Semester 2 Exams FAQ Page

Still have questions about your exam format, what you can have with you on the day, or how best to prepare for your appointment? Check out our new Semester 2 2020 Exam FAQ page to find the answers you need or to learn more about the CPA Program Semester 2 exam period.

EXAM FAQs

Candidates in most locations across the globe* will have the choice between two exam options this semester:

  • Test-Centre Computer-Based Exam, or
  • Online Proctored Exam

*Candidates sitting an exam in Mainland China, Japan, Slovenia and South Korea are advised that exams will be delivered exclusively in test-centres.

On this page

Exam Period Contact Details

To offer greater support throughout the Semester 2 2020 CPA Program exam period, we have extended our CPA Contact Centre opening hours, so that you can contact us before or after your exam. If you are waiting for your exam to launch, or you have temporarily lost connection during your exam, please do not call CPA Australia. You will still be under exam conditions and your exam may be revoked.

The contact centre will remain available from 8.30am - 8.00pm AEDT, Monday - Friday, with extended hours on the following days:

Saturday 17 October 7.30am - 5.00pm
Sunday 18 October 8.30am - 3.00pm
Thursday 22 October 7.30am - 8.00pm
Friday 23 October - Friday before AFL Grand Final 5.30am - 8.00pm
Saturday 24 October
5.30am - 3.00pm
Tuesday 27 October
7.30am - 8.00pm
Wednesday 28 October
7.30am - 8.00pm
Thursday 29 October
5.30am - 8.00pm
Friday 30 October 5.30am - 8.00pm
Saturday 31 October
5.30am - 3.00pm
Sunday 1 November            8.30am - 12.30pm

Please refer to the number listed for your region below, for support during the hours listed above. International fees will only apply for International calls, as indicated by call type. If your phone plan doesn’t allow toll-free calling, please call (+61) 3 8306 7377 (International).

Australia 1300 73 73 73
 Free Call
Hong Kong (+852) 2202 2721  Local Call
Malaysia
1800 18 1424  Free Call
New Zealand
0800 448 342  Free Call
Philippines
1800 1110 2564  Free Call
Singapore
+65) 6671 6513
 Local Call
Vietnam
(+84) 2835 208 335 - Ho Chi Minh  (+84) 2462 634322 - Hanoi
 Local Call
Indonesia           (+62) 2129 645 108  Local Call
OTHER LOCATIONS (outside Australia)            (+61) 3 8306 7377  International

You may also contact your local office during standard business hours if you require support.

 

Exam Policies

By enrolling in a subject with CPA Australia and scheduling and undertaking a CPA Program exam, you are subject to several rules, regulations and policies which preserve the security and integrity of both the CPA Program and the CPA designation.
We recommend you read each of these key policies in detail, to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities in undertaking a CPA Program exam.

CPA Program Rules And Regulations

Upon enrolling in a CPA Program subject, you agree to the CPA Program Rules and Regulations, as well as the following key policies:

Academic Misconduct

The CPA Australia Academic Misconduct Policy sets out the process and procedures for identifying, investigating and responding to behaviours which result in unfair academic advantage or disadvantage. This ensures equity for all CPA Program candidates, and that your exam results will be fair and just in relation to your peers.

Find out more

Exam Scheduling Policy

The Exam Scheduling Policy governs the scheduling, rescheduling or switching of CPA Program exams.

Find out more

Subject Deferral and Cancellation

This policy establishes guidelines and procedures for cancellations and deferrals of CPA Program subjects.

Find out more

Non-Disclosure Agreement

Upon commencing your exam, you will be required to consent to a Non-Disclosure Agreement, to ensure all material within your exam remains confidential, and preserve the integrity of our assessment.

Find out more

Online Proctored Exams

Candidates undertaking an online proctored exam will also be required to agree to the Online Proctored Exam Terms and Conditions provided by our exam provider, Pearson VUE, which focus on your privacy and responsibilities throughout your online exam.

Find out more

Test-Centre Computer-Based Exams

The majority of our exam centres are open across the globe, meaning computer-based exams in physical test centres will be available for Semester 2.

Health and Safety

Rigorous measures will be taken within all test centres to ensure the health and safety of members who choose to sit in a test-centre environment. We recommend you visit the Pearson VUE website for up-to-date safety precautions in test centres, as these will vary between countries in compliance with the local health authority.

To further add to your health and comfort in an exam centre, we are also enabling all candidates to take one unscheduled break. Using a new ‘pause the clock’ function, you’ll be able to stop your exam timer and take a short break to refresh, before restarting where you left off.

Test Centre ID Requirements

You must provide two original forms of valid and current identification documentation (ID) to the exam:

  • your primary ID must be government issued and it must contain your photograph and signature
  • your secondary ID must contain either your photograph or signature

The name on your ID must exactly match the name on your member profile with CPA Australia. If you need to update your profile you must contact us at least five business days before your scheduled exam appointment.

  • 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 and signature)
  • Debit (ATM) card
  • Credit cards
  • Social security card
  • Any form of primary ID

Note: Candidates testing in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore or Vietnam are permitted to use their national ID card, even though no signature is present.

Open Book Exams

You will be able to bring your study guide and additional study materials to your exam appointment.

The only exception to open-book is the Singapore Taxation exam which is sat under closed book exam conditions. Singapore Taxation candidates can take into the exam the Tax Acts as referenced under the recommended texts section of the Singapore Taxation study guide.

What you can and can't bring with you

Please refer to your exam confirmation email from Pearson VUE for a complete list of what you can and can’t bring with you to the exam.

Many personal items are prohibited, including food, drink and additional clothing, so we recommend you review your confirmation email carefully and don’t bring unnecessary personal items with you. If you are sensitive to minor background noise, earplugs may be available upon request at a Pearson Professional Centres (PPCs) and Pearson VUE Test Centre—Select (PVTC Select); however, you will not be able to take your own earplugs to these sites. As the Pearson VUE Test Centres (PVTVs) and any Temporary Test Centres (TTCs) will not supply earplugs, you will be able to take your own earplugs, provided that certain conditions are followed: they must be disposable earplugs and in unopened packaging, and they will be visually inspected by the test administrator before you are allowed to enter the testing room. Refer to your exam confirmation email from Pearson VUE for details on your test centre.

Calculators

Personal calculators are permitted at both test-centre and online-proctored exams. Calculators can be scientific, standard or financial, however, they must not be:

  • Programmable (i.e. calculations that can store and replay a sequence of operations) or capable of external programming. Calculators that store and recall the last performed calculation are allowed
  • Able to provide text storage
  • Equipped with an alphanumeric keyboard (i.e. any calculator with a QWERTY keyboard or a keyboard allowing entry of all letters from A to Z)
  • A graphing calculator
  • Wired or include wireless communication capabilities
  • Equipped with a camera or video recording functionality
  • Powered by anything other than internal batteries and/or solar power
  • Able to produce a sound which cannot be turned off or disabled.

An online calculator will also be available during your exam to support those without access to an approved calculator. We welcome you to trial this online calculator - you can access an example within this demonstration (please navigate to item 3).

You will continue to have access to an erasable whiteboard when undertaking a Test-Centre exam. To ensure exam questions and answers are not recorded or shared, this whiteboard will be collected and cleaned after completion of your exam.

How to prepare for your Test Centre exam

Check out our video summary of what to expect on the day of your test-centre exam.



Video Quick Links:

If you have further questions about your exam, check out our new Semester 2 2020 Exam FAQ page

Online-Proctored Exams

Online exams are an increasingly common way to complete assessments in our evolving, digital world. For many members, the ability to sit an online exam is very convenient and we are pleased to offer continued access to this service in most locations (noting that candidate in Mainland China, Japan, Slovenia and South Korea will not be able to choose an online exam this semester).

Online exams in Semester 2 will include an 'online-proctor' – that is, a person supervising you in real-time through your webcam as you complete your exam. This is a common practice for online exams and ensures the integrity of our assessment and your experience with CPA Australia.

Please note, online exams are not available in all locations – please check your available appointments in My CPA Program.

Key Information about online-proctored exams

  • Online-Proctored exams will be accessed through My CPA Program
  • As these exams will feature an online proctor, you will need to book a specific time to sit your exam from the available appointments
  • In the event you experience an unexpected issue during the check-in process, you will be referred to an appropriate support service to assist
  • There will be two-way communication between you and your exam proctor
  • You will be able to take an unscheduled break with our new ‘pause the clock’ function
  • Your exams will be delivered in partnership with Pearson VUE, meaning the online exam appearance and functionality will be the same as the test-centre exam
  • This semester, exams for each subject will not be restricted to a single day, allowing you to book an exam appointment which suits your schedule.

Online-Proctored Exam ID Requirements

You must provide one original form of valid and current identification document (ID) to the exam. This must be a government-issued form of identification and it must contain your full name, your date of birth and your photograph.

The name on your ID must exactly match the name on your member profile with CPA Australia and must be presented in English. If you need to update your profile you must contact us at least five business days before your scheduled exam appointment.

  • 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 and signature) - accepted only if issued from the country in which the candidate is testing

If you have any questions regarding your ID requirements, please contact us.

Technology Requirements

Before scheduling an Online-Proctored exam, we recommend you follow these steps to ensure your device is equipped to provide a positive online exam experience:

  1. Check that Online-Proctored exams are available in your region via My CPA Program. You will be shown exam appointments available to you according to your residential address, which can be updated at any time via your Contact Details.
  2. Ensure you have access to a suitable environment to undertake an online-proctored exam (see Room Set-Up Requirements below)
  3. Check your device using the criteria within this checklist
  4. Undertake a systems test to troubleshoot any technical issues

Please ensure you test the device you will use for your exam. We also recommend using your personal computer for your exam – many workplace computers have strict Firewall software which may prevent the launch of your exam or systems test.

If you fail this systems test, you should recheck your device settings against this list of technical requirements or choose to schedule a Test-Centre Computer-Based exam, if available. If you find no availability, please contact us.

Room Set-up Requirements

To sit an online-proctored exam, you will need to be in a private space where no other people can be seen or heard. Please refer to the following room set-up requirements:

  • Room must be walled, have a closed door, and be free from disruptions
  • No one else can be in or enter the room during your exam
  • The environment must be clear within arm’s reach. (Example: you must not be able to reach a bookshelf from your chair)
  • No monitors other than the one used for your exam can be plugged in

If you have any questions regarding your room set-up, please contact us.

How to prepare for your online proctored exam

Check out our video summary of how to prepare for your online proctored exam.



Check out our video summary of what to expect on the day of your online proctored exam.


Video Quick Links:

The Reasonable Adjustments application period for Semester 2 2020 has now closed. Find out more about CPA Program dates here.

If you have further questions about your exam, check out our new Semester 2 2020 Exam FAQ page.

Exam Check-in Process

Similar to a Test-Centre based exam, there will be a brief check-in process required for candidates undertaking an online-proctored exam. Once you have logged into My CPA Program to begin your exam and completed a systems test to ensure your device is set up correctly, you will be met with an exam ‘Greeter’ – a real person who will support you through a series of pre-exam checks:

  1. Identification verification. Your exam platform will guide you to capture:
    1. A photo of yourself, front and back photos of your government-issued ID, and photos of your testing environment
  2. A review of your exam environment and guidance to ensure it meets the criteria

Please note that photos may be taken on a mobile phone or computer webcam. If you pass this check-in process, your exam will launch.

As always, your privacy is critical to CPA Australia. 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.

Open Book Exams

Your online-proctored exam will be open book, so you can bring your study guide and printed materials for support. You will be able to refer to your exam confirmation email from PearsonVUE for a complete list of what you can and can’t have with you during your exam. 

Calculators

Personal calculators are permitted at both test-centre and online-proctored exams. Calculators can be scientific, standard or financial, however, they must not be:

  • Programmable (i.e. calculations that can store and replay a sequence of operations) or capable of external programming. Calculators that store and recall the last performed calculation are allowed
  • Able to provide text storage
  • Equipped with an alphanumeric keyboard (i.e. any calculator with a QWERTY keyboard or a keyboard allowing entry of all letters from A to Z)
  • A graphing calculator
  • Wired or include wireless communication capabilities
  • Equipped with a camera or video recording functionality
  • Powered by anything other than internal batteries and/or solar power
  • Able to produce a sound which cannot be turned off or disabled.

An online calculator will also be available during your exam to support those without access to an approved calculator. We welcome you to trial this online calculator - you can access an example within this demonstration (please navigate to item 3). 

 

Reasonable Adjustments

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.

 

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 17 August, 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.

 

Exam Structure

All CPA Program exams (both in a test centre, or an online proctored exam) will be three hours and 15 minutes in duration. The exam structure will vary for each subject, however exams will either comprise multiple-choice items, or a combination of multiple-choice and extended-response items (these may also include worksheet items). To understand the question types relevant for each subject, refer to the subject outline on the relevant subject pages. The type of questions and the number of marks available differs between subjects and this information will be available to you within My Online Learning by Tuesday 14 July. 

Both test centre-based and online exams will be delivered in partnership with Pearson VUE, meaning the exam appearance and functionality will be the consistent across both formats.

 

Exams for members in Mainland China, Japan, Slovenia and South Korea

To overcome the implications of technology limitations in some regions, CPA Australia is pleased to offer access to computer-based exams in test-centres in Mainland China, Japan, Slovenia and South Korea.

Candidates who wish to sit an exam in these regions are directed to review further information on test-centre computer-based exams. Online Proctored exams will not be available in these regions.

As the semester progresses, we will continue to monitor the ongoing impact of COVID-19 - if for any reason a test centre can no longer deliver an exam, please be reassured that we will work with all impacted candidates in this scenario. Please contact us if you have any questions or require support.

 

Paper-based Exams

If you have previously completed a paper-based exam, you will continue to have access to a paper-based exam this semester, though you may need to travel further for an available appointment and a Test Centre or an Online Proctored exam may be more convenient for you.

When you enter the exam scheduling portal you will see paper-based as an exam option, however there will be no visible capacity. To schedule a paper-based exam, please contact us.

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 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.