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CPA Exam Overview

Exam description

Exam time
16 hours combined (exam is taken over the course of four days)

There are four sections of the exam:

  • Auditing & Attestation
  • Financial Accounting & Reporting
  • Regulation
  • Business Environment & Concepts

It is not necessary to take the entire exam at one time. Sections can be taken in any order.
Information on each section's content and structure

Each CPA examination section is broken into five smaller groups called testlets. Testlets can either be comprised of multiple choice questions, task-based simulations or written communication tasks. Candidates will be able to return to questions and change their responses only within the current testlet.

  • Multiple choice questions - Each exam section contains two multiple choice testlets with 31-38 questions per testlet.
  • Task-based simulations - Each exam section contains two to three task-based simulation testlets with two to three tasks per testlet.
  • Written communication tasks - The Business Environment & Concepts section contains one written communication testlet with three written tasks.

Exam difficulty
Each CPA exam is different, but all exams are equivalent in terms of difficulty and content. Questions are randomly selected from a pool of available questions specific to the topic and difficulty required.


Candidates pay an education evaluation application fee to determine if they are eligible for the exam. Once eligibility is determined, candidates then apply for an exam section and pay the section application fee. You can only apply for one exam section per application.

» View current fees

Applying for the CPA exam

See our information on applying for the CPA exam.


To pass the CPA exam, you must receive a score of at least 75 in each of the subjects covered by the exam. If you pass the entire exam and comply with all applicable statutes and rules, you will be notified by mail that you have passed. Find out more information about the scoring and re-examination process.

For more information

Visit the Uniform CPA Exam's official site for more information and an exam tutorial.

Contact directory

Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA)
Contact with questions regarding qualification for sitting for the CPA exam or obtaining a CPA certificate.

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
Approves all applications to take the exam in Minnesota. Requirements and application forms are available online.

Find a CPA exam testing center near you.