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How to Pass The CPA Ethics Exam

The CPA Ethics Exam is one of the requirements in the CPA licensing process in the United States. While the test is considered much easier than the Uniform CPA Exam, you need a passing score of 90 which means that you can never estimate the test.

Please follow the steps below and pass the CPA Ethics Exam on your first attempt!

1. Purchase The Self-Study course

Typically, an instruction on how to take the CPA Ethics Exam is sent together with your congratulations letter when you pass all of the 4 exams. However, you can take the exam time at your convenience (even before you pass any of the CPA exam)

CPA Ethics Exam Cost range is between $189 – $315, current average estimate is $245.

2. Study For the CPA Ethics Exam

The CPA Ethics Exam comes with a CD-rom that contains an interactive slide show, including the AICPA Code of Conduct, the concept of independence and rules from the Sarbenes-Oxley Act. The AICPA is trying to make it more interesting by including real-life scenarios.

The suggested time of the course is 11 hours although most people can take it at a faster rate. A score of 90 or above is required to pass the CPA Ethics Exam.

3. Complete The Test As Soon As Possible

Did you know that there is a deadline for this self-study test? AICPA gives you a 1-year window but you can request a 30-day extension if required.

4. Submit Your Answers

You can submit your answers either electronically or by mail:

  • Submit electronically​ -- on the answer sheet there is a serial number of starts with CPE- You can use this serial number to submit your answers online. A great advantage of online submission is that you can get your result immediately.
  • Submit by mail​ -- if for some reason you prefer to send your answers by snail mail, you can fill in the bubbles and mail the answer sheet back to AICPA. It takes approximately 6 weeks to get back your results.

Ask The Help desk

Finally, if you ever need help in the CPA Ethics Exam, check out the free ​Ask the Ethics Expert​ online service from the Washington Society of CPA. The link can be found in the page in the Resources section.

You may be able to get discount from your state's Society of CPA by signing up as a member. You can contact the AICPA Service Center Operations if you have questions concerning the CPA Ethics Exam: 1-888-777-7077


Only 35 state boards require their to-be-CPAs to take an ethics exam.

Please note that these 5 states either administer their own CPA ethics exam or have no ethics requirement, and therefore the procedure above does not apply.:

  • California,
  • Florida,
  • North Carolina,
  • Pennsylvania
  • and Texas

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