Examination Overview

This section contains basic facts about the Uniform CPA Examination – its purpose, structure, governance, and administration. It also contains information about the Elijah Watt Sells Awards that have been granted annually since 1923 for outstanding performance on the CPA Examination. In addition, new CPA Examination initiatives are described under the “Projects in Progress” heading, and basic information about IQEX (International Qualifying Examination) is provided for candidates who qualify to take this special examination.

CPA Examination Basics
A general overview of the CPA Examination enterprise and the roles and responsibilities of the entities that participate in it are provided in these three documents:  The Uniform CPA Examination: Purpose and StructureThe AICPA Board of Examiners, and  The Uniform CPA Examination Organizations.

Elijah Watt Sells Awards

The Elijah Watt Sells Award is bestowed upon candidates who:

- Have obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination
  • - Passed all four sections of the Examination on their first attempt
Candidates are eligible for the Award the calendar year following the year in which they completed testing. If a candidate meets all criteria for eligibility, they will be contacted by the AICPA and informed of their recipient status.

The AICPA has bestowed the Elijah Watt Sells Award on candidates for outstanding performance on the CPA Examination since 1923. Sells was one of the country’s first CPAs. He was active in the establishment of the AICPA and played a key role helping to advance professional education in the profession. 

View last year's winners here, and all previous winners here.  

The International Qualification Examination (IQEX) is an examination for accounting professionals from other countries who wish to qualify as U.S. CPAs and whose professional bodies have entered into mutual recognition agreements with the U.S. accounting profession. More information is available here.