Overview of the Uniform CPA Examination

The Uniform CPA Examination is a grueling 14-hour examination with four sections.

They are:  FAR (Financial Accounting and Reporting), AUD (Auditing and Attestation), REG (Regulation) and BEC (Business Environment and Concepts). Candidates may sit for any section in any order they so desire.

Upon passing any first section, candidates have until 18 months to complete the remaining three sections. Otherwise, applicants who do not pass all four examination sections within the 18-month period shall lose credit for each section passed outside the period and must retake the section(s). With the proper planning and strategy candidates will not have to worry about this rule.

Section Content and Breakdown

There are two types of questions given in the examinations, i.e. the multiple choice questions (MCQ) and the task-based simulations (TBS). For BEC, written communication task replaces the TBS.

Both FAR and AUD sections consist of 4-hour exam, while candidates complete the REG and BEC parts each over 3 hours.

How to Quality and Earns the Title

Eligibility requirements vary from state to state. It is, therefore, important to know state requirements (education, residency, work experience, etc.) to be able to choose where candidates may be eligible to earn their CPA license. Visit the NASBA website to know more about this.

Score Release

After the Examination, candidate responses are forwarded to the AICPA for scoring. The AICPA does not receive or have access to candidate identities. The responses are identified by the examination section identification number only. When advisory scores become available, the AICPA forwards them to NASBA, who then matches the scores to individual candidates. NASBA then forwards the scores to boards of accountancy for approval and subsequent release to candidates.

Testing Window
and Exam Schedules

Each quarter of the calendar year consists of a testing window, where the first two months are called “testing windows”. The examination is not given during the third month of each calendar quarter to allow for systems and databank maintenance.

International Applicants

International administration of the CPA Exam is currently offered in Brazil, Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. If you live in one of these testing locations, or other select countries, you may be able to take the Exam without traveling to the U.S. The Exam is only offered in English, and is the same computerized test as the one administered in the U.S. You are required to meet the same eligibility requirements and complete the same licensure requirements as your U.S. counterparts.