The CPA Exam is a computer-based test comprised of four sections. The current exam—administered by the AICPA —takes a total of 14 hours for all four parts.

  1. Auditing and Attestation (AUD) — 4 Hours (90 questions and seven task-based simulations)
  2. Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) — 3 Hours (72 questions and three written communications tasks)
  3. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) — 4 Hours (90 questions and seven task-based simulations)
  4. Regulation (REG) — 3 Hours (72 questions and six task-based simulations)

You may take each part in any order you choose, as long as you complete all four parts within 18 months. Tips for which order to take the CPA Exam can be found on the Exam Content page of this section.

Information on how you'll be tested.

The CPA Exam consists of the following testing components:

Multiple-choice questions

These questions appear on all four parts of the CPA Exam and are based on the topics described in the Content Specification Outlines (CSOs). Each exam section includes three multiple-choice testlests or groups of questions.

Task-based simulations

Simulations use real-life work situations to test your in-depth knowledge and skills in a particular subject area. Some tasks you may be asked to perform include searching databases or working with spreadsheets and forms. Task-based simulations are presented after multiple-choice questions and appear on three of the exam parts: Financial Accounting and Reporting, Auditing and Attestation, and Regulation.

Written communications tasks

Appearing only in the Business Environment and Concepts exam part, these tasks require you to respond in either memo or letter format to a scenario based on the topics outlined in the CSOs. You will have access to word processing to prepare your answers.

  Multiple-Choice Task-Based Written
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) 60% 40% -
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) 85% - 15%
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) 60% 40% -
Regulation (REG) 60% 40% -
Grading the CPA Exam.

To become a certified public accountant, you must pass all four parts of the Uniform CPA Examination. Each of the four parts of the examination is graded on a scale of 0 to 99, using a rigorous scoring structure. The minimum passing score is 75.

Download and read How the CPA Exam is Scored.

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