Once you've enrolled in a CPA Program subject, your next step is to choose your exam format and schedule an appointment.

CPA Program exams are held at the end of every semester – you can find the dates for each semester on the Important Dates page. Due to the secure nature of the exam process and the large number of exams that are conducted globally each semester, alternative exam dates are not available. If the advertised dates are unsuitable, you should consider deferring your exam to next semester.

On this page:


CPA Program Exam Formats

Candidates in most locations across the globe have the choice between two exam options:

Test-Centre Computer Exam

A computer-based exam in a physical test centre.

Online Proctored Exam*

An online exam supervised by a person via your computer.

*Due to a variety of factors, our exam provider, Pearson VUE, is unable to offer online proctored exams in Mainland China, Japan, Slovenia and South Korea. If you are based in one of these regions, you will continue to have access to test-centre computer-based exams.


Choosing Your Exam Format

Once you have logged into My CPA Program, you will be able to see the exam options available in your region – please note, if you are based in Mainland China, Japan, Slovenia or South Korea, you will only see test-centre computer-based exam appointments. Find out more about Test-Centre Computer Based Exam.

We’ve summarised the key elements of each exam format, to help you select the best option based on your preferences.

  Test-Centre Computer-Based Exams Online Proctored Exams
I am based in Mainland China, Japan, Slovenia or South Korea  
I prefer using a physical whiteboard and marker to take notes  
I don’t mind using digital note-taking tools
I have access to stable, wired internet and have passed the system test  
I have access to a walled, private room with no disruptions  
I prefer in-person exam supervision  
I prefer the comfort / privacy of my own home  
I have a personal computer / laptop that meets the technical requirements  
I only have a work computer  
There are travel / movement restrictions in my region  
I am happy to travel to my exam  
I will require more than one five-minute break during my exam*    
  Learn more about Test Centre Exams Learn more about Online Exams

*All candidates have access to one unscheduled break, during which your exam timer will stop for five minutes. Candidates undertaking test-centre exams are able to request additional breaks, however the exam timer can only be stopped once. Additional breaks – beyond your one unscheduled five-minute break - cannot be accommodated during online proctored exams.


How to schedule your exam

For both online proctored and test-centre exams, you will need to book an appointment. Once exam scheduling opens, we recommend you choose an appointment as soon as possible to ensure you have the best chance of securing your preferred exam date and time. If you do not schedule your exam by the advertised closing date, CPA Australia will schedule you into an exam appointment on your behalf and you may not be able to change it.

To schedule your exam:

  1. Log into My CPA Program using your Member ID or email address and password. If you have forgotten your password or would like to change it, you can do so via the login portal.
  2. Select Schedule Exam for the subject in which you are enrolled. From here, you will be directed to the secure website of our exam partner, Pearson VUE.
  3. On this page, you will see the exam appointments available to you. Select your preferred exam date, time and location. You will also need to select a time zone – make sure you choose the time zone for the location in which you will sit your exam, if you are currently based elsewhere.
  4. You can then add additional exam appointments for other subjects, or Proceed to Checkout

Once you have successfully scheduled your exam, you will receive a confirmation email from our exam partner, Pearson VUE, outlining the details of your exam appointment. If you don’t see it right away, check your spam folder. If you have any difficulty scheduling your exam, or you don’t receive an email confirmation within 24 hours of scheduling, please contact us.

For candidates selecting an online proctored exam, you will be required to read and agree to Pearson VUE’s online exam policies, including their privacy policy, prior to selecting your appointment time.


Switching Exam Options

If you change your mind about the exam option you have selected, you will be able to switch your selection up until Monday 1 February, if there is availability. You should be mindful that if you do want to change, you will need to forfeit your current appointment before seeing the availability of appointments for another delivery mode. View our important dates for other key semester milestones.


Singapore Taxation

Candidates enrolled in the Singapore Taxation subject must attend the exam at the Tax Academy of Singapore's exam venue in Singapore. Change of exam location is not available to candidates enrolled in this subject under any circumstances.


Paper-based Exams

If you have previously completed a paper-based exam, you will continue to have access to this exam format, though you may need to travel further for an available appointment. Depending on this distance, a test-centre computer-based or online proctored exam may be more convenient.

When you enter the exam scheduling portal, there will be no option displayed for paper-based exam scheduling. Please contact us to discuss the options available to you.

As we continue to transform our offer and innovate to deliver a world-class CPA Program, we are making plans to transition away from paper-based testing. While you may still have access to this option until the end of 2021, please contact us to determine if this is the best option in your circumstance. We encourage you to consider an online proctored exam or test-centre computer-based exam if you anticipate your journey through the CPA Program will continue beyond 2021.

We will continue to keep you up-to-date, so that you may make informed decisions about your future studies.


Exams with a reasonable adjustment

If you’ve been granted a reasonable adjustment, we will schedule your exam on your behalf and you’ll be advised of your exam date and time.

While we are committed to providing necessary modifications to our exams to support candidates, some adjustments may not be possible in an online-proctored environment. Please contact us to discuss your agreed Reasonable Adjustment.


Have questions?

If you have any outstanding questions about either exam option, check out our CPA Program Exam Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for more.