Candidate Handbook

Accounting Level 1 - Multiple choice test (AC-MCT) E100

Description of the Accounting Level 1 - Multiple choice test

This test measures proficiency level 1 and contains 32 questions. You must choose the correct answer from among four choices.

Time limit for test: 40 minutes

What is measured

Accounting principles, techniques and/or practices, including: the purpose and interrelationship of financial statements (that is, balance sheet, income statement), general ledger, journal entries, and CICA Handbook.

Pass mark

You must score 16 or greater to attain level 1 proficiency.

Description of the Accounting Level 2 - Multiple choice test

This test measures proficiency level 2 and contains 33 questions. You must choose the correct answer from among four choices.

Time limit for test: 40 minutes

What is measured

Accounting principles, techniques and/or practices, including: financial statements, journal entries, GAAP, Books of Account, and Organizations.

Pass mark

You must score 18 or greater to attain level 2 proficiency.

Candidate information

Before the test

  • Ensure you are aware of the exact location, date, and time of your test session.
  • Review the sample question(s), if applicable, to familiarize yourself with the test structure.
  • If you have a disability that could affect your test performance, you must inform the responsible resourcing advisor, as soon as possible, so that appropriate accommodations can be made.

On the day of the test

  • If you do not feel well on the day of the test and you think that this will impact on your test results, you must inform the contact on your letter of invitation as soon as possible.
  • Arrive in advance so that you do not feel rushed or overly stressed. You will not be admitted to the room once the test has begun.
  • Bring at least one photo identification card and your Personal Record Identifier (PRI) if you are a public servant.
  • Do not bring smart phones, cell phones, USB keys, PDAs, digital cameras or any other electronic device into the testing room, they are not permitted. This will save you the trouble of checking them in with the test administrator.

When taking tests in general

  • Read the instructions thoroughly and completely before you begin.
  • Organize your time, work quickly, and use all the time available.
  • If you finish the test before time is up, review your answers.
  • For handwritten tests, write neatly so you don't lose points for answers which the scorer cannot read.

When taking multiple choice tests

  • Read the whole question before answering it. Eliminate answers that you know are wrong. By reducing the number of choices, you increase your chance of selecting the correct answer.
  • Don't spend too much time on a question that you find too difficult. Leave it and return to it if you have time at the end.
  • If completing answer sheets, use only HB pencils that have been provided. Any answers recorded in ink will be scored as incorrect.
  • Ensure that the question number on your answer sheet matches the question number you are answering.

After the test

"The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information relating to testing or auditing procedures or techniques or details of specific tests to be given or audits to be conducted if the disclosure would prejudice the use or results of particular tests or audits."

Failure to comply with this regulation and/or engaging in a fraudulent practice will result in disciplinary action.
  • Do not discuss or share the content of a standardized test. Also, you cannot view or obtain a copy of any standardized test material because they are protected by the Access to Information Act. Section 22 of this act stipulates that:

Additional information for candidates writing online tests

As a test-taker, you may be required to write a test on a computer instead of the traditional paper and pencil format.

Computer skills

Only two computer skills are necessary to write an online test. First, you will need to point your mouse's cursor in specific areas of your screen and click with your index finger. During your online testing session, you will need to use your mouse to mark your answers and, when necessary, to move "back" to a previous question and "next" to the following question. Second, you will use your mouse to point on the scroll bar to the right of the screen in order to move up or down on a page.


As with paper and pencil formats of tests, online tests are proctored, which means that test administrators (TA) are present to ensure that the session follows the CRA's administrative and security procedures. For example, the TA will begin with the general test session instructions and then the specific instructions for the test you are taking. TAs will follow all current procedures concerning late candidates, temporary absences from the testing room, withdrawal of candidates from a testing session, candidates requiring accommodations, cheating, disruptive candidates, disputes regarding test questions, emergencies and other situations.

Security and Privacy

Your name is assigned to an electronic version of a specific test. Your session will start with a login screen. You will receive two identification (ID) numbers at the testing session: the first number is your unique Test Taker ID and the other number, the Test Administrator ID. These measures are to ensure test security. The TA will take you through this simple process. Please note that you will be issued a new Test Taker ID for each online test that you are scheduled to take.

Timed tests

All CRA online tests are timed; the computer ensures fairness by controlling the duration of the session, from the exact moment each test-taker clicks the "Start Your Test" button. A timer in the upper right corner of the screen will show exactly how much time is left. After the allocated time is over, the computer will close your test. If you finish early, you can use the remaining time to review your answers.

How to respond to questions

Although this will vary from test to test, Figure 1 shows an example of a screen presenting a multiple choice question. The main elements of this screen are the name of the test (in this case "Practice Test (D01A1E)"), the question number you are responding to, and the total number of questions in the test (in this case "Question 1 / 6"), the actual question and, in the case of a multiple choice question, the options from which you can choose. Of course, more text can appear, depending upon the amount of text in the question and in the answer choices. Point your mouse's cursor and click the circle next to your answer choice. The upper left corner of the screen shows a "Mark for Review" box you can check to remind yourself to revisit any question later if you have time. Finally, in the bottom portion of the screen, the "Back" and "Next" buttons (not shown) will allow you to move back to the previous question or forward to the next question.

This information will be repeated immediately before the testing session and your test administrator will answer any questions.

How to review your answers

Two strategies are available. During the test, you can use the "Back" and "Next" buttons to navigate within your test. If, after answering all the questions, you have time left, you will see a screen that looks like the one shown in Figure 2. This is the review screen. In this hypothetical example, the upper right corner shows that you still have three minutes left to complete the test. The screen shows the answers you provided for all the questions. In this case, the Practice test has six questions. For example, at question 1 you answered "4", at question 2 you answered "3", and so on. When "Marked" appears, like as with question 1, it means you checked the "Mark for Review" box for that question. To return directly to question 1, click on the circle next to the question number, then click on the "Edit" button. You can change your answer or leave it as is. Marking questions does not influence your score. If you are satisfied with your answers, you can click on "Submit". You will then be asked to confirm that you want to end your test. If you click on "Yes" your results will be uploaded and your session will be complete.

Figure 1
Example of a test screen showing a multiple-choice question
Figure 2
Example of a Test review screen showing a list of marked questions
Retest period

You must wait until after the retest period of 180 days has elapsed before you can take the test again. If you choose to rewrite the test, the score you obtain will then become your most recent and valid score. Should you rewrite the test before the retest period has elapsed, your result will not be valid and a new retest period will be imposed from the new test date.


Rescore requests are not accepted for online tests. Managers are encouraged however to respond to candidates' concerns.

Sample questions for levels 1 and 2 

Answers are provided at the bottom of this document.

Level 1

1. All of the following items are considered part of the owner's equity, EXCEPT:

  1. capital
  2. drawings
  3. net income
  4. dividends

2. The purpose of a balance sheet is to:

  1. show the financial position of the business on a particular date
  2. show the net income for a particular period
  3. show the fair market value of the business on a particular date
  4. summarize all accounting transactions for the year

3. Chris, the owner of a French fry proprietorship, obtains a loan from the bank for a down payment on a cottage.  How should this be reflected on the financial statements of Chris's French Fries?

  1. asset
  2. liability
  3. asset and liability
  4. none of the above

4. The correct sequence of presentation of items on the income statement is:

  1. revenue, expenses, extraordinary items
  2. expenses, revenue, extraordinary items
  3. extraordinary items, revenue, expenses
  4. extraordinary items, expenses, revenue

5. Net income equals:

  1. assets - liabilities
  2. liabilities - owner's equity
  3. revenue + expenses
  4. revenue - expenses

6. Financial statements are used by:

  1. creditors
  2. tax authorities
  3. investors
  4. all of the above

7. The posting reference in the ledger indicates:

  1. the page of the ledger that the account is on
  2. the date of the transaction
  3. whether it is a debit or a credit entry
  4. the page of the journal where the entry can be found

Level 2

8. An error in determining year-end inventory will cause a misstatement of:

  1. cost of goods sold
  2. gross profit
  3. net income
  4. all of the above

9. ABCD Appliance Repair completed repairs of $150 on a customer's dishwasher on June 28th.  Invoice and payment are both made on July 7th.  As of June 30th, the $150 is:

  1. a prepaid expense
  2. an accrued revenue
  3. unearned revenue 
  4. an accrued expense

10. In 1999, an equipment owner sold a front end loader for $75,000, with a book value of $100,000 and accumulated depreciation of $70,000.  What is the accounting gain/loss on the sale of the loader?

  1. ($25,000)
  2. $30,000
  3. $75,000
  4. $45,000

Answer key

Level 1

  1.  1. d
  2.  2. a
  3.  3. d
  4.  4. a
  5.  5. d
  6.  6. d
  7.  7. d

Level 2

  1.  8. d
  2.  9. b
  3. 10. d
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