Read the Candidate Bulletin
As a CPA Examination candidate, you are required to be thoroughly familiar with the entire examination journey – from the time you apply to take the examination until you pass all four sections. You must learn how the process works, what rules govern your progress, what requirements you have to meet, and what responsibilities you have as a candidate.
The accountancy board in the state in which you have qualified as a CPA candidate has provided you with requirements governing applications for the examination and licensure; the Candidate Bulletin will provide you with requirements that apply to taking the examination.
Review the Content Specification Outlines (CSOs)
CSOs are definitions of the scope of examination sections. To prevent unwelcome surprises on the day of the examination, learn what subject matter comprises every section. Review the CSOs before you begin to study for the examination.
Review the Policy on New Pronouncements
Find out when new pronouncements are eligible to be tested. Review the policy on new pronouncements when you are preparing for the examination.
Review the Confidentiality and Break Policy Statement
Every time you take an examination section, you will be required to accept confidentiality and break policy provisions before you begin testing. Review this statement in advance so that you may understand the commitment you will be making with respect to examination confidentiality.
Take the Tutorial and Sample Tests
Review the tutorial to learn how to navigate through the examination, and what tools and resources will be available to you at the test center. After you take the tutorial, review the sample tests to get a preview of examination content and to observe examination functions in action.
Remember: the word processing and spreadsheet applications on the CPA Examination are similar to but NOT identical to commercial applications. You need to learn about how the CPA Examination works, even if you are fully proficient in the use of commercial products. You must review the tutorial and sample tests before the examination as these materials are not available at test centers.
As a CPA candidate, you are required to be familiar with the examination’s functionality, format, and directions before you report to the test center. Failure to follow the directions provided in the tutorial and sample tests, including the directions on how to respond, may adversely affect your scores.
Study, Study, Study
Study the subject matter. Take a review course or study on your own, using commercially available review materials.
Please note: the AICPA does not publish examination review materials or endorse any specific review method or course. To obtain advice on whether to take a review course, which course to take, or which materials to buy, speak to faculty members or colleagues. Such recommendations are not available from the AICPA.