ch07 - CHAPTER 7 Grading and Scoring the Computer-based CPA...

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CHAPTER 7 Grading and Scoring the Computer-based CPA Exam THE GRADING AND SCORING PROCESS Think positively! That’s how the CPA exam is currently graded and scored. This chapter is written under the assumption that the current grading model is also used for the computer-based test (CBT). As of the publication date of this supplement, the AICPA has not yet formally discussed the model. They have only hinted that the exam will continue to be positively graded. Why would your students in Intermediate Accounting care about how the CPA exam is graded? Students tend to obsess about the grading process. Fear and doubt creep in whenever exam grading is discussed. A standardized exam, like the CPA exam, is already somewhat of a mystery. Students don’t know who wrote the exam, how the exam was written, and what it looks like. Understanding how the exam is graded gives students enough knowledge to put their fears at rest. When they know the process is fair, they relax and concentrate more on the real task at hand – providing correct answers to exam questions. Recall, the financial accounting and reporting (FAR) section is 80% multiple-choice and 20% simulations. All of the multiple-choice questions are graded by machine. Students are very familiar with a multiple-choice question format. The real concern lies with the format and grading approach for the remaining 20% of the exam – the simulation section. See Chapter 4, The Simulation Component , for a detailed description 69
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70 Chapter 7 Grading and Scoring the Computer-based CPA Exam of this new exam section. In general, the simulation component consists of three broad question types: 1. Research 2. Communications 3. Problem Computation All of the above question formats require some form of human grading. It is believed that the grading process used to grade the essays and problems on the pencil-based exam will be the same model used to grade the simulation component. It’s a positive approach. What is meant by a positive grading approach? How does it work? In this chapter you will learn to grade and report scores using a positive approach, similar to the AICPA. Who knows, you might even discover a new method to inspire students to perform better. Here’s how the process works. The Grading Process – The Positive Approach As students sit down to write the CPA exam, they begin with zero points. All points are earned rather than deducted. This is a different grading process than most faculty use. Usually, students are told the exam is worth 100 points. If they make mistakes, points are deducted. When they receive their exam papers back, they see the number of points that are deducted, rather than added. This is the negative approach. CPA exam graders have a different mindset – they use a positive grading approach. When faculty use negative grading, as opposed to positive grading, students worry
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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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ch07 - CHAPTER 7 Grading and Scoring the Computer-based CPA...

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