State Board Report
April 1, 2017 was the inauguration date for the latest version of the Uniform CPA Examination. NASBA Director of Client Services Patricia Hartman reported to the executive directors that in recent days the question NASBA client service representatives were most frequently been asked was: “Will there be a credit extension?” Ms. Hartman said extensions of credit are being handled on a case-by-case basis. NASBA staff has used social media to reach candidates as well as posted the new candidate bulletin on the web. Once NASBA knows which candidates are testing on which dates, they will let the State Boards know which candidates have a credit expiration issue. Candidates will be notified if the Board grants an extension.
Robin L. Stackhouse, AICPA Director of Exam Development and Production-Public Accounting, told the conference about the redesign that is coming to the Uniform CPA Examination in 2018. The users will be able to move exhibits around with the items on the screen and Excel is being added as a tool. Additional score holds will need to take place in 2018 to make sure the new design is not advantaging or disadvantaging candidates, she explained, but the Boards will be informed of those holds six months in advance.
Security measures being taken at the testing centers were outlined by Kimberly Farace, Prometric Team Leader – Client Services. Hand-held metal detector wands are used during check-in and upon return from breaks and Prometric has launched detailed procedures for detecting spy camera devices. She demonstrated how such equipment can be hidden in neckties, large jewelry and even eyeglass frames. Prometric has strict identification policies including ID verification and physical sign-ins with digital image capture. All the testing centers have cameras and microphones in candidate areas plus administrators conducting walkthroughs every few minutes.
If a person is found to have a spying device, they are told they are not able to test that day and the device is confiscated, Ms. Farace said. Prometric’s security department reviews the incidents and if someone is caught trying to harvest questions they are denied access immediately. Ms. Hartman said at least three states have had cases where the testing centers discovered problems and NASBA contacted the Boards on the action that needed to be taken. Ms. Farace said Prometric can help the Boards with investigations that require information from the test center teams.
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