In this format, you’ll need to travel to a test centre, where the technology and environment are prepared in advance, and you’ll be supervised in-person throughout your exam.
Please note, our exam provider, Pearson VUE, isn't able to offer CPA Program test-centre exams in Quebec and any OFAC-sanctioned regions.
On this page
About test-centre exams
All CPA Program exams are:
- 195 minutes long (3 hours and 15 minutes)
- Open book (excluding Singapore Taxation). This means you can bring your study guide and any additional study materials with you to your exam appointment.
Singapore Taxation is a closed book exam, though you can bring approved Tax Acts, as explained under the recommended texts section of your study guide.
At the start of your exam, you will be led through a short demonstration of the exam platform and its navigation. If this is your first exam with us, make sure you take the time to work through this tutorial. This won't impact your overall exam time, as the timer won't start until you begin the exam.
Once you've finished all of the questions in your exam and clicked ‘End exam’, you’ll be guided through a short survey. This also won't impact your exam time.
As test-centre exams are supervised in-person, you can take bathroom breaks as you need by raising your hand and speaking to your invigilator. Though your timer won’t stop for all breaks, you will have access to one unscheduled break, during which you can pause your exam timer. When you're ready to take this break, raise your hand and advise your exam supervisor before clicking the ‘Pause exam’ button. Then you need to click the ‘Pause exam’ button in the pop-up window to confirm. Your exam timer will stop for five minutes.
Health and safety
Test-centre entry requirements
You’ll receive an exam confirmation email from our delivery partner, Pearson VUE, after you schedule an appointment, and a reminder email seven days before your exam. These emails will provide the most relevant guidance on the health and safety entry requirements you can expect at your chosen venue.
Some important information about entry requirements:
- Please be mindful that entry requirements are subject to change between when you scheduled and the date of your exam. These requirements may also differ between regions and test centres.
- It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the entry requirements to sit your exam.
- Please refer to local government regulations for your region to anticipate the likely requirements for your venue.
- A reminder that regional requirements may still change, so you should regularly review your local government advice prior to your exam.
- Take note of the location/industry classification of your test centre – particularly if it is in a school or university, as these may have slightly different requirements to other locations.
- If you are sitting your exam at a Pearson Professional Centre (you will see this as part of the test centre’s name on your confirmation letter), you can visit Important test delivery information pertaining to COVID-19 for requirements in your region. Please be aware this information only applies to centres with the abbreviation PPC (Pearson Professional Centre).
- You can refer to your reminder letter (sent seven days before your exam), which includes guidance on the entry requirements to your test centre
Please note that these entry requirements are not set by CPA Australia, and are subject to change according to government regulations, Pearson VUE policies and/or venue requirements.
Entry requirements may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Compliance with local vaccination requirements, and to provide proof of vaccination on entry in accordance with the local requirements.
- Compliance with local mask wearing rules, noting your venue may require you to wear a mask throughout your exam.
- Compliance with any temperature checking measures upon entry to the venue.
- Compliance with any check-in process upon entry to the venue.
- Providing proof of a negative COVID-19 result within 24–72 hours of your appointment.
- Completion of a medical declaration on entry to the venue.
A candidate may be denied entry into the exam if they do not meet the requirements, if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, or they are under quarantine status, or have travelled to a restricted area.
You must provide two forms of valid and current identification, including one primary ID and one secondary ID.
|Your primary ID must:||Your secondary ID must:|
|be current and in date (not expired)*||be current and in date (not expired)*|
|be physical and original (not digital or a photocopy)||be physical and original (not digital or a photocopy)|
|contain your full name in English**||contain your full name in English**|
|be government-issued (like a passport or driver's licence)||contain your signature OR a recent, recognisable photograph|
|contain your signature^|
|contain a recent, recognisable photograph|
*If your ID has expired, it will not be accepted. Updating IDs can take several weeks, so if you need to renew yours, please do so as soon as possible.
** The name on your ID must exactly match the name on your member profile with CPA Australia, and must be presented in English. If your name doesn’t match, please contact us at least 10 business days before your scheduled exam appointment to update your profile.
If your primary ID isn’t issued from the country in which you’ll be sitting your exam, we recommend you use your passport. This is because IDs not in English will not be accepted.
^Candidates testing in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore or Vietnam are an exception, as National ID cards and passports will still be accepted without a signature
Examples of primary ID:
- driver’s licence
- learner permit
- national / state / country identification card
- passport card
- military ID
- military ID for spouses and dependents
- alien registration card (green card, permanent resident visas)
Examples of secondary ID:
- debit (ATM) card
- credit card
- social security card
- any form of primary ID
What you can and can't bring to your exam
Study guide and notes
As all CPA Program exams, except Singapore Taxation, are open book, you can bring your study guide and any additional study materials with you to your exam appointment.
Singapore Taxation is a closed book exam, except for approved Tax Acts, as explained under the recommended texts section of your study guide.
You can bring your own calculator to your test-centre exam, however we have rules about what type of calculator you can and cannot bring in with you.
Your calculator can be:
- able to store and recall the last performed calculation only.
Your calculator can't be:
- programmable – it must not be able to store and replay a sequence of operations or capable of external programming
- capable of text storage
- equipped with an alphanumeric keyboard (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.
An online calculator will also be available if you don't have access to a suitable one.
Before entering your exam room, you'll be given an erasable whiteboard for any notetaking during your exam. To make sure exam questions and answers are not recorded or shared, this whiteboard will be collected and cleaned after you've finished the exam.
You'll also have access to an online scratch pad for quick calculations during the exam.
What you can bring:
- your two forms of ID
- your study guide and any additional notes
- your calculator.
What you can't bring:
- any electronic devices, aside from your calculator
- a watch of any kind
- large, external clothing, such as a coat, scarf or hat, unless worn for religious purposes
- any food or drink.
For a full list of what you can and can't bring with you, please review your confirmation email from Pearson VUE prior to your appointment.
Each time you enter the exam room, the supervisor will check for any hidden prohibited items. They may ask you to:
- Show your ears
- Roll up your sleeves
- Turn out any pockets
- Run your own hands around your waist and down your legs
- Take off your glasses for inspection by the supervisor
It's at the supervisor's discretion to decide if an item is acceptable to take into your exam room, and you'll be able to store any prohibited items at your test centre before your exam begins.
Preparing for your exam
We recommend you work through the following steps before your exam:
- Read through all relevant policies
- Check your IDs
It’s really important that you have two forms of current and valid ID. Make sure you check:
- the expiration date of your ID. If it has expired, you’ll need to make sure you can get a replacement before your exam. This can take several weeks, so it’s best to do this as soon as possible.
- the name on your ID. It needs to exactly match the name in your member profile with us and must be in English. If it doesn't match, please contact us at least 10 days prior to your exam appointment to make sure your profile is up-to-date in time.
- that you have an original, physical copy of both your primary and secondary ID. Digital IDs and photocopies will not be accepted.
For more information, see your ID requirements.
- Review your confirmation and reminder emails
- Double-check your appointment date and time, including the time zone, and the address of your test centre. Work out how you'll travel to the exam and plan to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment begins.
- Check the entry requirements section, and make sure you’ll be able to comply with your test centre’s specific requirements.
Have questions about exams?
Visit our CPA Program Exam Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
In-semester support and learning resources
Access a range of resources and support to help you master your studies and manage your time
If you have completed the CPA Program, you may be able to claim credits towards specialist Master and MBA degrees
Member recognition ceremonies
Celebrate your achievement with friends, family and peers
How to advance to CPA status
Once you’ve met your CPA Program requirements, you’ll be eligible to advance from Associate member to CPA status
Now you're a CPA: what's next?
Congratulations, you’re now a CPA! Being a CPA is a validation of your knowledge, integrity and commitment to maintaining a high level of professional ethics and standards
Exams and assessment
CPA Program exams are designed to assess your knowledge and understanding