Competency Exam

General Information

  1. All students must pass the Competency Exam prior to enrolling in ACC 400 and ACC 405. Students must pass the exam within two semesters prior to the beginning of their ACC 400 class. An Exam Description and Study Guide is available. Students are limited to three attempts.
  2. To enroll in ACC 400 and ACC 405 a student must have a B- or better in ACC 201 and ACC 202, be admitted to a major and have successfully completed the competency exam.
  3. Permission to enroll in ACC 400 will be administered by the Department of Accounting.

Application and Procedures to Take the Competency Exam

The Competency Exam will be given several times during the year. You must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the exam start time to check in. You are required to preset a photo ID (UNLV Student ID, DMV-issued ID, Military ID, or Passport) when you sign in. Scantrons and calculators will be provided. Except for pre-approved accommodations through the Disability Resource Center, you must use the provided calculator.

View the upcoming exam dates and register online for the Competency Exam. You may only register for one exam date at a time. If you register for more than one exam date, you will be assigned to the earliest exam date. If you need to repeat an exam, you may register for another exam after you are notified of your exam results. If you register for an exam and do not attend the exam and do not cancel at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled exam, you may not be allowed to take the exam the next time it is offered.

Exam Description and Study Guide

To prepare for the Competency Exam, we strongly recommend you access and read the Exam Description and Study Guide. Please be advised, that the Competency Exam covers topics from ACC 201 (Financial Accounting) and ACC 202 (Managerial Accounting). Taking the exam prior to covering the topics in the Exam Description and Study Guide is highly discouraged.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions after reading the entire list of FAQs, please contact the Department of Accounting .

What is the purpose of having an accounting Competency Exam?
The competency exam provides a way for students to demonstrate their understanding of the prerequisite knowledge necessary to succeed in the upper-division accounting courses. The goal is to make sure students are prepared to succeed.
When can I sit for the Competency Exam?
You may sit for the Competency Exam when you feel you are prepared to pass. Please note that you must pass the exam one or two semesters (including Summer) prior to the beginning of your ACC 400 class. Those who pass the exam and do not enroll in ACC 400 within either the two semesters immediately following the exam date (including Summer), will have to re-take the exam. E.g. If you pass the exam in November 2019 (Fall semester), you must enroll in ACC 400 in either the Spring or Summer 2020 semesters.
Once I pass the exam, what do I need to do?
The Department of Accounting maintains a list of people who have passed the competency exam. Those who pass the exam and meet the additional requirements will be eligible to enroll in ACC 400 and ACC 405. If the registration system (MyUNLV) recognizes that you meet the other requirements (admission to a major and satisfactory grades in ACC 201 and ACC 202), you will be allowed to enroll. If you are not able to enroll, please contact the Lee Business School Undergraduate Advising Office.
Is passing the Competency Exam alone enough to register for ACC 400 and ACC 405?
No. In order to register for ACC 400 and/or ACC 405, you must:
  1. Have earned a B- or better in both ACC 201 and ACC 202.
  2. Be admitted to a major.
  3. Have successfully completed the competency exam.
Are waivers for the exam available?
We do not offer waivers for nor exemptions from the Competency Exam. If you performed very well in ACC 201 and ACC 202 and understand the prerequisite material, you should feel confident in your ability to pass the Competency Exam.
How often is the exam offered?
The Department of Accounting will offer the competency exam several times each year, including at least twice in the Fall semester, twice in the Spring semester and at least once during the summer. The testing dates can be found above. Please note that we are unable to schedule fall and spring exams until about one month after the start of each semester. If future dates are unavailable, please check back.
How much does the exam cost?
The competency exam is offered free of charge.
Does the exam change each time?
The questions on the exam will differ each time, but the subject matter remains the same.
How long is the exam? How long do I have to complete it?
The exam is comprised of four parts: 1.) Journal Entries; 2.) Financial Statements; 3.) Managerial Accounting; 4.) 15 Multiple Choice Questions covering ACC 201 and ACC 202.You will have 2.5 hours to complete the exam. Please refer to the Exam Description and Study Guide for more details.
What do I need to bring to the exam?
You must have a valid photo ID (driver's license, passport, student ID, military ID). Scantrons and calculators will be provided. You may not use anything else (e.g., cell phones, notes, textbooks) for the exam. You should bring a #2 pencil with an eraser and you may bring a beverage in a clear bottle without a label. You will be required to place all personal items, including hats, on the floor beneath you.
How many times can I take the Competency Exam?
Students are limited to three attempts; however, if you do not pass the first time, we encourage you to prepare and try again.
If I do not pass the exam, are there any upper-division accounting classes that I may take?
Yes, if you have earned a minimum of B- in ACC 201 and ACC 202, you may enroll in ACC 473 (Law for Accountants I) without passing the exam.
Can I share information about the exam or ask others about its content?
If you want to know what material is most likely to appear on the competency exam, please review the Practice Exam. It is a violation of the Department of Accounting Academic Integrity Policy to seek or share specific information about the exam format or content.
What if I am registered with the DRC for special testing accommodations?
Students who require special accommodations must provide DRC documentation to the Department of Accounting (BEH 415) at least two weeks prior to the exam date.