CPA Exam Changes


The AICPA recently announced significant changes to the way the CPA exam will be structured beginning in 2017Here are some key changes effective April 1, 2017:

New Skills

The exam will enhance testing of higher-order cognitive skills.  These include critical thinking, problem solving, analytical ability, and professional skepticism.  These new skills will be testing through enhanced task-based simulation questions and a new question type – Document Review Simulation.  Generally, the current Exam assesses how well candidates remember, understand an apply skills in AUD, BEC, FAR and REG.  In the next version of the Exam, there is a clear shift to test higher order skills – analysis and evaluation.

New Length

The overall exam length will change from 14 hours to 16 hours.  Two sections – Regulation and Business Environment & Concepts will each be lengthened by 1 hour; extending from 3 hours each to 4 hours each.

New Question Types

With the new CPA Exam, new questions types will be introduced.  Task-based simulation questions will be “enhanced” to include additional exhibits that will aide the CPA Exam candidate in answering the question.  Additionally, a new question type – the Document Review Simulation (DRS) will added to the exam.  The DRS is a document that will require the CPA Exam candidate to review to make potential edits, much like a newly licensed CPA will be tasked to do on their first job.  Included with the DRS document, will be various exhibits that the candidate will need to determine if they are applicable or impact the edits to the document.

New Blueprint

Each section will have a “blueprint” showing the skills and content topic areas that will be tested.  The “blueprints” will replace the Content Specification Outline (CSO) and Skill Specification Outline (SSO).

WATCH BELOW: Everything You Need to Know About the 2017 CPA Exam Changes