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How Much Is The CPA Exam? (Costs & Fees)
By Griffin Quick Updated on January 3, 2024
Scott Furbershaw, CPA Scott Furbershaw, CPA

How Much Is The CPA Exam? (Costs & Fees)

Whether you’re ready to sign up or you're simply contemplating the idea, many people wonder how much the CPA exam costs

The CPA exam fee structure can be a bit confusing to some people. We are going to take all of the mystery out of it by breaking down all the costs and fees associated with taking the CPA exam, along with information about notices to schedule. By the end of this article you should have a good idea how much your exam will cost you if you pass on the first try, and how much retests and reschedules cost.

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How Much Does It Cost To Take The CPA Exam?

The short answer, though frustrating, is that CPA exam costs and fees vary from state to state. Fees depend completely upon the jurisdiction where you want to become licensed.

However, knowing approximately what will be due, together with payment deadlines, can be valuable information. Here are some average ranges:

  • Application Fee: $50-$200
  • Registration Fee: $300
  • Exam Fee: $200-$250 per section

As stated above, some of the fees will vary by state. You will see these variances particularly in the application fees and registration fees. The application fee is a one-time fee to obtain your authorization to test.

The registration fees may be for all four modules, or each module may have a different price. The exam fee is set by the jurisdictional testing authority (i.e. state board of accountancy) and can fluctuate year to year at their discretion.

CPA Exam Cost Chart
Source: Gleim CPA Review

The application and registration fees are the fees that everyone must pay at least once. Many people are unable to pass one or more modules on their first attempt and must reapply to take the module over.

If this is the case with your test, you will likely need to pay a reapplication fee, which will often be discounted significantly from the initial application fee.

You will be required to pay the application fee every time you need to refresh your authorization to test (ATT) notice. Your authorization to test will be valid for 18 months.

What Happens If I Miss My CPA Exam?

If you are able to, reschedule it. You will still have a small fee to deal with, but you will not lose your notice to reschedule. You simply need to contact NASBA within 48 hours of the missed exam, and they will allow you to reapply for a new notice to schedule.

If you are unable to pass all modules inside of the first 18-month period, you will need to start from scratch and a new cycle of 18 months will begin.

CPA Exam Rescheduling Fee

If you need to reschedule your CPA exam, the fees will vary based on how close you are to your test date. If you are over 30 days from your test date, there is no associated rescheduling fee.

CPA Exam Fees

If you are between 30 and 5 days from your exam date, there will be a $35 fee, and if you are 4 days or less from the exam date, then the full course fee must be paid to reschedule. Within 24 hours there is no option to reschedule.

How Much Do CPA Exam Courses Cost?

There are some paid courses out there that are specifically geared to get you ready to take your CPA exam. They range in price from about $1,500 to nearly $3,500, depending on how long you need it and what you need it to do for you.

The Becker CPA Review, for example, will not only give you a 4-part course to focus on each of the testing modules, but it supplies digital textbooks, digital flashcards, 12 sample exams that mirror the exam content and style, and even proficiency scores on each module to estimate your chances of passing the real thing.

The Becker program also includes 1-on-1 support time with CPAs and unlimited practice tests. The higher levels of the program offer a study planner and an interface that replicates the exam and blueprint.

With a price tag around $3,000, Becker stresses that this is not just an exam prep course. You are investing in your future, and they are going to help you every step of the way. Their review course focuses on higher-order cognitive skills and following the AICPA blueprint as closely as possible for maximum success.

The Surgent CPA Review is another well-known and well-respected CPA review course. They will provide in-depth tutoring and coaching on all 4 sections of the CPA exam. Their course comes in 3 different levels, ranging from $1,600 to $3,000, with varying amounts of additional perks. At the first level, you have access to their ASAP technology, e-books, lecture study notes, and over 7,000 MCQs for practice.

As you go up in level to the mid or top-level, you gain additional benefits, features, or perks, like printed textbooks, spiral-bound flashcards, and 1 on 1 coaching with an expert CPA.

At the top level, you gain features and bonuses like an integrated test bank with an extra 1,000 MCQs, additional audio lectures, additional customer support, and a certificate of completion.

For further reference, our team of experts has purchased and reviewed the best CPA test prep courses on the market today. To aid in your quest for the best prep course for you, check out our Best CPA Review Courses here.


How much does the CPA exam cost?

There are a number of variables in determining how much the CPA exam costs, with none bigger than the state in which you plan to become licensed. Your state board of accountancy sets most fees associated with CPA exam licensure, and it can fluctuate wildly state to state.

What does the CPA exam cost in California?

To take the CPA exam in California, there is an initial application fee of $100. Thereafter, fees paid to NASBA for all four sections total to $952.60. Plus, there are other various fees as well, though not as large. In short, expect to pay north of $1,000 in fees to sit for the CPA exam in California.