CPA Exam Score Release: 2017 Dates

cpa exam score release

When you leave the Prometric testing center after completing a section of the CPA Exam, a feeling of relief may come upon you, even if only temporarily. You have taken yet another step toward the CPA certification and should be proud of yourself. However, even as you enjoy this sense of accomplishment, you may also begin to wonder about the results of your efforts; specifically, your CPA Exam score. Depending on when you sat for the exam, you may not have to wait very long to receive your score, because it will be released according to the 2017 CPA Exam score release schedule.

The Dates for CPA Exam Score Release

The AICPA has posted the following timetables on their website to share the 2017 CPA Exam score release dates for Q2, Q3, and Q4.

April/May (Q2) Testing Window

If you take your test on or before:

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric by 11:59 PM (EST) on:

Your score will be released by the target release date:

April/May

April 1 – May 31

August 17 (AUD, FAR, REG)

August 22 (BEC)

July/August/September (Q3) Testing Window

If you take your test on or before:

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric by 11:59 PM (EST) on:

Your score will be released by the target release date:

September 10

September 11

September 19

September 10

**After September 11

September 25

**The Examination data files the AICPA receives after September 11 will be included in the final target score release date.

October/November/December (Q4) Testing Window

If you take your test in:

And the AICPA receives your examination data files from Prometric between:

Your score will be released by the target release date:

October/November/December

October 1 – December 10

December 19+

**The Examination data files the AICPA receives after December 11 will be included in the final target score release date.

NOTE: Due to the substantive changes introduced to the Examination in April 2017, time is required to conduct the standard-setting process, which includes statistically validating candidates’ performance and setting a passing score. To allow sufficient time for the standard-setting process, scores will be released per the information in the tables above.

The System for CPA Exam Score Release

After NASBA receives the CPA Exam scores from the AICPA, NASBA gives these scores to the state boards of accountancy. NASBA sends these scores on specific dates, and these dates fall within the testing windows during which candidates can sit for the CPA Exam. A testing window normally includes the first two months of a calendar quarter, and NASBA releases the scores for exams taken within that testing window on specific dates within that quarter. Yet, NASBA has issued an exception for the testing window timelines of 2017 due to the fact that a new version of the CPA Exam launched on April 1. For Q3 and Q4, the testing windows will extend into the first 10 days of the third month in the quarter. However, for Q2, the extension was suspended to give the AICPA ample time to properly calibrate the new exam version for scoring.

With the extension applied to Q1 of 2017, the testing window included 5 score release dates as opposed to 4, the typical number for testing windows of the standard length. For Q2, the testing window was not extended and the number of score release dates was reduced. With the Q2 launch of the new CPA Exam version, the AICPA needed more time to statistically validate candidate performance and determine a passing score. Therefore, with the Q2 testing window closed, exam scores for candidates who sat during this time will only be released once, and this release will occur on two specific days in August. The AUD, FAR, and REG scores will be released on August 17, and BEC scores will be released on August 22. For Q3 and Q4, there will be two score release dates for each testing window, and these dates will include score releases for all 4 CPA Exam sections. The target score release dates for the Q3 testing window (July/August/September) are September 19 and 25, and the target score release dates for the Q4 testing window (October/November/December) are December 19 and 21.

Delayed CPA Exam Score Release

As you can see, the 2017 CPA Exam score release timeline includes far fewer score release dates than timelines of years past. Additionally, the timeline leaves a much larger space of time between the end of Q2 and the release of the Q2 exam scores. This space of time has left some candidates concerned about their CPA Exam progress because the delayed CPA Exam score release could cause conflicts with their 18 months of exam credit and the conditional credit rule.

The credit you receive for passing a section of the CPA Exam doesn’t last forever. Most jurisdictions have placed an expiration date of 18 months on exam credits, so you must pass all four sections within these 18 months in order to pass the CPA Exam. Your 18 months begin as soon as you pass 1 section, and if you don’t pass the remaining sections in 18 months, you’ll lose credit for the section you passed the earliest.

Due to the AICPA’s conditional credit rule, candidates who passed sections of the previous exam version (Q1 2017 or earlier) and need to sit for at least one more section of the new version (Q2 2017 and later) to pass the exam can combine sections from both versions. As long as all 4 sections are passed within 18 months, you can use any arrangement of old or new exam sections passed to meet licensure requirements.

However, the delayed CPA Exam score release could impact the ability of candidates in this position to pass all exam sections within 18 months and could jeopardize any opportunities to retake the exam. If the delayed CPA Exam score release has you worried about your exam credit, you should know that the AICPA, NASBA, and the state boards will take the necessary steps to resolve any issues and help put your mind at ease.

As the entities that determine how long exam credit lasts, the state boards can grant extensions on a circumstantial basis. Some state boards have already released a statement about how they will handle the delayed score release, so you should call your state board or check their website to see how they have responded. NASBA is also being proactive about the situation by reviewing the testing history of all candidates who sat during Q2 to discover anyone who may be negatively impacted by the 2017 exam score timeline. If you are currently at risk of your exam credit expiring, you can count on NASBA to recommend that your state board extend conditional credit to you. NASBA has promised to contact your state board and then notify you. But again, if you have not been contacted yet but are anxious about your exam credit, you can initiate communication with your state board.

The Process of Determining CPA Exam Scores

The AICPA needs additional time to score the new version of the CPA Exam because of how the AICPA establishes a CPA passing score. The CPA Exam is a criterion-referenced test, which means that the AICPA uses preestablished standards to verify if a candidate has demonstrated the levels of knowledge and skill that the passing score reflects. The AICPA measures a candidate’s performance against these standards, and every candidate is held to the same standards. The CPA Exam is not curved.

The AICPA sets the passing score for the CPA Exam, which is a 75, by considering a variety of factors, including historical trends, changes in content, and input from the academic community and profession. As the purpose of the CPA Exam is to ensure that candidates can meet the responsibilities of a CPA, the score is set so that a candidate who gets the lowest possible passing score will still positively reflect the profession.

Additional Delays to CPA Exam Score Release

Many candidates receive their exam scores on the designated score release date, but some state boards need about one week of additional time to process and post exam scores. Furthermore, candidates who sit for the BEC section of the CPA Exam may receive their scores after the score release date because grading the Written Communication tasks often requires a thorough analysis that delays the final score.

The dates and times for all score releases are based on the Eastern Standard Time Zone. Scores for exam sections completed by international candidates follow the same timeline as scores for domestic candidates. Prometric passes the examination data files along to the AICPA within 24 hours after a candidate finishes the exam. If the AICPA gets an exam score after the cutoff date, that score is revealed at the next scheduled score release date.

The Locations of CPA Exam Scores

When the CPA Exam score release date arrives, there are two ways to find your score. If your state board of accountancy offers NASBA’s online score retrieval service, you can visit NASBA’s website to discover your score. If your state board posts the scores on their website, you can contact them to learn where your score will be posted.

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