CPA Exam Preparation & Best Practices to Score High

Q1. What is the CPA exam?

A1. The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (CPA Exam) is the official exam for those people who want to become CPA in US. This Exam is used by almost all states.

This exam is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The CPA exam prep requires dedication and time and serves like a certification for the people looking to work as a CPA in the United States. It is

Universal CPA Review Audit

Q2. What are the eligibility criteria for CPA exam?

A2. There are a host of checklists for CPA eligibility, and a candidate needs to check all the boxes to be eligible for CPA exam. Every state has its own mandate and as a CPA aspirant, you need to understand the norms of your particular state. Educational qualification wise, a completed bachelor’s degree or 120 college credit hours is consistent as the eligibility for CPA. While a general bachelor’s degree is good enough for many states, some go ahead and demand for a degree in accounting ort business instead.

Regardless of the degree necessary, most states require a minimum level of accounting coursework and business-related coursework. For example, most states require you to complete at least 24 semester hours in accounting courses including intermediate and advanced financial accounting, cost accounting, and taxation.

In some states, even appearing graduates can sit for the exam! CPA test prep can be strenuous and long, and to make the best case ahead, make sure your bachelor’s degree is from an accredited and recognized institution.

Another important thing is that most states require a mandatory Social Security number, and if you are an international aspirant, Illinois, Montana, New York, South Dakota and Wisconsin are the best bets for you, as they have no such mandate, allowing even non-US citizens take up a career as a CPA!

Q3. What score do I need to pass CPA exam? 

A3. CPA is scored on a scale of 0-100, and CPA qualifying score is 75. A candidate needs to get at least 75 as minimum score to qualify CPA.

Q4. Is CPA necessary to become partner at accounting firm?

A4. A CPA license is necessary to practice, and by the rule of thumb, it becomes imperative to clear the uniform CPA exam with a minimum score of 75 to become a partner at an accounting firm. Since a bachelor’s degree is mandatory to write CPA; that goes without saying that a partner has to be CPA license holder and a graduate. Many firms even mandate a master’s degree to qualify as a partner.

Q5. What’s the difference between CFA and CPA?

A5. Although both a CFA and a CPA pass examinations and minimum educational qualifications and have to do with the finance of things, their roles are different. A CFA is someone who works on the analysis of financial reports while a CPA is someone who compiles and audits the same reports. CFAs are engaged in the process when there is a need for analysis of the investments made or wealth planning is pending, while CPAs have to do more with accounting, taxes and audits

Q6. How Should I prepare for the CPA?

A6. CPA test prep begins with small steps and the better planning you do, the easier it becomes to ace CPA in the first attempt. Clearing CPA is not a very hard nut to crack for the students who are thoroughly prepared for the same.

But first things first, put your priorities first and draft a CPA study plan with clear mini-goals and stick to it every week. The short term goals help you keep a tab on your ultimate larger plan and also give you a sense of achievement when you meet a landmark or achieve a target. A CPA study plan should have elements planned out so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of studying you are required to do.

Secondly, prepare CPA flashcards and read them every single day, so as to remember the definitions. They go a long way in your daily CPA prep as the more you use the flashcards, the easier it will be to jog your memory on the day of the tests.

Having a study schedule is also very important to CPA test prep. After you have set your study goals for the week, set aside a few marked hours to sit down and study. If it is at five in the morning, make sure you meet the deadline, set an alarm and chug that up of coffee to stay alert and spend the next few hours studying, because, you have decided to dedicate the same to CPA test preparation.

CPA mock tests are equally important, and make sure you make a slot in your study time table or routine to take at least one test every second day. This will not only help you improve your CPA test score but also help to have an insight into what works for you and what not! Identify your strengths for CPA exam through these CPA mock tests.

CPA study sessions could work wonders for preparation of CPA exam, and find a CPA study group to be at home and interact with people working towards the goal of acing CPA in the first attempt. Work on a CPA study group meeting at least once a week, or find CPA study partner near you who can meet up whenever you need a help with CPA study prep or loose motivation. A CPA study buddy can be like your personalized cheerleader and you can help each other score 75 in your next CPA exam.

Also check your budget and choose CPA review course to get your basics right and practice going through the content over and over to perfect whatever you already know.

Q7. What Should I expect on my CPA test day?

A7. Appearing for your CPA test can be stressful and it is safer to be ready and all decked up before you step out for the big day in advance. Keep your NOTICE TO SCHEDULE (NTS) with you all the time and bring it to your test centre. Remember, it contains an examination password to start your CPA test, so make sure you have it on you before you leave for the test centre. Two valid forms of identification are absolutely necessary, and make sure one of them is photo ID. The names on the NTS and your IDS are matched, so ensure that there are no discrepancies beforehand to avoid any last minute hiccup before you sit for your CPA exam.

Arrive 30 minutes ahead because you will also need to sign in, have your digital photograph clicked by a computer, your fingerprints entered into the data base, a metal detection test and finally be seated at your work station. These formalities take up0 a chunk of your time, so being ahead of time might save you the trouble of last minute hurrying when you sit down for your CPA test so that you can keep your calm and touch that 75 score mark easily with patience and ease.

The computer’s introductory screen open just for twenty minutes and make sure you successfully login with credentials within that time frame. Once they terminate, there is no coming back! So be attentive and review each screen as and when they appear.

Remember that you can choose to take one break after completing a testlet, but you have to use the time wisely because you will still be on the clock. Take a break when it is absolutely necessary, and after you are done, make sure to collect your Confirmation of Attendance form. This not only verifies you took the examination, but it also contains contact information about reporting any concerns, complaints or questions about the examination or testing center.

Q8. How does the Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) format work?

A8. A Computerized Adaptive Test (CAT) is designed to adjust the level of difficulty according to individual ability of the candidate. Unlike the normal exam style where every candidate has to answer the same set of questions, a CAT is different for different candidates. The CAT format is something unique—that tests your ability and the extent of it. So, instead of your standard test where there is a fixed share of easy, moderate and difficult questions, the CPA test adapts to your performance, giving you challenges to understand your extent of learning. By the rule of thumb, if a student answers a question correctly, the next question will be of greater difficulty whereas if the answer is wrong, the difficulty level of the next question is low.

Q9. How is my CPA score calculated?

A9. The exam is scored in the range of 0 to 99, with 0 being the minimum marks and 99 being the highest. A candidate has to score at least 75 marks to become a licensed CPA.

Q10. How many times can I take CPA exam?

A10. You can retake the exam as many times as you want.

Q11. How long will my CPA score remain valid?

A11. Your CPA scores are valid for 18 months from the date of passing the exam.

Q12. How long do you have to wait between CPA exams?

A12. After attempting CPA exam, retaking the exam can be done only in the next testing window. It can take as little as 32 days or the maximum time of 18 months from the date of the exam.

Q13. How B-schools will receive my score?

A13. The organization which conducts CPA, will itself send your scores to your colleges.

Q14. Can I cancel my score? How to do it?

A14. You can cancel your CPA score by calling the Candidates Services Call Center at 800-580-9648.

Q15. How much does it cost to take the CPA?

A15. The application fee varies according to the state in which you apply from. The fee ranges from $50 to $200.

Q16. How to find study partner for CPA exam?

A16.  Big tests like CPA exam need a lot of meticulous planning, hard work and a good study pal. Wondering how to find a study partner near you? Log on to, add the test name, select filters and you are good to go! 


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