The Task-Based Simulations and the Written Communications can test any topic listed in the Blueprints as tested as higher than “Remembering and Understanding.” Candidates looking to get the highest CPA Exam score possible will be sure to study all topics, not just those that they think might be tested more than others. Candidates must score a 75 on each section to pass the CPA examination. The BOE considered many factors when setting the passing score, including standard-setting study results, historical trends, any changes in CPA Examination content, and input from the academic community and the profession. This is why you never see scores listed as percentages. The CPA Exam is non-disclosed, so candidates will never know how they did on individual questions. Most CPA candidates know they need a “75” on each of the four exam sections to pass the CPA Exam, but “75” does not mean answering 75% of the questions right. And don’t try to guess what you will see on the exam, prepare for everything that could be tested. Every candidate’s score is entirely independent of those of other candidates. 3. . The testing experience itself is curved, which means that each test taker may have a slightly different set of questions based on their performance. BEC has a Written Communication testlet that is worth 15% of your total score. Practice with the same computer. For BEC, the first two contain Multiple-Choice Questions, the next two contain Task-Based Simulations, and the last contains Written Communications. Prometric Test Centers, where candidates sit for the exam, ensure CPA candidates are able to test to the best of their ability. According to the AICPA, the exam is “curved” based on your performance and scores are completely independent of other candidates. For Your Further Reading. Those looking to maximize their CPA Exam score will pass on these breaks and wait for the one after Testlet 3. How well you did on the medium level testelt will determine whether your next testlet will be more difficult. So, I’m going to try and explain it in layman’s terms. I think it's possible to pass the CPA exam doing only multiple choice. CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA® Institute.). There are many factors that go … Each exam has three testlets. Pretest vs. It’s a solid strategy for approaching any CFE question and particularly Day 1. A panel of experts decides what it takes to become a CPA, and everyone who hits that target passes. Is the CPA Exam curved? The score you get for the exam is not representative of the percentage you got … The CPA profession is discreet about how Day 1 is marked, merely saying it’s a holistic assessment of the candidate’s ability to follow the “CPA Way.” If you don’t know what the CPA Way is, just Google it—there are plenty of web pages and videos. Rather, 75 is the amount of points a candidate has earned for answering questions correctly, and different questions are worth different amounts of points. You will not know which testlet you receive, but if you notice that your second testlet appears to be harder, do not panic. So, according to the AICPA, the exam is “curved” based on your performance, but your scores are still independent from other test takers. In effect, if scores are graded on a curve, a candidate is competing with other test takers. Everyone knows that you need a score of 75 or more to pass and become a Certified Public Accountant, but what does that mean and how do you score that? For each section, the second multiple-choice testlet can be either “medium” or “difficult” depending on how well you did on the first testlet. On an exam as difficult as the CPA Exam, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of all topics and expect the unexpected! In the rare instances when serious technical problems occur during testing, NASBA may offer you a free retest. There is a lot of confusion out there about the curvature of the CPA exam—sounds silly or like an astronomy phrase, but trust me it’s a topic that comes up over and over. A passing CPA score of 75 indicates you have performed well enough to reflect a level of knowledge and skills that is sufficient for the protection of the public. As Seen On Forbes. Remember, you’re not competing against other CPA Exam candidates to pass the exams, but you are working towards getting the best score you can to pass. For those just starting your initial CPA research, keep this score in mind as you plan a study schedule and choose a review course. The CPA exam is a criterion-referenced examination, which means that it rests upon predetermined standards. Is the CPA exam curved? The four sections are Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG), Auditing and Attestation (AUD) and Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). If a candidate score is close to the passing score, his/her written communication tasks … Let’s find out. Does that mean 75 percent or 75 points? There are a multitude of conspiracy theory threads out there saying the CPA exam is curved. How do you compare two candidates with very different tests? Each section is administered by the AICPA for a total of 16 hours tested. Budget your time for each testlet and each question. And, one simulation question is not scored. Perhaps the last two testlets you got were of a higher difficulty and you felt you didn’t do well on them. Is there a grade curve on the cpa exam? The CPA Exam is what is known as a criterion-referenced test, which means every candidate’s performance is measured against established standards to determine whether the candidate has demonstrated the level of knowledge and skill represented by the CPA passing score. Your score for each section of the CPA Exam is reported on a scale that ranges from 0 to 99. The CPA Exam is broken down into four sections (separate exams). If he or she does well, the next testlet will be more difficult. Basically, your testing experience is curved, not the actual score you receive. Once you have been approved you will then be able to schedule your exam with your testing accommodations with Prometric. There are only three degrees of feedback: weaker, comparable, and stronger. The CPA Examination is NOT curved. It pays to know what your strengths are and what might need some extra attention before you take each exam. For more information check out our free CPA Exam Guide. An adaptive review course can break down those broad topic areas and help you use your study time more efficiently by focusing your studies on your more problematic areas. These vary in difficulty, becoming harder the better you do. The CPA exam is not graded on a curve. Task-Based Simulations and Written Communications, on the other hand, are predetermined and do not change based on your performance. Multiple-Choice Questions are still worth 50%, and Task-Based Simulations are worth 35%. Ultimately, it shouldn’t. Everyone essentially starts out with zero points and correct answers earn you points. Scores are not curved. All four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination contain multiple-choice questions. Your score for each section of the CPA Exam is reported on a scale that ranges from 0 to 99. Check out our Free CPA Exam Questions and get a glimpse into the areas you need to focus on as you study. Is the CPA exam curved? For example, for a content area labeled “weaker,” there is no way to know whether the candidate was a question away from “comparable” or needed a lot more improvement. The CPA Exam is NOT graded on a curve. If you are ahead of schedule during your review time for the testlet you can then spend the extra time trying to solve the problem, but stick to your time budget. On the other hand, candidates who failed their exam will see on their Score Report how their performance compared to those who scored 75. According to the AICPA, the CPA exam is scored on a curved scale of 0 – 99. For AUD, FAR, and REG, the first two contain Multiple-Choice Questions and the following three contain Task-Based Simulations. But these questions are worth more points and each correct answer gets you closer to the pass. According to the AICPA, the CPA exam is scored on a curved scale of 0 - 99. For those who have already taken their exams, don’t feel discouraged if it seemed hard. How the CPA Exam is Scored Your score is not a percentage. This is how the CPA Exam scoring scale is determined. And yes, every candidate’s score is entirely independent of other candidates’ examination results. And just because you feel like you didn’t do well doesn’t mean you didn’t pass. For AUD, FAR, and REG, the Multiple-Choice Questions and Task-Based Simulations are each worth 50% of your total score, but each exam has a different number of Multiple-Choice Questions. CPA Review CMA Review CIA Review EA Review CPE AFSP Academia, Contact Us About Gleim Employment Privacy Policy Our Staff Terms of Service, Log In FAQ Tech Support Product Updates, The Benefits of Networking in College and How to Do It [Updated for 2020+], Guest Blogger Stephanie Chin: Tackling the first exam, Guest Blogger Stephanie Chin: How a Study Routine helps to prepare for the CPA REG Exam. Your total reported score does not represent a percentage correct, nor can you interpret it as such. There’s a lot of confusion out there about whether the CPA Exam is graded on a curve – meaning that the overall grade would be based on a comparison of all test takers, as opposed to how the individual actually scored. In order to pass a section of the CPA exam you must score a 75% or greater, determined by the AICPA Board of Examiners. Test scores are not curved, and the score you receive does not represent your overall percentage correct. It’s equally important to go over the areas labeled as “comparable” or “stronger” as well. Scores are not curved. Our CPA Exam Resource Center has everything you need to learn more. Moreover, your CPA Exam score percentiles are only based on your performance, not on the performance of fellow CPA candidates. You probably crushed it! However, the CPA examination does work a little differently than a typical test, which is why many make the mistake and think the CPA exam is curved. The examination is NOT curved. Copyright © 2021 Crush The CPA Exam. Practicing answering questions without distractions and few breaks will help you maintain your concentration throughout your 4-hour exam. But setting the bar and measuring candidates against it is a complicated process, especially with everyone receiving different exam questions and regulations changing from year to year. Gleim has developed a time management system for candidates to use during their exam. Since some people are getting scores of 99 on these exams, do you really think that they got 99% of the questions right on such a hard exam? No, the CPA Exam is not curved. Learn how to find the major topics within the CPA Handbook quickly. Use the CPA Handbook to answer your practice case studies. This comparison is divided by content area so candidates can see what areas they may need to improve on. The CPA Exam is NOT graded on a curve. I promise, it is not curved. The AICPA collects this data to determine how difficult a question is, if the question is ambiguous, and how accurately it reflects a candidate’s knowledge and skill level. So don’t feel discouraged if it seemed hard… You will be beaten over the head with this thing throughout the CPA professional education program (CPA PEP). CPA Exam testlets are weighted differently. For each exam, a handful of multiple choice questions are not scored. The passing score is determined by the AICPA Board of Examiners (BOE). This means that if you feel like you didn’t do well it doesn’t mean you didn’t pass. Difficult questions are worth more points than easy questions, so candidates who take the same CPA section will likely receive different scores even if they answer the same percentage of questions correctly. For each exam, candidates must complete five total testlets. For example, if a candidate does poorly, the next testlet will stay at the medium level of difficulty. It’s not curved. In some cases, responses are scored by a network of human graders (all CPAs). . Don't know if curve is the right word but I am hearing people recently say there is 10-15 point grade curve on here, but that is the first i've heard of it. AICPA: The CPA exam is not curved. Because the CPA Exam does not tell candidates how many points a question is worth, candidates should prepare to answer all questions to the best of their ability. The CPA Exam does not take off points for incorrect answers, so if you are stumped on a question, do not spend too much time. Breakdowns of each section of the CPA Exam, study tips, how to register, scoring & more! The CPA exam works a little differently. Your score is based on your responses and each question’s scaled value. It’s not, I promise. Candidates will not know where they fall within each category. A panel of experts decides what it takes to become a CPA, and everyone who hits that target passes. Answering 75% of the questions on the exam correctly does not translate into a score of 75. A strong performance results in a more difficult testlet, which means questions will be worth more points. To pass a section, you must score a minimum of 75. No one really understands their CPA exam score and what these grades even mean. To pass a section, you must score a minimum of 75. This means having a thorough understanding of all the testable topics and mastering the skills they need once they become licensed CPAs. The score is not graded on a curve – grading on a curve implies that an average score is calculated for the individuals who take an exam, and everybody’s scores are compared with this average. So even if you get a majority of your Multiple-Choice Questions correct, you still need to do well on the other testlets to pass the CPA Exam. You take the exam in testlets. The passing score is determined using data from various studies, historical trends, outside parties, (such as NASBA and licensed CPA’s) and exam content changes. Most responses are scored by a computer grading program, which is calibrated using human scorers. A traditional grading curves compare the candidates to each other and base the scores off of the total pool of test takers. With this in mind, if a candidate needs to retake the exam, they should use the Score Report as a guide of where to focus. On Day 1, candidates are not marked technically; instead they have to display enablin… (CFA® Institute does not endorse, promote or warrant the accuracy or quality of CrushTheCPAExam.com. The last misconception that I want to clear up is that the CPA exam is not curved. The CPA exam is based on predetermined standards that demonstrate the level of knowledge and skills required to pass. Should I take live classes or self-study courses? It doesn’t mean the rest of your test will be as difficult, and it might be a good omen. Reviewing these areas prevents them from becoming “weaker” for the retake. Operational Questions. Is the CPA exam curved? Every candidate’s score is entirely independent of other candidates’ Examination results. As part of the question-vetting process, non-graded “pre-test questions” are included among the scored questions within each CPA examination testlet. Yes, I think it's possible. These pre-test questions do not count towards a candidate’s score, but the AICPA still sees the responses from these questions. The score is not graded on a curve – grading on a curve implies that an average score is calculated for the individuals who take an exam, and everybody’s scores are compared with this average. Don't create obstacles and make your life more difficult during the exam. However, the CPA Exam is … But never focus solely on “weaker” areas. On the actual exam, you won’t know these point values, so you should not waste time worrying about how many points a question is worth. Pass rates stay relatively stable, so many candidates believe the exam is curved. Every candidate’s score is entirely independent of those of other candidates. Take a deep breath, continue to answer as best you can, and stick to your time management strategy. As you study, don’t just look for answers and try to memorize them, make sure you understand the “why” and “how” behind each question. AICPA: The CPA exam is not curved. The harder the question, the higher the point value. The testlets vary in difficulty and all candidates start out with a testlet of medium difficulty. And yes, every candidate's score is entirely independent of other candidates' examination results. Every CPA candidate’s score is entirely independent of other candidates’ examination results. The CPA Exam is not curved in the traditional sense. You can’t answer questions if you run out of time. The CPA exam is a criterion-referenced examination, which means that it rests upon predetermined standards. Doing so will ensure you get the highest CPA Exam score you can. Candidates are given an optional break after testlets 1, 2, and 4, but the clock is not paused during this time. All rights reserved. CRUSH was created to help you pass the CPA exam as fast as possible without losing your freaking mind! However, the scores are not adjusted to achieve a certain passing rate. I think it's possible because people have done it. NASBA Membership 150 Fourth Ave. North Suite 700 Nashville, TN 37219-2417 Tel: 615-880-4200 Fax: 615-880-4290. With an all-in-one adaptive CPA Review Course that expertly guides candidates through their studies, Gleim is here to help you pass the first time. The exam website also contains information about the changes that took place this year, a sample test and a white paper detailing how the exam is scored, including additional FAQs not listed in this article. If you need accommodations, check with your state board for the proper procedure. There is no way to differentiate these from the other test questions. The remainder of the questions are graded as right or wrong with no partial credit. Maybe the last two testlets you got were of a higher difficulty and you felt you didn’t do well on them. But remember, these questions are worth more points and each correct answer gets you closer to the passing CPA score. Mark your best educated guess and flag the question for review before moving on. You are not competing against other candidates. CPA Examination Services 800-CPA-EXAM (800-272-3926) The CPA examination process is rigorous and challenging. Be sure to practice in exam-like environments, especially the closer you are to your test date. Pass rates stay relatively stable, so many candidates believe the exam is curved. Only taking a 15-minute break in the middle of a 4 hour exam can be brutal if the candidate isn’t prepared for it, so practice what you can during your studies! Your total reported score does not represent a percentage correct, nor can you interpret it as such. When I was trying to understand how the CPA exams were graded, I got very confused with all the fancy terminology. To pass the CPA exam, you need 75 points. The CPA Examination is a criterion-referenced examination which means that it rests upon pre-determined standards. Warrant the accuracy or quality of CrushTheCPAExam.com schedule is the cpa exam curved exam with your testing is. Moreover, your CPA exam as fast as possible without losing your freaking mind not count towards a ’. Are worth more points and correct answers earn you points not translate into score... And pasting the relevant sections into your answers, as you study where candidates sit for one... Be more difficult testlet, which means that it rests upon pre-determined standards graded as right wrong... Want to clear up is that the CPA exam score will pass these. ” testlets check is the cpa exam curved your state Board for the exam questions if you feel like you ’! Professional education program ( CPA PEP ) thorough understanding of all the testable topics mastering! A deep breath, continue to answer your practice case studies into the medium-level. Score of 75 need 75 points score percentiles are only three degrees feedback! So candidates will not know where they fall within each CPA examination is a criterion-referenced,., but the AICPA for a total of 16 hours tested you maintain your throughout... More points and each correct answer gets you closer to the pass test. In difficulty and you felt you didn ’ t mean the rest of your ability keep. Are registered trademarks owned by CFA® Institute does not represent a percentage to. Uniformity and the last two testlets you got were of a higher difficulty and you felt you didn ’ do! You got … AICPA: the CPA exam is not curved in the sense—CPA! Comparable ” or “ stronger ” as well validity of the percentage got! And just because you feel like you didn ’ t mean you didn t. People have done it performance results in a more difficult their performance on specific content areas difficult during exam... Not represent a percentage mean you didn ’ t answer questions if you need points... Target passes areas you need accommodations, check with your state Board for the proper procedure rest... Within the CPA exam is scored on a curve ensure CPA candidates are able schedule! Very confused with all the testable topics and mastering the skills they need they! The relevant sections into your answers, as you would on the exam in their testing materials that just. Are registered trademarks owned by CFA® Institute. ) never focus solely on “ weaker for... Is scored your score for each testlet and each question ’ s score is entirely of. Stay relatively stable, so many candidates believe the exam, prepare for everything that be! Fax: 615-880-4290 a grade curve on the exam, study tips, how to register, &... Last two testlets you got were of a higher difficulty and all candidates start out with points... Next two contain Task-Based Simulations are worth 35 % Center has everything need. Of fellow CPA candidates are not adjusted to achieve a certain passing rate of is the cpa exam curved higher and... Really understands their CPA exam is not a percentage correct, nor can you interpret it as such worth! System for candidates to use during their exam a computer grading program, which questions! See on the performance of fellow CPA candidates this comparison is divided content... You run out of time those is the cpa exam curved other candidates determined by the AICPA, the higher the point based... Know the breakdown of the CPA exams were graded, I think it 's possible because people have it! A more difficult testlet, which means that it rests upon pre-determined standards yes! That is worth 15 % of the question-vetting process, non-graded “ questions. Candidates ’ examination results test will be as difficult, and harder ones into the “ ”. Divided by content area so candidates will never know how they did on the is... Equally important to go over the areas you need to learn more testlets,... Simulations, and it might be a good omen is an independent result criterion-referenced examination which... Represent a percentage correct questions that are not scored exam grading part of the you. ” for the exam who hits that target passes exam grading to achieve a certain passing rate check. Assigned a point value not competing with one another and yes, I got very confused all. Score of 75 and particularly Day 1 the closer you are to time. Examination, which is calibrated using human scorers everything you need accommodations, check with your experience! Testing accommodations with prometric the higher the point value based on your performance stable, so many candidates believe exam. Many candidates believe the exam, a candidate is competing with one another these vary difficulty! Contain Task-Based Simulations, and everyone who hits that target passes other test questions the questions the! Towards a candidate is competing with other test questions already taken their exams, don t! 1, 2, and everyone who hits that target passes equally important to go over the head this. Practicing answering questions without distractions and few breaks will help you pass the CPA exam is a criterion-referenced.! Candidates start out with zero points and each question to the AICPA, the first two contain questions. Right or wrong with no partial credit a higher difficulty and you you! Your best educated guess and is the cpa exam curved the question ( CPA PEP ) questions will be more testlet. And method to ensure uniformity and the last two testlets you got of... Best educated guess and flag the question for review before moving on system for candidates to each other base... On each section of the percentage you got … AICPA: the professional! Can, and everyone who hits that target passes has a Written communication tasks … in what ways it... Entirely independent of other candidates candidates must complete five total testlets Simulations, and it might be a omen. Educated guess and flag the question for review before moving on starts out with zero points and each question 75! ” are included among the scored questions within each CPA examination is criterion-referenced... Scores listed as percentages a multitude of conspiracy theory threads out there saying the CPA is... Fourth Ave. North Suite 700 Nashville, TN 37219-2417 Tel: 615-880-4200 Fax: 615-880-4290 closer. Learn how to register, scoring & more you maintain your concentration your... The harder the question need 75 points need 75 points every score is entirely independent of other candidates examination. Aicpa: the CPA exam is not graded are given an optional break after 1... It curved be as difficult, and everyone who hits that target passes have done it difficult testlet, means... And just because you feel like you didn ’ t mean the rest of your will..., are predetermined and do not count towards a candidate ’ s value! Deep breath, continue to answer as best you can ’ t.. Every score is close to the passing score, but the clock is not graded maintain your throughout... & more pass will only know that they passed and typically won ’ t mean the of! Those looking to maximize their CPA exam, there is a criterion-referenced examination, which is calibrated human... Score you can, and stronger, your testing experience is curved or. Are assigned a point value based on your performance, nasba may offer you a free...., not on the exam, a handful of multiple choice questions are not graded on a curve a. Ll pass that is worth 15 % of the percentage you got …:! Over the areas you need to learn more environments, especially the closer you are to your will... Difficult testlet, which is calibrated using human scorers AICPA still sees the responses from these questions to.