Author: Jenna Elkins, Communications and Digital Media Specialist, NASBA
Posted: December 5, 2018

Waiting to receive CPA Exam scores is most likely a top 10 least favorite thing by CPA Exam candidates because of the anxiety produced by the stretch of time it may take to receive the score(s) and the impending Pass/Fail score. Waiting for scores is one of the final acts in the rigorous process to achieving the “gold” and moving forward to being licensed.

What many candidates don’t realize is that there are multiple moving parts behind the scenes of what happens when candidates submit their completed testlet. Scores move from Prometric to the AICPA, to NASBA and finally to the Boards of Accountancy. Sometimes, delays occur even if there are score holds caused by CPA Exam changes. We promise there is a method to the madness…here is a breakdown of what happens when a candidate completes his or her CPA Exam.

After testing for the CPA Exam, candidate responses are sent to the AICPA for scoring. The AICPA does not receive or have access to candidate identities, and the responses are identified by the examination section identification number only. When scoring is complete, advisory scores become available and the AICPA forwards them to NASBA. NASBA then matches the scores to the individual candidates and sends the scores to the Boards of Accountancy for approval and subsequent release to candidates.

Some Boards of Accountancy require at least one day beyond the published target dates for the score release to process and release Exam scores. Also, scores are not released by jurisdiction in specific order, and the scores of candidates who tested on the same day may well be reported at different times during the scoring cycle.

Generally, Boards of Accountancy report scores on a numeric scale of 0-99, with 75 as a passing score. This scale does not represent “percent correct.” A score of 75 reflects examination performance that has been judged to represent the knowledge and skills needed to protect the public interest.

For more information about how the CPA Exam is scored, visit the AICPA website and read Uniform CPA Examination Structure.

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