AICPA Announces a Major Change for CPA Exam Candidates: Reduced Wait Time for Results
by AccountingWEB on
By AccountingWEB Staff
Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011, exam scores will be released earlier and more frequently. Oliver Zhang, PhD, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Senior Psychometrician, explained that the change is in response to the most common request made by test takers since 2004 when the exam went from a pencil-and-paper format to a computerized format. The computerized format allowed CPA candidates to take the exam one section at a time, but they wanted their exam results quickly so they could plan accordingly.
An update to the Uniform CPA Exam, called CBT-e (Computer-Based Testing-evolution), launched in January 2011. It includes what is called a Task-Based Simulation (TBS), "a short simulation that is akin to a subcomponent of the simulations previously found on the exam," Zhang said. Scoring data for a TBS is easier to gather, so scores can be released quicker.
On its Web site, the AICPA states, "During the 2006-2010 testing windows, candidates' scores were released in two rounds: the first round approximately one week before the end of the testing window, and the second approximately two weeks after the end of the testing window. Under this improved score release schedule, exam scores will be released to NASBA following the first month of testing in a window, with subsequent score releases every two weeks for the remainder of the window." Typically, candidates who test early in a window will be eligible for the first round of score releases.
The AICPA has prepared a table outlining the target release dates of scores  effective October 1, 2011.