The AICPA went live today with a new sample exam that features the major User Experience (UX) changes that will hit the CPA Exam in April of 2018. 
If you're a CPA candidate, please note that while this update will not affect the content of the exam, it’s still very important to be familiar with the changes so that there are no surprises on exam day.  Tweet this
We highly suggest you check out the AICPA's new sample exam, and that you read below for a quick rundown of what the changes entail and how we will help prepare you for this new exam.


What do the UX Changes Entail?

Overall, the exam is getting a swoopy makeover that will enhance the test-taking experience for the better.  Here is a summary of the new changes:
  • Larger monitors: Playing a large role in the instigation of this update is the introduction of 23-inch HD monitors at Prometric Testing Centers.  These larger monitors will provide candidates with more workspace, and allows for multiple exam elements to be displayed on the screen at the same time.  For example, a full Task-based Simulation (TBS) could be on the left side of the screen, and the Authoritative Literature or other Exhibits could be on the right side of the screen.

  • Use of Microsoft Excel:  As one of the most widely used tools in the accounting profession, Microsoft Excel will be replacing the generic spreadsheet tool that is currently provided in the CPA Exam.  Candidates will not be tested on their Excel skills, but should be comfortable using the software to answer CPA Exam questions.  

  • Refined design and functionality:  Many of the changes are simply a better and more modernized look and feel to what candidates are already used to.  This includes some updates to the software functionality for ease of use, and more elegant design elements.  Those who have taken the current version of the exam will notice new fonts, colors, graphics, and better placement of buttons and information.  Again, it is very important to be familiar with these updates, so you’re not wasting time on exam day looking for how to submit a question, where to find information, etc.  
Below you will see a screen shot of a multiple-choice question for the current exam versus a multiple-choice question for the new exam.
At a glance, here are a few items you might notice are different in the newer version:
  • The clock has moved locations and is much more prominent

  • Navigation between questions has moved to the top of the page

  • At the top of the screen are easy to navigate tools, including the new access to Excel and a new Help section

  • Tabs at the top of the screen provide a clear representation of which testlet you are in

  • New colors and fonts that make information pop, including a now brightly obvious “Submit Testlet” button.  

This is just one example of how the old vs. new compares, and is a great representation of how the look and feel will be altered.  We will continue to share some of the major differences in the weeks to come!

Before Taking the Sample Exams

Here are a couple things to keep in mind before you take the AICPA's sample exams that dispaly this new UX: 

  • There's a few differences in the sample exam versus what you would see on the actual exam.  For example, there are less questions in each testlet.  Also, you'll notice that you have an option to show the correct answer on questions, as well as access an answer key for Task-Based Simulations.  For obvious reasons, you would not have access to this information while taking the real CPA Exam.

  • You must enter the launch code the AICPA provides for you in order to access and launch any of the sample exams, found here:

How will Roger CPA Review ensure I am ready?
As always, we are dedicated to ensuring you are fully prepared for the CPA Exam no matter when you plan to sit.  For that reason, our system will continue to reflect the current exam experience throughout the Quarter 1 (Q1) testing window so that our students taking the CPA Exam during this time are practicing in a system that mirrors the exam they will be taking. Plus, with our new SmartPath Predictive Technology™, you'll  have the ability to pass the CPA Exam faster with targeted data-driven recommendations on where and how to focus your study efforts.  Try SmartPath today with a Free Trial. 
Related articles