How to Request CPA Exam Testing Accommodations

NASBA, the organization that oversees the administration of the CPA Exam, does its best to make sure that everyone who puts in the study time has a fair chance to pass the test. For candidates with health issues and/or learning disabilities, this often means CPA Exam testing accommodations. Although candidates are allowed to request the accommodations they need, your state’s Board of Accountancy and the CPA Examination Services (CPAES) will need to approve them before you schedule your test. Here, we’ll answer some common questions surrounding the use of testing accommodations for the CPA Exam.

Who can request CPA Exam testing accommodations?

Those with temporary or permanent physical and mental limitations may ask for specific accommodations that will allow them to take the CPA Exam. You’ll need diagnosis and recommendations from a doctor or other medical professional in order to make a request. You’ll need to pay for that part yourself, but otherwise, CPAES will pay for necessary accommodations.

In terms of testing accommodations for the CPA Exam, ADHD is a common condition that necessitates some adjustments to the test. In order to make your request, you’ll need an ADHD diagnosis from a health professional on official letterhead, as well as a recommendation from that professional for a specific accommodation. The health professional may have to provide proof that these accommodations have been used successfully in the past for those with ADHD. If they’re new or unusual accommodations, they may need to show how these would meet your specific needs.

What CPA Exam testing accommodations are available?

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, CPA-approved testing accommodations must ensure equal opportunity for exam takers with disabilities. Although NASBA’s Candidate Bulletin doesn’t give a list of sample accommodations, it does provide the following guidelines:

All approved testing accommodations must maintain the psychometric nature and security of the examination. Accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature or security of the exam will not be granted.

In other words, you can’t request accommodations that would violate exam security by bringing unapproved materials in or recording exam content. You also can’t request changes to the content of the test. However, many accommodations to the duration, appearance, and environment of the exam are acceptable. For example, CPA exam testing accommodations for ADHD might include extended time limits. Here are some other common accommodations:

  • Screen readers for the blind or visually impaired
  • Frequent or additional break time(s)
  • Enlarged font or adjustable contrast on the computer screen
  • Bringing in a necessary medical device
  • Adjustable work station
  • Separate testing room from other candidates

This is an incomplete list of accommodations, and they may depend on your testing location. Please note that CPA Exam testing accommodations may not be available outside of the United States and US territories, since it is a US law that guarantees them.

How do I request CPA Exam testing accommodations?

1. Apply for the CPA Exam

First, you’ll need to apply to take the exam and pay all applicable fees.

2. Request your specific accommodations

Next, you’ll fill out NASBA’s Testing Accommodations Request Form, where you’ll describe your disability (in the language of the form) and the accommodations you need. You’ll need to attach the required documentation regarding diagnosis and specific requests. These documents should be no more than three years old and apply to a current physical or mental limitation.

You’ll send this documentation to CPAES and wait for approval. The good news is that once you file the request form and have it approved, the accommodation information will stay with your account for the next three years. Thus, you only have to file it once for all sections of the exam, including retakes within a three-year period.

3. Schedule your exam appointment

Once you receive approval, you’ll need your Notice to Schedule (NTS) in hand in order to pick your exam appointment. After applying and requesting accommodations, NASBA will email you with a link that will enable you to print your NTS, which should include your approved accommodations. Only then can you actually schedule the exam with a Prometric testing center. You cannot request accommodations through the online scheduling system, so make sure you call Prometric and speak with a customer service representative. Know the date(s) and time(s) you want to take the exam. You can schedule one or more sections at a time.

If you need to request testing accommodations for the CPA Exam, you’ll need to contact Prometric at least 10 days ahead of time. Thus, you’ll have to begin the application process even earlier. In fact, the NASBA form says it must be submitted at least four weeks in advance. We recommend you begin several weeks or months in advance to ensure that your request has extra time for processing. Prometric should email you with confirmation once everything is in place. If they don’t, be sure to call back.

Also be aware that if you need to change or cancel your testing appointment, you can’t do it through the online system. You’ll need to speak to a Prometric representative once again. All cancellation or rescheduling fees will apply.


If you need CPA Exam testing accommodations, don’t hesitate to ask for them. In particular, make sure you do so well in advance. All standardized exams in the US must ensure some form of accommodation. Thus, most Prometric testing centers will be familiar with common requests. Give yourself plenty of time to gather your documentation, submit your request, and schedule your test.

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