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CPA exam

student taking exam

The Virginia Board of Accountancy helps candidates apply for the CPA exam and provides information and details about the exam, educational requirements and guidelines, exam fees, reapplying and the testing process.

The Uniform CPA Examination is a professional licensing exam used by all state accountancy boards to ensure applicants possess the minimum accounting and technical knowledge needed to enter the CPA profession. It also protects the public interest by ensuring that only qualified individuals become licensed as CPAs.

The CPA exam process is a partnership between the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and Prometric.

Exam sections

Exam candidates are required to pass four sections in total, including these three core sections: 

  •  Auditing and Attestation (AUD) – 4 hours
  •  Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – 4 hours
  •  Taxation and Regulation (REG) – 4 hours

And the discipline section of their choice from: 

  •  Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR) – 4 hours
  •  Information Systems and Controls (ISC) – 4 hours
  •  Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP) – 4 hours

A minimum score of 75 on each exam section is required to pass the CPA exam. It is the responsibility of the exam candidate to schedule any unpassed sections of the exam within 30 months of passing one or more sections. In the event that all four sections of the exam are not passed within the 30-month period, credit for any sections passed before the 30-month period will expire and that section must be retaken.

Testing windows

Continuous testing

Under the continuous testing model, exam candidates have the ability to take the exam year-round, without restriction,  other than waiting to receive scores from prior attempts of the same section or when there is a major change to the exam. Continuous testing replaced the existing CPA exam testing window model,  which only permits candidates to test during designated time frames each calendar quarter. 

Special accommodations

Special accommodations can be requested under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The request is reviewed and must be approved by the VBOA before the exam application can be processed. The candidate must submit documentation from an appropriately licensed health care professional that includes a diagnosis of the disability, along with a specific recommendation and justification for the requested modifications.

The evaluation should be no more than three years prior to the examination and it should include a history of previous accommodations. The ADA accommodations request cannot be processed until all required documents are received.

The VBOA is not responsible for any costs necessary to obtain the required diagnosis, recommendation and documentation; however, the VBOA will be responsible for reasonable costs associated with necessary accommodations.