CPA Application Process - Evaluation and Exam

Initial application applies to individuals who have never taken the Uniform CPA Examination or
those individuals who have taken sections of the exam in another state and now wish to complete the exam in Illinois. To see specific requirements for certification through examination refer to Certification - CPA Examination on this website.


  1. Complete an Academic Credentials Evaluation Application.

    a) Go to the online system and create an account unless you have previously submitted an application or other documents to the Illinois Board of Examiners, since an online account has already been established for you. Contact the Board to obtain your account information.

    b) Log on to the online system and complete an academic credentials evaluation application. On the application list all educational institutions you have attended. Pay the fee online via a credit card. The evaluation fee for domestic academic credentials is $175. The evaluation fee for foreign academic credentials is $250.

    c) Please submit all foreign documents to:                                              

    NASBA (c/o NIES)

    150 Fourth Ave. North Ste. 850

    Nashville, TN. 37219

    Foreign Evaluation Inquiries:

    Toll Free: 1.855.468.5382
    Local: 1.615.277.9077



    Please submit all domestic documents to:

    Illinois Board of Examiners

    1120 E. Diehl Rd. Ste 107

    Naperville, IL 60563

    Domestic Evaluation Inquiries: 815-753-8900



    Please continue to send all payments and applications to the Illinois Board of Examiners.

    Please note: NASBA requires a fee for any related return shipping costs. You can request that your original documents be returned when submitting your documents to NASBA International Evaluation Services. You must pay for return shipping via courier service with a signature required. This is to ensure that your documents are returned to you and you must sign for them upon return.  For more information on shipping fees please visit website under FAQs.


  2. Complete an Initial Examination Application.

    Log on to the online system and complete an Initial Examination Request. The primary purpose of this application is to specify which sections of the exam you initially wish to take. You may take as few as one section and as many as all four sections. Your exam approval letter will reflect all exam sections requested on your application.  You must pay for, schedule and take all exam sections on each exam application within a six month time period as specified on your Notice to Schedule.  Pay the fee online via a credit card. The fee varies based on the number of exam sections.  Please note that the Merchant of Payment will be the Universitiy of Illinois on your credit card statement.
    Four parts = $120; Three parts = $108; Two parts = $76; and One part = $40
    You can submit the exam application right after submitting the credentials evaluation application. You need not wait to receive evaluation approval before submitting your exam application.  However, if you are not sure whether you qualify academically, it is recommended you wait to submit the Exam Application until you have qualified.

    If you have taken the exam in another state and wish for the credit to transfer to Illinois, complete your portion of the Transfer of Exam Credit Form. Send the form to the State Board of Accountancy in which you took the exam. The State Board of Accountancy will verify your scores and send the form to the Illinois Board of Examiners.

    If you have a disability for which you need special accommodations complete the Request for Special Accommodations Form and send it to the Illinois Board of Examiners. 

  3. Receive Approval letter from the Illinois Board of Examiners.

    If you submit only your academic credentials evaluation application,  you will receive a letter from the Board indicating you may now apply to take the exam. Next complete the online Initial Exam Application. The Board will review your exam application and send you a letter approving you to take the exam sections listed on your application.
    If you submitted your academic credentials evaluation application sumultaneously with your exam application, you will receive a letter from the Board authorizing you to take the test once you have qualified academically.     

  4. Receive Payment Coupon from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

    The Illinois Board of Examiners notifies NASBA electronically that we have approved you to take the test and which sections you are authorized for. NASBA coordinates all aspects of the exam. NASBA will send you a payment coupon either by e-mail or US mail depending on the preference you selected on your initial exam application. (If you selected e-mail be sure to add these addresses to your address book to prevent spam filtering interference: and The payment coupon is for scoring, computer time, digital photograph and processing fees associated with administering the exam. The payment coupon is valid for 90 days. If you do not pay the fees within 90 days, your authorization to test will expire and you must submit a re-exam application. You can pay your payment coupon online at NASBA’s website or by phone.

  5. Receive Notice to Schedule (NTS) from NASBA

    Once NASBA receives your payment they will issue you a Notice To Schedule (NTS). You will receive the NTS either through e-mail or US mail depending on the preference you selected on your initial exam application. The NTS is valid for six months from the date you pay NASBA fees.  You must schedule and take all exam sections listed on the Notice to Schedule within that six month time frame.  You contact Prometric, the testing provider, to schedule a date and time for testing. This can be done by phone or online.  You should receive your NTS within 4 business days of paying your payment coupon. If you do not receive it within this timeframe, call the NASBA candidate service representative at 866-MY-NASBA or e-mail

  6. Schedule Test Site, Date, and Time with Prometric.

    Go to the Prometric Testing scheduler and schedule your testing location, dates and times. You can schedule to take each exam section on a different date and in any order. The NTS is valid for six months from date of issuance. This means you must schedule and take the exam sections for which you were authorized within that six month timeframe.

    There are four testing windows in a calendar year. Each testing window is a 60-day period. The earlier you contact Prometric to schedule, the greater your chances of getting the time, date and place you want to test. Per Prometric, if you request your choice of time and date 45 days or more in advance of your desired test date, your chances are greatly enhanced for getting the dates you want. All weekend dates and the two weeks at the end of the testing window fill up first.  

    Testing Window No Testing
    January February March
    April May June
    July August September
    October November December
  7. Take CPA exam at Prometric Testing Center.
  8. a) Arrive at test center at least 30 minutes before your test time. A digital photo will be taken as part of the check-in procedures. Late arrivals may not be able to take the exam.

    b) Bring the correct NTS. Make sure the NTS lists the exam section you are taking and that it has not expired.

    c) Bring two forms of identification. The same version of  your name must appear on your application, the NTS and the two forms of identification.

    Acceptable Forms of Primary Identification:
    - Valid government issued driver’s license with photograph and signature.
    - Valid state identification card with a recent photograph and signature
    - Valid government issued passport with a recent photograph and signature
    - United States military identification card with a recent photograph and signature.

    Acceptable Forms of Secondary Identification:
    - Additional government issued identification from the above list
    - Accountancy Board-issued identification
    - Valid credit card with signature
    - Bank automated teller machine (ATM) card with signature
    - Valid bank debit card with signature

  9. Receive Exam Scores from Illinois Board of Examiners

    The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is responsible for developing and scoring the exam. Testing data is sent from Prometric to the AICPA on a daily basis. When scoring is complete the AICPA sends advisory scores to NASBA. NASBA produces score notices which are sent to the Illinois Board of Examiners in three cycles of each testing window. Scores from exams taken on day 1-20 are released 11 business days following day 20.  Scores from exam day 21-45 are released 6 business days following day 45.  Scores from exam day 45-close of the window are released 6 business days following the close of the testing window.  This is a general score release timeline that may be modified by outside factors that affect testing events.

    You will receive an official letter from the Illinois Board of Examiners reporting your exam scores. If you wish to see your results earlier you may go to the online system to view your unofficial advisory scores. Scores are loaded to the online system as they are received from NASBA.  The web page is updated daily as scores are processed.

    If you were provisionally approved to take the exam you will receive your exam scores only after the Board of Examiners has received your final transcript. Provisional approval means in order to meet the educational requirements you had course work in progress at the time you took the exam. The Board requires proof that you completed all courses; therefore transcripts showing earned credit for these courses are required. The final  transcripts must be received in the Board office within 120 days of taking the first section of the exam, or scores and/or authorization to test for all exam sections authorized with provisional approval will be voided.

    The passing standard for the exam is set at a scaled score of 75 for each section. Pass credit for each exam is valid for 18 months. Starting with the date that you passed your first (earliest) section of the exam you have 18 months to pass the remaining sections. For example, if you took and passed the FAR section of the exam on May 15, 2012, you must take and pass the remaining three sections on or by November 15, 2013.

To re-take sections from your initial application or to take other sections not previously approved, you must submit a Re-exam Application.





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