CPA Exam Sections and Testing Windows

CPA Exam Sections and Testing Windows

The CPA exam is comprised of four separate exams that you must pass within an 18 month window. Click on any of the sections below to find out more details about what that test is comprised of.

Uniform CPA exam sections:

  1. Audit and Attestation (AUD) – 4 hours
  2. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – 4 hours
  3. Regulation (REG) – 3 hours
  4. Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) – 3 hours
*To pass each exam you must score at least a 75% on each of them

CPA Testing Windows

The CPA Exam is offered during the first two months of each calendar quarter. These are referred to as “testing windows”.  You cannot take an exam during the last month of each quarter and these are known as “dead months”.

January & February:  Testing Window
March:   Dead Month
April & May:   Testing Window
June: Dead Month
July & August:  Testing Window
September:  Dead Month
October & November:  Test Window
December:  Dead Month

You are allowed to take all four sections of the exam during any testing window and  in any order they choose.  However, you may not take the same section more than once during any single testing window.

I don’t recommend that you try and take all four sections within one testing window as this can cause a major imbalance in your life and be quite overwhelming. However, if you are not working I think taking two or three sections per testing window is achievable if you plan it out well and stick to your study plan.

*Update: Effective April 2016, 10 extra days will be added to the end of the testing windows to meet demand from an increasing number of candidates. During the launch window of the next version of the Exam (April-June 2017), the 10-day extension will be suspended. The 10-day extension will then be reinstated for Q3 and Q4 of 2017.

*2017 Exam Sections Update: The new CPA exam changes go into effect on April, 1st 2017. Each exam section will be 4 hours adding an hour to both REG and BEC.