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 CPA 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 2017 Q1 and Q2 score release timeline for information on score release dates. Read the CPA Exam Score Release Timeline FAQ, which are updated quarterly.

Please note: with the launch of the next version Exam in April 2017, there will be score release delays in Q2, Q3 and Q4 to allow for standard setting.

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 September 2015 proposal for the next version for the CPA Exam, and ultimately the final content, design and structure of the CPA Exam that will launch in April 2017. 

Practice Analysis Final Report
Practice Analysis FAQs
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