CPA US Exam Preparation

Mental Health and Stress Management during US CPA Exam Preparation

The Certified Public Accountant (CPA US) exam is meant to prepare top-notch upskilled public accountants who are highly respected and internationally recognized in the respective domain. Since the US CPA exam is little bit tough in comparison to other international accounting programs, US CPA exam preparation demand special attention particularly a good mental health and effective stress management strategies apart from the study itself.

Since, the US CPA exam preparation can be a demanding and stressful process, and it is crucial to prioritize your mental health during this time.

Here are some tips to help manage stress and maintain your well-being while you start for the US CPA exam preparation:

Establish a Realistic Study Schedule: Plan a study schedule that is realistic and allows for breaks. Break down your study sessions into manageable chunks, focusing on one topic at a time.

Set Realistic Goals: Break down your overall study goals into smaller, achievable milestones. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way to stay motivated.

Take Breaks: Incorporate breaks into your study routine to avoid burnout. Short breaks can help refresh your mind and improve concentration.

Prioritize Self-Care: Ensure you get enough sleep to support cognitive function and memory consolidation. Eat well-balanced meals and stay hydrated to fuel your body and mind.

Exercise: Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, even if it is just a short walk.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Practice mindfulness, meditation, or deep-breathing exercises to help manage stress. Consider apps or online resources that guide you through relaxation techniques.

Social Support: Connect with friends, family, or fellow CPA candidates for emotional support. Share your concerns and experiences with others who can relate.

Seek Professional Help if Needed: If stress or anxiety becomes overwhelming, consider speaking to a mental health professional for support and coping strategies.

Stay Positive: Maintain a positive mindset and focus on your progress rather than dwelling on challenges. Remind yourself that it’s normal to feel stressed during exam preparation.

Simulate Exam Conditions: Practice under exam-like conditions to familiarize yourself with the testing environment. This can help reduce anxiety on the actual exam day.

Variety in Study Methods: Mix up your study methods to keep things interesting and engaging. Consider using different resources, such as textbooks, online courses, and practice exams.

Take Care of Administrative Details: Ensure that you have all the necessary materials and information for the exam day to avoid last-minute stress.


Remember, it is crucial to find a balance that works for you. Taking care of your mental health is an integral part of successful US CPA exam preparation. If you find that stress is significantly impacting your well-being, do not hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or professionals.

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CPA Evolution 2024

The CPA Exam Evolution – 2024

When we talk about the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential, we often discuss the repute and potential of this coveted accounting certification. We also know about the pattern and syllabus of this exam and licensing procedures obviously if we are serious about the CPA title. But, are we aware of the CPA Evolution initiative? Are we aware that the Unified CPA Exam is changing significantly in January 2024? Before jumping in to the bandwagon, it is important to know about this initiative and the upcoming changes to the CPA Exam to fully understand how it might impact the sojourn to CPA licensure. The question often comes to mind whether it is applicable to the current CPA pursuant or not? The answer to this stands as if you pass and retain credit for all four CPA Exam sections by December 31, 2023, the changes to the CPA Exam will NOT impact your journey. If you will still be working your way through the CPA Exam in January 2024 and beyond then the information about the CPA Evolution-aligned CPA Exam (the 2024 CPA Exam) and transition policy are most important to understand.

The Present CPA Exam Areas – the 4 Core Sections

The 4 Sections which a CPA aspirant has to clear through separate exams for each section is mentioned below.

CPA Core Sections

Metamorphosis: The Proposed Forthcoming Areas of CPA Exam

According to the proposed initiative, the following structural plan for the CPA exam will be implemented from January, 2023.

New CPA Exam Evolution

The new CPA licensure and CPA Exam model is a Core + Discipline model. In this model, there are 3 core areas involve accounting, auditing, and tax that are mandatory to complete by all candidates. Furthermore, each candidate must opt for a Discipline section for demonstration of greater skills and knowledge. Technology knowledge and skills will be tested in all sections, as it pertains to each section. Irrespective of a candidate’s optional discipline, this model leads to a full CPA license, with rights and privileges consistent with any other CPA. The Discipline section selected for testing does not mean the CPA is limited to that practice area. The new Disciplines reflect three pillars of the CPA profession as mentioned below.

  • Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR)
  • Information Systems and Controls (ISC)
  • Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP)

CPA Evolution

CPA Evolution: The Transition Policy for Each Section

The transition policy was recommended to the Boards of Accountancy by the NASBA CBT Administration Committee which states that Candidates who have credit for AUD, FAR or REG on the current CPA Exam will not need to take the corresponding new core section of AUD, FAR or REG on the 2024 CPA Exam. Candidates who have credit for BEC on the current CPA Exam will not need to take any of the three discipline sections. If, however, a candidate loses credit for AUD, FAR or REG after December 31, 2023, they then must take the corresponding new Core section of AUD, FAR or REG. A candidate who loses credit for BEC after December 31, 2023, must select one of the three Discipline sections to be tested. It is important to note that none of the sections of the current CPA Exam will be available for testing after December 31, 2023. There is a hard cutover from the current CPA Exam sections to the 2024 CPA Exam sections on the January 2024 launch.

CPA Exam Transition Policy
Transition Policy NASBA AICPA

Break-up of the New CPA Evolution Exam Design

The forthcoming changes in the new CPA exam pattern is depicted below for convenience. The duration is fixed while the number of MCQs and Task Based simulations(TBS) vary.

CPA Evolution Exam Design

Key Facts on CPA Evolution Exam Pattern

The important points to remember about the changing pattern and implications are mentioned below.

CPA Evolution Facts - 1 of 2
CPA Evolution Facts - 2 of 2

The Credit Extension of New CPA Evolution Exam

Credit Extension Map

CPA Evolution Exam Section wise Changes

There are additions/modifications of contents in the new CPA exam sections which one must get accustomed to before starting the CPA journey in the coming year. Salient features of the changes are depicted below.

FAR Changes
BAR Changes
TCP Changes
ISC Changes

Some Other Changes for Newly Revolutionized CPA

CPA Changes
CPA Changes

CPA Evolution Dates to Remember

CPA Key Dates
2024 Testing Blackout Dates


The amalgamation of new interdisciplinary domains in this CPA evolution will make a CPA more compatible in the new age financial arena. It has never been a more exciting time to pursue the CPA license. The role of today’s CPA has evolved, and newly licensed CPAs are taking on increased responsibilities that were traditionally assigned to more experienced staff. Becoming a CPA means you will need greater skill sets and competencies, and a greater knowledge of emerging technologies. That is why the CPA Evolution initiative is underway. It is a joint effort of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

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CPA US Roadmap

How an Indian Student can pursue US CPA? | Uplift Professionals

Certified Public Accountant, USA (CPA US) is one of the most coveted and sought after courses in accounting and finance in a global perspective. For a budding accountant or a finance professional, CPA helps to boost the career in a more colorful manner. It has two parts: CPA exam and CPA license. While passing the CPA US exam can help one to get a job the CPA license gives the right to practice independently. Being an US driven international course, it often raises the question whether a non-US rather than an Indian student can get access to pursue the CPA US course from their own region or not. Answer to this question is highly affirmative. However, Indian candidates must follow the guided path to achieve the CPA US credential they dream of. Let us discuss.

Check your academic eligibility first

  • Make sure you have 120 credit points in the commerce stream. In the Indian graduation system of 3 years, 30 points are allocated for each year. Thus, a B. Com got 90 points. To make it eligible, you need to have either a post-graduation or MBA or a member of the ICAI/ICWA.
  • There is an exception. A 3-year B. Com graduate can obtain the required 120 points, if he or she obtains a First class/division from a NAAC ‘A’ accredited university.
  • It has to be noted that the US federal structure has 55 states having their own CPA board and criteria. Although the majority of the states follow these 120 credit norms, there are certain states which require 150 points instead. The same 150 credit norms are universally required to get a CPA US license.

The two CPA Bodies who govern the CPA US certificate 

  1. AICPA-The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) conducts the CPA US examination.
  2. NASBA-The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) is the highest body of all state boards which guides the administrative pathway by different state boards in the CPA US journey.

How to Apply for CPA US?

  • Apply for transcripts from your respective university.
  • Send the transcripts to NASBA or any other specified agency for evaluation.
  • Upon successful evaluation, the candidate will receive the written confirmation of eligibility for the US CPA exam.
  • Select your state board jurisdiction that suits you.

The CPA US Exam Procedure

The 4-part exam of 4 hours each is online through prometric centers located in various Indian cities including the metros. After paying the exam fee and acceptance of application, the candidate will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS) which is required to book the exam slot in the prometric. The 4 papers Of US CPA exam are as follows:

  • Auditing and attestation (AUD)
  • Businesses environment and concepts (BEC)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  • Regulation (REG).

The pattern of the examination is divided into Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), Task-Based Simulations (TBS) and one Written Component (WC). It is noteworthy that all four papers must be completed within a time period of 18 months.

Licensing of CPA

The requirements for CPA US licensing vary across the US states. However, having a 150 credit score is mandatory for most of the state bodies. In order to obtain the US CPA license, a candidate must fulfil the following:

  • Clearing of AICPA Ethics exam
  • Having the required work experience
  • By paying the licensing fees.


International CPA exam candidates often need to overcome several obstacles in order to get qualified for the exam. One such obstacle is the social security number (SSN). Rest assured that, in most cases, you can still sit for the CPA exam without the SSN.

What is Social Security Number?

A social security number is a 9-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary workers in order to track these individual for social security purposes. Regulated industries such as the CPA often require their licensees to submit the SSN to facilitate monitoring.

What about the Indian Students?

The AICPA has a helpful table showing the CPA exam requirements by state. Although almost all states ask for the social security number in the application form, a considerable number of them give special waivers to international CPA exam candidates or those who do not have the SSN, such as H4 visa holders.These candidates can submit an affidavit (as in Montana), or write a letter to the state board to explain the situation (as in Colorado). You can send a quick email to the respective state boards for clarification.

List of States which don’t require SSN

Alaska, Guam, Maine, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Wisconsin.

Some Flexible States suitable for Indian Students

Illinois — Standard Exam Rules but Flexible Experience Requirement

Virginia: May Accept BCOM + CA; Your Supervisor/Verifier doesn’t Need to be a CPA

Guam: 150 Credit Hours + No Experience Needed if You Don’t Mind the Inactive License

Alaska:  Can Sit Before Getting 120 Credit Hours

Washington: Experience can be Verified by Someone other than Your Boss

CPA Exam Cost:

The overall cost for an Indian student to pursue US CPA stands around 3.5-4 lakhs in average for the entire procedure including the administrative costs. In India, a candidate giving an examination of US CPA is required to spend approximately INR 2,00,000 without a training fee.

Scope of CPA US

The most preferred areas of US CPAs are auditing and taxation which are considered best and financially rewarding in both Indian and international context. A CPA US can work in various fields ranging from accounting, auditing, US taxation, consulting, etc. The average pay scale of a US CPA in India is 7 lacs approx. which increases with experience and type of employers. Apart from various Indian based MNCs, Big 4 companies like KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, EY, etc. have many US clients that require US CPA candidates for auditing, taxation purposes. In addition, Popular US-based companies like Apple, Amazon, Capgemini, Cognizant, etc. require US CPA candidates for US taxation, auditing etc.


CPA US is a very uplifting credential in the career growth of a finance guy. It is highly respected and recognized in the fraternity, and thus is not a soft cake to cut. No doubt, It helps in career development, gives career security, job satisfaction and various monetary benefits, but to achieve that, you need proper dedication and a mind set. Selecting the right jurisdiction/state board is of immense value. The SSN is typically not the bottleneck in the CPA exam qualification process. Candidates should instead look closely at the education and experience requirement first. but not the least, selecting a high-quality student friendly training institute like Uplift Pro helps a lot to achieve your dream CPA US credential at first attempt.

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