Computer Based Testing - Evolution CBT-e Overview 

    Published July 31, 2013

    CBT-e (Computer Based Testing – evolution) is the collective name for the many Uniform CPA Examination improvements that were implemented on January 1, 2011. (Click here to view the CBT-e Implementation Announcement).

    Changes in Examination Section Structure, Section Time Allocations, and Scoring Weights
    As of January 1, 2011, CPA Examination sections were reorganized, with the concentration of all written communication tasks in one section.  Time allocations were changed for two examination sections. Short Task-Based Simulations (TBS) replaced simulations in the former format in three sections. In addition, new scoring weights went into effect.  (Click here to read the announcement and view illustrations of these changes.)

    Setting a New CPA Examination Passing Score
    The changes that were implemented on January 1, 2011 in the Uniform CPA Examination content, structure, and format were significant enough to require a new passing score to be determined.  This process is sometimes called “standard setting.” (Click here to read about the standard-setting components and schedule.)

    New Content and Skill Specification Outlines (CSOs/SSOs)
    A new Uniform CPA Examination blueprint went into effect on January 1, 2011, making International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS) eligible to be tested and also introducing other content changes.  (Click here to view the CSOs/SSOs outlining the new CPA Examination content.)

    Background on CBT-e

    Invitation to Comment (ITC) and Responses
    In October 2007, the AICPA Board of Examiners (BOE) sought input from accountancy boards and other stakeholders on a series of recommended examination changes by authorizing the release of an Invitation to Comment (ITC) on Proposed CPA Examination Improvements.  (Click here to view.)  Eighty-two ITC responses were received.  (Click here to view summary.)

    BOE Approves CBT-e
    After reviewing ITC responses, the BOE made decisions on the proposed CBT-e changes in the spring of 2008.  (Click here to view a summary of BOE decisions.)

    The Scope of CBT-e Launch
    After work on the CBT-e project began, decisions were made to synchronize the implementation of two additional projects with the CBT-e launch – the introduction of the new CSOs/SSOs and the updated authoritative literature release with a new research task format.  As a result, CBT-e is now often used to refer to all of the changes that were scheduled for launch on January 1, 2011 – not just those that were originally considered in the Invitation to Comment.

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