cpa-exam-scores-results

While taking the CPA Exam is likely the most stressful part of becoming a CPA, waiting for your scores to come out can be equally as nerve-racking. We've put together some fast facts regarding the AICPA scoring process to help ease test-takers nerves and shed some light on how the exam experts grade your performance.

Point allocation. For FAR, AUD and REG, 70% of your score is based on the multiple choice questions. The other 30% is based on your simulation sections, 10% of which is based on the written communication portion of the simulations. For BEC, 100% of your score is based on your multiple choice performance.

Points Needed. All scores are determined by the AICPA and range from point values (not percents) of 0 to 99. A passing score is a 75 or higher, a failing score is 74 or below. Scoring is completely automated for every section of the exam, with the exception of the written communication portion of the simulations. Some written communication responses are graded by humans deemed fit to score by the AICPA, while other written communication responses are scored using an automated process. Regardless of whether a human or machine grades an exam, scores are verified throughout the scoring process.

Points standards. Contrary to popular belief, the CPA Exam is not graded on a curve. The exam is graded against pre-determined standards. According to cpa-exam.org, "every candidate is judged against the same standards, and every score is an independent result." The difficulty level of the question, as well as the pattern of correct and incorrect responses, is taken into account during the scoring process.

Releasing Your Score. Scores are released in two waves for each quarter or testing window, usually between 3 and 6 weeks after the date you take your exam. Scores for exams taken during the first month of a window are usually released in the second half of the second month of the window, while exams taken during the second month of the window are released the second half of the third month of the quarter (the blackout month).

The AICPA releases scores to all jurisdictions, and then it is up to each jurisdiction to notify their test takers. This notification happens either through posting online on the state board website, through the NASBA website or through traditional mail. Each state is different, so check with your state board or NASBA.org for exact details for your jurisdiction.

Waiting for your score can sometimes feel as though it is harder than the test itself - but knowing how the scoring process works and when you can begin to expect score releases can ease some of the tension hopefully keeping you from checking your computer every few hours for two straight months.