of the Month: CPA-Exam.org
Susan B. Anders
first testing period for the computer-based Uniform CPA
Examination was during April and May 2004. The AICPA reported
that over 20,000 test sections were taken and 99.9% of the
tests were successfully completed. Craig Mills, AICPA’s
executive director of examinations, emphasized the importance
of communication about the exam with potential candidates
in the July/August 2004 The Uniform CPA Examination Alert.
Uniform CPA Examination website, www.cpa-exam.org, is a
major source of information about the exam. Even though
the homepage looks the same, the website has been reorganized
and updated since this column reviewed it in June 2003,
and the AICPA asserts that users can access important information
“within three clicks of a computer mouse.” Most
features can be accessed via the menu bars at the top of
the main pages. Being able to reach most information sources
by multiple routes makes site navigation easy. Problems
in accessing the videos and sample test questions, reported
in the June 2003 review, have been corrected. The website
now has one “good” problem: The abundant materials
will require more time for users to take advantage of the
reorganized top menu bars include many new buttons; some
previous buttons have been changed to hyperlinks or removed.
The old menu buttons for the AICPA, NASBA, and Boards of
Accountancy have been consolidated under the “contact
us” hyperlink on the homepage.
excellent new feature on the homepage is a banner advertisement–like
link that connects to brief instructions on how to apply
to take the exam. A subsidiary webpage links to the Thomson
Prometric website to schedule a test appointment. Another
link on this page leads to the NASBA website for summaries
of individual jurisdiction requirements for candidates.
important new features allow candidates to apply to take
the exam, to register for the exam, and to schedule a testing
session. New exam format sample questions have been added.
The reorganized and expanded frequently asked questions
(FAQ) section now has an index page.
website has also added more background information, which
can be accessed through the lower menu bar. Under “getting
started,” the user can find a summary of the steps
to becoming a CPA and can download the 35-page CPA Candidate
Booklet as a PDF. “Prepare for the exam” offers
links to the professional literature. CPA exam candidates
can subscribe to a free online package that includes the
AICPA professional standards, FASB current text, and FASB
original pronouncements. A “written communication”
page describes the standards under which writing skills
will be evaluated on the exam. The drop-down menu for the
“take the exam” button includes “what
to know before taking the exam,” which addresses the
basic computer skills required, provides links to the tutorial
and sample tests, describes the use of the authoritative
literature and the calculator, explains the test center
procedures, and offers a link to a one-page PDF document
titled “Tips for Taking the CPA Exam.”
and Sample Tests
tutorial has been reorganized and expanded. New features
include improved navigation and a link to sample questions.
The sample questions can also be accessed from the main
menu. The download may take several minutes and requires
fairly up-to-date software and at least a 56K Internet connection.
The available sample questions allow the user to experience
a fairly realistic exam scenario, and immediate feedback
is provided upon completion.
B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor at
St. Bonaventure University, N.Y.