The American Institute of CPAs, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and Prometric are marking the 10th anniversary of computer-based testing for the uniform CPA exam.
The organizations and their leaders noted the continued enhancements and expansion to test administration over the past decade.
“With a commitment to keep the profession on the forefront and with an eye to continually attract the best young professionals to the CPA profession, the AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric worked to convert the CPA Examination from a pencil-and-paper administered exam to a leading edge computer-based testing model ten years ago, setting a global standard on how accountancy professionals should be tested,” stated Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the AICPA.
In the last ten years, more than 400,000 candidates have sat for a total of more than two million sections of the exam. One of the key changes in that period was an emphasis on skills assessment through questions based on case studies, known as task-based simulations.
“NASBA is proud to be a part of this truly momentous occasion in the evolution of the Uniform CPA Examination,” stated NASBA President and CEO, Ken Bishop. “Over the past decade, aspiring CPAs have tested for more than two million sections with the very first computer-based Examination administered at NASBA’s Guam Computer Testing Center. Advances in examination content and delivery under the computer-based testing model have strengthened the public protection role of Boards of Accountancy by enhancing the examination portion of the licensing model (education, examination and experience) used to regulate more than 700,000 licensees throughout the U.S.”
While prior to the conversion to computer-based testing candidates were able to sit for the exam only twice a year, they can now take it 243 days a year, at nearly 300 testing locations, with a 31 percent increase in the overall number of testing seats since 2004.
Additionally, score results that once took 90 days to arrive under the pencil-and-paper model are now received seven to 45 days after taking a section.
“The Uniform CPA examination provides an opportunity for people to earn a certification that is highly regarded by employers in the U.S. and internationally, and Prometric is inspired by the role we play and the trust extended to us by the AICPA and NASBA,” stated Michael Brannick, president and CEO of Prometric. “We are proud of the ten years of successful partnership we have accomplished to date, and look forward to learning and collaborating through the duration of our latest contract renewal, to further enhance and expand the Uniform CPA program.”
Administered in 54 jurisdictions nationwide by the AICPA, NASBA and Prometric, the CPA exam was administered internationally for the first time in 2011 in Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates and, in 2012, expanded to Brazil.