CPA Exam Cost and Fees

Updated:December 8, 2018
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CPAs often consider the steps to achieve their license an investment due to the significant financial and professional advantages. Some stages have expenses attached and it is beneficial to plan and budget these costs if need be. Besides the main exam, students often participate in review courses, study materials, applications, and the ethics exam.

Application fees

Generally, each time an individual wants to apply to take one or multiple sections, an application fee is charged. The application fee costs around $200. Therefore, if someone wanted to apply for two sections at one time, only one application fee would be charged. If they decided to apply for each section separately then four application fees would be charged at each instance.

CPA Review Course costs

Some review courses can cost around $1500 if they are self-study. Live exam courses can be in the ballpark of $3000. These costs are considered to avoid re-testing sections and taking on those added fees. Some discounts may be available for military veterans, groups, and members of particular sites or organizations.

Examination fees

The prices may range from $173.60 – $193.45 for the AUD, BEC, REG, and FAR. If a test-taker were to apply for two sections at a time it would amount to around $550 for 2 sections including the application fee. For all 4 sections it could cost in excess of $1100.

More exam fees if your NTS expires

If your NTS expires, the applicant will have to reapply and repay for the exam(s) not taken. When the NTS expires depends on the state the individual received the NTS in, it can range from 3 months to 9 months.

More exam fees if you fail

If any section is failed, a registration fee will be assessed at around $75- $110 and the exam fee for the section itself will also be charged.

Ethics exam fees

AICPA can administer an ethics exam which is a prerequisite to obtaining a CPA license. A non-member of the AICPA would pay $160 but there are member discounts available that could make it cheaper.

CPA license fees

Licensing fees are associated with acquiring a license to practice not the exam itself and it can range from $75-$300 depending on an individual’s jurisdiction.


To conclude, when all of the costs are totaled the expense could be over $2500. This total would include all application fees associated with the state or jurisdiction of the test center which may be different depending on the section or all the same. The registration fees of reach exam section depending on how many were scheduled at the same time.

Prometric decides the costs of the actual exams and it is typically the same for every state which is Auditing and attestation and Financial accounting and reporting at $193.45 while the Business environment and concepts and Regulation cost $173.60. The ethics exam at around $160, the cost of a license at a middle range of $125, and the initial application for a certificate at $150, the total would be around $425.

The review course could be in the middle range of $1700. It could cost more if sections had to be re-taken, the NTS expired, or you had to take more courses before you were eligible.

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