ch06 - CHAPTER 6 Linking Exams to the CPA Exam SHOULD YOU...

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CHAPTER 6 Linking Exams to the CPA Exam SHOULD YOU LINK YOUR EXAMS TO THE CPA EXAM? Should your classroom exams mirror the CPA exam? No. It’s impossible – especially given the fact that the CPA exam has been a nondisclosed exam since 1996. We don’t know what’s on the exam. The content, question format, and a few sample questions are made available each year. So, what’s the intent of this chapter? The purpose of this chapter is to give faculty ideas about how they might simulate portions of the CPA exam. Many faculty agree – it’s not until the magic words are announced: “Yes, this material is on the test,” that students sit up and take note. While we may not be able to directly link our classroom exams to the CPA exam, we can directly link the students’ high level of interest to material that is tested. When you test it, they will listen. If you discuss it, and don’t subsequently test it, you are sending a signal that this material is not important. Today’s accounting student is very goal-oriented. They diligently work on the material that they know is linked to their grade. They do what is necessary to earn points. Designing portions of exams that test the concepts, use the CPA exam test medium, or test content in a particular format, will most likely heighten your students’ interest. They will see points to be earned and therefore will put in the time to learn the material. Your finished exam product doesn’t need to mirror the CPA exam. It just needs to have enough similarity to peak the students interest. 63
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64 Chapter 6 Linking Exams to the CPA Exam Forming Multiple-choice Exam Questions Most likely, your quizzes or exams already contain some multiple-choice questions. However, are your multiple-choice questions similar to the CPA exam? Let’s review what the AICPA has shared with us so far. First, we know the questions use a four- option, letter a through d, answer subset. We also know that there is only one correct answer presented. “None of the above,” is an unacceptable answer. Candidates are required to “select the best answer,” as there may be more than one correct answer presented. This is of course more relevant to the auditing and business law type questions rather than to financial accounting, since most intermediate accounting questions require computations and as a result have only one correct answer. Second, we know that the questions are divided into three “testlets” that consist of 15- 40 questions each. Third, the questions are presented on the computer rather than in pencil and paper form. Candidates are allowed to go back and forth within a testlet, but they cannot jump from one testlet to another without completing the entire testlet that they are currently working in. Finally, we know that the first testlet will be classified as “easy.” Upon completion of the “easy” testlet, candidates are given a second testlet of medium or hard questions. As of the writing of this supplement, the AICPA has not
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ch06 - CHAPTER 6 Linking Exams to the CPA Exam SHOULD YOU...

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