Preparing for the CPA exam

How do I register?

  • Apply early — it may take six to eight weeks for a first-time application to be approved. Ohio candidates can download an application at
  • Approved applicants will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) allowing them to choose the time and location to take the exam.
  • Take advantage of the flexibility. To ease stress, don’t schedule all four exam sections in one testing window. Take the sections individually in the order that works best for you. You can take the one you are most confident in first, or tackle the hardest section to get it out of the way.

Important resources to check out:

Studying for the exam

  • Find the review provider that’s right for you to help you prepare for the exam. Browse OSCPA’s list of exam review providers. Many offer discounts to OSCPA student members. Not a member? Join for free today!
  • Practice, practice, practice. Go to and take the practice test. It provides sample questions and simulations, and guides you through functions such as cut and paste and the spreadsheet function. Don’t be fooled! These functions work a bit differently than what you may be used to.

On exam day

  • Bring two valid forms of identification to the testing center.
  • Don’t forget your Notice to Schedule. You won’t be able to sit for the exam if you don’t present your NTS.
  • Take as little as possible with you to the test center. Any items brought with you will be placed in a locker while you are taking the exam.


  • Credit for passed section(s) is valid for 18 months. After that point, the section must be retaken if you haven’t passed all of the sections.
  • Even though the exam is electronic, the scores are not instant. Scores go to the state boards of accountancy first to be released.