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Ultimate Guide to the CPA Exam: Eligibility, Requirements, and More

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CPA Exam: Eligibility, Requirements


Here we present to you our comprehensive guide to the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam. Whether you’re a budding accountant or a seasoned professional looking to enhance your credentials, this blog will provide you with everything you need to know about the CPA Exam. From eligibility and requirements to exam sections and important dates, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in!

CPA Exam Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible for the CPA Exam, certain requirements must be met. Generally, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution. Additionally, specific coursework in accounting and business is often required, although the exact requirements vary by jurisdiction. It’s crucial to check with your state board of accountancy for the specific eligibility criteria in your jurisdiction.

In India, the CPA Exam is administered by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Indian candidates can pursue the CPA designation and take the exam by meeting the educational requirements, which usually include graduation in any field. It is advisable to consult the AICPA and NASBA websites or Miles Education’s website for detailed information on Indian eligibility criteria.

CPA Exam Sections and Syllabus

The CPA Exam consists of four sections: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG). Each section tests different areas of accounting knowledge and skills. The exam is computer-based and administered at authorized test centers.

The syllabus for the CPA Exam covers a broad range of topics, including financial accounting and reporting, auditing, business law, taxation, business ethics, and more. It is essential to thoroughly review the AICPA’s CPA Exam Blueprints to understand the content and weighting of each section. These blueprints provide a breakdown of the topics and skills assessed in each exam section.

In 2024, the CPA Exam is keeping AUD, FAR, and REG, and introducing three new disciplines. Those disciplines are Business Analysis & Reporting (BAR), Information Systems & Controls (ISC), and Tax Compliance & Planning (TCP). Most of the BEC content will still be tested and distributed throughout the exam. The basic idea behind this change is the advent of technology and AI. The accounting profession is undergoing rapid transformation due to advancements in technology, which are reshaping the way accountants work and the skills they require for success. To address these changes, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) are introducing a revamped licensure model called the CPA Evolution. This initiative aims to restructure the CPA Exam by incorporating a core-plus-discipline approach, aligning it with the evolving needs of the profession.

CPA Exam Pattern and Dates

The CPA Exam is available during specific testing windows throughout the year. As for the CPA Exam dates in 2023, it is crucial to check the NASBA website for the most up-to-date information, as the dates may vary by jurisdiction. The testing windows typically occur in the first two months of each quarter, allowing candidates flexibility in scheduling their exams.

The CPA Exam section consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and task-based simulations (TBSs). Additionally, the BEC section includes written communication (WC) tasks. The number of questions and the time allotted for each section may vary. It is important to practice with CPA exam questions and simulations to become familiar with the exam format and improve time management skills.

CPA Exam Fees and Cost 

The CPA Exam cost includes several components. First, there is an application fee paid to the state board of Accountancy. Additionally, candidates must pay examination fees for each section they wish to take. These fees are paid directly to the testing vendor. The exact cost varies by jurisdiction and section. It is advisable to check the NASBA website or contact your state board of accountancy for the most accurate and up-to-date fee information.

The CPA Exam fees in India are determined by the AICPA and NASBA. The fees are typically in U.S. dollars and are subject to currency conversion rates. Indian candidates should also consider additional costs, such as study materials, review courses, and travel expenses if they plan to take the exam in another country.

CPA Exam Pass Rates and Tips for Success 

The pass rates for the CPA Exam vary by section and can be influenced by factors such as the difficulty level of the exam, candidate preparedness, and the time dedicated to studying. It is essential to set realistic expectations and commit to a comprehensive study plan to increase your chances of success. For as long as we’ve had access to the data, the overall CPA Exam pass rate has hovered between 45% and 50% worldwide. But at Miles, the pass rate for their CPA candidates is 82%.

To excel in the CPA Exam, consider the following tips:

  • Develop a structured study plan: Create a detailed schedule that includes dedicated study time for each exam section. Be consistent and prioritize your study efforts.
  • Utilize reputable review materials: Invest in high-quality study materials, such as textbooks, online courses, and practice exams, to enhance your understanding of the exam content.
  • Take advantage of practice questions and simulations: Practicing with sample questions and simulations will help you become familiar with the format and improve your problem-solving skills.
  • Join study groups or online communities: Collaborating with fellow CPA candidates can provide additional support, motivation, and opportunities to discuss challenging topics. Take a look at the CPA exam tips by Miles Alumni.
  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance: While studying is essential, remember to take breaks, exercise regularly, and get enough rest to avoid burnout and enhance your overall productivity.
  • Enroll with Miles Education: Enrolling with Miles Education, the best CPA course provider in India can be an added advantage for aspiring accountants and finance professionals to excel in the competitive field of accounting and finance. 80%+ CPAs in India are Miles alumni and all of the Big 4 recruitment teams work closely with Miles for their CPA talent requirements. Consider leveraging Miles Education’s CPA course, to enhance your career prospects in the Big 4.


The CPA Exam is a rigorous but rewarding journey for those pursuing a career in accounting. By understanding the eligibility requirements, exam sections, fees, and tips for success, you can approach the CPA Exam with confidence. Remember to stay organized, be diligent in your studies, and seek support when needed. Good luck on your CPA Exam journey and may your efforts be rewarded with a successful outcome that opens doors to exciting opportunities in the accounting profession!


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