CPA Exam 2017


New CPA Exam 2017

The CPA Exam is changing because the AICPA is committed to making sure the test remains relevant to the accounting profession.

The new CPA Exam 2017 is expected to be more difficult than the old one. The 2017 CPA Exam adds more Task-Based Simulations (TBS) and focuses more on critical thinking, problem solving and analytical ability. The AICPA is increasing the proportion of TBS on the FAR, AUD and REG Exams from 40 percent to 50 percent and is adding TBS to the BEC Exam in addition to the written communication questions. Since the AICPA is moving away from multiple-choice questions, candidates will have to practice simulations more.

You can expect at least one of the TBS on each part of the CPA Exam will include elements from other parts of the Exam. These elements will be basic material covered in a college course.

The new BEC Exam will have 50 percent MCQs, 35 percent TBS and 15 percent Written Communications. This revised BEC will be more difficult than the old exam of 85 percent MCQs and 15 percent Written Communication.

The new CPA Exam tests four skill levels—Remembering and Understanding, Application, Analysis, and Evaluation. This compares with the old Exam’s testing of two skill levels – Knowledge and Understanding as well as Application. Analysis and Evaluation are considered higher-order thinking skills. Addition of testing these new skills also increases the exam’s difficulty.

CPA Exam Requirements 2017

Individual states and jurisdictions set their own specific educational and other requirements to qualify for the CPA Exam. While you may apply to any state or jurisdiction where you intend to be licensed to practice, you may register to take the exam in only one jurisdiction at a time.

Most states require a bachelor’s degree before you sit for the exam. In addition, some states require another 150 hours of coursework or the equivalent of a Master’s degree as a qualification to sit for the exam. To apply for the CPA Exam, you must submit forms, transcripts and fees to the state board or its designee.

You may submit applications at any time during the year. First-time candidates will find the process usually takes from four to six weeks. You must submit official school transcripts. An international degree may require additional evaluation and that may require extra time.

Visit the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy to learn more about the requirements of application in your state or jurisdiction.

The name on your application must match exactly the name on the two forms of valid identification you provide for admission to the testing center.

CPA Exam Fees 2017

You must submit fees to the state board or its designee along with forms and transcripts to apply for the CPA Exam.  Application and exam fees for first-time candidates vary by state but range from $900 to $1,000 for all four parts of the exam.

CPA Exam Dates 2017

Successfully scheduling tests demands paying attention to the windows when the CPA Exam is offered. The CPA Exam testing windows fall within the first two months of each quarter of the calendar year. No exams are administered during the “Blackout Months” of March, June, September and December. That’s the third month of every quarter.

The 2017 exam schedule include Quarter 1 test months January through March 10 with the blackout month March 11 through March 31; Quarter 1 test months April through May 31 and blackout month June 1 through June 30; Quarter 3 test months July through September 10 with blackout month September 11 through September 30; and Quarter 4 test months October through December 10 with blackout month December 11 through December 31.

CPA Exam Schedule 2017

CPA Exam candidates have an 18-month rolling window to successfully complete all four parts of the exam. The rolling window begins when you pass the first exam. You must pass all four parts of the CPA Exam within those 18 months or lose credit for the first part you passed.

The window then rolls up to the next part you passed, and you will have another 18 months to successfully complete all four parts. The window continues to roll until you have passed all four parts within the required 18-month time frame.

Candidates are not allowed to take the same section more than once during any single testing window. They may take all four sections of the exam during any one testing window.

CPA Exam Score Release Dates 2017

The American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA) updates the CPA Exam release dates biannually and posts the revised timetables first on AICPA Insights and then on AICPA’s Website.

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases scores to candidates and the State Boards of Accountancy according to the timetables.

Watching the Uniform CPA Exam score release dates helps candidates plan a successful testing schedule. They’ll know when to expect their scores after taking one examination and how to plan for the next exam.

These are the dates the CPA Exam scores will be released by NASBA to the State Boards of Accountancy:

July/August/September (Q3) Testing Window

If you take your test on/before:               September 10

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric 11:59 pm (EST) on: September 11

Target score release date: September 19

If you take your test on/before:               September 10

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric: **after September 11

Target score release date: September 25

**The Examination data files the AICPA receives after September 11 will be included in the final target score release date

October/November/December (Q4) Testing Window

If you take your test on/before:               December 10

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric 11:59 pm (EST) on: December 11

Target score release date: December 19

If you take your test on/before:               December 10

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric 11:59 pm (EST): **After December 11

Target score release date: December 21

**The Examination data files the AICPA receives after December 11 will be included in the final target score release date.

January/February/March (Q4 2018) Testing Window

If you take your test on/before:               January 20

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric 11:59 pm (EST) on: January 1 – January 20

Target score release date: February 6

If you take your test on/before:               February 14

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric 11:59 pm (EST): January 21 – February 14

Target score release date: February 23

If you take your test on/before:               February 28

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric 11:59 pm (EST) on: February 15 – February 28

Target score release date: March 8

If you take your test on/before:               March 11

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric 11:59 pm (EST): March 1 – March 11

Target score release date: March 20

The CPA Exam release dates can be found on the AICPA website.

CPA Exam Pass Rate 2017

While it may be too early to discern much about 2017 CPA Exam pass rates from First Quarter scores posted in August, candidates can check with AICPA to compare these results with 2016 and earlier years. Updates on scores are posted quarterly at AICPA’s link CPA Exam Pass Rate.

These are the initial CPA Exam pass rates for 2017:

AUD 1st Qtr. 43.47 percent; Cumulative 43.47 percent

BEC 1st Qtr. 50.39 percent; Cumulative 50.39 percent

FAR 1st Qtr. 43.14 percent; Cumulative 43.14 percent

REG 1st Qtr. 46.10 percent; Cumulative 46.10 percent

Comparing 2016 results to previous years, you’ll see a slight downward trend in AUD scores over the past several years. The vague, theoretical nature of most auditing and attestation questions compared with other subjects may be the reason candidates score lowest on AUD out of the four sections.

BEC scores have been somewhat surprising because many candidates struggle with the written communication on this section. Candidates have performed better on BEC than any other section during the past seven years.

The high FAR score in 2016 was only 48 percent, and that is the lowest high in the past seven years. The scores fell slightly, but FAR is the longest and most technical of the exams. Expect changes in 2017 with the AICPA’s move away from multiple-choice questions toward more simulations.

Stability in Reg scores during the past several years may be explained by consistency in information on the exam. Regulation consistently focuses on federal taxation. However, material covered on the Regulation section does keep pace with the ever-changing tax code.


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