Registering for the CPA exam at a Prometric Testing Center can be an bewildering experience, especially if it’s your first CPA exam section. After you have settled on your ideal state, gone through the CPA application process, and paid the exam fees, the next step is to choose a testing center and schedule the day you want to sit for the exam.
This sounds easy enough, but there are several things that you need to think about before you schedule your exam date. If you mess up your scheduling, you may be required to pay extra fees or even worse–postpone your exam date until the next testing window.
Let’s walk through the Prometric CPA scheduling process and the steps you need to take to ensure you get the right exam date the first time.
What Is A Prometric Testing Center?
A Prometric testing center is simply a centralized place where the CPA exam is administered globally. The centers are managed by Prometric Testing, an independent company based in the U.S that runs a wide network of world-class test centers for various certification exams, including CPA, in more than 160 countries.
As an independent company, Prometric only serves as a host for the exam and candidates and has no affiliation with the various accountancy state boards, NASBA, or even AICPA. Their role is simply to supply the venue and technology for candidates to take the exam. They have no other role or influence in the exam administration or outcome.
How To Choose The Right Prometric Testing Center Location
Even though Prometric may have thousands of testing centers globally, choosing the right one for your CPA exam should not be a difficult decision to make. If you however make the wrong choice, you risk running into many challenges that could be avoided. Consider the following factors.
Distance: The proximity of the testing center to you is the most important consideration you need to make. The last thing you want when preparing for an exam is to travel to distant locations when there are many qualified centers nearby.
Familiarity: How familiar are you with the state or area in which the center is located? This will help you with accessibility and socialization. Consider the language and other factors such as culture. Yes, you can rarely get lost in the modern-day, thanks to online maps, but you do not want to be late for an exam simply because you missed a turn on the highway.
Dates: It is possible that exam dates and times for your nearest CPA exam center may not be convenient for you. Do not force yourself to settle on a date that is not convenient simply because of proximity. You might have other commitments such as work to attend to. Instead, you can check with other centers whose dates and times best fit into your schedule.
Accessibility: What is the most convenient way of traveling to the chosen exam center? If you will drive, find out if there is enough parking, and the costs associated with it, if any. Also, remember challenges that come with changes in time such as traffic. Avoid rush hours if you can.
Reviews: Find out what earlier candidates who have used the center in the past have to say about it. Online reviews can be amazing tools to help shape opinions and inform decisions. Find out if there is a lot of distraction from traffic, professionalism of the staff, cleanliness, ventilation, and spacing, among others. Avoid centers with negative reviews.
How To Search for Prometric Testing Center Locations
After you have carefully considered the above factors, then you can go ahead to choose your Prometric center. Everything is done from their website.
Here is the process:
- On the Prometric CPA website, go to ACTIONS then click on LOCATION.
- From the drop-down list, choose your COUNTRY. For U.S candidates, select STATE, then NEXT.
- From the drop-down list, choose the CPA exam section you want to take, then NEXT.
- Fill in your address details then click on SEARCH.
- Go through the provided list and make your choice.
It is important to emphasize that the final decision on the Prometric center should be informed by other factors, especially the dates, and preferred dates and times.
Steps To Schedule Your CPA Exam With Prometric CPA
Now that you have picked out the best Prometric testing center for your location, you will need to schedule your CPA exam date.
Here are the steps to schedule a CPA exam section at a Prometric CPA testing center:
- Visit the Prometric website, click on SCHEDULE EXAM.
- Agree to terms and conditions.
- Input your personal details: the NTS ID number and Last Name.
- Select your location, date, and time.
- Schedule the exam.
Keep Your Notice To Schedule (NTS)
Before you logon to the Prometric website to schedule your exam, make sure you have your NTS handy.
The Notice to Schedule (NTS) is an official document issued by NASBA to formally give you the go-ahead to schedule for the exam at a Prometric center. It is usually sent to your personal CPA central account about 1-3 days after you have made the payment.
NTS must be presented to the center plus personal identification. You aren’t allowed to sit for an exam at the testing centers without the NTS. It is advisable that you only schedule for an exam that you are confident to take within the next six months.
When Should You Schedule Your CPA Exam
Save for a few exceptions such as special changes by the AICPA and rescheduling exams for failed CPA sections, you are free to schedule for the CPA exam all year round in most states. The testing windows are open every two months, giving candidates the freedom to choose dates that best work for them.
You must schedule your exam within 6 months after receiving your NTS, failure to which you lose the exam fees paid for the CPA section. This is a deliberate measure to discourage procrastination. You should therefore plan accordingly to avoid running into such inconvenience. Some candidates are known to delay scheduling until it is too late, possibly a few months before the exam dates.
Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your exam though. Testing centers book up quickly and you might find that your desired location is full by the time you try to sign up for a testing slot. It is therefore smart to secure your slot as soon as you receive the NTS to avoid such surprises that may force you to choose a center you do not like.
Can You Reschedule Your CPA Exam?
Yes. There are many unforeseen circumstances that may force you to reschedule your CPA exam. In such instances, you can easily choose alternative dates from the Prometric website subject to payment of a rescheduling fee depending on the duration as follows:
- No fees for rescheduling dine 30 days or more.
- $35 if you reschedule any time between 5 and 30 days.
- 100% Prometric fee if you reschedule between 1 and 5 days.
- Rescheduling in less than 24 hours is not allowed. You will therefore have to reapply.
What Day Is Best To Schedule the CPA Exam?
The CPA exam is offered every weekday at all Prometric testing centers during the open testing windows. There isn’t a standard best day of the week to take the exam. It really depends on your schedule and your ability to prepare for the exam.
While Monday might be some people’s best day, others find a Wednesday or Friday a better choice. You should therefore go with a day of the week that you have the time and feel most prepared.
What Should You Bring To Prometric On Exam Day?
On the material exam day, you should ensure that you have everything in order. Do not panic or get over-excited. Do not push yourself to try and memorize all the reading materials on this day. Instead, ensure that you have all important documents ready.
Here’s a list of documents you need to bring to the Prometric Testing Center on your CPA exam date:
- Two valid forms of ID
- Original copy of your Notice to Schedule (NTS)
- GPS for directions
Prior planning is important. In case the exam center is nearby, try to pass by a few days or weeks before the exam day. Memorize the route, if you will be driving, and familiarize yourself with the environment.
Start Preparing for the CPA Exam
After you have successfully scheduled the CPA examination, you should not procrastinate. Instead, dig into the relevant study material right away. Remember, your chance of passing the exam is majorly dependent on your level of preparedness.
Come up with a study schedule and get the right latest study materials. Most CPA review course providers can provide you with all-inclusive study guidelines and tips. All the best in your CPA exam.