As many CPA Exam candidates know, the AICPA announced that beginning July 1, 2016, a new Task-Based Simulation question type called Document Review Simulation (DRS) will make its debut on the AUD, REG, and FAR sections of the CPA Exam.
If you haven't already, we highly recommend candidates and educators alike to review the AICPA’s recently released sample CPA Exam that includes this update, as well as sample DRS questions for the AUD, REG and FAR Exam sections. In the meantime, here is an overview of what the DRS is, why it has been added, and how candidates will be tested for this new TBS.
Why the DRS is being added to the CPA Exam
The DRS has been added to the CPA Exam to better prepare newly licensed CPAs for the tasks they will be expected to perform. Many of which will include management and review of bank statements, memos, and other documents that are representative of common business documents they will encounter as practicing CPAs. As a result, inclusion of the DRS plays a significant role in making the CPA Exam more realistic and informing future CPAs of expected job functions. However, the AICPA reassures candidates that they should not be overly concerned. The content being tested for this new TBS will still be based on the 2016 content specific outline; the only thing to change will be the format in which it is delivered.
While the DRS is subject to testing higher level skills in conjunction with the 2017 CPA Exam changes, this is not expected to go into effect until the second quarter of 2017, in which case the DRS will also be making its appearance on the BEC section. Therefore, candidates should not be worried about the DRS testing higher order skills at this time. As long as candidates know what the DRS is, how it’s being tested, and gain familiarity with the content and format, they are still expected to perform well.
What the DRS will be testing
The DRS will test application, analysis, and/or evaluation skills of candidates to review realistic documents and related source documents (exhibits) to discern what’s important and what’s not important for solving the problem. In the DRS, the candidate will be presented with highlighted phrases or sentences within the document that may or may not be correct.
How the DRS will be tested
Candidates must select the appropriate edit for that highlighted section based on the relevant source documents, which will appear as categorized tabs on the upper left hand corner. In the example below, the tabs are labeled as “Document Review, Authoritative Literature, Exhibits, and Help”.
The “Help” tab gives candidates detailed information about what they’re expected to do and how to do it. An example is below:
The candidate must be sure to answer each highlighted section in the document by selecting an appropriate edit and then clicking the “Accept” button to finalize their answer.
A blue checkmark will appear once an answer has been chosen. Candidates should ensure that each question has a checkmark.
This is extremely important because each highlighted section counts as its own question. So even if the candidate does not answer all of them correctly, they will receive partial credit for questions they do answer correctly.
How Roger CPA Review Will Help You Prepare
At Roger CPA Review, we understand the importance of providing students with everything they need to successfully pass the CPA Exam. We will ensure that our software and preparation materials fully cover the new DRS so that students are familiar with the format and content and know how to answer the questions properly. We will also have a full upgrade to our Interactive Practice Questions scheduled for the first week of June 2016. These updates in our course software will not only prepare students for the changes to come, but also give them the confidence and resources they need come exam day.
Learn more about the DRS with Roger Philipp, CPA, CGMA, in our video, "New CPA Exam TBS: Document Review Simulations."