As many of you are aware, the 2017 CPA Exam changes aren’t only bringing about many changes in the content and structure itself, but also the ways in which the Prometric Center will be administering the Exam.
As a result of the Exam’s increased focus on testing higher- order skills, the AICPA’s Exposure Draft for the 2017 CPA Exam Changes has proposed that actual time for a break may be added to each Exam section. Because the Exam will test candidates’ abilities to apply and evaluate information more thoroughly than it does on the current version, these breaks were added to give candidates sufficient time to recollect themselves and step away from their Exam for a short amount of time. And the best part? These breaks will not count against the candidate’s testing time, whereas in the current Exam, they do.
In the current CPA Exam, you will be presented with the option to take a break between testlets, but it will count toward your test-taking time. You do not have to—but if you choose to take a break, you will be asked to leave the testing room quietly. Since breaks are considered a part of the testing process, the testing clock will continue to run. Therefore, it is recommended that candidates use break time wisely, and breaks lasting more than ten minutes are reported to their board of accountancy.
For this reason, many current CPA Exam candidates feel obligated to use as much of their time as possible focusing on the Exam rather than taking breaks in between testlets. But with the new break time added to the 2017 CPA Exam, candidates will no longer have to feel obligated to sit in their seats for the test the entire time; they will instead have the ability to disengage from their testing environment without having it affect their test-taking time.
Although the amount of time for these new breaks in 2017 has not yet been finalized, it is estimated to be potentially 10-15 minutes to provide candidates with nominal and yet sufficient time to rejuvenate themselves before continuing the Exam. And the other great news? The addition of breaks will not impact CPA Exam costs to the candidate. Again, although these changes are just proposed and nothing has been set in stone, candidates in 2017 can anticipate a little breather from their testing environment without worrying about it cutting into their overall performance.
Download our free 2017 CPA Exam Changes eBook to learn more about the next version of the CPA Exam.