBook:
CPA Exam Basics

Your 1-stop-shop to CPA requirements, exam content & structure, plus tips to pass!

Wondering how the Uniform CPA Exam is structured? This guide provides information about the CPA Exam sections, format, and content areas for all parts in detail.

You have one goal - to pass the CPA Exam.

That’s our goal too. Our course will help you pass. It’s that simple.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

According to our CPA Industry Survey, 46% of people surveyed believe FAR is the hardest section of the CPA Exam. The FAR section of the exam tests candidates’ knowledge of general accounting principles, and the skills needed to apply the financial reporting knowledge required of CPAs. Most importantly, FAR requires that CPA candidates have a strong knowledge of US GAAP.

However, this is a very subjective matter. The most difficult section of the CPA Exam can vary by individual, as some may find certain topics harder to understand than others.

The BEC section of the CPA Exam is considered to be the least difficult by candidates, and thereby has the highest pass rate. BEC covers Enterprise Risk Management, Internal Controls and Business Processes, Economics, Financial Management, Information Technology, and Operations Management.

The CPA Exam is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. Therefore, you must be fully prepared on exam day. This preparation includes bringing essential documents to Prometric, such as your ID and NTS. Check out all the things you need on your exam day from our CPA exam day checklist page.

The CPA Exam must be passed within an 18-month deadline and with a score of 75 or higher for each section. This means, you have 18 months from the time you pass your first exam to pass the remaining three parts. Once you pass an exam, your notification document will include the date that your passed section expires.

Candidates are allowed to take all four sections of the exam one at a time, two at a time, or even four parts at the same time. However, a candidate has to complete all four sections within 18 months of taking the first part.

Studying for the CPA Exam is a time-intensive process. A typical candidate spends a total of 300 – 400 hours preparing to pass all four parts of the CPA Exam. We recommend candidates spend approximately 1.5 to 2 hours per day studying, but depending on how often you study is entirely up to you. It is, for this reason, we provide our students the option of 3, 6, 9, or 12-month study planners to help them stay on track to reach their goals.

Our general recommendation is to take FAR first, because it requires the most hours of study. Since the 18-month window to complete all four sections begins after the first exam part is passed, this in turn will prevent students from having to give any of their crunch time towards the massive FAR section. To learn more detailed information, please read our blog on which section of the CPA Exam you should take first.

There is no limit to the number of times that you can take each CPA Exam section. The computer-based CPA Exam, which is offered at Prometric Testing Centers, is offered on a continuous basis. The continuous testing model allows CPA candidates to take the CPA Exam throughout the entire year. The only barrier to taking another section of the CPA Exam would be waiting to receive scores from previous attempts of the same CPA Exam section.

Read More Related Articles

Curious about the pass rates for the CPA Exam? Determine the historical pass rates for each section and prepare accordingly.

Discover how the CPA Exam is scored with this comprehensive guide and get essential tips on CPA Exam scoring factors.

Waiting for your CPA Exam scores? No worries! Here are the anticipated CPA Exam score release dates.
Planning to take the CPA Exam? Learn about CPA Exam Blueprints that guide you through every essential aspect of the exam!
Looking for a study guide for the CPA Exam? Check out the UWorld CPA Review study guide for a strategically planned and customized study experience.
Are you preparing for the CPA Exam? Here is everything you need to know to apply for the CPA Exam and be a successful CPA.
Scroll to Top