Ethics Exam

Candidates, CPAs licensed Out-of-State and Reissuance

If you are applying for a California CPA license for the first time or you have a cancelled license and seeking a reissue, you must pass the Professional Ethics for CPAs (PETH) exam. Even if you are licensed outside of California, you must pass the PETH before applying for a California license.

The Scoop on the Ethics Exam

About the Materials

Our exam materials provide comprehensive coverage of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and California Accountancy Act and Accounting Rules and Regulations. You will find clear, detailed explanations of the rules that will assist you in answering tough ethical questions. Please allow about 16 hours to read the 300-page study book and complete the test.

About the Exam

—There are 50 multiple-choice questions; there is no time limit on the exam.

—You will have six attempts to pass the exam with a grade of 90 percent or better, or no more than five missed questions.

—All self-study and PETH exam questions are random. That means exam questions are issued in a random order each time the test is taken.

—The exam must be completed within one year from the date of purchase. Please make sure to allow enough time for all six attempts to pass, if needed, within the year.

—CalCPA notifies the California Board of Accountancy on a weekly basis of all successfully completed exam scores.

—Your test results are valid for two years while you complete all of your licensing requirements for the California Board of Accountancy.


—Online grading is included in the price of Professional Ethics for CPAs for both the online and text-based course. It can be accessed via this website by going to My Account » My Online » Self-Study.

—You will receive instant results.

—All passing scores are sent directly from the CalCPA Education Foundation to the California Board of Accountancy on a weekly basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ethics Exam FAQs

Once You Are a CPA

There is no better place than the CalCPA Education Foundation to fulfill your CPE licensing renewal requirements. We offer more than 1,400 CPE opportunities including self-study options.

Renewing your California CPA license?

Choose from these courses.

Free Ethics are a benefit of CalCPA membership - view webcasts available.