Principles of Accountancy Competency Exam (PACE)

UT Tyler Soules College of Business

Intermediate Accounting I Entrance Exam


Modifications for FALL 2020

In response to the current coronavirus situation, face-to-face PACE exam testing has been postponed until further notice. However, registration for Fall 2020 is rapidly approaching. To register for the ACCT 3311 for Fall 2020, please send an email from your patriots email account with your student identification number to Dr. Veronda Willis at and request access to the PACE Canvas course. All registration information is found in the PACE Canvas course.

What is the PACE?

The Principles of Accountancy Competency Exam (PACE) is a required exam that all students who desire to take Intermediate Accounting I (ACCT 3311) must pass before registering for ACCT 3311. The exam is given outside of class. The PACE covers accounting topics from Principles of Accounting I (Financial Accounting). The PACE is a two-hour exam and consists of two parts - 15 multiple choice questions and an accounting cycle problem. The exam is handwritten and must be completed prior to registering for Intermediate Accounting I.

Exemption: After spring 2017, there will be no exemptions for the PACE. All students who desire to take ACCT 3311 need to take and pass the PACE.

When was the PACE implemented and why?

Beginning fall 2010, all students desiring to take Intermediate Accounting I (ACCT 3311) must take the PACE. The PACE was implemented in order to ensure that all students entering Intermediate Accounting I have the proper skills and tools to succeed in this course. The PACE was implemented when the faculty teaching Intermediate Accounting I noticed that students were not prepared to take this course for various reasons.

The faculty wanted to make sure that students possess the necessary skills to succeed in Intermediate Accounting and their accounting careers. One reason that students are not prepared for the course is because there has been a gap of several years since some students took Principles of Accounting. As such, they have forgotten their basic principles of accounting. Fortunately, students can refresh their knowledge of these skills.

What is the purpose of this requirement?

A student's performance in Intermediate Accounting is often viewed as the single most important indicator of aptitude for success in the accounting profession. Prospective employers pay close attention to a student's performance in this course. Unfortunately, many students fail to do well in this course, not because of their aptitude, but because of their lack of preparedness upon entering the course.

It is essential that a student's prerequisite knowledge be sufficient to prepare a student to succeed in Intermediate. The goal of the exam is to make sure that our students are prepared to succeed, rather than allowing them to proceed to fail.

What information do I need to know for the PACE exam?

The PACE exam covers accounting information from Principles of Accounting I (Financial Accounting). Below is a list of topics that will be covered on the PACE exam. You should know how to account for and/or know how each topic relates to accounting:

  • Accounting Equation
  • Elements of the Financial Statements
  • Gross Profit
  • Journal Entries
  •  Adjusting Entries
  • Closing Entries
  • Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
  • Statement of Cash Flows (Indirect Method)
  • Inventory Valuation (FIFO and LIFO)
  • Depreciation (Straight-line)
  • Sale of Assets (Gains and Losses)

What if I do not pass the PACE?

Students may attempt the PACE exam two (2) times in any semester. If a student does not pass the PACE on their second attempt, the student will not be able to register for Intermediate Accounting I. The student will need to spend more time refreshing their accounting principles before attempting Intermediate Accounting I. One way to do this is to audit Principles of Accounting I. Another way is to self-study in order to be successful in a future semester.

How do I prepare for the PACE exam?

There are study materials and additional PACE information available in the PACE in Canvas. To gain access to the PACE site, please send an email with your student identification number to Dr. Veronda Willis at to request access.

Register for the PACE

Registration instructions are in the PACE Canvas course. You will need to schedule your desired exam through the scheduler tool in Canvas at least 48 hours in advance. Make sure to check Canvas and your UT Tyler Patriots email account regularly for important announcements and updates.

There is no fee for the exam. You must bring a photo ID (student ID or driver's license), pencils, eraser and a ruler (if desired). Everything else will be provided to you to take the test. Therefore, please leave your things (phone, calculator, papers, etc.) in your car or at home. You should arrive 20 minutes early to complete all administrative details. You will not be allowed to enter the room after the exam starts, so do not be late.


For more information on the PACE and to be added to the Canvas group for study materials, email Dr. Veronda Willis at