Countdown Clock is Focus of CPA Exam Score Release

The countdown clock ticking away toward Uniform CPA Exam score release is a visible reminder of the importance that score release timetables play in successful exam strategy. Months of CPA Exam review and test-taking preparation end in anxious clock watching for many CPA Exam candidates.

Candidates know they have 18 months to successfully complete all four sections of the CPA Exam or face retaking the entire exam again. That realization makes waiting for test results on each attempt even more stressful.

Finding the right blueprint that works for you and strategically scheduling the CPA Exam’s four sections starts with organizing a study plan based on the score release timetables. The American Institute of Public Accountants updates the timetables biannually on the AICPA’s website and on AICPA Insights.

Testing windows are the first two months of each quarter. Upcoming windows will be during the months of January and February followed by April and May, July and August, October and November. The timetables show that score release is based on the date a candidate takes the exam. Scores come out at the midpoint of the second month of the testing window.

Clock goes up before the exam date

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, which created the CPA Exam with AICPA, puts up the countdown clock on the NASBA Website a few days before the exam.

Candidates who live in states that use NASBA’s online score retrieval service will find their CPA Exam score release on the NASBA website. Those who do not live in a NASBA state may also go to the NASBA website for instructions on how to retrieve their CPA Exam score. Candidates living outside NASBA states should also check with their state board of accountancy for advice on finding their score.

A list of state boards is available from NASBA.

Most state boards of accountancy hand off score reporting to NASBA, and when AICPA sends scores, the results go up on the NASBA website very quickly.

NASBA score release is often same day that NASBA receives CPA exam results. Candidates should start checking at midnight EST on the target release date. Based on corresponding time zones, for example, those who live in Central Standard Time would expect to see scores at 11 p.m. on the day before the target release date.

Reasons for delay in releasing scores

State boards of accountancy review for standard quality control, and that process could delay score release to a few test takers for an additional day. CPA Exam candidates who take the business environment and concepts (BEC) section of the CPA Exam could face a delay of one more week past the targeted release date while scorers analyze the BEC written communication task.

Here’s how to find your score on NASBA:

  • Go to homepage.
  • Click “Exams.”
  • Go to “CPA Exam.”

Click “Get Scores.” Here you will see information on how to retrieve your score If you are not taking the exam in a NASBA state,

  • Enter your “Section ID Number” from your “Notice to Schedule” on the Candidate Online Advisory Score page. Next enter your date of birth.
  • Click “Score.”

You can expect a lot of traffic once the clock strikes midnight EST may crash the NASBA website. Opening different browsers such as Chrome and Explorer and refreshing them as the clock winds down with two or three minutes left may help avoid a crash that could delay retrieving your score another 30 minutes.

For a link to the NASBA 4th Quarter 2015 score release timetable go here.