How to Apply for the CPA Exam

Updated:December 9, 2018
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Applying is difficult and confusing but this should help:

The process isn’t extremely complicated as long as you have been determined eligible to sit for the exam. In general, the applicant’s jurisdiction will send their information to the NASBA to be processed and once it is verified the individual will receive the exam fees, which must be paid in full before they are allowed to sit and take the exam.

Step 0: Pick a Review Course

Before you can pass the exam, you have to study properly. Make sure you get the right CPA review course, so you don’t waste time studying and can actually pass the exam.

Step 1: Contact your State board for requirements

It is recommended to contact the state board to make sure all eligibility requirements are met because some states require citizenship or residency, social security numbers, or international program participation. There may also be variances in the amount of credit hours are acceptable.

Step 2: Submit transcripts to your board

Next, the board will need to analyze the classes that the individual took were compliant to that state’s core course prerequisites. Often a Master’s degree ensures this condition is met but if a degree wasn’t acquired a transcript must be provided.

Step 3: Submit Application to NASBA

For some states, once an applicant meets the educational prerequisites, the individual will submit an Application of Intent and pay a fee for processing. Along with the application, they will turn in transcripts, degrees, and verification of legal status. All of these components are sent to NASBA.

Step 4: Get your Notice to sit

After, the information has been verified and they have issued your exam fee. The individual must pay for the exam and a NTS or Notice to Schedule will be issued. The applicant needs to ensure the information is accurate and in order to be admitted into the testing center, the NTS must be presented.

Step 5: Schedule your exam date

To schedule the exam, the individual will contact Prometric after the NTS is received.

Step 6: Pass all four sections

Passing the exam itself isn’t the last step to acquire a license but it is considered the most difficult by some. To pass the exam, each of the four sections must be passed with at least a 75.


To summarize, an aspiring CPA must met exam eligibility requirements according to their jurisdiction, apply by submitting an application to the NASBA, pay for the exam, get the NTS, and schedule the exam with Prometric.

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