Foundation level — computer-based testing
The foundation level represents the first eight units of the CPA Program and provides you with the opportunity to access a career based on accounting skills. The exams test the core knowledge that is required to commence the professional level of the CPA Program.
Please Note: To be eligible to schedule an exam, you must first be enrolled in a foundation level unit with CPA Australia.
Dear Candidate, We recommend that you schedule your exam appointment as soon as possible as available seats are limited in certain locations, this is due to a significant increase in the demand for exam appointments toward the end of the CPA Australia foundation level exam delivery window.
The exam is a closed-book exam containing 100 multiple choice questions. There will be a maximum time of 3 hours and 15 minutes available to complete the exam. There is no reading time. You should attempt all multiple choice questions as marks are not deducted for incorrect answers. Additional time is included for the following:
- Compulsory Non-Disclosure Agreement (maximum 5 minutes) at the start of the exam
- Optional computer-based testing tutorial (maximum 10 minutes) at the start of the exam
- Survey (maximum 15 minutes) at the end of the exam
Refer to Personal Items below regarding what you can take into the exam room.
If you have enrolled in the foundation level unit with CPA Australia and have received an enrolment confirmation from CPA Australia you may now schedule your exam appointment by:
It is your responsibility to schedule and manage your exam appointment with Pearson VUE. It is vital that you take action as soon as you receive your enrolment confirmation letter from CPA Australia. **If you are unable to schedule an appointment through the online booking system, please contact Pearson VUE immediately and they will assist you over the phone.
Please note: It may take up to 15 minutes for your enrolment data to be received from CPA Australia and processed by Pearson VUE. If you are unable to register with Pearson VUE, please wait until the 15 minute period has passed before trying again.
Available locations: appointments can be scheduled in accordance with the exam locations available via the Locate a Test Center on this site. New test centres are being sourced to increase the number of available test centres. We recommend to visit this site regularly to keep you informed of the available test centres in your area.
Please note the following:
- You are encouraged to schedule your exams as soon as possible as there are limited seats in some locations.
- If you have trouble finding an available appontment at your preferred location, you may want to contact Pearson VUE directly to see if there is another location near you.
Based on demand, CPA Australia may consider opening additional centres in the future. If you would like to suggest an alternate exam location for future consideration that is not available on the list, please email your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Available session times: appointments can be scheduled at any of the available test centre advertised session times within the date ranges of the exam. Alternative exam dates are not available and deferrals will not be offered to candidates.
Once you have scheduled your exam appointment with Pearson VUE, you will be emailed an official appointment confirmation email. This email can be used for travel and Visa requirements as it confirms both your exam appointment and venue selection.
If the location you are looking for is full, please search for an available appointment at a nearby location (travel may be required).
Changes to Exam Appointment
Change of exam appointment date, time and location
You may do this between the advertised dates via the Pearson VUE booking system.
- After scheduling an exam appointment, you may change your exam date, time and location up to four (4) business days before their scheduled exam appointment using either the Pearson VUE online booking system or the Pearson VUE customer service centre. No fees apply.
Changes to exam appointments are subject to availability. Changes can be made by contacting Pearson VUE either online or via phone.
- You may change your exam appointment from between 72 and 24 hours before your exam appointment. Please note: you must call the Pearson VUE customer service centre to complete a reschedule during these times. A fee of $40 AUD is payable to Pearson VUE.
Note. No changes can be made to exam appointments less than 24 hours before the exam appointment or on Saturdays or Sundays e.g. – if your scheduled appointment is on Monday at 2:00pm, you will need to request a change to your appointment on Friday before 2:00pm (reschedules are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed)
- No changes to an exam appointment can be made on the day of the scheduled exam appointment.
Candidates can cancel an enrolment at any time up to 5 business days prior to a scheduled exam appointment. Refer to cpaaustralia.com.au/foundationdates for refund information.
Cancellations must be applied for through CPA Australia. The Pearson VUE call centres cannot cancel your appointments.
Change of Personal Details
You must contact CPA Australia to change any personal details including email address at least 1 business day before the exam date. This can be done via CPA Australia’s website (through Manage Your CPA Program) Your personal details need to be the same as those shown on the identification documents (ID) you are required to present at the Test Centre. You will not be permitted to enter if these personal details are different.
What to Expect on the Day of the Exam
The section below details very important information about your exam so please read very carefully. In particular you should familiarise yourself with the following a few days in advance of your exam:
- the date and time of your exam
- the location of your test centre
- the admission steps
- identification requirements
- accepting the non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
- the online exam tutorial
Finding your test centre location
- The address and directions for your exam location can be found in the placement confirmation email that was sent to you after you scheduled your exam(s)
- Please ensure that you take time in advance of your exam to look at how to get to the exam centre (e.g. public transport details or parking facilities)
- The test centre will have Pearson VUE signage rather than CPA Australia signage
- The layout and facilities vary from test centre to test centre so if you’ve taken an exam before in one location, you may find differences if you’re taking an exam in a different location
- If you have any questions about how to find your exam location, please contact the Pearson VUE Call Centre. Contact details can be found at www.pearsonvue.com/cpaaustralia/contact
- Admission to the test centre and exam room
- Non Disclosure Statement (NDA)
- Exam Tutorial
- Candidate Exam Report
1. Admission to the test centre and exam room
You need to arrive at the test centre at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your exam.
If you arrive more than 15 minutes after your scheduled appointment time, you will be refused admission and therefore you will be required to re-enrol and pay for the exam again.
When you arrive at the test centre, the staff will take you through the admissions process below. The process is designed to ensure the safety and integrity of the testing process and that it is fair to all candidates.
- A ‘Rules Agreement’ will be given to each candidate.
- The candidate will be asked to provide their identification (ID).
- The ID will be checked to ensure it is valid (that is, not expired and matches your enrolment and scheduling data in the Pearson VUE system).
- The candidate will provide their signature on a digital signature pad (or a back-up signature sheet) and the test centre staff will check that the signature matches the ID.
By providing their signature, the candidate is agreeing to abide by the testing rules laid out in the ‘Rules Agreement’ provided to the candidate.
- The candidate’s photograph will be taken by a digital camera and stored for any future verification purposes.
- The test centre staff will show the candidate where to store their belongings. In some cases, lockers may not be available.
- The candidate will be offered an erasable noteboard/pen to use as scratch paper.
- The candidate will be admitted to the testing room.
NB. Candidates shall not be permitted to waive the digital signature or photograph requirement.
You must bring with you and present two (2) forms of ID listed below when you arrive at the test centre:
- Primary ID (must contain your photograph and signature)
- Secondary ID (must contain EITHER your photograph OR signature)
The ID must be current, legible and bear your name exactly as you provided when you enrolled with CPA Australia and made your test appointment. It must also include a recent, recognisable photograph, your signature and date of birth. If you cannot meet these requirements, please contact Pearson VUE.
Note: If you are taking exams in China, Malaysia or Vietnam, the following identification requirements apply:
|Primary ID||Secondary ID|
|National ID card or Passport (National ID does not need to have your signature)||Any form of ID with Name or Signature or Photo (e.g., Credit Card, Passport, Driver’s Licence Study Card)|
You must bring one Primary ID and one Secondary ID with you when you come to take your exam. A primary ID is also accepted as secondary ID (e.g., you could bring your National ID card and your Passport).
You will not be allowed to take personal belongings into the testing room other than a calculator, if required. Please note – there is an on-screen scientific calculator made available to candidates.
Here are some examples of personal items not permitted in the exam room:
- Some items of clothing and jewellery e.g. jackets, large pieces of jewellery, jewellery that could disturb others by making a noise.
- Food and drinks (including water). If you need to access water or medicines during the exam you may take an unscheduled break by raising your hand to get the attention of the test centre staff. Note that the exam timer will not stop during unscheduled breaks.
- Paper and pens (an erasable noteboard and pen is available for use as scratch paper).
- Mobile phones, Tablets, iPADs and PDAs.
- Purses and wallets.
Entering the exam room
When you’ve been admitted to the testing room, the Test Administrator will start your exam. Please don’t worry if other candidates are starting their exam at a different time to you as all candidates will get the same amount of time to complete their exam.
You will take your exam using a computer. We encourage you to familiarise yourself with how to navigate through the computer-based exam before the day of your exam. You can do so at any time by going to www.pearsonvue.com/athena. Please note that this is not a sample or mock exam.
2. Non Disclosure Statement (NDA)
You must accept this NDA in order to take your exam. If you decline the NDA then your exam will end. You will need to contact CPA Australia and will be required to re-enrol and pay for the exam again.
3. Exam Tutorial
You will have the option of taking a tutorial showing you how to navigate your way through the exam (maximum time 10 minutes).
You will be presented with 100 multiple choice questions to answer in 3 hours and 15 minutes. You may flag items for review and come back to them later.
Candidates are expected to abide by the rules stated in the Testing Rules Agreement provided on the day of the exam and also available at www.pearsonvue.com/cpaaustralia/agreement.pdf
If you’d like to take a break during your exam, the timer will not stop and you will not be able to have time added. If you need to leave the testing room you should remain seated and raise your hand to get the attention of the Test Administrator who will assist and accompany you. You are not allowed to access any study materials, mobile phone or other personal belongings during your exam.
After completing your exam, an online survey will appear on your screen, this should only take a few minutes to complete.
6. Candidate Exam Report
After completing your exam, you will receive a printed candidate feedback report at the test centre. This report will give you your score in relation to the passing score and provide further detail about your performance under each learning objective.
Quality and Security
CPA Australia and Pearson VUE take the quality and security of your testing experience very seriously. If you have a complaint regarding quality and/or security then please contact the Pearson VUE Call Centre and ask for an incident to be logged. The phone numbers are listed on www.pearsonvue.com/cpaaustralia/contact. Your feedback will be reviewed by our Quality and Security team and appropriate action will be taken.
Please refer to CPA Australia’s website regarding important dates for foundation level exams www.cpaaustralia.com.au/foundationdates
To access your results on the Pearson VUE website, simply follow the steps below.
- Go to the CPA Australia Testing with Pearson VUE webpage
- Click on “My Account”
- Enter your username and password (this was assigned to you when you registered with Pearson VUE)
- Click on “View History”
If you need any support accessing your result on the Pearson VUE website, please contact us at the phone numbers available on the ‘Customer Service’ page at www.pearsonvue.com/cpaaustralia/contact.
Please note that our customer service team is unable to communicate results over the phone, but they can help you gain access to your results via the website.
To access your result on the CPA Australia website, simply follow the steps below.
- Go to the CPA Australia website: www.cpaaustralia.com.au
- Enter your “Login” details
- Click on “Members Services > My CPA Program”
- Click on “Manage Your CPA Program”
- Pearson VUE: email@example.com
- CPA Australia: Change of personal details and cancellations can be managed via CPA Australia’s website, please visit Manage Your CPA Program
For more information on special exam arrangements, please refer to the CPA Australia’s website (foundation level). Applications must be made prior to 30 days prior to scheduled exam date and are subject to CPA approval.