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CPA exam

  • Apply to take the CPA exam
  • The Uniform CPA Examination is a professional licensing examination used by all state accountancy boards to ensure applicants possess the minimum accounting/technical knowledge needed to enter the CPA profession and protects the public interest by ensuring that only qualified individuals become licensed as CPAs. The CPA examination process is a partnership between the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and Prometric.

    On April 1, 2017, the AICPA will launch the next version of the Uniform CPA Examination. The exam meets the needs of boards of accountancy by providing reasonable assurance that individuals who pass the exam have the technical knowledge and skills necessary for CPA licensure.

    Changes to the next version of the CPA exam include:

    • Increased assessment of higher-order cognitive skills that include, but are not limited to, critical thinking, problem solving and analytical ability.
    • Additional task-based simulations will be included on the exam, which are an effective way to assess higher order skills.
    • New exam blueprints containing approximately 600 representative tasks across all four exam sections will replace the Content Specification Outline (CSO) and Skill Specification Outline (SSO).
    • Total CPA exam testing time will increase from 14 to 16 hours – four sections of four hours each.
    • Learn more about all the details of the CPA exam changes and view the frequently asked questions on the AICPA’s website.

    Candidate Bulletin

    Information on the roles and responsibilities of CPA examination partners can be found in the Candidate Bulletin, the official handbook for individuals who plan to take the Uniform CPA Examination.

    As a first step, read the Candidate Bulletin. This document may be the most important preparation for the CPA examination process.

    This resource outlines the responsibilities of the CPA exam candidate and how the examination process works. The Candidate Bulletin covers such topics as how to apply, how and when to schedule the examination, what rules are at test centers, when to expect scores and what topics are covered on the examination.

    Exam sections

    There are four component parts to the Uniform CPA Examination:

    •   Auditing and Attestation (AUD) – 4 hours
    •   Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – 4 hours
    •   Regulation (REG) – 3 hours
    •   Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) – 3 hours

    Testing windows

    It is expected that an increased number of candidates will sit for the CPA exam before the changes are expected to be implemented in April 2017. In order to accommodate the anticipated demand for test center seats, the testing window will be extended through the 10th of the third month of each testing window, beginning with the second quarter of 2016 (June 2016, September 2016, December 2016 and March 2017).

    During the anticipated launch window of the next version of the CPA exam (April-June 2017), the 10-day extension will be suspended. Suspending the extension for the launch window is necessary to allow time for the AICPA to properly calibrate the CPA exam for scoring. The 10-day extension will be reinstated for Q3 and Q4 of 2017 in order to mitigate candidate scheduling issues resulting from score delays.

    In addition, it is our intention to continue the 10-day testing extension in the windows beyond 2017 to provide more schedule time as a convenience for candidates going forward.

    Exam candidates may take one or more sections of the exam during any testing window and in any order. However, a candidate may not take the same section more than once during any one testing window.

    Pre‐approved testing accommodations

    To prevent potential candidate confusion concerning personal items that are permitted at the testing centers, Prometric is now offering a list of pre‐approved items for testing accommodations on its website at www.prometric.com/en-us/for-test-takers/prepare-for-test-day/documents/Permissible-items.pdf.

    Exam scores

    Online score retrieval

    NASBA has agreed to post Virginia scores on their website in order to speed up the release time of exam scores. Retrieve exam scores by using the link below. Enter the candidate’s section ID and date of birth. The candidate’s section and attendance date will automatically populate. Click the Score button to retrieve exam score. Because all scores are not received at once, some candidates may have to wait longer than others before their scores are available. Visit the NASBA website to check exam scores.


    Early score reporting timelines – United States and International

    Visit the AICPA website to view frequently asked questions for the CPA exam score release timeline.

    TESTING IN THE UNITED STATES
    Exam date in testing window* Target score release date
    Day 1 – 20 11 business days following day 20 of testing window
    Day 21 – 45 6 business days following day 45 of testing window
    Day 46 – Close of window 6 business days following close of testing window
    After close of window 6 business days after receiving all scoring data for testing window

    *Records received by AICPA

    Note: Some scores for the BEC section may be released in a subsequent release due to the written communication tasks.

    TESTING AT INTERNATIONAL SITES
    Exam date in testing window Target score release date
    Day 1 – 14** 5 business days following day 14** of testing window
    Day 15** – Close of window 5 business days following close of testing window
    After close of window 5 business days after receiving all scoring data for testing window

    **The international cutoff date for the first score release is determined by the 45th day of the domestic testing program and will vary between day 14 and 15 depending on the number of days in the preceding month.

    Note: Some scores for the BEC section may be released in a subsequent release due to the written communication tasks.

    Exam scheduling

    A minimum score of 75 on each exam section is required to pass the CPA exam. It is the responsibility of the exam candidate to schedule any unpassed sections of the exam within 18 months of passing one or more sections. In the event that all four sections of the exam are not passed within the 18-month period, credit for any section(s) passed before the 18-month period will expire and that section(s) must be retaken.

    Exam score notice

    The AICPA sends exam scores to NASBA to have them entered into the national candidate database. After updates, NASBA sends score notices via U.S. mail or email depending on the candidate’s contact preference. NASBA has implemented a new online service that allows you to reprint your Notice to Schedule (NTS). If you wish to reprint your NTS click reprint NTS.

    Exam rescore

    To request a rescore of an exam section, see Score Review.

    If the candidate is still not satisfied after receiving the results of a rescore, the candidate may contact the VBOA to appeal the rescore. The appeal process can only be requested after a Score Review is performed.

     

    Apply to take the CPA exam

    Candidates must login to apply to take the CPA exam and must meet the education requirements before applying to take the exam in Virginia.

    On April 1, 2017, the AICPA will launch the next version of the Uniform CPA Examination. Learn more about all the details of the CPA exam changes and view the frequently asked questions on the AICPA’s website.

    Pursuant to § 54.1-116, Code of Virginia, all CPA exam candidates must provide a U.S. Social Security number or control number issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. If you choose to provide a control number issued by the Virginia DMV, instead of a SSN, you will be charged an additional $67.50 fee by NASBA for each payment coupon you receive.

    Please note: Due to the retention schedule of the VBOA, transcripts provided to the Board will only be archived for three calendar years from the date the application is submitted.

    Candidates do not have to apply for all four exam sections at one time. Candidates may apply for each exam section individually, or at different times. Exam section(s) selected on the application must be paid with a single payment. A payment coupon may not be separated into several payments. If the candidate inadvertently applies for the wrong exam section(s), the candidate must contact the VBOA to cancel the current payment coupon. Once cancelled, the candidate must return to the application page to re-apply for the correct exam section(s).

    For more detailed information regarding the CPA exam, please review the Procedures for the CPA Exam Process.

    Re-apply

    Login to re-apply for exam sections. Candidates who have previously sat for any part of the CPA exam are considered re-exam candidates.

    Special accommodations

    Login to make a request for special accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act. The request is reviewed and must be approved by the VBOA before the exam application can be processed. To ensure equal opportunity for all qualified persons, the VBOA will coordinate reasonable accommodations in the administration of the exam for approved candidates.

    Upon request, the candidate must submit documentation from an appropriately licensed health care professional that includes a diagnosis of the disability, along with a specific recommendation and justification for the requested modifications.

    The VBOA is not responsible for any costs necessary to obtain the required diagnosis, recommendation and documentation; however, the VBOA will be responsible for reasonable costs associated with necessary and reasonable accommodations.