CPA Program
Online Examination

A MESSAGE FROM ANDREW HUNTER, CEO

In light of COVID-19 and the subsequent closure of exam centres, CPA Australia will deliver an online exam for Semester 1 2020.

We are committed to delivering an exam that not only protects the safety and wellbeing of members and staff, but one that is equitable, stringent and upholds the integrity of the CPA designation you are striving to achieve.

We recognise that an online exam will require additional preparation, and we appreciate your ongoing cooperation as we finalise all the details. We are committed to sharing all necessary information via this page in the lead up to your exams.

EXAM DAY CONTACT DETAILS

To contact CPA Australia during the exam window, you must review and write down the appropriate contact details outlined here before you launch your exam. These may be different to the details you usually use to contact your local office, to enable extended availability during this period. 

Our Member Services team will be available to support you from 6.00AM to 11.00PM (AEST) on all exam days.

Please note, international fees will apply for International calls indicated at right.

If you do not have a local or free call option available, you may also contact us via [email protected] for support on exam day.

Please note, you may be required to share supporting evidence of an incident via email (for example, screenshots) however you must not share content of any exam question.

LOCATION RECOMMENDED PHONE NUMBER CALL TYPE
Australia 1300 73 73 73 Free
Mainland China (+86) 4009 196 840 Free
Hong Kong (+852) 2202 2721 Local
Malaysia 1800 18 1424 Free
New Zealand 0800 448 342 Free
Philippines 1800 1110 2564 Free
Singapore (+65) 6671 6513 Local
Vietnam (+84) 2835 208 335 Ho Chi Minh
(+84) 2462 634 322 Hanoi
Local
Indonesia (+62) 2129 645 108 Local
Other locations
outside Australia
(+61) 3 8306 7377

International

Supporting your exam preparation

DOWNLOAD USER GUIDES

Simple steps have been outlined to help get your device ready, before putting your knowledge to the test in a practice environment in readiness for exam day. Both documents are downloadable and can be accessed at any time.

GET YOUR DEVICE READY

PREPARE FOR EXAM DAY

EXAM PREPARATION WEBINAR

A recorded version of your exam preparation webinar is now available to watch on-demand via Guided Learning.

PRACTICE EXAMS

Test your knowledge and your device by attempting a practice exam, now available via Guided Learning.

Find out more

EXAM TERMS AND CONDITIONS

You will need to read and accept the conditions of these policies before commencing your exam. We recommend you familiarise yourself with these conditions ahead of your exam date, to streamline your exam check-in process.

EXAM SECURITY POLICY

This policy outlines the exam security measures and monitoring CPA Australia will be applying to exams delivered in Semester 1, 2020 for the CPA Program. 

Read more

ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

This policy sets out the process and procedures for identifying, investigating and responding to incidents of Academic Misconduct by candidates who have enrolled in the CPA Program. 

Read more

NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

CPA Program exams are confidential. Your exam is made available to you as a candidate, solely for the purpose of your assessment. 

Read more

Exam dates

An exam for each CPA Program subject will be delivered on a fixed day (see table).

These exams dates are fixed and it is not possible to sit your exam on a different day. If you are unable to sit your exam on the date provided, you will need to defer to Semester 2.

You may sit your exam at any time between the hours of 6.00am and 9.00pm (AEST) on the allocated day.

Date Subject
Friday
8 May
Financial Risk Management
Saturday
9 May
Global Strategy and Leadership
Sunday
10 May
Strategic Management Accounting
Monday
11 May
No exam scheduled
Tuesday
12 May
Australia Taxation – Advanced
Wednesday
13 May
Australia Taxation
Thursday
14 May
Advanced Audit and Assurance
Friday
15 May
Contemporary Business Issues
Saturday
16 May
Financial Reporting
Sunday
17 May
Ethics and Governance

Note: The Singapore Taxation exam will not be delivered in Semester 1 2020, and all enrolled candidates have been deferred to Semester 2 2020.

TECHNOLOGY AND SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

DEVICE REQUIREMENTS

You will need to ensure your device meets the below requirements. We encourage you to check your device meets these requirements as soon as possible:

Device
  • A laptop or a desktop computer is the recommended device. Apple product and normal PC’s will be acceptable.
  • A mobile phone device will not be acceptable.
  • A tablet will not be acceptable.
Webcam
  • Your device must have a webcam with a minimum resolution of 640x480 at 10 fps.
  • The webcam may be integrated in your device or an external camera connected to the device.
Display
  • Minimum Resolution: 1024 x 768 in 16-bit colour or higher.
  • Additional monitors are not permitted.
Sound and microphone
  • Your device must have audio and microphone capability for two-way communication. Please verify your device capability, check volume levels and ensure your device is not set to mute.
  • Headphones, AirPods or any type of ear piece or headset are not permitted (unless you have an approved reasonable adjustment).
Operating system Only these operating systems are acceptable:
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 and above
  • Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra and above
Internet browser and settings Only the below browsers are acceptable:
  • Chrome (80+)
  • Edge (80+)
In your browser settings, you must:
  • enable Internet Cookies
  • enable JavaScript
  • disable any Pop-Up blocking setting(s)
You must also authorise and enable your Webcam on the exam site. See user guide.
Internet connection You’ll need a consistent internet connection speed of 3 Mbps down/up. To check this, please visit: We recommend a wired internet connection (that is, appropriate cables connected direct from your modem to your device) as opposed to a wi-fi internet connection
Virus protection Your antivirus software must be installed and up to date.
Power Ensure you are connected to a power source before starting your exam to avoid draining your battery during the exam.

If your device does not meet the requirements stated above, you may borrow a compatible device from your workplace, friend or family member. CPA Australia is unable to supply a device for candidates.


TECHNOLOGY TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Testing your device

You will have an opportunity to test the compatibility of your device and experience the online exam functionality prior to your real exam during practice exams released by KnowledgEquity. These practice exams will utilise the same technology as the real online exam experience.

There are two practice exams per subject, the first released on Tuesday 21 April and the second on Friday 24 April. Both practice exams will be available until 5.30pm AEST on Wednesday 6 May. We strongly encourage you to complete both practice exams promptly to check your technology and allow ample time to contact us and resolve any challenges.

You will also be required to complete a system check as part of the check-in process on your exam day.

Please be methodical in working through the technical requirements and adjusting your settings as required. See user guide.

If you experience any technology issues as you complete your technology checks, please contact us.

Technology disruptions during your exam

In the event of a technology disruption while your exam is in progress – be that hardware, power, software or internet issues – please contact us immediately to determine your next steps.

Under these circumstances you will be permitted to leave your exam desk to access your phone and call our member service team for further instruction.

As your exam timer is unable to be paused, it’s important to contact us straight away to seek a prompt resolution. Our member service team will be available to support you from 6.00am to 11.00pm AEST on the days on which exams are held.


ACCESSING YOUR EXAM

You will access your online exam via My Online Learning (MYOL) using your existing credentials for the CPA Australia website – your member ID or email address, along with your website password. If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it here. From within MYOL you will be directed to the online exam.

If you have not logged into MYOL this semester, we ask that you do so as soon as possible and contact us if you experience any issues. 

EXAM EXPERIENCE

CHOOSING YOUR EXAM LOCATION

Before the commencement of your online exam, please ensure your exam room is setup to these requirements:

  • You must sit your exam in a private environment; this may be your home, office or another environment that is conducive to an exam setting.
  • You must be in a walled room with a closed door, and free from noise, distractions or anything that may disrupt your exam.
  • You must sit your exam at an appropriate desk, table or workstation.
  • No one else is permitted to enter the room while you are completing your exam.
  • Additionally, your computer screen should not be visible to others, and at no time are you to receive assistance from another individual during the exam.

As outlined under identification verification, you will be required to use your webcam to record a short video presenting your face, identification and a 360-degree view of your environment before you begin your exam. We will need to see that you are in a private environment – one that is safe and free from noise, prohibited materials, interruptions and any other individuals.

If you have concerns about your exam location, please contact us.

ON EXAM DAY

On the day of your exam, you will be able to commence your exam between the hours of 6.00am and 9.00pm (AEST). You will not be able to commence an exam after 9.00pm (AEST), but you will be able to continue to complete an exam that you have already commenced.

Your exam is 120 minutes in duration. We also recommend you allow for an additional 10 – 15 minutes for the exam check-in process. Therefore, the latest we recommend you log into My Online Learning is 8.45pm (AEST).

You have one attempt to complete your exam. You are not able to pause or extend the time on the countdown once your 120 minutes has commenced, so be sure you’re ready before you log in.

When you’re ready to log in, you will do so via My Online Learning (see accessing your exam) and you will be directed to the online exam environment where you’ll be instructed to complete the check-in process, including:

  • Read the CPA Program online exam instructions
  • Review the navigation instructions
  • Satisfy the identification and environment requirements
  • Complete a system test
  • Agree to the CPA Program Exam Conditions

Upon completion of the check-in process, you will commence your exam. 

For further information on the check-in process, refer to the exam preparation webinar in Guided Learning.

EXAM MATERIALS

Your exam is open book and you may access authorised materials on your exam desk area, comprising the hardcopy of the study guide, supported printed materials, paper, pens, pencils and a standard calculator.

Additional monitors and computers must be unplugged and turned off.

No phones, tablets, smart watches or other electronic devices are permitted.

You should not access a PDF version or an eBook version from within your computer during the online exam, and should not perform online searches.

Exam Security

While an online exam is a new exam delivery format for your study in the CPA Program, many education bodies have been delivering exams this way for some time. 

In addition to our existing exam security protocols, we have partnered with an online exam security specialist who is implementing a stringent online security framework to further reinforce the integrity and rigour of the exam.

All security measures are outlined in the CPA Program Exam Security Policy. You are required to familiarise yourself with your obligations under this policy, and you will be asked to accept the conditions before proceeding with your exam. In preparation for your exam, you are also strongly encouraged to attempt the Practice Exams available via Guided Learning, to familiarise yourself with the functionality and systems requirements.

Key points from the Exam Security Policy have been outlined below: 

IDENTIFICATION VERIFICATION

As detailed in the technology and system requirements, you will be required to have a device with a web camera (that meets the minimum specifications) and you will be required to produce a valid form of identification, which includes your full name, date of birth and a photograph.

As part of the exam check-in process, you will be required to use your webcam to record a short video presenting your face, identification and exam environment before you begin your exam. This will allow CPA Australia to ensure your identification matches your CPA Australia record and the individual sitting the exam.

Some examples of suitable identification are:

  • Driver’s licence
  • Learner’s permit (plastic card only, with photo and signature)
  • National/state/country identification card
  • Passport
  • Passport cards
  • Military ID
  • Military ID for spouses and dependents
  • Alien registration card (green card, permanent resident visa)
  • Government-issued local language ID (plastic card only, with photo)

WEBCAM REQUIREMENTS

To ensure that the person completing the identification verification process is the person who sits the exam, your webcam will capture video recordings periodically throughout your exam. CPA Australia will review these recordings to determine whether you have adhered to the Exam Conditions.

POST-EXAM INTERVIEWS

CPA Australia will be conducting post-exam interviews for a percentage of candidates for the purposes of validating identity and demonstrating reasoning behind exam responses. Interviews will be conducted for specific candidates where there is doubt to their exam authenticity.

WEB-MONITORING SERVICES

Online monitoring of web pages, online study groups and social media platforms is already in place and will continue in the lead up to, throughout and post the exam period to ensure the delivery of a stringent exam. This monitoring activity will be conducted in multiple languages to ensure the security of our examination is maintained.

DATA FORENSICS

A variety of data points will be captured during the exam and analysed by forensic experts. Exam responses or patterns of behaviour that are identified as being a statistical anomaly may be reviewed by CPA Australia and referred to Professional Conduct.

RANDOMISATION OF YOUR EXAM

In any CPA Program semester, there are always multiple versions of every exam for each subject. This semester we have further increased the number of exam versions. You will be randomly allocated an exam, and the order in which questions are presented within your exam will also be randomised.

FORMAT OF THE ONLINE EXAM

All online exams will be 120 minutes in duration (no extra reading time) and will comprise multiple-choice questions only. Each multiple-choice question is worth one mark each.

In addition to the exam time of 120 minutes, you will need to allow 10-15 minutes for the exam check-in process. The allocation of marks is set out in the table to enable you to start considering your exam time management.

Extended response questions will not feature in your exam this semester in order to facilitate the delivery of an online exam. The multiple-choice questions in your exam will be of an equivalent level of difficulty and require you to demonstrate your knowledge at a competency level consistent to an exam in any prior semester.

Subject Total Marks
Financial Risk Management 40
Global Strategy and Leadership 50
Strategic Management Accounting 50
Australia Taxation – Advanced 40
Australia Taxation 35
Advanced Audit and Assurance 50
Contemporary Business Issues 40
Financial Reporting 35
Ethics and Governance 50

Extended Learning Support

ACCESS TO GUIDED LEARNING

Access to My Online Learning, including your Guided Learning support package will be extended to 5.30pm AEST Wednesday 6 May, allowing you to continue your study and exam preparation.

We recommend that you access your Guided Learning support package to take advantage of the tools and resources available, including our Ask-The-Expert Forum. We remind you that all questions in this forum should relate to your study guide content, and our subject matter experts will not be able to provide additional insight into your online exam.

If you have not accessed Guided Learning this semester, you do so via My Online Learning.

EXAM PREPARATION WEBINAR

A recorded version of your exam preparation webinar, jointly hosted by CPA Australia and KnowledgEquity, is now available to watch on-demand via Guided Learning.

Access today by logging onto My Online Learning. The recording can be found under the ‘revision’ section of Guided Learning.

This webinar covers:

  • the key elements of your online exam this semester including all system requirements, exam dates/formats, the check-in process (including ID requirements), exam security measures and academic misconduct.
  • exam preparation – how to prepare in the lead up to your exam, including module quizzes and practice exams.
  • exam tips – how to avoid common exam mistakes, time management, exam techniques, how to answer multiple-choice questions.

PRACTICE EXAMS

There will be two practice exams for every subject, released in Guided Learning:

  • The first practice exam will be released on Tuesday 21 April.
  • The second exam will be released on Friday 24 April.

Both practice exams will be available until 5.30pm AEST on Wednesday 6 May.

Test your knowledge – the practice exams are designed to help you test your understanding of the subject and focus your remaining study time. We encourage you to complete both practice exams.

Test your device – the practice exams will utilise the same software as the real online exam, so this is an excellent opportunity to test your device compatibility.

Familiarise yourself with the online exam environment – the practice exams mirror the timing and number of marks in the real exam, providing you with an opportunity to practice your time management and be comfortable with the online exam functionality and user interface.

EXAM RESULTS

RESULTS RELEASE

Due to the later exam window this semester, your exam results will be released on Friday 26 June.

While your exam is multiple choice only, we are not able to issue an exam result immediately as there are a number of processes we need to follow to verify candidate exam results before they can be released.

Any change to the enrolment open dates for Semester 2 and the commencement of Semester 2 will be communicated closer to the time.

SCALED SCORING AND GRADE RANGES

As with previous semesters, you will receive your result as a grade (high distinction, distinction, credit, pass, fail) and a scaled score. To pass the subject, candidates will need to receive a scaled score of 540 or higher. Read more about scaled scoring.

You will receive a modified Candidate Exam Report this semester that will include your scaled score, and grade, but will not include your performance across each module in the exam.

Policy 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATION

We understand that exceptional circumstances occur beyond a candidate’s control may affect their ability to study and/or sit their exam. As with previous semesters, candidates will be able to apply for special consideration if they feel that extenuating circumstances affected their exam performance this semester. However, as the exam will no longer be offered at a Pearson VUE test centre (and candidates are able to select, prepare and control their exam environment), applications on the grounds of exam incident (including technology failure) will not be accepted for Semester 1 exams. We will only be accepting applications relating to a medical condition or personal hardship. 

As the exam window has changed to Friday 8 – Sunday 17 May, the closing date for special consideration applications has been extended to Wednesday 20 May. Candidates must ensure their application is with CPA Australia no later than this date.