2016 CPA Exam Changes & the DRS

Breaking News About the 2016 CPA Exam

The AICPA has announced several changes that will affect candidates before the new exam launches in 2017. Most of the changes will be effective on January 1, 2016. One change, however, will appear on the exam in Q3 of 2016 and may impact how you prepare for the exam.

Changes Effective January 1, 2016

New exam software: The AICPA is making some modifications to certain screens, such as the introductory screens you see before you begin your exam. Don’t worry too much about these changes! The screens will look very much like they do currently. Gleim CPA Review is in the process of updating our interface to reflect these changes.

Modified toolbar: Within the testlets, the top toolbar will be a bit different. The timer will be more visible, and candidates who don’t finish early will see that their countdown includes seconds at less than two minutes remaining. In addition, the finish button will be labeled as “Submit Testlet” instead of “Exit” in an effort to address candidate concerns surrounding the button’s functionality.

Modern design: All of the exam screens have been refreshed with a new design that more succinctly delivers the content.

The new finish button reads “Submit Testlet” rather than “Exit”. This change affords more clarity to exam candidates.

The new timer reports the hours and minutes when the test begins and specifies the exact number of seconds when remaining test time drops below two minutes.

Changes Effective July 1, 2016

Document Review Simulation (DRS): If you’ve seen the Gleim CPA Exam Changes and Updates webpage, you’ve already learned about the DRS, a derivative of the Task-Based Simulation originally slated to appear on the CPA Exam in 2017. However, we have learned that candidates should expect to see DRSs in AUD, FAR, and REG as early as Q3 of 2016. There has been some speculation that the 2016 Document Review Simulations may be pre-test questions (and therefore not graded), but we do not yet have confirmation from the AICPA on that item, and we recommend that candidates prepare as though these new simulations will be graded.

In a DRS the candidate will review a document draft with some areas of text highlighted. Options will appear once the highlighted text is selected, and the candidate must decide if the original text is correct, if it should be deleted, or if there is a better option. Exhibits and authoritative literature are available in separate tabs during the DRS to assist candidates.

The DRS requires candidates to click on highlighted sections of text in order to complete the task.
It’s important to note that the sample tests and tutorials on the AICPA’s website have been updated to reflect the changes effective in both January and July. Specifically, candidates can go to these resources to explore the DRS and how it works. Additionally, the Gleim CPA Exam Blog will follow up with a more detailed announcement regarding the DRS and how we will help prepare you for them, and we will continue to share updates as more information on any of the other changes becomes available.

If you have any questions about the 2016 CPA Exam or the 2017 CPA Exam, please contact our team at CPA@gleim.com.

The Gleim CPA Review Team