Exams are three hours and 15 minutes

Each exam is three hours and 15 minutes duration and does not include official reading time.

Open book exams

All CPA Program exams, except Singapore Taxation and Practice Management are sat under open book exam conditions.

Closed Book Exams

Singapore Taxation and Practice Management exams are both sat under closed book exam conditions. 

For Singapore Taxation, candidates can take into the exam the Tax Acts as referenced under the recommended texts section of the Singapore Taxation study guide.

For Practice Management, candidates are not permitted to take any study materials with them into the exam. 

Type of questions in the exam

All CPA Program exams are based on the study guide and the material in My Online Learning that is noted as examinable. Exams for compulsory subjects comprise a combination of multiple choice and extended response questions. Exams for most elective subjects comprise multiple choice questions only; check the subject outlines for more information about the exam structure for each subject.

Exams are computer-based

The majority of our exams are computer-based and administered by our exam partner, PearsonVUE. Check out the resources below to familiarise yourself with the CPA Program computer-based exam experience.



View transcript (PDF)

Sitting an exam with CPA Australia

If you’re sitting a computer-based exam, watch this video to get familiar with your check-in process and on-screen exam experience.

Computer tutorial

Familiarise yourself with the format

A practice tutorial is available from the PearsonVUE website. The questions in the practice exam are not specific to the CPA Program, but it does provide the opportunity to use all of the functions to enter responses, view visuals and exhibits, scroll pages and review items.


View a slideshow

View the slideshow to familiarise yourself with the look, feel and functionality of the CPA Program exam.

Identification 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.

Primary ID
  • 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)
Secondary ID
  • 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.

What you can and can’t bring with you

Refer to your exam confirmation email from PearsonVUE 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, ear plugs may be available upon request at some computer-based test centres. You may bring your own ear plugs to computer-based exams subject to inspection by the supervisor.

You may bring a silent standard calculator whose primary purpose is as a calculator. Candidates are not permitted to borrow another candidate’s calculator during the exams.