The Exam

Applying for/Scheduling/Taking the CPA Exam

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the Exam?

You may apply online using a credit card. Visit NASBA's website and select "CPA Exam" and "Massachusetts" as the jurisdiction. Once there, you will find information about fees and the required documents (transcripts, photos, etc.) as well as a link to create an account at CPA Central. All required documents must be submitted within 45 days of your application. If you take the Exam before you have 150 educational credits, you will also need to file a Certificate of Enrollment form.

How much does it cost to take the Exam?

Each time you sit, you are required to pay an Exam fee for each section as well as an application fee (first-time candidates) OR a registration fee (re-exam candidates). As of June 2018, each Exam section fee is $208.40, the application fee is $195 and the registration fee ranges from $117 to $177, depending on the number of sections. You must be prepared to take all sections for which you apply within six months from the date you receive approval. If you don't, you will forfeit your fees and you will need to reapply. To view the fee schedule, visit NASBA's website and select "CPA Exam" and "Massachusetts" as the jurisdiction.

Is financial assistance available to take the CPA Exam?

Yes. In May of each year, the MSCPA's Educational Foundation holds a lottery to award a limited number of $500 vouchers to assist with Exam costs. To be eligible, you must be a MA resident who plans to take one or more Exam sections before April 30 of the following year. In addition, you cannot receive financial assistance from your employer in the form of payments/reimbursements of Exam fees or review courses, or receive a bonus when you pass.

When is the Exam given?

The Exam is offered during the first two months of each calendar quarter – these months are referred to as “testing windows.” Testing is available in January and February; April and May; July and August; and October and November. Testing centers are usually open six days a week.

Must all four Exam sections be taken at the same time?

No, you may take any section of the Exam in any testing window and in any order you wish. You will not be required to pass one section prior to applying for another, but you must pass all four sections within an 18-month period. For that reason, you may consider taking your most challenging section as your first Exam. You will not be allowed to retake a section in the same testing window.

What is a Notice to Schedule or NTS?

A Notice to Schedule or NTS is your notification of approval to take the Exam sections for which you applied. Once you receive it, you may contact Prometric to schedule your Exam appointment. It will expire in six months and if you cannot take all the Exam sections, you will NOT be able to extend it or receive a refund or credit.

Verify that all information on the NTS is correct and that your name EXACTLY matches the name on the identification documents that you will use to check-in at the testing center. If the information is incorrect or the ID and NTS do not match, immediately contact CPAES (1.800.CPA.EXAM).

How do I schedule an Exam appointment?

You can do this online at Prometric's website or by phone at 800.580.9648. You must schedule a separate appointment for each Exam section, but it is not necessary to book your appointments all at once. To increase the likelihood of receiving your first choice of date, time and location, you should schedule at least 65 days before the desired date. Your NTS is valid for six months; if you do not take all sections for which you have been approved, you will forfeit your fees and will have to reapply.

Where do I take the Exam?

You may take the Exam as a Massachusetts candidate at any Prometric testing center in the U.S., its five jurisdictions or an approved international site. In Massachusetts, sites are in Boston, Brockton, Burlington, Lowell, West Springfield and Worcester.

How do I get a special accommodation for the Exam?

Special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may be requested as part of the application process. Visit NASBA's Website and select "CPA Exam" and "Massachusetts" as the jurisdiction.

What is the passing score and how and when do I receive my score?

The passing score for each section is 75 on a 0-99 scale. For more information, candidates are encouraged to review the CPA Exam Score Release Timeline FAQ found on the AICPA’s Exam site.

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