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Designation Exam Information and Dates

Exam Windows and Deadlines

NIPA offers three separate testing windows each year in which students can complete the APA and APR exams, allowing for increased flexibility to choose a time and date that works best with your schedule. 


Exam Testing Window

 Registration Opens (NIPA) 

 Registration Deadline (NIPA)

May 15 - June 15


April 30

August 1 - August 31


July 15

November 1 - December 31


November 15


Online Examinations - Convenience and Flexibility

The APA and APR exams are administered online by NIPA's testing vendor, Webassessor. The online format makes it easier and more convenient for retirement plan professionals to schedule and complete their APA/APR exams. APA/APR exam scores are also immediately available to students after the exam has been completed.

The APA 1, APR 1, and APA 3 exams are unproctored and can be taken from your home or work computer during any of NIPA's testing windows. The APA 2, APA 4, and APR 2 exams are proctored and must be taken at a Webassessor testing center during any of NIPA's testing windows. 


Designation Timetable

To earn the APA and APR designations, you must successfully complete all of the course exams within three years of taking your first exam. Any exams that were completed more than three year prior to the successful completion of your last exam will expire and must be re-taken.

Students may take more than one exam during each testing window. We recommend that any students taking more than one exam on the same day to schedule both exams at least 2.5 hours apart to ensure adequate testing time. 


Enrollment Instructions

To enroll in an exam, please complete the APA/APR Enrollment formYou will receive an email from NIPA within 24-48 business hours confirming your enrollment and a complimentary study guide for your exam. You'll also be sent any additional study materials you ordered and detailed instructions on how to schedule your exam through Webassessor.


Exam Location/Date/Time Change Policy

If you would like to change the location, date or time of your proctored exam (APR 2, APA 2, APR 4) within the same testing window, please contact NIPA headquarters. There is a $25 fee for changes made within 72 hours of the originally scheduled exam date. Changes cannot be made onsite.


Exam Retake/Deferral Policy

Any student who registers for an exam and does not take it or fails may re-take the exam for a reduced enrollment fee of $150 (compared to $250 for members and $375 for nonmembers) during the proceeding testing window.


To indicate that you are taking a skipped exam or re-taking a failed exam, you will need to use a specific discount code during the checkout process of the APA/APR Enrollment form. The code is based on your NIPA membership type and brings the cost of your exam enrollment down to $150. This discount code may only be used twice to reduce the cost of your skipped or failed exam enrollment.


Webassessor Testing Site Information

Before scheduling your exam through our testing vendor, Webassessor, you will be required to complete NIPA's APA/APR Enrollment form


Since the APA 2, APA 4, and APR 2 are proctored exams, students will need to schedule and take the exam at a Webassessor testing site. While these exams are available to complete during each of NIPA's testing windows, site and exam availability are dependent on each Webassessor facility's hours of operation. 


The APA 1, APA 3, and APR 1 exams are unproctored and can be taken at anytime during NIPA's testing window from the comfort of your home or office. Students enrolled in these exams will still need to take the exam through Webassessor, but will not be required to visit a Webassessor testing site. 


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