South Carolina Ethics Exam Requirements
Many candidates who pass the CPA Exam face one more important test before they earn a license to practice as Certified Public Accountants—an Ethics Exam. States vary their ethics requirements for a CPA license just as they vary their requirements for the CPA Exam.
About 35 state boards require the CPA candidates to go through a course and pass the Ethics Exam conducted either by the AICPA or the state board. The AICPA Ethics Exam focuses on ethics questions that arise in the accounting profession. It tests the candidate’s understanding of the conduct required of CPAs who serve the financial integrity of businesses and individuals.
Some jurisdictions administer their own Ethics Exam through their State Society of CPAs. Other jurisdictions don’t require either an ethics course or an ethics examination for a license.
The Ethics Exam requirement takes a lot of candidates by surprise because it does not get a lot of attention while they are working to pass the CPA Exam. Compared to the CPA Exam they’ve just passed, this last hurdle is a very small one. Take time to read the study material. Be careful answering questions when you take the test. These can be tricky, and only a few wrong answers are enough to cost you the score you need to pass.
Below we will be discussing the requirements for the state of South Carolina. You must pass the AICPA Ethics Exam to get an South Carolina CPA license.
Preparing for the Exam
You must complete and pass the Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course (PE) prior to receiving your South Carolina CPA certificate. The course explains the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and covers the basic tenets of ethical and professional conduct.
You must pass this course with a score of 90 percent or higher to qualify. It is not necessary to take the AICPA Ethics Exam until you are prepared to apply for the South Carolina CPA license.
Since candidates must pass the test with a score of 90—and within 2 years of license application, it is vital that candidates prepare and take their time while taking the test. The AICPA has an online preparation course for the test and as it is an on-demand course, candidates can access their learning any time within the access period.
How much study time will the Ethics Exam require?
You can expect to schedule between 10 and 20 hours to study for the exam. You won’t need to devote much more than 10 hours to prepare. Just make sure you don’t skim and miss important points.
Take notes so that you’ll hold on to the concepts long enough to pass the test. The multiple-choice questions can be tricky; read them carefully.
The Exam Format
The exam is an open-book test having 40 multiple-choice questions. Candidates will have enough time to look up materials in your study book if you are unsure of any answer. Candidates must pass the exam with a grade of 90 percent or no more than five missed questions.
Completing the Test
The exam must be completed within one year from the date of purchase. Test results are valid for two years while the candidate completes all licensing requirements for the South Carolina Board of Accountancy.
How long are Ethics Exam scores good?
After you order the Ethics Exam, AICPA gives you one full year to study and take the test. You can contact the AICPA Grading Department at 1-888-777-7077 to ask for a 30-day extension if this is not enough time.
Submitting your answers online means you will receive your score immediately after the test is graded automatically. If you mail in your answers, you will have to wait up to six weeks for the results.
Candidates will need to pay the fees mentioned below at the AICPA website:
- $189 for AICPA Members
- $245 for AICPA Nonmembers
If you sign up for the Ethics Exam and purchase the review materials on the AICPA website, make sure to order Professional Ethics: The AICPA’s Comprehensive Course On-Demand (For Licensure). Be careful to get the one for “licensure” and not one strictly for CPE.
Retaking the exam
You are permitted to take the AICPA Ethics exam online up to three times. You will have to use the paper version and submit your answers by mail to retake it a fourth time.
Ready For The Ethics Exam?
Now that general overview of the Ethics Exam. Feel free to click the button below and grab yourself a copy of our free Ethics Exam Guide.
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