CPA Exam Day: Getting prepared for any exam can be an important step in preparing for it. This is especially true for the CPA exam. You will need to take your time and make sure you get everything done the right way so you end up with a great score. Once you know how to get ready for the exam, you can start practicing and be well on your way to a better career!

The last thing you need to know about how to get ready for CPA exam day is to keep a good attitude. Even if you don’t feel prepared, you should try to remain positive. While it won’t be easy, passing your exam can be done even if you aren’t sure what you are doing.

Here are a few tips to help prepare you for your CPA exam.

Last Minute Review:

You can spend the week before your exam reviewing the material and answering any questions. You’ll be more confident passing your exam if you allow yourself enough time for a thorough review. Consider purchasing a question bank from one of the best CPA preparation courses if you have questions about a specific exam section.

Day before:

The day before the exam, take it easy. Take a few minutes to review your notes, summary sheets, and notecards. Avoid multiple-choice questions and CPA review practice exams the night before. Why? Because if you got too many wrong, you would doubt your ability to face the challenge ahead and go into panic mode. It is crucial that you relax and believe that you have done all you can to ensure your success. Relax after 8 p.m. and allow yourself to unwind.

What to Bring?:

  • You will need to bring your NTS along with two forms of ID. These must be valid and match the name on your NTS. You will be denied the opportunity to take the Prometric test if you don’t bring the items or your name is not compatible with the NTS. You will be given instructions by the NTS on how to prepare for your appointment and what forms of ID are acceptable.
  • Passport is mandatory to carry to the Prometric center.
  • Pen, paper, and calculator will also be provided at the center, so except the Passport, NTS, and other ID proof nothing else has to be taken to the Prometric center.

Arrive early to the Testing Center:

You must arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment time per your NTS instructions. This allows you to sign in, place your belongings into the lockers (phones must be left in your vehicle), take your photo, and scan your fingerprint. It is recommended that you arrive earlier. Unexpected events (traffic, weather, and so on) can occur. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time. You can take your notes or textbook with you to review last-minute details while you wait.

How Testing Works:

After you have completed the check-in process you will be directed to the testing cubicles, where you will be monitored via video and instructed to log in. Log in using the launch code that was given to you by your NTS. Your exam will begin within 10 minutes. Your exam will be canceled if it is not started within 10 minutes.

Exam takers will be in the same room so you’ll need noise-canceling headphones for every cubicle. A pair of soft earplugs is permitted in the testing area. 

You are permitted to take breaks between each testlet. Your time clock will still tick! You will need to go back through the entire check-in process if you leave the room during a testlet (wand fingerprint, signature, checking your pockets, etc.). Avoid taking breaks if possible. You have a race against time so make sure you take as much time as you can.

Tips during an Exam:

Be confident when you go! This is the point where you’ve done everything possible to prepare. Once you are seated, take some time to relax and begin writing down your formulas or mnemonics on one of the note boards provided by the testing center.  Log in within the initial 10 minutes before your exam is forfeited.

Start your exam, and keep track of the time. It will be amazing how quickly a three- or four-hour exam goes by.

Time management is important! Prioritize how long you will need to spend on each simulation to ensure that you have enough time to complete it. Each exam should take at least an hour. Minimum! Do not waste time with multiple-choice questions during the first three tests. You can always go back to the question if you are stumped. It is not permitted to switch between testlets.

Now you’re done!

Write down the simulations you just passed before you let out a huge sigh. This will serve as a reminder about the topics you’ll be tested on in the simulations, should the need arise (keyword: off chance), so that you don’t forget.

Okay, go ahead. Relax!

Take a deep breath. Take a break. Tell your family and friends that you survived. Relax and do whatever you like for the next few days. Then, take the next exam to continue your journey towards becoming a CPA.

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