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Preparatory Course FAQs
Find answers to common questions about our Preparatory courses
About Preparatory Courses
I am interested in enrolling in the preparatory courses, what do I need?
The preparatory courses are designed for those who have a degree in a discipline other than accounting and lack some or all of the prerequisite courses required for admission to the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). The only academic prerequisite for admission to the preparatory courses is 30 credit hours of post-secondary study (equivalent to 10 courses) at a post-secondary institution or three years relevant work experience.
How long is does it take to complete all 14 preparatory courses?
The preparatory courses are offered on a semester schedule with four semester terms available each year. It can take up to three years to complete all 14 preparatory courses. It is possible to complete the preparatory courses within one year however that is dependent upon how many of the 14 preparatory courses the student is required to complete. Please refer to your transcript evaluation for more details. On average, students should spend approximately fifteen to twenty hours of additional study time each week to be successful in the preparatory courses.
What is the minimum grade required to satisfy preparatory courses?
A minimum grade of 50% is required in each non-core course to satisfy an exemption and/or preparatory course.
A minimum grade of 60% is required in each core course to satisfy an exemption and/or preparatory course. For entry to CPA PEP, students also need an average of 65% in all the core courses.
The CPA Approved Course Grids refer to non-core courses. What are non-core courses?
Non-core courses include:
- Introductory Financial Accounting (IFA)
- Introductory Managerial Accounting (IMA)
- Economics (Econ)
- Quantative Methods/Statistics (Stats)
- Business Law (Law)
- Information Technology (IT)
The CPA Approved Course Grids refer to core courses. What are core courses?
Core courses are all other prerequisite courses except those identified as a non-core course. If a course is not clearly included as a non-core course it defaults to a core course.
I have completed the Legacy CA Accredited program and/or 51 credit-hour courses and met the minimum 70% (B-) average in requi
No. Those who have already completed the Legacy CA Accredited program or 51 credit-hour courses will not have to complete preparatory courses.
Module 3 covers microeconomics/macroeconomics. I finished macroeconomics, but not microeconomics. Can I get partial exemption?
No. All prerequisite requirements must be completed in their entirety. Both microeconomics and macroeconomics pre-requisites must complete to receive advanced standing.
There is more than one degree credit course required for a preparatory course exemption. How is the minimum required grade for t
Example: There are two Ryerson University courses required to receive an exemption from the Taxation module - ACC 742 and ACC 842.
Scenario 1. Your Grades: ACC 742 – 58 per cent; ACC 842 – 62 per cent -- Module exemption request denied as one core course was below the 60% minimum grade requirement.
Scenario 2. Your Grades: ACC 742 – 75 per cent; ACC 842 – 62 per cent -- Module exemption request granted as both core courses met the 60 per cent minimum grade requirement.
Will CPA Ontario accept courses taken at different PSIs if I have completed CPA prerequisite courses at more than one PSI?
Course mixes within a subject area are not permitted and must be completed at one post-secondary institution. Course mix assessments will not be completed without a transcript assessment application, payment of the applicable fees and submission of detailed course outlines for the courses requesting to be reviewed. To request a transcript assessment please submit the Transcript Assessment Form along with any supplementary documentation. This request can be sent to our transcript assessments team.
I have received my preparatory course assessment report and my cumulative GPA shows “To Be Completed”.
CPA Ontario will calculate your cumulative grade point average (GPA) once all education requirements (prerequisites courses and degree) have been met. Please note that a 65.00% cumulative GPA is required in the core courses for entry into CPA PEP.
If my cumulative GPA does not meet the minimum 65.00% for the CPA PEP but it is very close, can an exception be made?
CPA Ontario has a strict policy on rounding grades and final averages. CPA Ontario does not round grades or final averages. No exceptions will be made if the minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 65.00% is not met for entry into the CPA PEP.
How is the cumulative GPA calculated?
From January 1st 2017, the GPA is calculated using only standard 1 method: A minimum GPA requirement of 65% or equivalent as calculated by averaging grades across all of a student’s core courses.
Student Achievement Standard: Effective June 25, 2015, a minimum grade of 50% is required in each pre-requisite non-core course. A minimum grade of 60% is required in each pre-requisite core course. An overall grade-point-average (GPA) of 65% is required for admission into the CPA PEP.
When do students get access to the preparatory course materials, lecture locations, and exam locations?
Details on how to access the preparatory course materials and website will be emailed to students five business days prior to the start of the module. Lecture locations are emailed to students five business days prior to the scheduled start date. Exam locations will be posted on the CPA Ontario website.
How can students access their preparatory course grades?
Students may access their unofficial grade report from the Brightspace (D2L) program site or order a Student Record by filling out a Student Record Request. The Student Record costs $16.95 for active students in good standing and only specifies if a student has passed or failed a course.
As students are issued several IDs, please clarify where which ID is used?
Every student using Securexam for the preparatory course examinations is required to have a 7 digit candidate number beginning with a 4. If your CPA Ontario ID number does not begin with a 4 you will be assigned a new candidate number upon registering with Securexam. If your CPA Ontario ID does begin with a 4 then you will use that number as your candidate number.
When are the preparatory courses offered?
Courses are currently offered in four semesters every calendar year. Please refer to the course schedule for further information.
What are the minimum computer system requirements for the preparatory courses?
All students must have full access to a PC Laptop to complete any course. All students are required to use a Windows PC Laptop (Mac computers, Power PC, partitioned or Jail-broken Macs with Windows operating system, desktops are not permitted - no exceptions). It should be expressly noted that a laptop with a Windows operating system in English or French must be used, pre- loaded with Securexam. If an operating system is in any language other than English or French, IT proctors will not be able to assist students with troubleshooting computer issues. Students may refer to the Preparatory Enrolment Guide for the full list of minimum system requirements.
May students transfer between preparatory courses and course delivery types after enrolment is complete?
No. Location or delivery method changes are not permitted once enrolment is complete.
In the event that a cancellation is approved within the refund period, when can students expect to have the refund processed?
Once cancelling enrolment from a course and a refund has been approved and submitted to Finance for processing, it will take 4-6 weeks to receive a refund. Please refer to the refund schedule for specific details on withdrawal periods and applicable refunds.
How many times can a student take the same preparatory course?
Students have a maximum of three attempts to pass each CPA preparatory course.
For non-core courses a passing grade is 50%.
A student who fails a non-core course must repeat the full course before attempting the examination again.
For core courses a passing grade is 60%.
A student who fails the first attempt at a course with a mark between 49.5% and 59.4% can attempt the re-write examination, which counts as a course attempt. If the student fails the re-write examination, the student is required to retake the full course in order to have a third and final attempt at the examination.
A student who fails the first attempt with a mark less than 49.5% must retake the full course before a second attempt at the examination is permitted.
If the third attempt is unsuccessful, students will not be able to pursue the exemption through the CPA preparatory courses. In order to achieve the credit they must complete the equivalent course at a post-secondary institution. Students can still continue to pursue other courses with the CPA preparatory courses.
Exams, Projects, Appeals and applying to CPA PEP
What is the minimum degree requirement to apply for the CPA PEP?
The minimum requirement for entry into the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) is a 4-year degree or equivalent indicator of education comprised of 120 credit-hours or equivalent.
Students without a 120 credit-hour degree must top up their degree with additional degree-credit courses at a post-secondary institution or with the completion of the required preparatory courses. For the preparatory course Credit Allocation, refer to Appendix A in the CPA Harmonized Education Policies.
How do I defer my final exam?
Examination deferrals are only permitted if a student has submitted all of the mandatory assignments. Course examinations can only be deferred to the subsequent semester. If a student does not attend their deferred examination, they will be charged with an attempt and need to re-take the course to pursue credit.
What options exist for students who cannot attend the prescheduled examination date?
If a student has completed all of the mandatory course work, they may choose to defer their examination for one semester. Students who do not wish to defer their examination must withdraw from the course prior to the examination date or the missed examination will count as a course attempt. Students choosing to withdraw from a course are subject to the refund schedule.
Can students appeal an unsuccessful examination mark?
Yes, students who wish to have their examination mark reviewed may submit a request on the CPA Preparatory Course enrolment portal for core courses only. Requests must be submitted within three business days of results release to be considered.
What options exist for students who cannot submit the prescheduled quiz submissions?
Students are encouraged to plan ahead and review the schedule to ensure that they have enough time to complete the course work. Quiz submissions are not mandatory however the student will miss out on marks if they choose to not complete the quizzes.
What is the policy for students who cannot submit the prescheduled project submission or submit an incomplete project?
Students in preparatory courses who fail to submit the mandatory project(s) by the deadline(s) published in the Course Overview document, or submit and incomplete project, will receive a final grade of zero and will not be eligible to sit for the final examination. Students are not entitled to a refund of any kind. Students are then required to re-enrol in the next course offering to pursue credit.
How can a student appeal a project grade?
Students concerned that marks were missed toward their overall project grade can email firstname.lastname@example.org with specific details about their concerns within three business days of receiving their results.
Where can students gain access to the Securexam software?
Prior to the examination, students must download Securexam on the laptop that they are bringing to the examination centre. Details on how to access Securexam software are posted in the Securexam widget in D2L.
When is the deadline to make the Qualification Exam submission for Securexam?
Please refer to Securexam widget on the D2L website for details on when tasks must be completed (PREP Securexam Activity 1 in the Securexam widget in D2L).
When is the last day to submit quizzes for Non-Core and Core Modules?
Please refer to your course materials/schedule of dates in Brightspace (D2L) for core modules. For non-core modules, quizzes must be submitted before the exam date.
How much does the examination re-write cost?
An examination re-write costs $200 + HST. Only those students who are unsuccessful on their examination and scored between 49.5% and 59.4% are eligible for the re-write examination. Eligible students will be contacted when enrolment opens which will be facilitated online on the CPA Preparatory Course enrolment portal.
Are students eligible for the examination re-write if an exam review is submitted?
Re-write examination enrolment opens approximately one month prior to the examination date. By the time enrolment closes, all review results will have been released.
Are students obligated to sit the examination re-write offering immediately following receipt of a qualified failing grade?
Yes, students must sit the re-write examination in the semester immediately following the one where they received the qualifying grade. If they choose not to attempt the re-write examination in the subsequent semester, they must take the full course to pursue credit.
When is the examination re-write scheduled?
Exam re-writes are scheduled on the following semester's course exam dates. If a student is enrolling for an exam re-write, they may not be able to enrol in a course during the same semester as the exam re-write date and course exam may conflict. Please refer to the Preparatory Course schedule for examination dates.
Are students able to enrol in the CPA PEP once they are in progress with their last preparatory courses?
Students who are currently enrolled in their final CPA preparatory course may be eligible to conditionally enrol in CPA PEP, pending their final grade. If you are deemed to be eligible or conditionally eligible to enrol in CPA PEP you will receive a communication from the Transcript Assessment team at PEPEligibility@cpaontario.ca with details on how to proceed. Please note that all official transcripts and supporting documentation must be submitted prior to enrolling in CPA PEP.
Am I able to conditionally enrol if I am completing my final CPA preparatory course exemption through a PSI?
Students who are currently enrolled in their final prerequisite course at a post-secondary institution may be able to conditionally enrol in CPA PEP pending receipt of a transcript showing enrolment in their final course. This should be sent to the transcript assessment team, along with a reassessment form to our transcript assessment team.
Are students required to enrol for a final examination sitting after they have enrolled in the preparatory course?
No. Students pick an exam centre location upon enrolment in the preparatory courses. Please enrol online.