CPA Application and Review Process

Last Updated: January 27, 2014

This document will provide an outline of the steps necessary to complete the application process for the Uniform CPA Exam, as well as provide guidance on signing up for a review course. This document is not necessarily a set of required steps, but rather a suggested set of steps to be used as a guideline during the application and review process. Please note that this guidance is also geared toward the needs of students at Miami University as well as those sitting for the exam in Ohio.

Step 1: Review eligibility to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam

To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, you must meet a set of specific criteria. The eligibility requirements vary from state to state, so be sure to research the requirements that are both current and specific to your state. Generally this information can be found on your state board of accountancy’s website.

Step 2: Register for a review course

If you are eligible to take the CPA exam, you will probably want to register for some type of review course. There are many different courses you can choose from, and your employer will usually give you information about review courses in your offer letter. Generally speaking, most large public accounting firms will pay for you to take a review course in preparation for the exam. One of the more popular courses in recent years has been the Becker FastPass, but keep in mind that there are other courses out there that may be better suited to your needs. What is attractive about the Becker FastPass is that it condenses the CPA study time down into a single summer, and gives a candidate the opportunity to pass all of the exams before the typical public accounting start dates in the fall. You will want to register for your review course sooner rather than later because spots tend to fill up quickly. You should register for a course no later than the middle of February.

Step 4: Apply to sit for exam online

Every applicant must apply to sit for the exam. For Ohio, the application link is on the NASBA website (link provided below). This should be done as soon as you complete the educational requirements to sit for the exam. Your transcript (see Step 5) must be received within four (4) weeks of the receipt of your application. Please check your state board for application instructions.

Apply online:

Note: When you apply for the exam online you will be asked to specify the section(s) you wish to take. If you are planning on sitting for all four sections over the summer, it is in your best interest to apply for all of them concurrently. This will release all of your NTSs at the same time, and will allow you to schedule your exams shortly after graduation. Each NTS is typically good for six (6) months from the date of issuance, but this may vary by state. This means that you will have six (6) months to take your exam before you will need to submit another application. The down side of submitting two applications is that you will have to pay another application fee, so use your best judgment when applying for the exam online.

Step 5: Send transcript to CPA Exam Services

You will need to send a final transcript to CPA Exam Services. This will confirm the completion of your educational requirements. Your Notice to Schedule should be released within 10 business days of receipt of your final transcript.

Step 6: Schedule your exams

Shortly after graduation, you will receive your NTS for the exams you applied to take. At this point you will be permitted to schedule your exams through Prometric. Instructions for scheduling your exam will be sent with your NTS. You must schedule your appointment at least five (5) days in advance. NOTE: Ohio no longer accepts the Request for Early Release of the Notice to Schedule. Therefore, May graduates will not be able to receive their NTS until June, which means the earliest you can sit for the exam is early July (there is no testing during the month of June).