The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has released the updated Uniform CPA Examination Blueprints, the official document of content eligible for assessment on the Exam. The Blueprints are built on skills and knowledge that companies, employers and clients seek in a newly licensed CPA.
In order to incorporate increasingly significant topic areas into the CPA exam, the AICPA and NASBA created the CPA Evolution licensure model. The newly released Blueprint from the AICPA outlines the format and content to be assessed on the upcoming CPA exam. Your tutor for CPA exams can help you understand the module in the best way. For now, we have outlined the important points of the Blueprint.
Here are the significant changes in the format of the CPA exam you must be aware of.
CPA Exam Sections
The CPA Evolution presents a new structure for the CPA exam including three Core exams and three Discipline exams. The three Core sections focus on information and abilities common to all CPAs:
- Financial Auditing and Reporting (FAR)
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
- Taxation and Regulation (REG)
The discipline sections focus on the knowledge and abilities CPAs should have in their specialization. Applicants must pass at least one of three discipline sections:
- Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR)
- Information Systems and Controls (ISC)
- Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP)
CPA Exam Scoring Weight
The scoring weight for MCQs and TBSs for the new CPA Exam is similar to the scoring weight of the present exam structure. Exam of each section consists of 50% MCQs and 50% TBS, with two exceptions:
- The current BEC test has 15% of its time allocated to written communication. As previously communicated by the AICPA, written communication will no longer be examined on the new CPA exam. The ISC will be based on 60% MCQs and 40% TBSs.
Section Time and Question Count
Section time has not been changed, it will remain the same; each section in the new CPA exam, including the Core and Discipline sections, will be four hours long.
The question count in the current exam pattern contains 62 to 72 MCQs and 8 Sims, with the exception of BEC, which has 4 TBSs and 3 Written Communication questions. However, there are two important features in the new exam question count:
- ISC has 82 MCQs and 6 TBSs, with a grading weight of 60% MCQ and 40% TBSs in this section.
- FAR and BAR each has 50 MCQs and 7 TBSs, which is lesser than the present exam sections’ MCQ and TBS counts.
CPA Exam Content Changes
The CPA Exam Blueprint by AICPA highlights the changes to the content of the exam. Below are the content-related changes to all the sections of the CPA exam:
- The AICPA has confirmed that each Core and Discipline exam section will include “data and technology” assessments. This will be accomplished by focusing on understanding the method of structuring data and how information flows through IT systems and business practices; defining methods to transform data to be used for decision-making; verifying totality and accuracy of source data; and utilizing the outputs of automated tools, visualizations, and data analytic procedures.
- Candidates don’t need to create reports or visualizations, nor are they required to utilize data analytics software tools.
- Core and Discipline sections will assess “higher-order skills,” such as critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical ability, and research.
The Blueprint released by AICPA outlines the changes candidates will experience in the CPA exam format. The purpose of sharing the Blueprint extract is not to panic you, it is to make you aware of the changes, so you stay updated with the transition policy while creating your study plan.
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