Website of the Month: CPA-Exam.org

By Susan B. Anders

E-mail Story
Print Story
The 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.

The 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 numerous resources.

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.

An 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.

New Information

Several 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.

The 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.”

Tutorial and Sample Tests

The 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.


Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor at St. Bonaventure University, N.Y.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.

©2009 The New York State Society of CPAs. Legal Notices