When is the Uniform CPA Exam offered? That’s a great question! Unlike other exams, such as the CFA, which is offered only during specific dates, the CPA Exam has much more availability. Understanding when you can and cannot take the CPA Exam is key from a planning perspective. Maximizing study time during what is known as blackout months will help you be more productive during the time when you can actually take the CPA Exam.
CPA Exam Availability: Testing Window
What is a testing window? With regards to the CPA Exam, the testing window is when you can actually take the CPA Exam. The CPA Exam is offered during the first two months of every quarter.
You can put those fingers away. The CPA Exam is offered during January, February, April, May, July, August, October, and November. Consequently, the CPA Exam is typically not offered during March, June, September, and December. This testing window means that you can take different sections of the CPA Exam for a period of approximately 60 days and then take a break for a period of approximately 30 days.
Keep in mind that even though the CPA Exam may be offered, it may not be offered for you for a handful of reasons. First, you must have a valid Notice to Schedule, which will tell you the date until when you can take a section of the CPA Exam. For example, if your Notice to Schedule indicates an expiration date of July 15, 2016 for REG, you cannot take REG after the expiration date without requesting a new Notice to Schedule. Second, you are only able to take each section of the CPA Exam once during a testing window. If you find out that you need to retake REG and you already took it once during this testing window, you will have to wait to the next testing window to be eligible to take it again.
CPA Exam Availability: 10-Day Testing Window Extension
As you may be aware, there are big changes coming to the CPA Exam on April 1, 2017. Because the makers of the CPA Exam are aware that there may be a higher level of demand to take the CPA Exam before the change, they are allowing candidates to extend the time in which candidates can sit for the CPA Exam by 10 days. Specifically, during June 2016, September 2016, December 2016, and March 2017, you will be able to sit for the CPA Exam for the first 10 days in each month. Please do not panic. You will have the opportunity to take the CPA Exam before the changes come through. In order to do so, you need to plan and schedule each section accordingly. For more information, check out NASBA’s Update on Next Version of CPA Examination. As always, remember to breathe.