The scoring information on this page is intended primarily for CPA Examination candidates. It includes a non-technical explanation of the scoring process, candidate performance report information, and scoring FAQs. Psychometrics is the discipline that provides the technical basis for many licensure and certification examinations, including the CPA Examination. The AICPA Technical Reports reflect recent CPA Examination psychometric research.

A non-technical overview of scoring. It is a jargon-free explanation of the scoring process, providing insight into how MST (Multi-Stage Testing) works and including some basic facts about IRT (Item Response Theory).

Important questions about scoring are answered in this set of FAQs, including the fact that the CPA Examination is NOT scored on a curve. The FAQs also provide an explanation of how IRT scoring makes it possible to provide comparable scores for candidates who answered questions of greater or lesser difficulty.

Passing Rates are provided by quarter (testing window) and cumulative passing rates by year for every CPA Examination section. Before reviewing passing rates, it is important to read the information provided in the introductory text.

Score Review and Appeals 

The Score Review and Appeals Processes FAQs provides information for candidates who wish to request a verification of their  Examination scores.  It also includes a description of the appeal process, available in some jurisdictions to candidates who wish to challenge an Examination question.

Psychometric Research 

AICPA Examinations Team Sessions at the NCME 2011 Annual Meeting

AICPA Technical Reports

Research on topics relevant to the CPA Examination is an ongoing activity of the AICPA Examinations Team.  This collection of reports begins with research pre-dating CBT launch (in 2004) and continues to the present.

Score Release Timeline 

View the score release dates for the remainder of 2017. Read the CPA Examination Score Release Timeline FAQ, which are updated quarterly.

Please note: There will be score holds in the Q2, Q3 and Q4 2017 testing windows to allow for a standard setting process associated with the launch of the recently updated Examination in Q2. 

The AICPA, NASBA and state boards are aware some candidates testing in the Q2 2017 launch window will be impacted by the 10‐week score reporting hold. With Q2 2017 scores for AUD, FAR and REG scheduled for release by August 17, 2017 and BEC scheduled for release on August 22, candidates may be unable to retake a failed section in Q3 2017.

NASBA’s National Candidate Database is designed to prohibit expiration of conditional credits until advisory scores are received if candidates take the Examination prior to the date of their score expiration. In June and July, NASBA will notify state boards of all candidates who tested in Q2 2017 with existing conditional credit, and who are impacted by the score hold. The state boards will consider extending a candidate’s conditional credit. Extensions of credit are handled on an individual case by case basis.

Practice Analysis 

The AICPA engaged in a comprehensive research project, a Practice Analysis, to determine the knowledge and skills required of today’s newly licensed CPAs. The results of the research informed the AICPA’s proposal for the Examination that launches on April 1, 2017.

For more information please read:

Practice Analysis Final Report
Practice Analysis FAQs
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