Core modules evaluation in the CPA professional education program

Learn about the format, length and competency area weightings of the examinations for the Core 1 and Core 2 modules within the CPA certification program.

To complete the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP), you must complete six modules: two core modules, two elective modules and two capstone modules. The CPA PEP begins with two mandatory core modules. In both modules, you build the enabling and technical competencies required of a professional accountant. The modules are integrative, drawing on law, economics, finance, strategy, statistics and IT, as well as the technical competency areas.

At the end of each module, you must successfully complete the final examination, which features case-based and objective-format questions that test both the technical and enabling skills needed in the accounting profession.

The core modules blueprint (updated January 2017) provides you with information on what to expect from these examinations, including the weighting placed on the different competencies and the study materials you can use while completing them.

Objective format questions

A variety of objective format questions are used, including:

  • four options
  • short answer
  • matching
  • true or false

Task-based simulation example

Task-based simulations are included in objective format questions. Here is a sample that uses the task-based simulation model of objective format testing.

Examples of core cases

A core case runs up to 60 minutes in length and assesses cross-competency integration, problem-solving and communication. Below are examples of core cases:

  • Core 1 ExampleAtomic Excellence Inc.: This example focuses on financial reporting and assurance competencies, and draws on entry-level learning.
  • Core 2 ExampleMamma Jill’s Pizza: This example draws on prerequisite, Core 1 and Core 2 competencies. It is the kind of case that would be used at the end of Core 2.
  • Core 2 ExampleFence Company Ltd.:  This example requires candidates to assume the role of a business advisor and tests management accounting concepts in a small business environment.


Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary. We’re celebrating you, Canadian CPAs. Tell us why you’re proud to be a Canadian CPA. Then watch for our big celebration in July.

Gain practical organizational insights and learn from industry experts at this annual event for not-for-profit financial leaders.