What To Expect on CPA Test Day

The day has finally arrived. You’ve studied for countless hours, reviewed and learned tons of GAAP rules, and now is the day you’re headed to the CPA exam testing center. So what should you expect the on your CPA test day? I listed the usual itinerary for the day of my CPA exams and the best practices that helped me with last minute exam prep below:

Go to bed early the night before – 10 PM

I always liked to go to bed as soon as I felt remotely tired the night before my exams. All that late night cramming never really worked for me. I would go to bed with the expectation to wake up early, knowing I would have time to review the following AM. This would help me feel at ease with any concepts that I did not yet feel like I had fully mastered.

Wake up and find a quiet space – 6 AM

This was always the most productive and relaxing time of the day for me. I enjoyed getting up ahead of everyone else is my family and finding a quiet area to sip coffee, eat a nutritious breakfast, and continue to do practice problems.

Continue doing practice problems/ reviewing topics you found confusing – 7 AM – Noon

I liked to focus on completing lots of practice problems the morning of the exam. I would usually do this for the majority of the morning until about an hour before having to leave for my exam. This would help me feel confident with the material, and also help me feel prepared knowing what the questions could look like on the exam.

Arrive early at the testing center

My testing center was about 40 minutes away from me, and depending on the time of day I scheduled for, there could be traffic, or other variables delaying my arrival time. Especially if it’s your first time going there, I suggest planning to arrive 45-60 minutes ahead of your scheduled exam time. The worst that happens is you study in the parking lot before going inside the testing center.

Follow the Directions received from the NTS Emails you receive

You are required to bring two different forms of ID that match the name on your NTS. You won’t be able to sit for the exam without these two forms of identification, so make sure you read all of the instructions on valid forms of ID from the NTS.

Once you arrive at the testing center, assuming all testing centers are the same, there can be a lengthy check in process. This is why step 4 (above) is so important. Testing centers will check your ID’s, scan your fingerprints, scan you with a metal detector, and take your picture… all before letting you sit in a room full of cubicles to take your exam. The room where you sit for your exam is video tapped. Once you sit down, you will enter the log in with the username and password provided upon arrival and viola! You may proceed to your first multiple choice testing booklet and be on your way to passing this section of the CPA exam!



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