Q:What types of questions are found in each of the parts?
A:Each section's exam will consist of three testlets of multiple-choice questions(24-30 multiple choice questions per testlet).In addition,students will receive 2 simulation testlets per section(but not in Business Environment&Concepts).Each testlet will contain questions from the entire section's content specification outline.
As a candidate completes each testlet and submits it for grading the next testlet will appear.The candidate will not be able to go back to a previous testlet nor look ahead at a subsequent testlet or simulation until the current one is submitted for grading.However,within each testlet a candidate will have the ability tomarkquestions to go back and further review before submission.
With the exception of BEC,which is 100% multiple choice at present,approximate weighting of the types of questions is 70% multiple-choice and 20% simulations,other than the written communication portion,and 10% for the written communication.
Q:What are simulations?
A:Simulations are condensed case studies and are designed to complement the multiplechoice questions.The simulations will require candidates to exhibit skills deemed necessary for an entry-level accountant to possess.
Typical candidate skills necessary include the ability to use a mouse,check boxes,basic spreadsheet skills(not specific to types of software),form completion,fill-in the blanks,use of tables,research(using professional literature)and preparation of written communications such as letters,memos and reports.
Simulations are not currently included on the Business Environment and Concepts exam.
A:Pretest questions are used to develop future examinations;they are NOT used in computing examination scores.Each testlets or simulation may include pretest questions.
Q:How is the CBT graded?What is a passing score?
A:Grades on the CBT range from 0 to 99 with a scaled 75 the passing score.States do have the ability to issue scores in any form they choose and some have issued only pass/fail results.
Exam questions,other than the written communication exercises contained in the simulations,will be formatted to allow responses to be scored electronically.Human graders will grade all written communication questions.
Q:When/How are candidates notified of their grades?
A:Scores are generally reported in the first month of the testing window following the one in which the candidate tested.An effort is currently under way to shorten the time period between testing and score reporting.Accelerated score reporting will be implemented gradually,beginning in the fall of 2005.Until the new schedule is fully in effect, candidates should expect scores to be reported according to the following.
Advisory scores and performance information are sent by the USCPA to NASBA,and NASBA then forwards the advisory scores to boards of accountancy for approval and subsequent distribution to candidates.Each board of accountancy sets its own schedule for score approval and release.
Q:Has the USCPA provided additional guidance for candidates preparing for the CBT?
A:The USCPA currently has a tutorial available on the website that allows candidates to become familiar with the functionalities of the CBT.The USCPA and NASBA have indicated that candidates should be familiar with the functionality before going to the test center.This tutorial will not be available at the Prometric sites.
A sample test containing a few sample multiple-choice questions and a simulation for each section is also available on the USCPA website(www.cpa-exam.org).
Q:What is the time frame in which a candidate must pass all parts of the exam?
A:Each state board can establish its own policy on the time frame in which a candidate must pass all parts.The USCPA has recommended a rolling 18-month window in which a candidate must pass all parts of the exam.Credit is established under the CBT by passing one part of the exam.This begins the 18-month recommended window.If a candidate passes additional parts within the 18-months,but does not pass all three,credit for the first part passed may be lost(the 18-month window is exhausted).A new 18-month window would then have begun with the second part initially passed.If the remaining sections,including the one for which credit was lost,are passed within 18-months the candidate has met the required time frame.Be sure to check with your state board for its rules.