State Board Report
No major security breaches have been reported since the 2004 launch of computer-based testing for the Uniform CPA Examination, NASBA Director of Examination Services Patricia Hartman told the Executive Directors conference. More than 1.8 million examinations have been delivered since the launch. On March 4, NASBA and the AICPA agreed to an extension of their agreement with Prometric to deliver the Uniform CPA Examination through 2019.
Testing centers have multiple security processes in place and all have to be approved by the state’s Board of Accountancy, Prometric’s Kimberly Farace told the conference. Every Prometric test center around the world is physically constructed in the same way. There are cameras above the work stations, proctors walking around the room every 8-10 minutes, dividers, glass windows and digital video recorders that directly feed to Prometric’s headquarters, Ms. Farace said. The testing centers use digital image capture and, since 2011, handheld metal detector wands. All candidates must show their pockets are empty by turning them out upon check-in and when returning from breaks. Ms. Farace explained that candidates can see what to expect by going to the Prometric Web site. In addition, Prometric conducted 494 secret shopper inspections of test centers last year.
The AICPA monitors the social media sites to see if candidates leaving the tests are reporting Examination questions on blogs, AICPA’s Michael A. Decker added. Twenty-five versions of each of the four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination are sent to Prometric each quarter. Test panels are assigned to candidates at random. Mr. Decker assured the executive directors that the AICPA’s examination unit is behind locked doors in the AICPA’s New Jersey offices and access to Examination questions is based on a need to know basis. Asked when the next practice analysis, the basis for the Uniform CPA Examination’s questions, will take place, Mr. Decker responded that it would be no later than 2015.
When weather or other conditions mean a testing center cannot be open for testing, a list of candidates scheduled to test the next day is sent out and phone calls are made to them. Ms. Farace said every effort is made to tell candidates in advance of a closing. The Prometric contact center will then reach out to the candidates to reschedule their test.
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