Creating a Study Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide to Prepare for the US CPA Exam


Earning a certification such as the US CPA is a sign of credibility and knowledge, and it is critical for career growth in the field of finance, taxation, & accounting. The state-issued professional certification license known as a US CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant. This certification offers accountants several advantages, including higher earning potential, stable employment, and job flexibility. A US CPA is qualified to work in various financial positions in top accounting firms. They may serve as trustworthy financial advisors, business consultants, accountants, auditors, and tax experts thanks to their in-depth accounting and ethical expertise. They are even capable of holding senior managerial roles.
Passing the Uniform CPA Exam and fulfilling licensing criteria are the two basic requirements to become a professional CPA. It takes years of learning & experience working in the accounting field and months of US CPA exam preparation to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). So, in this article, we're going to lead you through a guide to prepare for the CPA Exam that you may follow to complete a US CPA course in India.

Steps to Become a US CPA

The CPA Examination is one of the most difficult examinations available to determine a professional's ability to practice accounting. It can be asserted that only the most diligent and committed individuals meet the eligibility requirements for the CPA examination, given its low qualifying rate. So, let us dive into the detailed guide to prepare for the CPA exam, assisting you in completing the US CPA application process.
To begin with, obtaining a CPA license may be a time-consuming and difficult procedure since it assures that the highest standards of both monetary and ethical practices are fulfilled. Since separate states issue their respective CPA licenses, each state has its standards and restrictions.
Now let's start with our guide to prepare for the CPA exam:

Make Sure You're Eligible

Each state's board of accountancy has its own set of CPA USA Eligibility Criteria. As a result, prospective CPAs are frequently seen seeking information on how to do so in their respective states. You won't be able to take the test unless you've satisfied the criteria of the country where you intend to register as a licensed CPA. The following are some requirements that most state boards share:
  • A bachelor's degree or a minimum of 120150 credits in education.
  • Education or degree obtained from a reputable institution.
  • A minimum of 24 credits must be in business-related courses.
Before applying, please make sure you satisfy all the prerequisites. The state board will deny your application if it determines that you are ineligible.

Application & Academic Records Must be Submitted

You can begin the US CPA application procedure after having the relevant state board confirm your eligibility. Apply online using the NASBAs US CPA central site and pay the required fees. Then, decide the state or jurisdiction in which you want to work as a US CPA. Send your state board a copy of your academic transcript. You must include each institution you've ever attended, including community colleges, private institutions, and universities.

Obtain the Notice To Schedule (NTS) and the Authorization To Test (ATT)

You receive an ATT as soon as the board accepts your application. The candidates are permitted to take part in the designated US CPA exam parts by the ATT. It is effective for 90 days.
  • Select the sections of the CPA exam you intend to take. Please remember that you must only sign up for the portions you want to pay for within 90 days.
  • After selecting your exam parts, go on to the NASBA website and make your payment.
  • A Notice To Schedule (NTS), which gives you six months to schedule the exam date, is issued by NASBA upon receipt of the payments.
  • After the payment, it will take from 3-6 weeks to get your NTS.

Schedule Your Exam

You must get final authorization from NTS to take the exam. After receiving the NTS, you can choose the day, time, and location for the exam sections according to your schedule. No matter how you verified your eligibility on the Prometric Testing Centre website, you are free to schedule and take the exam in the state of your choice. The exam should be scheduled as soon as you have the NTS or at least five days before the examination. On test day, you must have the NTS with you to the testing location; otherwise, you will not be allowed to take the test.

CPA Preparation

The most important step of US CPA exam preparation is this one. To maximize your performance, fully comprehend the exam's structure and procedure. You must score at least 75 on a scale of 0 to 99 in order to pass the US CPA examination. Be mindful that you have 18 months to pass each of the four CPA exam sections. The 18-month window begins on the day you pass the first section of this exam. However, depending on the jurisdiction, it could differ.
Please refer to the AICPA's blueprints for a thorough knowledge of the content, organization, and presentation of every exam section. The AICPA provides sample papers for each exam segment so that applicants may learn more about the examination format. Additionally, you can enroll in various review courses and use well-known US CPA study materials.

Pass the Ethics Exam

The final stage of US CPA exam preparation is to succeed on the ethics exam. Please be aware that certain state boards may not demand that you pass this exam. Hence, you should consult your state's board for CPA. Within two years of submitting your application for your license, you must take the ethics examination after completing & passing the four US CPA exam sections. You only have three chances to pass this exam, and 90 is the cutoff score to pass. You can apply for your US CPA licensure after passing the ethics exam.

How Should You Approach the Exam?

  • Develop a thorough study plan.
  • Use current and appropriate study materials.
  • A study of the exam's structure, specifications, subject matter, and scoring methodology.
  • To find out where you stand, take the US CPA practice test.
  • Throughout the learning process, be inspired and self-assured.
  • Limit distractions and manage your study time.

Job Opportunities for US CPA

The US CPA certification opens a wide range of job prospects in some of the most prominent companies in the world. The following are some of the top positions for US CPAs in India:
  • Risk & Compliance Professional
  • Accounting Software Developer
  • Personal Financial Advisor
  • Senior Financial Analyst
  • Corporate Controller
  • Finance Director
  • Information Technology Accountant
For US CPA certification holders, there are a lot of work opportunities in India. Several organizations, including the Big 4 firms - E&Y, Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC, are also seeking US Certified Public Accountants.


1. How to pass the US CPA exam?

Although CPA is challenging, it may be easily passed with the help of the best CPA certification course and guide to prepare for the CPA Exam. Try to fully comprehend the subject matter and practice sample quizzes before the exam. You can surely get through it if you are well-prepared.

2. How can I pass CPA quickly?

The US CPA online must be finished in 18 months or 1.5 years to become a Certified Professional Accountant. At NSA, you can easily complete the US CPA program in just 12 to 18 months by devoting 16 to 18 hours per week. The comprehensive curriculum and expert guide to prepare for the CPA Exam ensure focused preparation, enabling you to achieve your certification goal quickly

3. Does a US CPA course have scope in India?

A CPA will be considered a better value because many MNCs like Amazon, Deloitte, Standard Chartered choose India as their preferred location for managing their backend operations. Different divisions of US-based multinational corporations (MNCs) with operations in India hire CPAs.

4. What is the CPA syllabus?

The CPA test lasts four hours and has been divided into four sections. Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Regulations, and Business Environment Concepts are the four subjects included in the CPA curriculum for 2023.

5. How many attempts are there for CPA?

For the CPA examination, there is no predetermined minimum number of attempts. You can retake the test as many times as necessary until you succeed.


After going through this guide to prepare for the CPA Exam, you now fully understand the process for becoming a top CPA. Nevertheless, going through the entire US CPA procedure might be difficult. You should enroll in a reputable training institution, such as NorthStar Academy (NSA), to obtain precise assistance in your CPA exam preparation. You will benefit in every way from taking the CPA USA certification course offered by NSA, including the invaluable guidance of expert mentors like M. Irfat Sir.
The most widely used study material is offered by NSA, which India's top accounting mentors & coaches selected with years of expertise in the subject. Join the NSA and earn the CPA USA certification to accelerate your professional development. Call us today to get started.
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