National examinations

The CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) includes four individual and one team-based evaluations. All areas covered by the CPA Competency Map, which sets out the knowledge, skills, and proficiency levels expected of candidates at qualification, are evaluated. Note that the national examinations must be written in locations determined by the Order.

Module examinations >
Allowable and prohibited items >
Module examination deferrals >
Retest policy >
Appeals of examination results >
Special accommodations >


Recent news about the exams - COVID-19 

For exam dates, you must go to the Module and Exam Calendar web page.

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 - Winter and Spring 2021 CPA PEP Assessment Delivery and Schedule 
The Winter and Spring 2021 assessments will not take place in-person at exam writing centres but will be delivered remotely. Candidates will write their assessments at home or another remote location using their own computers. The assessments will be administered through the D2L DropBox. To prepare to write your assessment, ensure that you have:
 
  • Reliable Internet access 
  • Word processor (i.e. “.docx” format) and spreadsheet (i.e. “.xlsx” format) applications installed on your computer
  • The hardware, operating, software, and other computer requirements specified in the Learning management system section of the CPA Canada Professional Education Program Candidate Guide

To minimize conflicts for candidates writing multiple assessments during this evaluation period, the dates for the Winter and Spring 2021 assessments have been revised. Please see below for the updated schedules.

Winter 2021

MODULE ASSESSMENT DATE
Core 1 Monday, March 29
Performance Management Wednesday, March 31
Finance Tuesday, March 30
Assurance Tuesday, March 30
Core 2 Thursday, April 1
Taxation Wednesday, March 31
Spring 2021
MODULE DATE DE L'EXAMEN
Core 1 Monday, June 28
Performance Management Wednesday, June 30
Finance Tuesday, June 29
Assurance Tuesday, June 29
Core 2 Friday, July 2
Taxation Wednesday, June 30
You will receive further information on the assessment format that will be used for your particular module closer to the assessment dates.

Please note the revised assessment format is for the Winter 2021 and Spring 2021 assessments only. At this time, the format for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 assessments has not been determined and the current assessment schedules remain in effect. We will provide you with more information on the formats for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 assessments as soon as they have been determined. 

We are committed to keeping you informed of updates as we continue to adapt to this unprecedented situation. Please review the regularly-updated FAQs document on the CPA Canada website for valuable information that addresses candidates’ concerns related to the profession’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including meeting practical experience requirements, conditional admission for courses, and much more.  
Thank you for your resilience, patience, and flexibility as we all adjust to this ever-evolving situation. We continue to wish you well in your studies.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 - Fall 2020 CPA PEP module workshop and assessment delivery 
The profession remains committed to keeping you on track in your journey to becoming a CPA. In light of the physical-distancing restrictions that continue to be in place, the profession is providing updated information on the Fall 2020 CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) module workshops and assessments, including delivery formats, the assessment schedule, requirements, and the timing of future communications. 

Module Workshops

All module workshops (including the Core 1 orientation workshop) will be delivered asynchronously through D2L. Refer to the COVID-19 FAQs document for more information on the format and requirements of the workshops.

Module Assessments

The December 2020 assessments will not take place in-person at exam writing centres but will be delivered remotely. Candidates will write their assessments at home or another remote location using their own computers on the evaluation dates and times specified below. The assessments will be administered through the D2L DropBox similar to the September assessments. To prepare to write your assessment, ensure that you have:
  • Reliable Internet access  
  • Word processor (i.e. “.docx” format) and spreadsheet (i.e. “.xlsx” format) applications installed on your computer
  • The hardware, operating, software, and other computer requirements specified in the Learning management system section of the CPA Canada Professional Education Program Candidate Guide
Previously, the dates scheduled for the assessments were December 16-17, 2020; however, to minimize conflicts for candidates writing multiple assessments during this evaluation period, the assessments will be written over five (5) business days. Each assessment will commence at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
 
EXAM DATE MODULE DURATION
Tuesday, December 15 Core 1 120 minutes
Tuesday, December 15 Finance 200 minutes
Wednesday, December 16 Taxation 200 minutes
Thursday, December 17 Performance Management 200 minutes
Friday, December 18 Assurance 200 minutes
Monday, December 21 Core 2 120 minutes
On November 26, 2020, you will receive further information on the assessment format that will be used for your particular module. 

We are committed to keeping you informed of updates as we all adapt to this unprecedented situation.  Please continue to review the regularly-updated FAQs document on the CPA Canada website  for valuable information that addresses student concerns related to the profession’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including meeting practical experience requirements, conditional admission for courses, and much more.  
SEPTEMBER 3, 2020 – September CPA PEP assessments update
As previously announced, the September 2020 CPA PEP assessments will not be held in-person at examination centres but will be delivered remotely through D2L.

Students writing these assessments have been granted access to a separate exam module in D2L. They will be required to complete some work prior to the day of their assessment, including downloading and reviewing the examination regulations, policy statement, reference schedule, and examination instructions.

Refer to CPA Canada's FAQs document for more information on the September 2020 assessments.

Module examinations

Examination software

During an exam attended in person at a writing centres, you must use the examination software to write the CPA Canada examinations. This software is an application that locks down your computers so that no other programs or files can be accessed during an examination. The application automatically uploads all responses into the Test Administration system.

Core and elective modules

Each core and elective module of the national program ends with an individual examination. These examinations include objective format questions and short cases. To pass, you must achieve “Competency”, as determined by the board of examiners, on the module-end examination. Note that passing the examination is generally a prerequisite for moving on to the next module.

See the examples made available to you >
Learn more about the prerequisites for each module >
Consult the Module and examination calendar >

Capstone modules

The Capstone 1 examination will be completed in a team throughout the eight weeks of the module. The team will be required to write a three-part report to a board of directors and, at the end of the module, deliver an oral presentation before a board of examiners composed of CPAs. To pass this module, you must attain an acceptable level in these three components:

  • Individual contribution to teamwork
  • Preparation of the group report
  • Oral Presentation

See the examples made available to you >
Consult the Module and examination calendar >

Capstone 2 does not have an examination. Once the module is completed, you can challenge the Common Final Examination (CFE).

Consult the Final examination section >

Annual examination pass rates

CPA Canada releases annual examination pass rates for the CPA PEP modules. These rates reflect the annual weighted-average pass rates of first-time candidates.

Allowable and prohibited items

You will be permitted to bring to the national examinations in personn at a writing centres only the items authorized by CPA Canada. Unless otherwise indicated, they must be placed in a clear plastic bag on your desk, in clear view of the writing centre presiding officer and invigilator.

See the list of allowable and prohibited items >

Module examination deferrals

Once you have completed the module assignments and completed the workshop in the core and elective modules, you can defer writing the module-end examination. However, you must attempt the next examination offering, otherwise you will receive a “Fail” for this module and an attempt will be charged.

Deferral requests should be submitted to the Order in writing at examens@cpaquebec.ca within three business days after the exam.

Cancellation and refund policy

Do you want to cancel your registration or get a refund of some of the fees you paid for a retake exam? See the cancellation and refund policy.

Retest policy

You have three attempts to pass each examination. If you received a “Fail,” read the scenarios below to find out what steps to take depending on your situation. If you fail the summative examination, you will receive feedback on performance (through a results report) adapted to the nature of each examination.

Consult the regulations and procedures to learn more about the CPA harmonized education policies, which include a collection of policy directives for the examinations in addition to the governing regulations and procedures.

What if you fail?

Core or elective modules

Failed 1st attempt

  • Program: You do not have to retake the core or elective module (it is recommended, but not required).
  • Examination: You must write a scheduled examination.

Failed 2nd attempt

  • Program: You must retake the core or elective module.
  • Examination: You must write a scheduled module examination.

Failed 3rd attempt

  • You are expelled from the CPA program, and you may not re-enrol in any module unless you submit your file for review and are granted re-entry into the program.

Capstone 1

Failed 1st attempt

  • You must retake Capstone 1.

Failed 2nd attempt

  • You must retake Capstone 1.

Failed 3rd attempt

  • You are expelled from the CPA program, and you may not re-enrol in any module unless you submit your file for review and are granted re-entry into the program.

Appeals of examination results

For a fee, you may submit an appeal of examination results for which the overall assessment is “Fail”. The Review request - Examination results form must be sent to the Order at examens@cpaquebec.ca within three business days of the release of the examination results. Note that you cannot apply for a partial review of your examination results.

If you undertake this process, it is possible that the appeals results will not be available before the next module begins. In this event and where one module is a prerequisite for a subsequent module, you may choose to enrol in and begin the next module. However, if the appeal is unsuccessful, you must leave the module.

Special accommodations

Through the regions, CPA Canada provides reasonable one-time and ongoing accommodations to individuals who have documented disabilities (physical, mental or learning impairments) for all the national examinations administered by the Order (including the Common Final Examination and the module examinations of the national program).

Visit the CPA Canada website to obtain clarifications on the decision and application submission process and consult the fee schedule to find out the special accommodation request fee.

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