Changes to CPA examinations

Learn about the important changes regarding CPA examinations

Starting from November 29, 2019, all CPA students/candidates will receive CPA-issued laptops at the examination writing centres to write their exams. These laptops will be pre-loaded with the Surpass (SecureClient) software. The decision to continue using the software to provide security and collect responses for the exams was made after new software updates were implemented and a rigorous testing process was performed.

These changes mean that students/candidates will:

  • continue to use their own laptops to complete their course work
  • not be required to install the SecureClient on their laptops
  • not need to complete SecureClient Activities or a validation examination
  • not be required to bring their own laptop to the examination writing centres 
  • be permitted to bring a plug and play wired mouse to use during the exam as one will not be provided

Surpass (SecureClient)

Surpass (SecureClient) is an application that locks down computers so that no other programs or files can be accessed during an examination. The application automatically uploads all responses into the Surpass Test Administration system.

Surpass (SecureClient) enables you to:

  1. answer multiple choice questions (MCQs)
  2. input your responses using a word processor and a spreadsheet*
  3. access reference material to search the CPA Canada Handbook and the Income Tax Act (for applicable examinations)

*If your examination contains only MCQs, you will not have access to the word processor or spreadsheet.

To help familiarize you with the exam writing environment, the following optional training materials are available for you to review at your convenience: 

If you have any questions about the new method of exam delivery or Surpass (SecureClient), please contact the CPA Student Support Web Portal.