State Board Report
The fourth window of 2010 has seen the highest CPA candidate volume since computer‐based testing was launched in 2004, Board of Examiners Chair Douglas E. Warren told the Annual Meeting. The BOE attributes the increase to a natural growth in demand for the examination, but also changes to the content specification outline for the “CBT‐e”, latest version of the examination which will be launched in January 2011. Prometric is working on making additional time available at their centers for candidates who want to take the examination this quarter, Mr. Warren assured the Boards. It is estimated that nearly 295,000 sections of the Uniform CPA Examination will be administered this year, for a 10.38 percent year‐on‐year growth rate.
Lower volume in the first testing window in 2011 is the natural follow‐up, he observed. Mr. Warren gave three reasons for the dip in early 2011: 1‐ Seasonal volume trends have traditionally indicated lower volumes in the first testing window of every year. 2‐ Candidates are waiting to make sure that they fully comprehend the CBT‐e changes, including new passing score. 3‐ Candidates are waiting for the review course providers to better understand CBT‐e.
The CBT‐e’s changes include:
‐ New content and skills outlines
‐ BEC will have written communications (adding 30 minutes to that section)
‐ AUD, FAR and REG will have more and shorter simulations
‐ AUD will be shortened by 30 minutes
‐ Simulations, will have greater weight in the final score.
The Board of Examiners will meet in November and then in February to set the new passing score. Mr. Warren explained the score will be equivalent to 75 percent.
While candidate satisfaction for the examination ranked 98.3, the biggest candidate complaint has involved the release of grades, he stated. The January‐ February 2011 scores will only be released in one wave at the end of the quarter. However, score reporting for the September‐October 2011 window and beyond will be released four or more times per window, up from twice per window today. The AICPA will release scores at the same time for candidates who test at the same time, which should resolve the candidates’ complaints, Mr. Warren said.
The AICPA is planning to hold its fourth Regional CPA Exam Forum in early 2011 in the northeast. On behalf of the BOE and the AICPA, Mr. Warren offered thanks to NASBA’s retiring Executive Vice President Joseph Cote for his contribution to the success of the computer‐based testing effort.
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