The big question on the minds of a lot of accounting students is, “how are the upcoming changes to the CPA Exam going to affect me?”
Beginning April 1, 2017, students sitting for the Uniform CPA Examination will test under the next version of the exam. As the accounting profession has changed over the last several years, the next version of the CPA Exam will test higher-order skills such as critical thinking and analytical ability to follow the demand shifts of the profession and what is expected of new accountants.
Here is a breakdown of the changes:
- Testing of higher-order skills – Analysis and Evaluation criteria have been added to Remembering/Understanding and Application. These additional criteria will assess the candidates’ ability to evaluate problems and the judgment required to draw conclusions. Candidates will also have to determine how multiple items are related and show the cause and effect relationship while supporting the evidence used.
- Increased task-based simulations – Task-based simulations will increase as a higher percentage of overall exams (from 40% currently to 50%) while multiple choice questions will comprise the remaining half of the exam (except for BEC which contains a writing segment).
- Increased testing time – All four sections of the exams will now be four hours long for a total of 16 hours (compared to the current 14 hours required). A 15-minute break will be added that does not count against testing time. Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG), and Business Environment (BEC) will remain as the four exam segments. There is an expected cost increase due to the increase in testing time and will vary by state.
- Release of Next Exam Blueprints – The Blueprints will provide an outline of the knowledge and skills that may be tested on the exam. It will show an overview of the content areas of each section of the exam, include content area and skill allocations of topics on each section, and will provide representative tasks for each content area.
Here is a breakdown of scoring weights for each section:
While the test is not expected to be harder to pass, it will reflect the changes in the profession and the roles accountants now serve. The biggest change students can expect will be how to study for the exam. Auburn University and our CPA Exam Review partner, Becker, are taking these changes into consideration for course materials and CPA Exam preparation to give students the best background possible for sitting for the exam.
Visit http://www.aicpa.org/BECOMEACPA/CPAEXAM/Pages/default.aspx for more information on the Next Version of the Uniform CPA Examination.