CPA PEP Virtual Exams: What’s in a Location

By Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA
Dec 4, 2020

So, you are writing a virtual exam and have some questions? You have come to the right place! Official disclaimer time: we are living, working, and learning in a dynamic environment. Overall, given we are eight-plus months into our practice of the COVID-19 tired cliché “new normal”, the advice which follows should remain relatively stable. 

Do I need to register for a CPA PEP virtual exam?

No. CPA PEP virtual exam registration is the same as in-person exams: Candidates are automatically registered in the examination when registering for the module. Candidates still need to qualify for the module exam. Refer to the Candidate Guide for more information on exam qualification. Please note that there is a different process for CPA preparatory course exams.

When is my module end exam?

Links to module schedules, including exam dates, are on the CPA PEP schedules page.  

Virtual exams require learners to write at the same time. Time zones are listed in the schedule. Anyone not writing in PST, MST, or CST will need to do the conversion for their time zone relative to those stated in the schedule. 

Has the exam deferment process changed?

No. Candidates who qualify to write the exam may choose to defer it. Candidates pay the fee and complete the process for deferment in their Candidate Portal. Candidates who would like to discuss deferment or are  experiencing extenuating circumstance (in which case the fee for deferment *may* be waived) should email

Does that mean I can write this exam in a country other than Canada?

Yes! Candidates may write this remote examination anywhere so long as they are able to meet the technical requirements listed in the Candidate Guide.

I am not presently a CPA PEP candidate and do not reside in Canada. Now that exams are remote can I register for CPA PEP?

All International student registration inquiries should be made to

How do I prepare for a virtual examination?

There is a post for that! Please refer to a post that my colleague Nikki and I wrote a short while ago: Preparing for the September 2020 CPA PEP Exams.

Where can I get information about the virtual exams?

All changes to CPA PEP due to COVID-19 may be found here. The COVID-19 FAQ is updated by CPA Canada frequently.

What does “open book” mean?

This definition is covered in the COVID-19 FAQ.

Are there restrictions on what I can copy/paste?

Yes – Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ for further details.

Is this a group exam? Can I collaborate or swap answers with another person?

No and No. Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ for further details.

When do I get access to the Exam Module?

Candidates will receive access to their exam module approximately 1-2 weeks before the exam date. This exam module will show up in their course listing. Candidates can access the course listing in D2L by selecting their course waffle:

Who do I contact with a question from the Exam Module?

If after reviewing the exam module, you still have questions, submit a help desk ticket (located under Content>Technical Support>IT helpdesk) as they will direct your question to the proper exam personnel. 

You have access to your online facilitator and discussion board lead facilitators until 4:00 pm PST the evening before an examination. Good luck and do your best!

Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA, is an educator and lead policy advisor for CPAWSB and an instructor of accounting at Dalhousie University. She is on a mission to understand and enable learner efficacy while eliminating doldrums occasionally associated with accounting education. Read more of Sam’s posts at the CPAWSB blog.