Examination content refers to CPA Examination questions – multiple-choice, written communication and task-based simulations* – reflecting the subject matter eligible to be tested. According to the Board of Examiners (BOE) policy, Content and Skill Specification Outlines (CSOs/SSOs) document the content that is covered in all four sections of the Examination.
*Task-based simulations are case studies that allow candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and skills by generating responses to questions rather than simply selecting an answer. They typically require candidates to use spreadsheets and/or research authoritative literature provided in the Exam.
CSO Update Effective January 1, 2017
On May 28, 2015, the AICPA Board of Examiners (BOE) approved changes to the CPA Exam Content Specification Outline (CSO) that will be effective on January 1, 2017.
Download: CSOs/SSOs Effective January 1, 2017
View a summary of changes to the CSOs/SSOs, effective January 1, 2017
CPA Exam Blueprints Effective April 1, 2017
On February 11, 2016, the AICPA Board of Examiners (BOE) approved CPA Exam blueprints that will be effective on April 1, 2017.
Download: CPA Exam Blueprints Effective April 1, 2017
CPA Exam Blueprints Effective January 1, 2018
On September 30, 2016, the AICPA Board of Examiners (BOE) approved changes to the CPA Exam blueprints that will be effective on January 1, 2018.
Download: CPA Exam Blueprints Effective January 1, 2018
View the summary of changes to the Exam blueprints, effective January 1, 2018
Examination content development is a major effort at the AICPA, involving hundreds of CPA volunteers who spend thousands of hours every year on the development of new examination questions. A constant flow of new questions is necessary to maintain the vitality and credibility of the CPA Examination.
Access to Professional Literature
The Uniform CPA Examination consists of multiple-choice questions and condensed case studies called simulations. Within the simulations, candidates must do an online search of professional literature databases to answer questions. Here are some ways that candidates, students, educators, and schools can get access to helpful online resources.
CPA Exam Candidates: Free On-line Access to Professional Literature Package
CPA exam candidates can get a free six-month subscription to professional literature used in the computerized CPA Examination. This online package includes AICPA Professional Standards, FASB Original Pronouncements and FASB Accounting Standards Codification (effective on the CPA Examination, January 1, 2011).
Only candidates who have applied to take the CPA exam, and have been deemed eligible by state boards of accountancy, will receive access to this package of professional literature. This online package of literature will familiarize CPA Exam candidates with the use of online accounting resources. However, the interface used by the online package is not exactly the same as that used in the operational CPA Examination. Candidates are strongly encouraged to also review the CPA Exam tutorial and sample tests found on this web site. The sample tests reflect the functionality and interfaces used in the actual examination.
Apply for the free six-month subscription to the Professional Literature Package: Click here to subscribe
The link will take you to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website. Please have your Notice of Schedule available.
For other Professional Resource Options, click here.