How To Apply For, And Take The CPA Exam

The Uniform CPA Exam is a comprehensive assessment administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) 200-301. Candidates must pass all four sections – Financial Accounting and Reporting, Regulation, Auditing and Attestation, and Business Environment and Concepts – to attain their license and become a CPA.The exam requires a substantial amount of advance planning and preparation. Candidates should choose an exam window well in advance, and allow sufficient time to study the CPA review materials and complete the application and scheduling process.

Before you can become a CPA, you first need to create a plan to prepare for the CPA exam. As you formulate your plan and establish a time line, be sure to take all of the following steps into account:Fulfill all qualifications. To be eligible to sit for the exam, you must meet all the requirements set forth by your State Board of Accountancy. This may include educational, work experience and other qualifications that can vary by jurisdiction. Most states mandate that candidates hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and some require students to have completed a specified number of semester hours in relevant subjects.Submit your application. Once you have completed the necessary requirements, the next step is to apply for the exam. You must submit your application to your State Board of Accountancy (or its designee), and include the necessary forms, transcripts and fees.

Choose a CPA review course. Selecting the right CPA review course is essential to your success on the exam. You’ll first need to determine your optimal study method. Do you prefer a guided or self-directed CPA review? Are you more comfortable with live classes, online programs, self-paced software, videos, audio or textbooks – or some combination thereof? The best programs offer multiple formats and provide practice tests modeled after the real exam, with multiple-choice questions and simulations. To protect your investment of time and money, you’re well advised to choose a CPA review course with a money-back guarantee.

Watch for your Notice to Schedule. Once your exam application has been approved by your State Board of Accountancy, you’ll receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS). In most cases, your NTS will arrive within two months of your initial application, and may be sent by mail, email or fax. Depending on your jurisdiction, you typically have six months to sit for your first exam section once you’ve received your NTS.

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