View some of the frequently asked questions about CPA Australia foundation exam eligibility requirements, enrolment and exam scheduling, and study requirements.

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Am I eligible to commence foundation exams?

Depending on what you have already studied with a higher education provider, you may be required to study a foundation exam subject or be eligible for entry straight into the CPA Program.

Are foundation exams conducted in English?

Yes. All learning materials, instructions and exams are conducted and written in English.

I have had a migration assessment. Will I also need an assessment to determine my eligibility for membership?

Yes. The migration assessment and CPA Australia membership assessment are two separate assessments. Even though your qualifications have been assessed for migration purposes, our membership requirements are different. Therefore, for anyone who would like to enrol into the CPA Program, an assessment is compulsory.

I previously completed a CPA Australia bridging unit. What credits will I receive for the foundation exams?

If you have completed any of the following bridging units, you will receive an exemption for the corresponding foundation exams when you apply for your assessment. Ensure you quote your original reference number on your application to gain these exemptions.

BUP001: Introduction to Financial Accounting
The corresponding foundation exam is Financial Accounting and Reporting.

BUP002: Introduction to Management Accounting
The corresponding foundation exam is Management Accounting.

BUP003: Introduction to Business Finance
The corresponding foundation exam is Business Finance.

I used to be enrolled into a bridging unit. What should I do now?

CPA Australia’s membership entry changed in 2010. As a result, we no longer offer bridging units. You will need to complete an assessment to determine your entry point.

Can I get recognition of previous study?

Yes. However, you will still be required to complete an assessment, so we can determine your knowledge areas and strengths. You may still be required to complete some foundation exams after your assessment. To have your prior study assessed and determine your pathway to become a CPA, start a membership assessment.

If additional knowledge is required after my assessment, is there an alternative to doing the foundation exam?

Yes. Applicants can choose to complete the required knowledge areas through a higher education provider.

Auditing and Taxation Law can be completed as part of the CPA Program if not previously satisfied.

Can I take a foundation exam for continuing professional development (CPD) purposes?

No. The foundation exams are a series of exams to demonstrate the knowledge areas required to commence the CPA Program and are not suitable for CPD purposes.

If I fail an exam, how long before I can sit the exam again?

You need to wait a minimum of 30 days before you can sit the exam again.

How many times can I repeat a foundation exam?

Your enrolment fee covers one Foundation exam attempt, and you can enrol in/attempt any one Foundation exam a maximum of four times. You will be unable to enrol for a fifth attempt at the exam. We recommend that if you fail an exam repeatedly you contact us to discuss further study options before you sit a fourth and final attempt.

Can I continue to complete my other foundation exam requirements with CPA Australia if I have failed an exam four times?

Yes. We recommend that if you fail an exam repeatedly that you contact us to discuss further study options before you sit a fourth attempt.

What options do I have if I am unable to enrol again to complete a required exam?

You can enrol in a similar exam with a higher education provider.

What happens when I pass the exam I completed at a higher education provider?

You can apply for an exemption of this foundation exam requirement. There will be no charge for the additional assessment of your qualifications.

Can I cancel my enrolment?

Yes. You can cancel your subject enrolment up to five (5) days prior to your scheduled exam appointment without the cancellation appearing on your foundation exams program history. However, no refunds will be issued for a cancellation.

Enrolment and exam scheduling

When can I enrol in foundation exams?

CPA Australia strongly advises you to schedule your exam appointment as soon as possible to secure your preferred date, time and location. You can enrol in foundation exams any time and self-schedule your exam via My CPA Program. You must schedule your exam to take place within your enrolment period.

How will I know when my enrolment is about to expire?

You will need to log into My CPA Program, which will list the date you enrolled, and the expiry date of your enrolment.

Can I extend my enrolment beyond the 12-month deadline?

If you are unable to sit your exam within 12 months of your enrolment, you may extend your enrolment on a month-by-month basis, up to a maximum of six (6) months. A fee will be applicable, which will be calculated monthly. Extending your enrolment will not automatically reschedule your exam booking. You must reschedule your exam appointment accordingly. Failure to do so will result in a 'Did Not Sit' result.

How do I schedule my exam appointment?

You can schedule your appointment via My CPA Program.

Am I guaranteed a seat in my preferred exam location?

No. There is limited capacity in exam centres. You are encouraged to schedule your exam appointment at the time of enrolment, or as early as possible. If your first preference is not available, you should try another date or be prepared to travel to the next closest exam centre.

What should I do if there are no appointments available in the town or city where I’d like to sit my exam?

You may need to travel to a suitable exam location if your preferred location is fully booked.

What should I do if I haven’t received a confirmation email for my exam?

If you have scheduled an exam appointment but have not yet received a confirmation email it could be because:
  • the email is on its way (please allow 24 hours)
  • the email has been trapped in your junk or spam mail filter
  • the email address recorded with CPA Australia needs to be updated.
If you didn’t receive or have lost your confirmation email, you can also print a copy of your appointment details from My CPA Program.

Who can I contact if I want to take my exam in a location that is not available?

Based on demand, CPA Australia may consider opening additional centres for future exam periods. If you would like to suggest a test centre location for our future consideration, email your suggestions to [email protected]

Can I pay in my local currency?

Local currency options are available for some locations.

Does the exam fee include Associate membership?

Students undertaking foundation exams are not eligible for Associate membership. You will only pay your Associate membership fees once you are eligible for the CPA Program and activate an Associate membership.

What do I get for the cost of each enrolment?

Your enrolment fee includes:

  • access to a study guide to prepare you for the exam
  • exam, marking and administration fees.

Why do I have to pay to extend my enrolment expiry date/exam window?

There is a nominal cost to extend your enrolment expiry date/exam window on a month-by-month basis, up to a maximum of six months. This covers the administrative costs associated with changing your enrolment.

Can I reschedule my exam appointment?

You can reschedule your exam appointment to a different date, start time or a different location, subject to test centre availability.

If you reschedule your appointment up to 72 hours before your exam, no fee applies.

If you reschedule your appointment from 24 to 72 hours before your exam, a fee will apply.

Can I reschedule my exam appointment on the day of the exam?

No changes can be made to your exam appointment within 24 hours of your exam start time.

Can I get a refund if I can’t attend my exam appointment on the day of the exam?

No refunds will be issued for students who cancel their subject enrolment or who otherwise do not attend their scheduled exam appointment. To avoid a 'Did Not Sit' result, you must reschedule your exam at least 24 hours before the exam.

Students who do not attend their scheduled exam will receive a 'Did Not Sit' result.

How can I reschedule my exam appointment?

You can reschedule your exam appointment online.

Will I get another confirmation email after I reschedule my exam appointment?


Do I have to study using the CPA Australia provided study material?

No. If you feel you have sufficient knowledge and skills as outlined in the foundation exam learning objectives, you can elect not to use the study material. The study material is provided to assist in your studies and to help you determine whether you have the required knowledge and skills to successfully pass the foundation exams.

Do I require any additional resources to the study guide?

This will depend on whether you have the required knowledge defined by the learning objectives. If you have gaps in the required knowledge, you will need to use further resources.


How many hours of study on average are required to complete a unit?

There are no recommended hours. Each student brings their own level of experience and knowledge to each of the foundation exams. It is entirely dependent on the student’s prior knowledge of the subject. Students will need to develop their own study plans.

Can I join a study group?

We do not have study groups available for foundation exams. You will need to arrange your own study group.

What if my study guide is updated? How will I know I am using the correct version?

Your study guide will occasionally be edited to reflect modifications and updates to examinable content. If this occurs, we will notify you by email well in advance of the change occurring allowing you to make the decision as to whether you intend to be examined on the current or the new content. If you are unsure if you are using the most updated version of the study guide, you can check My Online Learning for clarification.

I’ve never taken an exam on a computer before. How will I know what I need to do?

To aid you in your preparation for foundation exams, there is a complimentary tutorial that you can take to familiarise yourself with the software that you will use when you take your exam. You can take this tutorial whenever you wish, and as many times as you like.

On the day of the exam, there will be a ten-minute tutorial showing you how to navigate the exam. These ten minutes are not included in your total exam time.

What happens if there is a technical problem that interrupts my exam?

Scores are recorded as you progress through the exam and are not lost due to interruptions. For example, if a power outage interrupts your exam, you will be required to wait until the issue is resolved. Once resolved, your exam will resume (from the point before the interruption) meaning you will not lose exam time.

Am I allowed to bring a calculator?

Yes. A scientific calculator will be made available as an on-screen tool throughout the exam. An example can be found in My Online Learning.

Is my exam open-book?

No. All foundation exams are closed-book exams, meaning you are not allowed to refer to any materials other than what is provided to you during the exam.

Will my exam have on-screen tools?

The following exams will have on-screen tools:

  • Business Finance – discount tables and formulae
  • Economic and Markets – formulae
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting – formulae

Examples and more information can be found in My Online Learning.

I have an issue with my experience at the test centre, what should I do?

Students who experience exam irregularities at the test centre must register their concerns with the test centre administrator on the day of the exam. All exam irregularities are formally logged and addressed by Pearson VUE and CPA Australia program managers.

This information is supplementary to the Foundation Enrolment Rules and Regulations. The Foundation Enrolment Rules and Regulations from time to time will apply to the extent of any inconsistency.