For the first time since 2011, there are significant changes happening to the CPA Exam. The reformatting of the test is doing more than giving a fresh face to the standardized exam. All the tweaking has been done as a direct response to specific needs in the market and among clients. The changes are meant to build confidence among prospective employers and continue to give clout to those who obtain their CPA License.
Newer technologies have developed in leaps and bounds since 2011. The role tech is playing in financially based professions is on the cutting edge, so failing to keep up with these changes means setting yourself up for overarching failure. Accountants, in turn, have to respond by picking up the on these changes and even anticipating future changes to stay ahead of the game.
Accountants are needing to know more than a set of steps, how to memorize, and can't expect passing the 2011 exam to prepare themselves for the 2017 accounting world anymore. Accountants are required to do more than run the numbers as analytical application of skills is becoming more important than ever. We need to see problems, effectively solve them, and follow with a solution that is understandable and applicable to the modern environment. The CPA Exam is incorporating this into testing by implementing critical thinking and problem solving on the test.
Here is a recap of the changes you should expect to see . . .
- Multiple choice questions for FAR, REG, and AUD will count for 50% of the scoring on each exam with the other 50% composed of task-based simulations.
- BEC will now be tested with three written communication questions counting for 15% of the score, task-based simulations counting for 35%, and multiple-choice making up the remaining 50%.
- An increase in total testing time from 14 to 16 hours. This means you will have four hours to take any exam. Extra breaks will count against this time, but you will have standard breaks on top of the four hours.
- Less multiple-choice and more task oriented questions.
- The standard 15-minute break will come around half way through each section of the exam and will not take away from the 4 hour testing time. Declining the break is allowed but will not add to time available to answer questions.
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