Practice CPA Exam: How You Can Take One

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a practice CPA Exam before the real CPA Exam so you could get comfortable in a no-pressure setting?

Good news: You can! Several opportunities to preview the CPA Exam process are available to CPA candidates. Taking a practice CPA Exam can calm your nerves and boost your confidence before exam day, so plan to take advantage of these resources that replicate the CPA Exam experience.

Practice CPA Exam Resources

  1. AICPA CPA Examination Tutorial and Sample Tests

The creator of the CPA Exam, the AICPA, helps candidates get a better understanding of what the exam is like through their CPA Examination Tutorial and Sample Tests. The AICPA has developed one tutorial that applies to the entire CPA Exam and four sample tests, one for each exam section (AUD, BEC, FAR, and REG). By working through the tutorial and each of the four sample tests, you can become familiar with the format, functionality, directions, question types, and content of the CPA Exam.

While the tutorial simply consists of a single web page, the sample tests are functional replicas of the CPA Exam with unique web-based software. No installation is required. You should place your browser in full-screen mode to get the best experience with the sample tests, but you can access the software by following the instructions on each web page.

Once inside the sample tests, you move through an overview of the CPA Exam that details the exam structure, sections, breaks, and spreadsheet tool. You can then choose to review the process of navigating the CPA Exam or jump right in to one of the four sample tests. The exam navigation walk-thru shows you the introduction screens, the skipped question popup, the Quit Exam screen, the various break screens, and the end of exam survey screen.

All four sample tests contain five multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and their directions. AUD, FAR, and REG also include five Task-Based Simulations (TBSs) and their instructions, while BEC also includes two TBSs and two Written Communications (WCs) and their directions. The exam timer provides you with one hour to complete each testlet, and once you’ve finished a sample test, you can revisit the testlets to see how you did. Your answers will appear along with the correct answers denoted by a green check mark. The AICPA updates the tutorial and sample tests every time it releases a new version of the exam, so exploring the sample tests is essential for getting an up-to-date impression of the CPA Exam.

  1. Prometric Test Drive

Prometric, the leader in technology-enabled testing and assessment services, is the organization that operates the testing centers that administer the CPA Exam. Prometric believes that “familiarizing yourself with the look and feel of the computer-based testing environment in advance of your exam will minimize pre-test mistakes.” For this reason, Prometric offers the Prometric Test Drive program for candidates’ convenience. This $30 service involves a 30-minute, real-world practice run of the test center experience at your chosen testing site whenever the center has appointments available. During your test drive, you’ll go through all of the testing procedures that you will have to undergo on exam day. These procedures include the following:

  • Checking in
  • Stowing your stuff
  • Having your ID and documentation checked
  • Being scanned by a hand-held metal detector wand
  • Getting your picture and fingerprints taken
  • Being led to a workstation
  • Completing a tutorial
  • Taking a generic sample test
  • Answering a survey of the experience
  • Filling out an end-of-test report
  • Checking out

While you won’t receive real CPA Exam questions on the sample test you take during this time, the service offers value by accustoming you to the logistics of your testing appointment. The test drive also gives you the chance to discover the parking situation, the location of the test center, and the amount of time required to drive there. Taking these steps ahead of time eliminates unnecessary stress on exam day and better prepares you for CPA Exam success.

  1. Gleim Exam Rehearsal

The AICPA Sample Tests and Prometric Test Drive are public resources that every CPA candidate can use, but you should not substitute them for the Gleim Exam Rehearsal. Exam Rehearsal is a comprehensive, mirror-image simulation of the CPA Exam that incorporates more exam emulation than any other course on the market. By replicating the format and functionality of the exam in every possible way, including the weighting of questions based on topic, Exam Rehearsal enables you to practice under the most realistic testing conditions so that you’re extremely prepared for exam day.

Once you begin the Exam Rehearsal, Gleim recommends that you complete all testlets in one sitting, just like you would on the actual CPA Exam. This allows you to practice using your CPA Exam time management system. You must begin your time management right away, because the Exam Rehearsal includes the Policy Statement and Confidentiality Agreement and Section Information screens, which you must complete within 5 minutes on the actual exam or your session will terminate without the option to restart. The Exam Rehearsal testlets contain the exact number of questions as the real exam sections, and the timer allots the same total testing time for each exam section (four hours). Directions, navigation, popups, breaks, and tools all appear and operate pretty much the same as they would on the CPA Exam. This allows you to become completely comfortable with every facet of the exam before you face it.

practice cpa exam

The Exam Rehearsal ensures you know what to expect when you take the CPA Exam, but it also goes a step further. Once you have completed the entire Exam Rehearsal, your performance information (with accurate weighting of questions based on topic) and a review session (with answer explanations for correct and incorrect choices) will be available to you, and your results on this test will inform the adaptive learning system in Gleim CPA Review about which topics to present in your Final Review Mode.

Final Review Mode is the last leg of the Gleim CPA review course. Our SmartAdapt™ technology leads you through it after you’ve completed the Exam Rehearsal so that you can push yourself toward a better performance on the CPA Exam. Using your Exam Rehearsal results, your previous scores on quizzes and simulations, and the amount of time that has passed since you’ve seen certain topics, SmartAdapt pinpoints your remaining weak areas and prescribes the best way for you to strengthen them. Focusing on your weaknesses is the best way to study for the CPA Exam, and Exam Rehearsal is just one way that Gleim CPA Review equips you to do so.

Practice CPA Exam Review

You can access the AICPA Sample Tests and the Prometric Test Drive no matter which CPA review course you choose, but you can only find the Gleim Exam Rehearsal in Gleim CPA Review. When you study with Gleim CPA Review, you experience exam emulation not only in the Exam Rehearsal but also in every practice quiz you take. Our course includes the largest test bank of questions and simulations on the market, and all of the CPA test questions within our test bank emulates real exam questions as much as possible. By combining more exam emulation, practice questions, content coverage, and adaptive technology than any other course on the market, Gleim CPA Review prepares you for the CPA Exam better than anything else. Experience all this and more by accessing our free CPA course demo.