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

 

Key Dates

 

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.

 

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.

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).

Candidates undertaking an Online-Proctored exam will be able to use an online whiteboard for notes and workings, however, we are in the process of exploring alternative note-taking options, to provide greater comfort during your online exam. In the meantime, we welcome you to trial this online whiteboard function.

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.

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.