Unexpected CPA Exam Prohibited Items in Prometric Center

Your CPA Exam day is fast approaching. What’s the best way to prepare for the Big Day? Here is my take on how you should (and should not) do in the last month, week and day of the exam.

Here are more information on what you can and cannot bring to the Prometric center on your CPA exam day:

You MUST Bring the Following Items

Before we get into the banned items, let’s talk about what you must bring to the exam site.

  • Notice to Schedule, or NTS
  • 2 Forms of identification. One primary identification must contain a recent photograph.
    • Example of primary identification: passport, driver’s license.
    • Example of secondary identification: credit card, debit card, ATM card.


  • The following are NOT accepted as identification: social security card, green card, student card, employee ID card.
  • The form and order of your name has to be the same on both the NTS and the 2 pieces of identification.
  • The identification must be valid and not expired, and must be signed (double check that now!)


A thin jacket, in case the air-conditioning is too strong at the exam site. You never know.

The Obvious CPA Exam Prohibited Items and Behavior

  • Eat, drink and smoke in the center
  • Talk and any type of communications with other candidates
  • Bring the books in the exam room
  • Use any recording devices (audio and video)

The Not-So-Obvious Prohibited Items in the Exam Room

  • Papers (note cards and markers will be provided).
  • Calculators, personal digital assistants or other computer devices.
  • Cell phones and other communication devices.
  • Wallet and purse.

You can bring them along to the center, of course, but must keep them in the locker during the exam.

The New 15-Minute Break

  • Starting in April 2017, there will be an optional 15-minute break midway in the CPA exam. This will not count against your exam time.
  • Other than that, you must not leave the testing room without the permission of the test center staff. The proctor will file a report if a candidate leaves the exam room for more than 10 minutes.

For Your Further Reading

As the exam is approaching, here are some advice from those who have been there:

Prometric center information source: AICPA CPA Candidate Bulletin

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

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  • Alan M says:

    Are we allowed to take our calculator to the prometric center? If yes , are they specific about the model of the calculator? Does it depend upon the center we take the exam from?

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