As a CPA candidate, you’ll sit for the exam at a Prometric Testing Center. It’s part of the process of becoming a CPA much like meeting certain education requirements and appropriately studying with the right review materials. But, have you ever wondered what happens on test day? Simandhar CPA Review prepared this summary of what to expect, along with some helpful suggestions to get you through test day and closer to becoming a CPA!
Security is Tight
Security at Prometric is of utmost importance. Why? Prometric wants to make sure the person showing up to take the exam is in fact the CPA candidate and that no cheating occurs during the exam. So, here are some things you need to know when you arrive:
• Bring the Notice to Schedule (NTS) previously sent to you from NASBA or your State Board. (Hint: if you applied for multiple sections of the exam and received an NTS for each, make sure you bring the correct NTS for the corresponding exam date!)
• Show a valid government issued photo ID which will be digitally scanned into Prometric’s database.
• Sign your name in a logbook where the signature will be verified.
• Fingertip scan will be done as an additional ID check.
• Empty out your pockets of all personal belongings.
• Body scan will be performed with a metal detector wand.
Then, you will be assigned a locker and key for storing coats, hats, purses, wallets and any other personal belongings. The only thing you can bring into the exam room is you ID, locker key and Prometric issued “scratch paper”.
New Laminated Scratch Paper
Recently, Prometric revised the type of scratch paper given to CPA candidates on exam day. They changed from paper and pencil to new laminated paper and marker pen. Here's an update:
• Prometric changed to the new laminated sheets mainly for security purposes. For example, candidates often tore off a section of the old scratch paper and test center personnel had to look for the torn piece to fully account for all scratch paper. Prometric also found the noise from shredding the old scratch paper was disruptive.
• Two sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper laminated on both sides are now handed out.
• The laminated sheets will be one of three colors: blue, pink or yellow. A different color is used each day.
• A thin, whiteboard-type "pen" is provided with the laminated sheets. It has black ink, low odor and dries very fast...within a few seconds to stop smudging. The pen I sampled is made by Staedtler and has Lumocolor Whiteboard printed on the side.
• When one sheet is filled up, candidates should exchange it for blank one. Candidates are only allowed two sheets at a time.
• Prometric personnel then wipe off the markings on the laminated sheets with cleaner and the blank sheets are reused.
Now that you’re more comfortable with what happens on test day, there’s one more step Simandhar CPA Review highly recommends you do – take a Test Drive of your test day!
Prometric’s TEST DRIVE
Do yourself a huge favor and sign up for a dry-run of what you’ll experience on exam day. Prometric has a great program called “Test Drive”. Here’s how it works:
• Offered most Tuesdays from 4-5pm.
• Register at Prometric.com and the fee is $30.
• Once you’re registered, you’ll get an appointment for a 30 minute Test Drive.
• During the Test Drive, you go through the exact same check-in security procedures as you will on the actual exam day as outlined above. So, you’ll want to bring the NTS and photo ID.
• Once you’ve “checked-in” you’ll be given a tutorial of the exam area, a sample 15 minute test and survey afterwards to share your experience.
You’ve already spent a significant amount of time and effort studying for the CPA exam, so this is just one more way to ensure you’re REALLY PREPARED on exam day.
Hope this helps! Best wishes from Simandhar CPA Review!