Taking the CPA Exam

What to do prior to test day:

  • Find the location and room of your Prometric testing center.
  • Go to the testing center prior to test day and perform a trial run.
  • Locate where and how much you will be charged to park.
  • Find the nearest bathroom, vending machines, etc. for your break time. You not have much time so preparation is key!

What to bring on exam day:

  • NTS Form (printed)
  • Two forms of ID
    * Primary ID (must include photo and signature): unexpired driver’s license, state ID, passport, or military card.
    * Secondary ID (must include a signature): Any of the above mentioned items or a signed credit, ATM, or debit card.
  • Limited personal items. All personal items must be placed in a locker prior to entering the test room.
  • Prohibited items:
    *Mobile phones
    *Personal digital assistances
    *Papers and books
    *Writing utensil
      Refer to your Prometric testing center for a full list of prohibited items

What to do on exam day:

  • After a restful night of sleep, eat a good meal to jumpstart your day.
  • Arrive at the exam site at least 30 minutes prior to the appointment time. Note that many centers allow you to start your exam early.
  • Late arrivals risk being denied permission to sit and you will not be eligible for a refund.
  • Bring your printed NTS form. The name on the NTS must match the government-issued identification you bring to the exam. You should confirm this as soon as you receive your NTS.


Will I be provided with a calculator? Hand-held calculators are provided upon request at the testing center. The testing software includes a computer calculator for your use. You should determine prior to test day which you will use on site.

What are pretest questions? 

  • Testlets contain operational and pretest questions.
  • Operational questions are scored, which pretest questions are not scored. You will not be able to distinguish between the two.
  • Pretest questions that meet certain statistical criteria are used as operational questions on future exams.
  • This strategy for pretesting questions is common practice so don’t be discouraged if you see something that is unfamiliar to you.

What is a passing score? Grades on the exam range from 0 to 99 but this is not a percentage correct but rather is a weighted combination of scaled scores from the MCQs and TBSs (as well as written communication tasks in the case of BEC).

What is the 18-month window? Upon completion of your first exam, you have 18 months to complete the remaining three sections.

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