ch02 - CHAPTER 2 The Computer-based CPA Exam Testing Medium...

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CHAPTER 2 The Computer-based CPA Exam Testing Medium and Exam Structure and Content COMPUTER-BASED TEST (CBT) – OVERVIEW As mentioned in Chapter 1, the AICPA plans to launch the computerized CPA exam no later than May 2004, most likely beginning April 2004. The primary changes involve the test medium and the exam structure, and content. This chapter describes the major differences as they specifically relate to the Financial Accounting and Reporting section. The other three exam sections – auditing, regulation, and business environment and concepts – are discussed only briefly, as the supplement’s intended use is to accompany an intermediate accounting text. The paper-based format is discussed only in the context of helping us to understand the computer-based format. The intent of this chapter is not to present a historical perspective but rather to help financial accounting instructors prepare CPA candidates and accounting students for the computer-based test (CBT). In the interest of time and focus, prior formats are referred to only for the purpose of providing a reference point or framework, rather than a detailed discussion. All references to the paper-based exam are based upon the author’s research and/or first-hand experiences. References to the CBT format are based upon the author’s research and study of the information provided by the AICPA. No first-hand experience is available for the CBT, since the exam has not yet been launched. Certain universities 7
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8 Chapter 2 The Computer-based CPA Exam have been selected as test sites, including the author’s university, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. However, all such pretest information is confidential and controlled by members of the AICPA examinations team. Details of such pretests, in accordance with AICPA policy, have not been shared with the host school or any other outside third parties. Many details about the CBT have not yet been disclosed. Hence, the CBT is often referred to as a “work in process.” The CPA Connection Newsletter, issued quarterly in electronic format to all adopters of the 11 th edition of Intermediate Accounting and Fundamentals of Intermediate Accounting, will be used to communicate details as they unfold. The changes are presented in the order of importance as selected by the author. Faculty should feel free to rearrange the changes in the order of importance from their perspective and their first-hand experience with students. Of course, the most obvious change is conversion from a pencil-and-paper exam to a computer-based test. Here the story begins. The Basic Changes Good news! The CBT is only 14 hours long compared to 15 and ½ hours for the pencil- based exam. More good news! Candidates are allowed to take one exam section at a time. Under the pencil-based exam, most states required that candidates sit for all four sections at a time. Candidates could sit for a part only after they had achieved condition status, which meant passing one or more sections and achieving a minimum grade in the
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2011 for the course ACCT 3341 taught by Professor Dr.ramaswamy during the Spring '09 term at University of St. Thomas-Texas.

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ch02 - CHAPTER 2 The Computer-based CPA Exam Testing Medium...

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