Before you begin the application process, make sure you’re eligible to take the CPA exam. Each state has their own requirements applicants need to meet to be able to take the exam, so visit the NASBA website to see the eligibility requirements for your state.

Once you’ve confirmed that you’re eligible to take the exam, you can apply to take the exam through CPA Examination Services (CPAES) or your state’s Board of Accountancy. Applications can be found on the NASBA website. You’ll also need to submit copies of your college transcripts. If you don’t already have copies of your transcripts, be sure to request those from your college or university before you start the application process so you’ll have them ready to go when you need them.

After your application to take the test has been approved, you’ll receive your Authorization to Test (ATT). Your ATT will give you permission to register for your test, but be aware that your ATT is only valid for 90 days, so register for your exam as soon as possible. In the U.S., CPA exams are only offered during four windows during the year: January-February, April-May, July-August, and October-November. Testing is not available during the months of March, June, September, and December.

When you register for your testing date, you’ll need to pay the required fees and you’ll receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS). Your NTS authorizes you to actually schedule your testing date  through Prometric. Do not forget to to bring your NTS with you when you go to take the exam. If you do not have your NTS, you will not be admitted to take the exam. All the information on your NTS needs to be accurate, so if there are any errors on your NTS, be sure to contact your Board of Accountancy as soon as possible to have it corrected.

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