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As you may well know, the CPA Exam is going to undergo some major changes in 2017. Here are the top 10 things you need to know regarding these changes, including why, when, and how to be prepared.


1. How the changes were determined

Comprehensive research by the AICPA known as a Practice Analysis was conducted between 2013-2015 to ensure that the content and structure of the CPA Exam was still a relevant and reliable measure of the knowledge and skills required to protect public interest as a CPA. This practice analysis is what has informed the 2017 CPA Exam changes.


2. Testing high-order skills

Due to market demand for higher-order skillsets that CPAs must possess to execute job responsibilities effectively, candidates will be tested for critical thinking, problem solving, analytical ability, and professional skepticism.


3. Using a new skill level framework

The current CPA Exam utilizes the learning framework of Remembering, Understanding, and Application. The new learning framework will focus on Application, Analysis, and Evaluation.


4. CSO vs. Blueprint

Content Specification Outlines (or CSOs) are released annually by the AICPA to determine what type of technical content should be tested on the Exam. CSOs will now be replaced with Blueprints, which will guide the development of Exam questions for students, educators, and review courses.


5. Increased Task-Based Simulations

AUD, FAR, and REG will each include eight to nine Task-Based Simulations (TBSs). And now, BEC will see four to five TBSs.


6. Document Review Simulation

There will also be a new genre of TBS called Document Review Simulation. Candidates will reference written documents to discern what is and isn’t important for problem solving.


7. Increased Time Allocation

The BEC and REG sections of the CPA Exam will be increased by one hour to accommodate the increased TBSs and higher level skills being tested. These sections will now be 4 hours instead of 3. Candidates will also receive a 10-15 minute break during each exam section.


8. Adjustment in Scoring Weights

The MCQs in all 4 sections will account for 50% of the total score. TBSs in AUD, FAR, and REG will account for the other 50% of the total score while TBS and WC will account for the other 50% of the total score in BEC (35% for TBS and 15% for WC).


9. Cost

As a result of the increased testing times for the BEC and REG sections of the Exam, candidates can expect to pay an additional $20 for each.


10. How you will be prepared

Whether you take the CPA Exam before the 2017 Changes or after, Roger CPA Review will continue to prepare our students to pass the CPA Exam on the first attempt. We will update the course and accommodating materials to reflect these changes to ensure that students have the tools and knowledge they need to approach these changes successfully and confidently. Please stay tuned for more updates regarding our plan of action.

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