CPA Hot Topics 04/15/11 – AICPA Meeting

Garrett Gleim sends CPA candidates bimonthly emails concerning different aspects of the CPA exam. Candidates can see the most recent email and all the archives here on the CPA Candidate Forum.

Dr. Gleim and I recently attended the AICPA Review Provider Meeting in New York City. The following main items were covered:

  1. Task-Based Simulations. The topic of the new Task-Based Simulations was frequently discussed at this year’s meeting. Below are the most salient points that were presented.
    1. We received some important clarification about Simulation scoring. The presenter informed us that each task is equal to the others when scoring the Simulations. In other words, if there are 6 tasks, each task accounts for 1/6th of your total Simulation score, regardless of how many questions each task contains. This is currently how the Gleim Online and Gleim Simulation Wizards score your Simulations, so no changes to our system are necessary.
    2. We were informed that it is possible for a candidate to receive two Research tasks in one Simulation testlet. Each Research task will be graded equally, and candidates who receive two should NOT assume that one of them is a pretest question.
    3. The AICPA assured us that the Authoritative Literature used for the Simulations is updated at least once a year, but that it could be updated as often as once a quarter.
    4. The presenter mentioned that about 6% of candidates had unsatisfactory load times – sometimes as long as 20 seconds – for their simulations. If you experience this delay, just remember that (1) there is nothing you can do about it, and (2) other candidates are having the same issue. Prometric is purchasing new equipment to decrease load times for future exam windows.
  1. CBT-e Exam First Quarter Pass Rate. Pass rates for the 1st quarter of the CBT-e Exam are sharply lower than those of 2010’s Q1, with the most marked difference in Regulation. The comparison is as follows:

    AUD
    2010 – 47.80%
    2011 – 43.88%
    Decrease – 3.92%

    BEC
    2010 – 47.29%
    2011 – 42.32%
    Decrease – 4.97%

    FAR
    2010 – 47.81%
    2011 – 42.43%
    Decrease – 5.38%

    REG
    2010 – 50.66%
    2011 – 41.28%
    Decrease – 9.38%

    The new Diagnostic Report that can be given to candidates who have failed a section can also be used as an indicator on performance. It is important to note that candidates generally need to be “Stronger” in more than one Content Area to pass the CBT-e Exam. At the meeting, NASBA reported that in two cases, candidates who were rated as “Comparable” in all but one Content Area (in which they were rated as “Stronger”) received failing scores.

  2. CBT-e Exam Score Release Schedule. It was reiterated that the scores for the second and third quarters will not be released until the close of the respective testing window. The exact timeline will be dependent on the volume of candidates. Fourth quarter scores will initially be released following the first month of testing with subsequent score releases every two weeks for the remainder of the window.
  3. Changing Professional Landscape That Will Affect the Exam. The AICPA covered multiple new pronouncements that will likely not be effective until after 2014. In addition, new fair value and comprehensive income standards that may be effective as early as 2011 or 2012 were discussed. As always, they will become testable 6 months after they are effective. As a test-taker, you should not be distracted by or concerned with how these changes will affect the CPA Exam content. Let us, your review provider, worry about that. You can rest assured that our materials will be consistently updated and will always reflect the currently testable professional literature.
  4. International CPA Exam. We learned the same basic information that I presented in my Hot Topics on March 4. It was also mentioned that NASBA will soon announce which states have and which have not opted to allow international testers to register with their Board. We were advised to check the International Testing FAQs often, as it is a regularly updated document.

    All in all, the meeting clarified some important points, expanded on some new agendas, and left us with the feeling that the CPA Exam is moving in a positive direction. We will attend each and every one of these meetings as often as they are held to ensure that we provide you with the most current information.

    Do you have any questions or comments about this week’s Hot Topics article or the CPA Exam? Email me at hottopics@gleim.com. Gleim Personal Counselors are available to help you develop a manageable study schedule and help you pass the CPA exam. Contact them at 800.874.5346, ext 498 or personalcounselor@gleim.com. Take advantage of the opportunity to get help from our extraordinary team!

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