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Author: Patricia Hartman, NASBA Director of Client Services
Posted: October 18, 2011

When will I get my score?

It's the question that every candidate asks NASBA, whether they've just taken their first exam, or are on their fourth and final portion. There are many reasons why scores may seem to take a long time to get, especially for some portions of the exam.

First, as a little background, the Uniform CPA Examination is given in four parts: Auditing & Attestation; Business Environment Concepts; Financial Reporting; and Regulations. For the last several years, scores have been released starting in the third week of the second month of testing. A second wave usually comes out during the second or third week of the third month of the quarter.

Confused? You're not alone. Here's that same information, a little more simply put: Testing is done quarterly, during the first two months of the quarter. If you test early in January, you could potentially see your score in mid-February. If you tested later in January, or in February, it might be as late as mid-March before you see your score, or even closer to the end of the month.

Much as the exam has evolved over time, the scoring process didn't get here overnight. When the pencil-and-paper exam gave way to the computerized version in 2004, the exam was broken into its current four parts, and scheduled year round.

The current scoring timeline was quickly established, and remained the same until this year. In January, a major update, CBT-e, or Computer Based Testing-evolution, was incorporated into the exam. It contains Task-Based Simulations, shorter versions of the simulations that have been included up to now. TBS scoring is much easier, so this change meant that scoring could be done much quicker. In the short term, while AICPA and NASBA were working through the changes to the exam itself, this has meant that score releases have all been pushed back to the third month of the testing window. Happily, that's over.

Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011, scores will be released by NASBA to the state boards 21 days following the exam. International scores will be released two days later. Here's how that'll look on the calendar:

Oct. 1 – 20: Scores released to boards on November 3
Oct. 21 – Nov. 15: Scores released to board on November 21
Nov. 16 – 30: Scores released to boards December 7
After Nov. 30: Scores released to boards five days after scoring data received

The new release date schedule is thanks to vastly improved IT systems at both AICPA and NASBA, for scoring the exams themselves as well as processing and releasing the scoring data. As to the test itself, the changes from large simulations to smaller components, and other changes, also allow for speedier grading. And at NASBA, even if we get 20,000 or even 50,000 scores to process at once, we'll be able to move them through our verification processes much more quickly.

We are pleased with the new timeline for many reasons. Most importantly, candidates will get their scores at once, rather than in waves. And they'll get them much sooner!

If you have questions regarding the new scoring timeline, please click here to see a list of frequently asked questions about all the changes. You can also click here for questions regarding the international exam.

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