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How Much Is The CPA Exam? (Costs & Fees)
Whether you’re ready to sign-up or simply contemplating the idea, many folks wonder how much the CPA exam costs.
The CPA exam fee structure can be a bit confusing and overwhelming to some folks. We are going to take all the mystery out of it by breaking down all the various costs and fees associated with taking the CPA credentialing exam, together with information about the authorizations to test periods and notices to schedule. By the end of this article you will have a good idea how much your exam will cost you if you pass on the first try, and how much retests and reschedules are.
The CPA exam costs and fees will vary from state to state, but 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 aforementioned 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 4 modules, or each module may have a different price. The exam fee is set by the testing authority and can fluctuate year to year at their discretion.
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 and will contain several testing windows. If you are unable to pass all of your exams in one window, you are allowed to use other windows within your ATT. If you fail a module, you must wait until the next window to take it, and you will need to pay a reapplication fee, etc.
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. This might even work out in your favor if your original notice to schedule was going to expire at the beginning of a testing window, but your first passed module expires at the end, and you need the additional study and prep time.
While you cannot retake a module multiple times within one test window, you can take them once PER test window for up to 1.5 years following the first test you take. 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.
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 of $209 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 between $2,400 and $3,500 Becker stresses that this is not just an exam prep. 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 $2,900, 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.