Accountancy Qualifying Exam

The Accountancy Qualifying Exam (AQE) is a comprehensive, multiple-choice test of information covered in most introductory financial accounting textbooks. The 30 questions are divided between computation and theory questions.

If you do not have a B or higher in ACCY 206 and/or do not meet the cumulative 3.0 GPA requirement, you must pass the AQE to be retained as accountancy majors at NIU.

To register for the AQE, please contact Angela Gray in the Department of Accountancy at

Exam Policies

  • You will have 75 minutes to answer all of the questions.
  • You must score 70% (21/30) to pass the AQE.
  • You may retake the AQE one time only.

What to Bring to the Exam

  • A photo ID.
  • A basic function, non-programmable calculator.

Grading and Results

The AQE is machine graded. We do not look at the answers written in your test booklet. Allow enough time to transfer answers written in your test booklet to your scantron form. AQE results will be emailed to your NIU student email account within five business days.

Study Strategies

Approach the AQE as you would a comprehensive final exam. Use your financial accounting textbook and course notes as your primary studying resource. Study and review the topics listed below, making sure that you understand the concepts and know how to apply them.

Topics Covered

The following topics may be tested on the AQE:

Financial Topics:
  • Financial Statements: Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Statement of Cash Flows, Statement of Retained Earnings.
  • Financial Statement Qualities: GAAP Principles and Assumptions.
  • Accounting Information Systems.
  • Accrual Accounting Concepts.
  • Merchandising Operations.
  • Accounting for Assets: Cash, Receivables, Inventory, and Long-Lived Assets.
  • Accounting for Liabilities: Current Liabilities and Bonds.
  • Accounting for Equity: Common Stock, Preferred Stock, Retained Earnings, Treasury Stock, and Dividends.