The real CPA Exam cost & licensing fees

7 min read
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One of the most frequently asked questions from CPA candidates just starting the process is about the CPA Exam cost. Answering this question is more complicated than just sharing a fee. Several factors affect the cost of the CPA Exam, including location, whether you pass on the first try and any study materials you may use to prepare. To help you plan and prepare, learn about the costs you can expect to incur. 

How much does the CPA Exam cost? 

The minimum CPA Exam fees and costs will be around $2,000. Let's take a snapshot of the costs before we dive deeper. 


CPA Exam Cost and Fee TypeApproximate CPA Exam Costs for 2024
Initial eligibility application Between $100 and $200
Registration fee per sectionBetween $100 and $400 (for four sections)
Examination fee per section $1,379.20 (for four sections)
Total$1,579.20 - $1,979.20

CPA Exam cost per section

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) recommends that each section of the CPA Exam cost $344.80. Assuming you pass all four sections (three Core sections and one Discipline) on the first attempt, the cost is $1,379.20. 

While most of the 55 jurisdictions and state boards' fees align with NASBA's recommended fees, they can change the amount at their discretion, so we highly recommend verifying with your state Board of Accountancy. 

Application fees

Before you can apply for an exam section, you'll need to apply with your state Board of Accountancy to ensure you meet the education requirements. This one-time fee varies depending on your state, but it's typically between $50 and $200, though it may be as much as $300.  

Registration fees

Depending on your state, you may be required to pay a registration fee when you sign up for each exam section. 

Retake fees

If you don't pass a section of the CPA Exam, you will need to retake it, which means you may have to repay a registration fee and the exam section fee. 

Rescheduling fees

If you reschedule your CPA Exam date, you may need to pay additional fees to Prometric (the service provider where you take the exam). Typically, you won't incur a fee if you're more than 30 days away from your testing date, but if your date is less than 30 days, you will be charged. 

International CPA Exam fees

For CPA candidates outside the United States, you will need to choose a state Board of Accountancy that will declare you eligible, as some states do have residency and citizenship requirements. In addition to paying any domestic testing fees, you will also need to pay an additional $390 per section. 

Should you bundle your CPA Exam fees?

Some states may bundle the cost of registration fees for candidates by allowing you to pay for all four sections at once. It may seem tempting to register for all four sections of the exam at one time to save money. Still, your notice to schedule (NTS) is only valid for a specific period of time, usually between three and nine months, depending on your state. This means you will have to schedule all four exams within that period or risk paying your registration fees again. 

Although the CPA Exam cost may seem high, scheduling your exams based on your realistic ability to prepare for each section within your NTS rather than saving on CPA Exam costs is necessary.

Additional fees for CPA licensure

Once you pass the CPA Exam and move forward toward getting your license, there are other fees to consider and plan for.  

Ethics exam

Many states require CPA candidates to take an ethics course and pass an exam before obtaining licensure. Some states administer a state-specific exam, while others require the AICPA's self-study ethics exam, which costs between $250 and $320, depending on whether you're a member of the organization. Be sure to check your state's CPA requirements to see if you need this. 

State licensing fee

You've passed the CPA Exam, completed your ethics course, and have your experience documented and signed off by a licensed CPA. Submitting all your information and obtaining your license will come with another fee, which does vary from state to state. 

Is a CPA Exam review worth the cost?

We didn't include pricing for a review course in above CPA Exam fees because it's not a state-mandated fee, but it is worth mentioning. 

Most review courses cost between $2,000 and $5,000, depending on which provider you choose. So, is this added cost worth it? 


With Becker's CPA Exam Review, you'll get access materials, resources and support that get you Exam Day Readysm! This includes: 

  • Comprehensive textbooks that align with AICPA's exam blueprint
  • Over 900 engaging lecture videos from our expert instructors breaking to help you understand complex topics
  • SkillBuilder solution videos that walk you through how to solve multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations successfully
  • One-on-one live tutoring and unlimited access to academic and customer support
  • Live Online classes so you can engage with the instructors and ask questions in the moment
  • Customizable practice tests with over 4,000 MCQs and 400 TBSs with real-time feedback
  • Simulated exams to ensure you know the exam format, time limitations, and exactly how the "real thing" feels

And Becker also offers a Pass Guarantee if you don't pass on the first time! 

Becker's CPA review has a 94 percent pass rate. When you're Exam Day Readysm, this significantly reduces the likelihood of having to re-take exam sections and continually pay the extra fees. 

Is getting my CPA License worth the CPA Exam costs?

The short answer is yes! Having your CPA license opens the door to increased career opportunities, including operating your own CPA firm. When you compare the CPA salary vs non-CPA salary, you'll see a clear difference in your income potential. 

We understand it can be daunting to earn your CPA license, but all the time, hard work, and even financial investment are well worth it.

Download our FREE CPA Exam ebook 

If you're still exploring the CPA Exam and want to learn more, download our 2024 CPA Exam guide for an in-depth look at the exam. What's inside? 

  • An overview of the CPA Exam
  • Comprehensive details of each section, including the exam format, section times, scoring details, and key content areas
  • Choosing your Discipline
  • Do's and don'ts to get ready for the CPA Exam
  • Exam study tips
  • Multiple-choice practice questions

Download it here

Get a 14-day Free Trial of Becker's CPA Exam Review

If you're ready to start your journey, Becker is with you every step of the way with the materials, resources, and, most importantly, the support you need. See why more accountants trust Becker and how we help you get Exam Day Readysm with a 14-day free trial of our leading exam review. 

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