How To Schedule Your CPA Exam

You’ve read, you’ve watched, you’ve learned, you’re ready to schedule your CPA exam. As opposed to the actual exam, scheduling is easy via the Prometric, and we’ll walk you through all the steps below.


Get Your NTS

Before you schedule your exam, you’re going to have to get an NTS from your State Board of Accountancy. Each state has different requirements that must be met before you can take the CPA exam and once you meet those requirements, you can apply for an NTS. Check out your State Board of Accountancy website to learn about the requirements.

It can be tempting to register for all of the exams at once, but states often have an exam window when you can take each test. The window for most states is 6 months, but some have shorter or longer testing windows. This means if you register for all of the exams at once, you have to take them within the 6 month testing window or the NTS will expire. If you only take BEC and FAR in the testing window, REG and AUD will expire and you’ll have to reapply (and pay more) to get a new NTS for those two exams. No good!

Only apply for as many exams as you truly believe you can successfully take in a six month testing window. You can play it extra safe and just apply for one, or you can go for the whole enchilada with all four.


Scheduling on Prometric

A couple of things to keep in mind before scheduling:

  • You can’t schedule an exam less than 6 days out.
  • There is no walk in testing.
  • Appointments are first come, first serve and they often fill up quickly (especially on weekends).
  • Blackout months are March, June, September and December. This means you cannot take exams during these months.

Now that you know the basics, grab your NTS and head on over to Prometric’s website. There are several great resources under the “I Want To” section. I recommend that you check exam availability via Prometric’s “seat availability” tool. This allows you to pick an exam and see available appointments at a testing center near you.

As an example, I chose AUD and put in my location. Here I can click on the “availability” link under the location and see when the next available audit exam date is.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 3.18.38 PM

When you’re all squared away on location, click the “Schedule My Test” icon on the homepage. The next screen will ask you which jurisdiction you want to test in. Keep in mind that you don’t have to schedule your exam in the state where you will become licensed. I took two exams in California, one in Ohio and one in Kentucky.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 3.17.27 PM

The next couple of slides will go over the Information and Privacy Policy Review. Then we get to the good stuff. You’ll come to a page where you will enter your exam section ID which can be found on your NTS. See how they match up below:

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 3.27.16 PM

Once you get past this section, you can select an appointment, a testing center, and a date and time. Finish by putting in some information and verifying your exam and, voila! You’re scheduled! Be sure to print out your confirmation and bring it to the testing center day of.


Yay, You’re Scheduled!

Now get yourself into study gear to prepare! On exam day, I would plan to arrive at the testing center 15 to 30 minutes early. There are required procedures at the testing center before you take the exam that often take some time. Plus, you want to leave some room for a pre-exam bathroom expedition if you can. And if all that goes over smoothly and you’re still early, they’ll probably let you start early!

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