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Exam Code: MBLEX Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination education November 2023 by team

MBLEX Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination

The FSMTB governs and administers the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). It serves the massage therapy and regulatory communities as the national entry-level licensure examination. The MBLEx is currently utilized for licensure in 46 of 49 regulated jurisdictions. These include the District of Columbia and the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The MBLEx is administered in both English and Spanish by Pearson VUE, the global leader in electronic testing services, at high-security test centers located throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.

To ensure that the MBLEx reflects current practice, FSMTB conducts a Job Task Analysis (JTA) Survey every five to seven years. The JTA seeks input from massage and bodywork professionals across the United States. This data is then used to analyze and revise MBLEx content as deemed necessary by the profession, guided by psychometric professionals.

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) conducted a Job Task Analysis (JTA) in 2017 to ensure that the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) is assessing knowledge and skills relevant to entry-level competence. Thousands of massage and bodywork professionals participated in the JTA survey and a follow up analysis of the responses was reviewed by subject matter experts, psychometricians and FSMTB member board representatives. The FSMTB Board of Directors adopted the recommended test plan.

Content changes that will be implemented for all MBLEx administrations, effective July 1, 2018:

The section entitled Overview of Massage/Bodywork Modalities, History and Culture will no longer be a separate section.
Overview of Massage/Bodywork Modalities will be reassigned as a subcategory under the section entitled Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue; and
History and Culture subcategories will no longer be tested.

The distribution of syllabus tested will be as follows:

Anatomy & Physiology changes from 12% to 11%

Kinesiology changes from 11% to 12%

Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Population changes from 13% to 14%

Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue changes from 14% to 15%

Client Assessment Reassessment & Treatment Planning remains at 17%

Ethics, Boundaries, Laws and Regulations changes from 15% to 16%

Guidelines for Professional Practice changes from 13% to 15%


A. System structure

• Circulation

• Digestive

• Endocrine

• Integumentary

• Lymphatic

• Muscular

• Nervous

• Reproduction

• Respiratory

• Skeletal

• Special Senses

• Urinary

B. System function

• Circulation

• Digestive

• Endocrine

• Integumentary

• Lymphatic

• Muscular

• Nervous

• Reproduction

• Respiratory

• Skeletal

• Special Senses

• Urinary

C. Tissue injury and repair

D. Concepts of energetic anatomy


A. Components and characteristics of muscles

B. Concepts of muscle contractions

C. Proprioceptors

D. Locations, attachments (origins, insertions), actions and fiber directions of muscles

E. Joint structure and function

F. Range of motion

• Active

• Passive

• Resistant



A.Overview of Pathologies


• Site specific

• Pathology related

• Special populations

• Tools

• Special applications

C.Areas of caution

D.Special populations

E.Classes of medications


A. Identification of the physiological effects of soft tissue manipulation

B. Psychological aspects and benefits of touch

C. Benefits of soft tissue manipulation for specific client populations

D. Soft tissue techniques

• Types of strokes

• Sequence of application

E. Hot/cold applications

F. Overview of massage/bodywork modalities


A. Organization of a massage/bodywork session

B. Client consultation and evaluation

• Verbal intake

• Health history form

C. Written data collection

D. Visual assessment

• General

• Postural

E. Palpation assessment

F. Range of motion assessment

G. Clinical reasoning

• Ability to rule out contraindications

• Client treatment goal setting

• Evaluation of response to previous treatment

• Formulation of treatment strategy


A. Ethical behavior

B. Professional boundaries

C. Code of ethics violations

D. The therapeutic relationship

E. Dual relationships

F. Sexual misconduct

G. Massage/bodywork-related laws and regulations

H. Scope of practice

I. Professional communication

J. Confidentiality

K. Principles


A. Proper and safe use of equipment and supplies

B. Therapist hygiene

C. Sanitation and cleanliness

D. Safety practices

• Facilities

• Therapist personal safety

• Client safety

E. Therapist care

• Body mechanics

• Protective gear (masks, gowns, gloves, etc)

• Self-care

• Injury prevention

F. Draping

• Safe and appropriate

• Communication

G. Business Practices

• Business planning

• Strategic planning
• Office management

• Marketing

• Hiring/Interviewing

• Documentation and Records

- Client records

- Business records

H. Healthcare and business terminology
Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination
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MBLEX Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination

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Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination
Question: 384
Paralysis of one side of the body is a condition known as
A. Semiplegia
B. Quadriplegia
C. Paraplegia
D. Hemiplegia
Answer: D
Question: 385
Inability to contract muscles
A. Lupus
B. Neuritis
C. Neuralgia
D. Paralysis
Answer: D
Question: 386
The linea aspera is located on which side of the femur
A. Posterior
B. Medial
C. Lateral
D. Anterior
Answer: A
Question: 387
A blood clot is also known as
A. Thrombus
B. Embolus
C. Aneurysm
D. Plasma
Answer: A
Question: 388
The floating ribs are considered
A. An absolute contraindication
B. An endangerment site
C. Not a contraindication
D. A local contraindication
Answer: B
Question: 389
To take pressure off the lower back of a client laying supine, a bolster should be
A. Under the knees
B. Between the legs
C. Under the hips
D. Under the ankles
Answer: A
Question: 390
The spinal cord is formed by which type of tissue
A. Muscular
B. Epithelial
C. Connective
D. Nervous
Answer: D
Question: 391
What is the structure labeled 7
A. Infraspinous fossa
B. Lateral border
C. Medial border
D. Superior angle
Answer: B
Question: 392
Cryotherapy treatment used for an acute strain or sprain
Answer: D
Question: 393
Proximal attachment of infraspinatus
A. Greater Tubercle
B. Infraspinous Fossa
C. Lateral border of the scapula
D. Supraspinous Fossa
Answer: B
Question: 394
Parts of the body targeted in reflexology include all of the following except
A. Hands
B. Ears
C. Feet
D. Abdomen
Answer: D
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In-training Examination
200-question exam taken each February by all levels of anesthesia residents in the US. Preparation for exam includes in SLUCorps, weekly readings from Miller's Anesthesia, provided by the department.

Basic Examination
This exam in taken at the end of CA-1 year and covers scientific basis of clinical anesthesia practice, concentrating on pharmacology, physiology, anatomy, anesthesia equipment and monitoring.

Advanced Examination
The final staged examination of training is taken at the end of CA-3. It tests clinical aspects of anesthesia practice and emphasizes subspecialty anesthesia and advanced clinical issues.

Oral Boards and OSCE
The oral board consists of two 35-minute sessions that assess decision making and management of surgical and anesthetic complications. OSCEs consist of a seven-station circuit to evaluate communication, professionalism, and technical skills in patient care. Both take place that the Assessment Center In Raleigh, N.C.

Staged Exams

Fri, 27 Oct 2023 06:12:00 -0500 en text/html
CFP exam 101: Everything You Need to Know to Pass the CFP Test No result found, try new keyword!To take the CFP exam you must first complete the CFP Board's education requirement. While you can register for the exam before completing the necessary education, you can't actually sit for the ... Thu, 31 Jan 2019 01:13:00 -0600 Why Textbooks And Education Are To Blame For Fake News

An MIT study published yesterday in the journal Science confirms what many people have known for some time: Twitter users play a much bigger role in spreading fake news than bots.

Using some 126,000 pieces of data provided by Twitter that had been shared by some three million users over more than ten years, most of Twitter's life, the researchers found that fake news reaches users up to 20 times faster than factual content. The study focuses on Twitter, but it is safe to assume that the results also apply to most of the widely used social networks. In a short period, we have created a system that enables and encourages us to share information, while at the same time renouncing any responsibility for formally educating people in its use. What could possibly go wrong?

It will come as no surprise that a professor like myself says that lack of education in how to use the social networks is the problem here: if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail… but I believe that this is a problem that has been growing for a long time, while education has barely changed over the last decades. In short, our education systems work along the same lines as those of our parents and grandparents: we study textbooks, memorize and then regurgitate their contents in an exam.

We continue to operate on the basis that knowledge is stored in repositories, usually a book or an teacher. This dependence on textbooks has distorted education, and made it vulnerable to indoctrination. But, above all, textbooks make us dependent on a specific source of information, preventing us from developing our own criteria. The only places where people are taught how to search for information are on Information Sciences and Journalism courses. In an age when we are inundated with information, students more than ever need those search skills.

The sad truth is that we tend to believe whatever we see on a screen, accept the first result a search engine gives us, and are only too willing to share things on social networks, perhaps in the hope of increasing our popularity. If we see something that attracts our attention or that coincides with our world view, we share it, usually without checking it first. And of course, if everybody is sharing something, then it must be true, right? But as we have seen in the 2016 US elections, this built-in vulnerability of the social networks has been successfully exploited, while the real culprits are not bots and fake accounts managed in the Balkans or Russia, but our collective naivety.

Which is why we have to stop seeing textbook as repositories of truth. Education, from primary school on, should be about developing the skills to search for and qualify information online. Students have to be taught that the truth is not to be found in the pages of this or that  book, but instead is out there, and can be found if we take the time and use the necessary skills. This is a Topic I have written about repeatedly: don’t just digitalize textbooks; kill them off.

Learning today means managing ever-growing amounts of information and being able to sort the wheat from the chaff, it means using multiple sources and accepting that the teacher is simply another knowledge node, and one that is perfectly open to question. Knowledge has to cease being something that can be manipulated commercially or politically, and it certainly can’t be decided on by parents or teachers, who will have their own biases. Schools must help children to understand that a book, a teacher, a newspaper, a government or their parents can never be their sole source of knowledge, because knowledge is out there in the world, evolving.  The metaphor of teaching somebody how to fish, rather than giving them food, has never been more relevant.

Technology isn’t going to help us solve the root problem of our willingness to share fake news. That will only come about through education. Technology can help limit the spread of fake news by detecting diffusion patterns, but humans will be required to fact check: we’re never going to come up with a truth algorithms: that just runs the risk of repeating the same mistakes. It is only by adapting our education systems, and now, to the changing times we live in that we will stop the spread of fake news.

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 22:21:00 -0600 Enrique Dans en text/html
Welcome to the public examination

The public examination, where the doctoral candidate defends their research results in front of an audience, is the time-honoured cherry on top of a long research project. The procedures and formalities have evolved in the course of several centuries. Today, there are different views on the level of formality. Some observe old traditions, while others aim for a more conversational atmosphere.

To start with

On this page, you will find information on the protocol and traditions of public defences at the University of Helsinki. The page is meant for both doctoral candidates and their opponents, as well as all defence participants and others interested in academic traditions.

If you are a doctoral candidate, an opponent or a member of a grading committee, please acquaint yourself also with these:

Dress code

The dress code of the public examination should match the dignified nature of the event. The most common variations of the dress code are:

  • A tailcoat and a black waistcoat. When wearing a tailcoat, black socks and shoes (not patent leather) should be worn. A white pocket handkerchief should not be worn with a black waistcoat.
  • Dark suit, clerical attire or a military uniform.
  • A long-sleeved, high-necked short black dress or two-piece suit. Hats and prominent jewellery should not be worn.

The University also stocks some doctoral gowns, which may be reserved from the portier of Porthania, tel. 02941 22561. Foreign opponents may use the gown of their own university or may borrow one from the University of Helsinki. The doctoral candidate, the Custos and the Opponent should decide on the dress code.

The Custos and the Opponent will carry their Doctor's hats (if they have one) in their hands when entering and leaving the auditorium. During the public examination, they will place the hat in front of them on the table with the lyre emblem facing the audience. Porthania portiers have a few hats which can be borrowed.

There are no guidelines for the audience dress code at the public examination. As the examination is public, it is open to everyone. It is thus perfectly acceptable to attend the examination in everyday clothing. However, guests invited by the doctoral candidate usually wear a dark suit or other more formal clothing.

To preserve the festive nature of doctoral defences, we recommend following the traditional dress code also at remote access defences, when possible.

Forms of address and terminology

At the public examination, the form of direct address to the opponent is "Honored Opponent".

The doctoral candidate and the Custos may discuss in advance the examination's degree of formality.  Pre-formulated modes of expression are not obligatory, only traditional.

Respondent – the doctoral candidate

Opponent – the person debating with the doctoral candidate at the public examination

Custos – Faculty-appointed chair of the public examination

Lectio praecursoria – introductory lecture by the doctoral candidate

Post-doctoral party ("karonkka") – an evening party in honour of the Opponent


The public examination will begin when the participants enter the auditorium and the audience rise from their seats. The doctoral candidate will enter the auditorium first, followed by the Custos and the Opponent, in this order.

The Custos will introduce the doctoral candidate and the Opponent and will open the examination by saying, for example:
"As the Custos appointed by the Faculty of ....., I declare this public examination open."

The audience will then take their seats.

The candidate will stand up to deliver their introductory lecture (lectio praecursoria) of at most 20 minutes. In the lecture, the candidate will introduce their doctoral thesis and the research methods used. The introductory lecture may begin, for example, with the following words: "Honored Custos, honored Opponent, members of the audience". The lecture is usually given in the language of the doctoral thesis.

After the introductory lecture, the candidate will turn to the Opponent and will say: "Honored Opponent/Professor/Dr NN, I now call upon you to present your critical comments on my dissertation."

The Opponent will stand up to make a short statement about the scientific status and significance of the doctoral thesis and about other general issues. After the statement, the Opponent and the candidate will take their seats.

In the actual examination, the Opponent will discuss the dissertation, commencing from its title and proceeding to the methods, sources and conclusions. The candidate will respond to the comments made, defending his or her choices, conclusions and results.

The Opponent may spend at most four hours on the examination, since sufficient time should be reserved for questions from the audience. If the examination is likely to take a long time, the Custos may interrupt it by announcing a break.

At the conclusion of the examination, the Opponent and the doctoral candidate will stand up. The Opponent will then make a final statement and will (usually) announce that he or she will propose to the Faculty that the dissertation be accepted.

The doctoral candidate will remain standing to thank the Opponent.

After thanking the Opponent, the doctoral candidate will ask the audience to make comments and pose questions: "If anyone present wishes to make any comments concerning my dissertation, please ask the Custos for the floor."

The Custos will ensure that the doctoral candidate has the opportunity to reply to each comment and that the comments do not digress from the Topic in hand.

Finally, the Custos will stand up to announce that the examination is completed. The total amount of time spent on it may not exceed six hours.

The Custos and the Opponent will carry their Doctor's hats when leaving the auditorium in the same order in which they entered: the doctoral candidate will leave first, followed by the Custos and the Opponent.

The audience must not applaud or cheer during the public examination. Congratulations will be extended to the doctoral candidate once he or she has left the auditorium and has had the opportunity to thank the Opponent and Custos.

Remote access defences follow as much of the regular protocol as possible. However, please note that it might be best to sit down during the sections of the events traditionally held standing (e.g. lectio praecursoria). If you wish to stand during these sections, please check before the event that your face is visible in the camera and your voice can be heard through the microphone even when standing up.

Other matters to note

Doctoral candidates are sometimes given flowers and gifts after the public examination. The candidate should make advance arrangements for their transportation or agree with the guests that flowers and gifts, if any, will be delivered directly to the candidate's home.

To allow the doctoral candidate to focus on defending their research and receiving congratulations after the fact, it's a good idea to agree in advance that for example one the doctoral candidate's friends will look after the flower, presents and other practicalities.

After the defence, the doctoral candidate can take the opponent and custos to lunch, if they so wish. In addition to the post-doctoral evening party, the doctoral candidate can also arrange a coffee service for the audience after the event, should they so wish.

It's good to reserve plenty of time between the defence and the evening party, to make sure stress and sense of haste don't ruin the big day. It's nice to have time enough in between for lunch, a pit stop at home to change your attire and perhaps even take a well-deserved afternoon nap.

Post-doctoral party (karonkka)

The post-doctoral party is an academic tradition. The Finnish word for the celebration, karonkka, derives from the diminutive form (koronka) of the Russian word korona, which means ‘crown’. The Finnish term karonkka is thus related to the Russian word koronovanije, signifying ‘coronation’. The post-doctoral party marks the end of the dissertation process and is arranged by the doctoral candidate to thank the Opponent, the Custos and others who contributed to the work. Nowadays, doctoral candidates may invite friends and family along with members of the academic community to this party. What follows is a short description of practices and traditions related to post-doctoral parties.

As formal decisions on the doctoral dissertation are not made until the conclusion of the public examination, invitations to the post-doctoral party were traditionally not sent in advance. In the past, the doctoral candidate contacted the Opponent before the public examination to enquire whether the doctoral candidate could make dinner arrangements, and after obtaining a positive response, the candidate "hinted" at the successful outcome to the guests to be invited.

Nowadays, however, doctoral candidates send invitations in advance. Permission to defend the dissertation in a public examination, given by the Faculty, is sufficient indication of the quality of the dissertation. The doctoral candidates themselves formulate the wording of their invitations, but it is recommended that the invitations contain information on the dress code, especially if the doctoral candidate prefers the guests not to wear tailcoats and evening dresses, as is the custom, or wishes to suggest alternative styles of dress.

In addition to the Opponent and the Custos, the invitees to the post-doctoral party should include professors working in the field of the dissertation and others who have aided in the dissertation work. The additional opponents, that is, persons who ask questions or make comments at the public examination, were previously invited to the celebration, but, according to an unwritten rule, they were not to accept the invitation.

The post-doctoral party may be arranged at home, in a restaurant or in the facilities of a student association (osakunta) or one's own department. Choose a place that fits your budget and ask for tips on good locations from friends and senior colleagues who have already had their post-doctoral party.

The usual dress code for the post-doctoral party is tailcoat and a white waistcoat (a black waistcoat at the public examination) or an evening dress (black, if you are the doctoral candidate). The traditional colour used in academic celebrations is black, but other colours have also become common. Instead of a tailcoat / evening dress combination, dark suits and a short formal dress are also often chosen as the dress code.

You can also choose a dress code that differs from traditions. Whatever you do, don't forget to choose a dress code and mention it in the invitation, so your guests don't have to wonder whether they should wear a tailcoat, dark suit, or something else entirely.

The doctoral candidate is the star of the day, but at the post-doctoral party, the Opponent is the guest of honour, seated immediately to the right of the doctoral candidate. If there are two opponents at the public examination, they will be seated on both sides of the doctoral candidate. The next guest in the seating order is the Custos, seated to the left of or opposite the doctoral candidate. The other guests then follow, usually in the order of their academic achievements.

The doctoral candidate offers food, drinks and possibly other forms of entertainment to the guests invited to the post-doctoral party. The candidate starts by welcoming all those present before dinner is served.

Speeches are made after the meal when coffee has been served. The doctoral candidate thanks the Opponent and others who have aided in the work. The Opponent's answer is usually light-heartedly dignified rather than too solemn or formal. Next, the Custos may address those present.

After this, other guests may speak in the order in which they were mentioned in the doctoral candidate's address. If the doctoral candidate wishes to thank his or her family members, this should be done at the conclusion of the candidate's address.

It's a good idea to keep the speeches short – tradition dictates that every speech should be responded with a speech of equal length.

On the history of public examinations

Participation in public examinations of doctoral dissertations was originally a formal part of studies. The objective was, to quote the Finnish scholar Henrik Gabriel Porthan (1739-1804), "to train the students in grasping matters quickly, stating their arguments clearly, examining matters from a variety of perspectives and distinguishing between issues of primary and secondary importance." The professor wrote a dissertation manuscript, which was then defended and debated by his students.

For students at the outset of their studies, these examinations were private, while the examinations of more experienced students were public. Sometimes a professor would discuss a given matter in several succeeding dissertation manuscripts, but the candidate was required to be familiar only with the primary issues and contents of the dissertation in hand so as to be able to defend it independently.

The degrees of Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy were not separated until 1828 when new university statutes were issued. Subsequently, students had to write their own dissertations to obtain the doctoral degree. The candidates also had to give one (in most cases) or more lectures. This tradition is reflected in the introductory lecture (lectio praecursoria) currently given at public examinations of doctoral dissertations.

Conferment ceremony (promootio)

Persons who have completed the doctoral degree are automatically awarded the title of Doctor. The right to use the doctoral insignia, that is, the Doctor's hat and sword, is traditionally awarded in a solemn conferment ceremony, in which doctoral degree-holders may participate either in attendance or in absentia. However, these days it's quite acceptable to purchase a Doctor's hat directly after the defence, should you so wish.

Conferment ceremonies (promootio) are celebrations organised by faculties lasting several days, where the new master’s and doctoral degree holders graduated after the previous conferment ceremony get to celebrate in prestigious surroundings. By participating in the conferment ceremony, the newly graduated doctoral degree holder will receive a right to wear the insignia associated with their academic degrees: a doctoral hat and sword.

Conferment ceremonies combine solemnity with riotousness and tradition with youthfulness.  Conferment ceremonies are celebrations for the whole university community, and the participants include University leadership, the government and leading social figures, newly graduated masters and doctors, jubilee masters and doctors as well as young students working as heralds.

Conferment ceremonies are organised every four years, sometimes more often. Conferment committees established for the organisation of the ceremony ensure that all doctors and masters graduated after the previous conferment ceremony are informed of the upcoming conferment ceremony well in advance. The conferment ceremony is a unique academic tradition, which provides an opportunity to celebrate the completed degree once more with your fellow students.

Wed, 24 Feb 2021 22:06:00 -0600 en text/html
CPA exam Guide: Everything You Need To Know About the New exam In 2024

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

If you’re on your way to becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you might be losing some sleep over the Uniform CPA Examination®.

We don’t blame you. After all, the pass rates for each exam section range from about 40% to 60%, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA®)—not the best prognosis. The CPA exam is difficult and time-consuming, but passing it is the most important step of CPA licensure. And at the end of the day, becoming a CPA is worth it to many professionals.

Earning the CPA credential opens doors to high-paying, advanced accounting careers in numerous industries. The 2024 CPA exam comes with a few changes compared to previous years, so make sure to stay in the know if you plan to sit for the exam in or after 2024. We’ve outlined the new exam here to help you research and prepare.

What Is the CPA Exam?

The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, also known as the Uniform CPA exam or CPA Exam, is for accountants pursuing CPA licensure. Many employers seeking highly trained accountants require a CPA license, which involves rigorous coursework and skill testing to earn.

AICPA develops the CPA exam, and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and its included state boards of accountancy assist with reviewing applications, administering the exam and reporting scores.

The CPA exam consists of four sections, testing candidates on syllabus like taxation, financial planning, auditing and accounting technology.

What’s New About the CPA exam in 2024?

The 2024 CPA exam introduces a new “discipline” section, including three options:

  • Business analysis and reporting (BAR)
  • Information systems and controls (ISC)
  • Tax compliance and planning (TCP)

Candidates choose one of the three disciplines to test on. Candidates must also test within the three required Core sections:

  • Auditing and attestation (AUD)
  • Financial accounting and reporting (FAR)
  • Taxation and regulation (REG)

The 2024 version of the CPA exam eliminates the business environment and concepts (BEC) section and transitions some portions of FAR and REG into the new disciplines. Since the BEC section was the only one to include a written essay, the essay portion is eliminated from the 2024 CPA exam.

Additional changes include replacing an Excel spreadsheet with a JavaScript-based spreadsheet, implementing new task-based research simulations and eliminating multistage adaptive testing.

CPA exam Requirements

Each state board of accountancy within NASBA sets its own requirements to sit for the CPA exam, so criteria may vary among states. However, many state boards require at least the following from candidates before they’re eligible to take the CPA exam:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a 120-credit bachelor’s degree in accounting or a bachelor’s degree with a certain number of credits in non-introductory accounting courses and business courses
  • Submit official school transcripts, a credit evaluation application and proof of residency

Education requirements vary the most among state boards of accountancy. For instance, Georgia only requires exam candidates to have a bachelor’s degree with 20 semester hours in non-introductory accounting courses. However, Rhode Island sets more specific stipulations for CPA exam applicants who don’t have a graduate degree in accounting, including at least 24 accounting semester hours covering distinct subjects like auditing and tax accounting.

CPA exam Structure

The three cores and three disciplines of the CPA exam each include both multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations. The exam lasts 16 hours in total—four hours per section—and candidates can take different sections of the exam on different days rather than in one sitting.

Still, test takers must complete and pass all four sections within 18 months—usually beginning on the day a candidate takes their first passed section—to pass the exam. We explore the four sections in detail below.

Auditing and Attestation

The AUD section tests a candidate’s understanding of the technical and ethical aspects of auditing for public and private entities. AUD also covers reporting requirements, risk assessment strategies, obtaining evidence and ethical responsibilities for CPAs.

AUD is divided into four content areas:

  • Area I: Ethics, professional responsibilities and general principles
  • Area II: Assessing risk and developing a planned response
  • Area III: Performing further procedures and obtaining evidence
  • Area IV: Forming conclusions and reporting

Financial Accounting and Reporting

The questions and tasks in the FAR section target three content areas:

  • Area I: Financial reporting
  • Area II: Select balance sheet accounts
  • Area III: Select transactions

Within these sections, candidates prove their ability to prepare and analyze financial statements, balance sheets with various types of income and expenses, correct accounting errors, and navigate the differences in financial accounting and reporting for for-profit and nonprofit companies.

Taxation and Regulation

The REG section explores tax laws for businesses and individuals within the United States, ensuring that CPA candidates understand the significance of and procedures for compliance. Candidates work with taxation technology and resources to analyze data and determine the correct processes for accuracy and completeness.

This section includes five content areas:

  • Area I: Ethics, professional responsibilities, and federal tax procedures
  • Area II: Business law
  • Area III: Federal taxation of property transactions
  • Area III: Federal taxation of individuals
  • Area III: Federal taxation of entities


CPA candidates must choose one of three disciplines as the fourth section of the CPA exam.

Previous versions of the CPA exam included the BEC section, which explored corporate governance, information technology, financial and operations management, and economic concepts. The discipline section replaces BEC, allowing candidates to test in an area of interest or advanced skill.

This section offers the following testing areas:

  • Business analysis and reporting: BAR expands on several concepts in FAR, including data collection sourcing, financial analysis and reporting, while closely examining business analysis and local and state governmental accounting.
  • Information systems and controls: ISC focuses on secure and accurate data collection, storage and analysis procedures used in accounting. Candidates must demonstrate knowledge of information technology audits, security threats and mitigation, and security regulations.
  • Tax Compliance and Planning: TCP digs deep into taxation for individuals and entities beyond what’s included in REG. TCP syllabus and tasks include calculating estimated tax payments, reviewing shareholder debts and investments, and distinguishing types of business entities for tax purposes.

How Is the CPA exam Scored?

CPA exam scoring weighs the scaled scores of multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations of each section equally at 50% of the total score. The only exception is the ISC discipline, in which multiple-choice questions make up 60% of the score and task-based simulations account for 40%.

Each exam goes through a multi-step review process to ensure scoring accuracy.

How Hard Is the CPA Exam?

If AICPA’s pass rate data is any indication, this is a hard test. During the first two quarters of 2023, these were the pass rates for each section of the CPA exam:

  • REG: 59.22%
  • AUD: 47.68%
  • FAR: 42.30%
  • BEC (eliminated from the 2024 exam): 58.25%

How To Study for the CPA Exam

The CPA exam process is long and rigorous, so planning can be the key to passing each section. Before you begin studying, plan your timeline carefully.

In what order do you want to take each section? How will you space out the various sections to give yourself ample study time? Keep track of exam application deadlines, and think about when you should schedule study sessions. Also, consider whether you’ll need to take some time off work.

AICPA’s exam Blueprints offer an excellent starting point for your test prep. The blueprints walk you through each section of the CPA exam, filling you in on what to expect and what to study.

CPA exam Study Resources

AICPA offers official resources for continuing education for practicing accountants. Though you aren’t yet a CPA, you might find these materials helpful while studying for your CPA exam. They are categorized into many of the same syllabus you’ll work with on the exam, like auditing and financial reporting, and many are free or discounted for AICPA members.

You can also practice with a shortened sample test from AICPA, which familiarizes you with the CPA exam software.

Several other online resources are available to help you study for the CPA exam, although it’s important to ensure courses and materials are up to date and designed or taught by credentialed instructors. AICPA hosts a database of CPA exam preparation resources, including costs and user ratings for each to help you narrow your options.

CPA exam Study Methods

Preparing for the CPA exam takes significant motivation and focus, and studying with other CPA exam candidates could help you stay on track. Consider looking for study group participants at work, through your local professional organization or from your graduating class. You might also find nearby candidates through social media groups.

Collaborate with your study group members to decide which materials you’ll use, whether you’ll host meetings in person or online, and how often you’ll study so everyone can stay on track.

If you’d like to study solo, find a quiet, dedicated space for sessions and make room in your schedule for several hours of exam preparation each week. Consider getting support from a trusted colleague or mentor when necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the CPA Exam

Is the CPA harder than the bar?

The CPA exam and bar exam are both known for their challenging content. However, based on the passing rates for each, the CPA exam generally appears more difficult to pass than the bar. Depending on the jurisdiction, the July 2023 bar exam saw pass rates ranging from 58% to 92%, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The highest cumulative passing rate for any section of the CPA exam during the first two quarters of 2023 was 59.22%.

How many questions are in the CPA exam?

The CPA exam comprises between 250 and 282 multiple-choice questions, plus 28 or 29 task-based simulations, depending on the discipline section you choose. ISC has the most questions and simulations in total, followed by TCP and BAR.

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  • The number of examinations is based upon discussion between the two approved faculty advisors and the student.
  • If the examination will be proctored by the Office of Doctoral Studies, it must be held on one of the three approved dates by the college (February, June, or October)
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According to the ministry, 8,586 candidates had registered to sit for the repeat examination at 204 examination centres nationwide.

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