Passing the CPA Exam requires a lot of hard work as well as patience and determination too. Once you’ve met or are in the process of meeting the educational and experience requirements necessary to take the exam, you must actually apply for the CPA Exam. Read on to learn how to qualify and apply.
Qualifying for the CPA Exam
The requirements for qualifying for the CPA Exam may vary depending on the state and the jurisdiction that you live in, which is why it is important to ensure that you are aware of all the general requirements as well as any state specific CPA requirements that apply to you.
Each state has a separate license board that determines and governs specific requirements but in general, CPA exam requirements include:
- A Bachelor’s Degree
- Completion of a certain number of credits in business and accounting
Applying for the CPA Exam
Once you have met the CPA Exam requirements or are in the process of meeting the educational and experience requirements, you should check the CPA Exam schedule for your jurisdiction. There are four parts of the CPA Exam: FAR, REG, AUD, and BEC. Students can attempt one, two, three, or four parts in a single testing window, however they must pass all four sections within 18 months of one another.
Each calendar year has four time periods or “windows” in which a CPA candidate can sit for the CPA Exam. You can sit for any or all sections of the examination in any order during the first two months of each quarterly “window.” The third month in each quarterly time period is a “blackout” month during which no exams can be scheduled to be taken. CPA candidates are unable to take the same section of an exam more than once during any testing quarter. So for example, someone could take the REG exam in January, and they could also take the FAR, but they would be unable to retake the REG exam until April.
Because of the blackout periods, it’s essential to develop a CPA testing schedule in which you can take each part of the CPA Exam at a pace you are comfortable with while still ensuring you don’t lose credit for any exam sections by going over the “rolling window” of 18 months. We recommend that you take one portion of the CPA exam during each testing window. Always study your CPA Review materials for one part, and then take that section of the CPA exam before studying for the next one. The 18 month time limit begins once you’ve passed your first exam.
The scheduling process is easy. Simply go to the Prometric website and select the “Schedule My Test” link. Next, click on CPA as your test sponsor and then follow the prompts to sign up for whichever part of the CPA Exam you would like to take. Once you’ve signed up it’s time to study and then take the test. Good luck on your CPA Exam!
Roger Philipp, CPA is the founder and CEO of Roger CPA Review - the leader in CPA Exam Preparation, providing a fully-integrated, customizable CPA Exam solution for CPA candidates. Follow Roger on Twitter!
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