CPA Exam application process
Success starts at step one.
It’s fitting that the process of applying to take the CPA Exam — one of the world’s most challenging benchmarks — would demand a bit of discipline and attention to detail. We’re here to help every step of the way.
Know the basics
Be accurate and thorough — incomplete applications are generally rejected. Make sure the name on your application exactly matches your two forms of valid identification. Include your official school transcripts. (FYI: These can take time to get if you have an international degree, and may take longer to evaluate.) Here are the top five things to keep in mind:
- You can apply in any state whose requirements and jurisdiction you qualify for, but can only register in one jurisdiction at a time.
- Application and exam fees range from $900-$1,100, and varies by state.
- Applications can be submitted any time.
- The application process usually takes 4-6 weeks.
- Once approved, you’ll receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS), which you’ll need to reserve your actual test date, at any of the Prometric Testing Centers.
Get the CPA Exam guide
The Uniform CPA Exam Candidate Bulletin outlines the process of applying, scheduling and taking the exam, what content to expect and how to receive your score. Download it here. The guide covers:
- Applying to take the CPA Exam
- Scheduling your CPA Exam
- Taking your CPA Exam
- Receiving your score
- Exam content
The CPA Exam application process involves submitting forms and transcripts, along with fees, to the state board or its designee.
Know your state requirements
The requirements for becoming a CPA candidate and sitting for the exam vary from state to state. However, they generally include an educational, experience, and residency requirement.
For most states, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree or higher. Some other states now require 150 semester hours in specific subject areas, determined by the board of accountancy. See your state requirements.