The Uniform CPA exam is a standardized exam that is run by the AICPA and NASBA on behalf of all states and jurisdictions. It comprise of four parts, namely the Auditing & Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR), Business Environment & Concepts (BEC) and Regulation (REG) exams. Each exam section is four hours long and can be taken throughout the year. In order to pass, the candidate must get at least 75 out of 99 per section within an 18-month period. Failing to do so will result of earlier results expiring and the examinee then needing to reapply for the exam. However, it is worth it as once passed, the applicant will qualify to apply for CPA licensure. This license offers the holder a great deal of prestige in the accounting and financial world and allows the license holder to legally practice public accountancy, meaning that they can perform certain auditing and taxation functions that other types of accountants cannot, such as to represent their clients before the IRS and to sign tax documentation.

How many times a CPA applicant can retake the exam

The good news is that there is no limit to how many times an applicant can apply to retake the exam. But as we said above, the applicant will need to pass the exam within an 18-month window. Although this sounds like a long time, it is a good idea to schedule your time to allow for possible failures and other unforeseen circumstances. This is because the CPA exam is extremely hard, and has an overall pass rate of around 50% overall.

How often you can take the CPA exam

Prior to COVID-19, the exam would only be held four times a year. This changed in 2020 in response to the pandemic, with NASBA implementing a continuous testing structure to the exam. This helps to ease the stress on applicants, as they no longer have to worry about only taking the exam when the test is available or at a time when it is convenient for them to do so. They can be taken at Prometric testing centers. Scores will still be released in waves.

There are some other points to remember:

  • The Exam section ID listed on your NTS is only valid for one testing event or until the NTS expires
  • You cannot use the same section ID to schedule multiple appointments with continuous testing
  • You cannot use the same section ID to schedule a new appointment after you received a failing score
  • You need to receive your score before you can apply for a new NTS, regardless of how you felt you did new appointment before receiving your score
  • It will take at least 72 hours after you receive your score before you would be able to re-register for the same section