In its Summer 2020 State Board Report, NASBA raised the possibility of implementing remote proctoring for the CPA Exam. In the near-term, there are no plans to begin remote proctoring, and candidates are encouraged to schedule their exams as soon as they safely can. But it could foreshadow things to come.
Prometric closed its physical test centers this past spring to keep its employees and customers safe during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. Through careful implementation of new safety practices, test centers around the world were able to reopen starting in early May.
NASBA’s Computer-Based Testing Committee and the Executive Directors Committee are looking into remote testing as a back-up in case there is a resurgence of COVID-19 or other conditions that cause test centers to close.
Remote proctoring is offered by Prometric but not covered in the current CPA contract with Prometric. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) began providing a similar service for the CIA exam via Pearson VUE for a trial period this past April.
To justify a possible move to remote testing, the 2020 report references this move by The IIA as well as the use of at-home testing by The College Board for Advanced Placement tests. Other high-stakes exams are utilizing this new technology, so NASBA and the AICPA are discussing what would be necessary to create a remote alternative to the current exam administration.
Participants of NASBA’s June Regional Breakout Sessions were asked about their views on remote testing. Concerns about computer problems and security issues were among the top complaints. Several State Board executive directors participated in discussion groups, where they expressed concerns about remote proctoring being used outside of emergency situations.
NASBA has no immediate plans for allowing CPA Exam candidates to test remotely, but we will keep you posted as NASBA explores this option. For now, continue to study and prepare for the CPA Exam by planning to sit at a physical Prometric test center.