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Uniform CPA Examination Applicants

The Examinations Section of the Board is responsible for processing Uniform CPA Exam applications and maintaining each candidate’s file until they successfully pass the Exam.

Contacting the Exam Staff

Phyllis Elliott, Specialist
P: (919) 733-4224
F: (919) 733-4209
NC State Board of CPA Examiners
PO Box 12827
Raleigh, NC 27605-2827

The Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination (Exam) is the examination that an individual must pass to qualify for licensure as a CPA in any US jurisdiction. The Examination is one of the “Three Es” (Education, Examination, and Experience) required for CPA licensure. Of these three requirements, only the Exam is uniform (i.e., it is the only exam that is accepted for CPA licensure by all US jurisdictions). In contrast, education and experience requirements vary from one jurisdiction to another. Candidates for CPA licensure must meet all three requirements.


In North Carolina, a person is eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination if they

A person may not be eligible to take the Exam as a North Carolina candidate if the Board determines that the person has engaged in conduct that violates NCGS 93 or the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct. [21 NCAC 08F .0111] All Exam applicants are subject to a background check by the Board [21 NCAC 08F .0103]. Under North Carolina law, traffic violations–even something like an expired automotive registration–are reported as criminal offenses on a background check.

Education Requirements

An Exam applicant must have at least a bachelor’s degree (120 hours) from an accredited college or university in any subject that includes or is supplemented by a concentration in accounting [21 NCAC 08A .0309].

A concentration in accounting is:

One semester (or quarter) hour of graduate study in accounting is considered the equivalent of one and one-half semester (or quarter) hours of undergraduate study in accounting. Up to four semester hours, or the equivalent in quarter hours, of graduate income tax courses completed in law schools may count toward the semester hour requirement.

Accounting courses include elementary, intermediate, and advanced level principles courses; managerial accounting; business law; cost accounting; fund accounting; auditing; and taxation. Although many college courses such as business finance, business management, computer science, economics, writing skills, accounting internships, and CPA Exam review courses would be helpful in the practice of accountancy, the Board does not include them in the definition of a concentration in accounting.

If the Board determines that an accounting course duplicates another course previously taken, only the semester (or quarter) hours of one of the courses will count in deciding if the applicant has a concentration in accounting.

The Board may approve an application to take the Exam before the receipt of a bachelor’s degree if the concentration in accounting is already complete or is reasonably expected to be completed by the end of the school term within which the Exam falls, and an applicant reasonably expects to receive the bachelor’s degree within 120 days after the application is received by the Board. However, if the applicant fails to receive the degree within the specified time, their Exam grades will not be released.

The Board accepts degrees from the following Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and US Department of Education (USDE)-recognized accrediting associations:

Applying for the Uniform CPA Exam

An individual sitting for the Uniform CPA Exam for the first time is an “initial applicant” and must complete an initial Examination application. An individual who has already applied for at least one section of the Exam is a “re-Exam applicant” and must complete a re-Examination application. Candidates are not required to take the Exam sections in a particular order or pass one Exam section before applying to take another section.

The Board conducts a background check of applicants [21 NCAC 08F .0103(f)], so include all court records and any current or previous charges (including probation) with the application. Under North Carolina law, traffic violations–even something like an expired automotive registration–are reported as criminal offenses on a background check.

Please save the application to your computer/tablet/etc. and then complete and print it. If you handwrite your answers on the application, please print (no cursive writing) in ALL CAPS and use blue or black ink only. Keep a copy of the completed application and all the documents submitted with the application. When submitting the application, including all necessary documentation, attachments, and payment is essential; the Board does not process incomplete applications.

NOTE:  If you plan to take BEC in 2023, your application must be postmarked before October 15, 2023. Please visit the 2024 Exam page for more information on application deadlines related to the 2024 Exam.

Please contact Phyllis Elliott if you have questions about applying for the Exam.

Initial Exam Application

When completing the Initial Application for the Uniform CPA Exam, you must

If you earned credits at more than one school, include transcripts from each school. The Board does not accept photocopies of transcripts or scanned copies of transcripts. If you submit a hard copy of your transcript, do not remove it from the sealed envelope. The Board accepts e-transcripts; please have the e-transcript sent to If you are submitting e-transcripts, check that box on the application.

Re-Exam Application

When completing the Re-Exam Application for the Uniform CPA Exam, you must

Exam Fees

Uniform CPA Exam FeesApplications postmarked on or before 08/04/2023Applications postmarked on or after 08/05/2023
Administrative Fee Initial Exam Application$230.00$230.00
Administrative Fee Re-Exam Application$75.00$75.00
AUD Section Fee$238.15$254.80
BEC Section Fee$238.15$254.80
FAR Section Fee$238.15$254.80
REG Section Fee$238.15$254.80

Please contact Vanessia Willett for an Exam fee receipt.

Members of the military and their spouses may be eligible for economic assistance from the US Department of Veterans Affairs for expenses related to the Uniform CPA Exam and CPA licensure. The North Carolina Department of Military & Veterans Affairs may also have resources related to the Uniform CPA Exam and CPA licensure.

Testing Accommodations

If you require testing accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), please review the Board’s policy on Requests for Reasonable Accommodation of Uniform CPA Exam Applicants with Disabilities and submit the necessary ADA forms with your application. If you have questions, please contact Phyllis Elliott.

Approval & Processing of Applications

It takes about 10 business days for the Board to approve and process an initial Exam application and about 5 business days for the Board to approve and process a re-Exam application. You may check the status of your application online. If it has been more than 15 business days for your initial application to be approved, or more than 10 business days for your re-Exam application to be approved, please contact Phyllis Elliott.  If there is a problem with your application (transcript, payment, background check, etc.), the Board will contact you; please respond promptly to the Board’s inquiry.

Notice to Schedule

After your initial Exam application has been approved and processed, you will receive an email from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) that includes instructions for setting up your NASBA Application Dashboard account and retrieving your Notice to Schedule (NTS). Initial candidates usually receive the NASBA notification within 10 business days of the approval of your application; check your spam/junk email folder for the email. If you are approved for special accommodations, please allow extra time for NASBA to generate your Notice to Schedule (NTS). If you do not set up your Application Dashboard account, you won’t have access to your Notices to Schedule, score reports, etc. Re-Exam candidates usually receive the NASBA notification within 5 business days of the approval of your application. If you are approved for special accommodations, please allow extra time for NASBA to generate your NTS.

If you are unable to set you up your NASBA account or cannot access your account, please contact NASBA at 800-CPA-EXAM (800-272-3926) or The Call Center is open as follows: Sunday: 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm (Central); Monday-Thursday: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm (Central); and Friday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Central). The Call Center is closed on Saturdays. Board staff cannot retrieve or reset your NASBA account password.

When you receive the NTS, make sure that the name on the NTS is the name on the identification documents that you will use during check-in at the Prometric testing center.  If the information is not correct or the names on the NTS and your identification documents do not match exactly, immediately contact the Board to request a corrected NTS. The middle initial can be substituted for the middle name (e.g., your NTS reads Michael A. Smith, but the name on your driver’s license reads Michael Albert Smith), or vice versa.

You must take your NTS to the Prometric test center; without it, you will not be admitted to the test center. The Board recommends that you print at least two copies of each NTS (put one copy in your car and another copy in your wallet, billfold, etc.). You should also save/download your NTS to your phone; Prometric will accept that version of your NTS.  Each NTS includes the Examination section identification number for each approved section of the Exam.  This number is the “Launch Code” (password) you will enter as part of the login process.

In North Carolina, an NTS is valid for six months only.  During those six months, you must schedule and take the Exam section(s) shown on the NTS. After the six-month period ends, the NTS will expire, and all fees will be forfeited. If you do not take all sections for which you registered before the NTS expires, you will not be able to extend the NTS or receive a refund of any of the fees paid.

Scheduling an Appointment to Take the Exam

NOTE:  Candidates should note that the last day of testing for all current CPA Exam sections (AUD, BEC, FAR and REG) is December 15, 2023. No CPA Exam sections may be scheduled from December 16, 2023, through January 9, 2024.

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) recommends that you schedule at least six (6) weeks in advance of your desired test date(s) to increase the likelihood that you will receive your first choice of date, time, and location. You must schedule your appointment at least five (5) days in advance of the test date. It is your responsibility to schedule the sections of the Examination you have yet to pass so you do not lose credit for previously passed sections.

You must take each section within the period for which an NTS is valid (before it expires). You are allowed to take the Examination at any authorized Prometric test centers, whether or not the test center is in the jurisdiction where you reside. There are six (6) Prometric test centers in North Carolina: Asheville, Charlotte, Greenville, Greensboro,  Raleigh, and Wilmington.

The AICPA requires Exam candidates to accept the Uniform CPA Examination Conduct and Non-Disclosure Agreement as part of the Exam scheduling process through Prometric. This agreement outlines a code of conduct for maintaining the secrecy and confidentiality of the Exam content.  A link to the full text of the Uniform CPA Examination Conduct and Non-Disclosure Agreement is available in NASBA’s Candidate Bulletin. Watch this video for an in-depth explanation of Exam security and the non-disclosure agreement.

Prometric’s ProScheduler is the best way to schedule an Exam appointment and reschedule or cancel an appointment) Using the scheduler provides you 24-hour access to scheduling and avoids any “on hold” waiting time, and you instantly receive a detailed confirmation of your appointment (on-screen and via email). Before you make your appointments, you must have an NTS.  Additionally, be ready to identify the dates, times, and locations where you want to take each section. It is not necessary to make all appointments at one time.  If you prefer, you may make one appointment at a time. If you do schedule more than one section on the same day, please be aware that the online appointment system does not warn you of overlapping appointment times. It is your responsibility to ensure you have not scheduled overlapping times and have allowed enough time between sections for the check-in process.

After you have made an appointment for a section, you may need to change or cancel an appointment.  Depending on when you notify Prometric of the change or cancellation, you may be required to pay a rescheduling fee. There is no fee for canceling or rescheduling an appointment at least 30 days in advance. If you are unable to keep your appointment, you must cancel or reschedule or you will be marked as a “no-show,” and you will forfeit all the Exam fees you paid. If you cancel an appointment, you must reschedule before the NTS expiration date or you will forfeit the Exam fees you paid.

 If you cancel or reschedule between five and 30 days before your appointment, you must pay a fee directly to Prometric. If you reschedule within five days of your appointment, you will be required to pay the full Prometric testing fee for the section you are rescheduling. See the Candidate Bulletin for additional information regarding these fees.  

Tutorial & Sample Tests

Candidates are encouraged to visit the AICPA’s website and complete the tutorial and sample tests. The tutorial is a guided tour of the Examination. It demonstrates the functionality of question types, tools, resources, and navigation found in the Examination. The tutorial is not available at test centers and does not contain actual Examination content. The sample tests provide candidates with a preview of the Examination experience. It is a functional replica of the Examination and provides candidates with an opportunity to become familiar with the Examination’s format, in an interactive environment. Candidates should familiarize themselves with the functionality demonstrated in the tutorial before reviewing the sample tests. The sample test software allows candidates to answer test questions that represent the question types found on the Examination: multiple choice, written communication, and simulation. The sample tests provide answers to sample questions but are not study materials for the Examination.

On Test Day

The staff at each Prometric test center is trained in the procedures specific to the CPA Exam. Center personnel will guide you through the steps that have been developed by the boards of accountancy, NASBA, and the AICPA.  Review the Prometric Test Center Regulations prior to arriving at the test center. Plan to arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you arrive after your scheduled appointment time, you may forfeit your appointment and Examination fees. Make sure you have the correct NTS and the required identification. You will not be admitted to the Examination without the correct NTS and required identification. The Board suggests that you download the NTS to your phone and also print two copies:  one for your wallet and a “back-up” copy to keep in your car.  Prometric will provide you with a calculator upon request. If you encounter ANY computer problem, report it immediately to test center staff. Keep the “Confirmation of Attendance” form you receive after the Examination as it provides valuable contact information. As directed on that form, report any examination incidents/concerns in writing to the addresses/fax numbers provided.

Online Score Retrieval & Score Reporting

After the Examination, candidate responses are forwarded to the AICPA for scoring. The AICPA provides an overview of the Exam scoring process on its website. The responses are identified by Exam Section ID only. When advisory scores and performance information become available, the AICPA sends them to NASBA for processing where the scores and performance information is matched to individual candidates. NASBA uses Twitter to notify candidates when scores will be available. Check the AICPA’s website for the official target score release dates.

North Carolina Exam candidates use the NASBA Application Dashboard to retrieve their scores. Because there is a lag time between NASBA posting the scores online and the Board receiving the scores, letters to successful candidates are not immediately available. If you do not receive a passing score on a section, you must submit a re-Exam application for that section to receive a new NTS for that section.

If you fail a section, you receive a performance report. The performance report helps you identify areas in which you should improve in order to pass. Your performance is compared to other candidates who have “just passed”  (those who scored between a 75 and 80). The report’s relative performance scale (stronger, comparable, weaker) is derived from the range between one-half of one standard deviation above and below the average score of candidates who earn between a 75 and 80. Performance within the range is considered “comparable,” below the range “weaker,” and above the range “stronger.” While you may feel the need to study only the areas in which you are weaker, you should study all areas before retaking the Exam. If you only study your weaker areas, you might do better on those, but worse on others when you retest.

Score Review & Appeal Processes

Score Review

The score review process involves making certain that the approved answer keys were used and applied correctly in determining a candidate’s score and is not an opportunity to have alternate responses considered. It is simply an additional independent verification of your Exam score. Please keep in mind that all scores undergo thorough quality control checks before they are released. Given all the quality control reviews already completed, it is highly unlikely that your score will change due to a score review.

The option to apply for a score review is available only for a short period of time after your score has been reported to you. It may take up to eight weeks for the score review to be processed and released. After NASBA submits your request to the AICPA, the AICPA reviews your score and reports the result through NASBA to the Board. The Board will then transmit the result to you. For additional information and to request a score review, please call 1-800-CPA-EXAM. The candidate is responsible for all fees associated with a score review

Appeal Process

The appeal process provides you with the opportunity to appeal a failing score. The appeal option enables you to view the multiple-choice test questions or objective simulation problems that you answered incorrectly together with their responses and to submit comments online. The appeal does not include written communication tasks. You should consider requesting an appeal only if you want to review your incorrect responses because you believe that there is a question or simulation problem that you would like to challenge.

When you review the questions or simulation problems that you have answered incorrectly, you may decide to challenge the validity of one or more items. If you decide to do so, you must be prepared to present a cogent, vigorous, and compelling defense of your incorrect responses. You will be charged a separate fee for each item (multiple-choice test question or simulation problem) that you decide to challenge. All fees associated with a score appeals are your responsibility.

The same security measures required at a testing center are followed at the appeal session. Appeal sessions take place in NASBA’s office located in Nashville, TN, under highly secure conditions and in the presence of a representative of NASBA. All travel costs associated with an appeal process are the candidate’s responsibility.

After the session, the AICPA will review your responses on the section you are appealing, consider the online comments you submitted, verify your score, and forward the result to NASBA. (Note: You will not receive detailed information about the question(s) you challenge because of the need to preserve the confidentiality of Exam content.) NASBA will report the result to the Board, and the result will be transmitted to you.

Conditioning Requirements

21 NCAC 08F .0105 states that a candidate must pass all sections of the Examination with a grade of 75 or higher on each section. A candidate is subject to the following conditioning requirements:

(1) a candidate shall obtain a passing grade on all sections of the examination within an 18-month* period;
(2) a candidate may sit for any section of the Examination individually;
(3) a candidate may retake the same section of the examination as many times during a one-year period as determined by the examination vendor(s); and
(4) credit awarded by the Board for passage of a section of the examination is valid for an 18-month period beginning on the date the section is taken.

A candidate who is on active military service will not have the time on active military service counted against the 18 months unless the candidate applies to take the Examination during the active military service, in which case each month a candidate sits shall be counted toward the 18-month period.

The Board may grant candidates credit for passing other parts of the Examination in another jurisdiction. To be considered for credit, the passing grades must meet the Board’s conditioning requirements. Please contact Phyllis Elliott for information about applying for transfer of credit with the Board before sitting as a North Carolina candidate.

*In April, NASBA issued a press release that stated the NASBA Board of Directors “voted to adopt an amendment to UAA Model Rule 5-7. The amendment increases the length of conditional credit from 18 months to 30 months.” NASBA’s UAA Model rules are merely recommendations to Boards of Accountancy; they are not binding on any Board of Accountancy. Each Board of Accountancy, including the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners, adopts its own rules relevant to the Uniform CPA Exam, CPA licensure, etc. With the new amendment proposed by NASBA, as well as the desire by Boards of Accountancy to maintain uniformity when possible, the Board expects to review this matter very quickly. Any change to the Board’s rule must follow the rulemaking procedures of the NC Office of Administrative Hearings. Until notified otherwise, North Carolina Uniform CPA Exam candidates must comply with 21 NCAC 08F .0105(c)(1), “a candidate shall obtain a passing grade on all sections of the examination within an 18-month period.”

Successful Examination Candidates

An individual who passes all sections of the Exam within the 18-month period is considered a successful Examination candidate and may begin the process of applying for licensure as a North Carolina CPA. A successful Examination candidate’s Examination scores do not expire. If you pass the Exam and do not receive a “successful candidate” letter within 30 days of passing the Exam, please contact Phyllis Elliott.

Address Changes

Without current contact information (mailing address, phone number, and email address) for each Examination candidate, the Board is unable to contact you regarding the Examination (application, Notices to Schedule, score notices, fee changes, etc.)  or other important issues. Address changes must be in writing; Board staff cannot accept an oral change of address. Please submit a Change of Address by mail, fax, or email to:

NC State Board of CPA Examiners
ATTN.: Address Change
PO Box 12827
Raleigh, NC 27605-2827
Fax: (919) 733-4209

Name Change

If your name has legally changed and is different from the name on any transcript or other document supplied to the Board, you must furnish copies of the document (marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc.) that legally authorize the name change. Please contact Phyllis Elliott or Vanessia Willett for additional information.

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