CPA Exam Basics

Anyone wishing to become a U.S. Certified Public Accountant must take and pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. The CPA Exam is developed, maintained and scored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and administered at Prometric test centers in partnership with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

There are over 10,000 Prometric test sites in 160 countries.

The 14-hour exam consists of four separate exams that you must pass within 18 months:

  • Auditing and Attestation (4 hours)

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (4 hours)

  • Regulation (3 hours)

  • Business Environment and Concepts (3 hours)


The CPA Exam usually includes 72 to 90 multiple-choice questions as well as simulation questions that replicate workplace situations and require your knowledge and experience to answer.  The number of questions is broken down as follows:

 

Auditing & Attestation

  • 3 Multiple-choice testlets – 90 questions

  • 1 Testlet containing 7 task-based simulations

  • 4 hours in length

Financial Accounting & Reporting

  • 3 Multiple-choice testlets – 90 questions

  • 1 Testlet containing 7 task based simulations

  • 4 hours in length

Regulation

  • 3 Multiple-choice testlets – 72 questions

  • 1 Testlet containing 6 task-based simulations

  • 3 hours in length

Business Environment & Concepts

  • 3 Multiple-choice testlets – 72 questions

  • 1 Testlet containing 3 written communications

  • 3 hours in length

Total Exam Length – 14 hours

Learn more about the CPA Exam Structure