Exciting news has recently been announced that is set to reshape the landscape for aspiring Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Starting from July 1, 2020, the CPA Exam is transitioning to continuous, year-round testing. This transformative shift marks a departure from the traditional testing window model, bringing with it unprecedented flexibility and opportunities for candidates to embark on their CPA journey.
Breaking Free from Testing Windows
The current CPA Exam structure restricts testing opportunities to specific windows within each calendar quarter. This means that candidates have a limited timeframe, specifically the first two months and 10 days of each quarter, to sit for their exams. Moreover, retesting within the same testing period is not allowed, resulting in potential delays for candidates who need to retake a section.
Recognizing the challenges posed by this rigid framework and responding to the calls of candidates, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) has announced the introduction of Continuous Testing for CPA Exam candidates.
"In response to numerous candidate requests, we are pleased to announce Continuous Testing for CPA Exam candidates will begin July 1, 2020. Under the new Continuous Testing model, candidates will have the ability to take the Exam year-round, without restriction, other than waiting to receive scores from prior attempts of the same section or when there is a major change to the Exam. Continuous Testing will replace the existing CPA Exam Testing Window model, which only permits candidates to test during designated time frames each calendar quarter." - NASBA
Unleashing Year-Round Testing: A Stress Reliever for Candidates
The significance of this transition cannot be overstated. Continuous Testing means that candidates will have the flexibility to take the CPA Exam throughout the entire year without being constrained by testing windows. This newfound freedom is a game-changer for candidates who can now plan and schedule their exams at their convenience, aligning with their individual readiness and preferences.
Angie Brown, Senior Director of Product Management for Vishal, emphasizes the stress-relieving impact of year-round testing on candidates. She states, “The flexibility provided by year-round testing, especially the ability to quickly retake a failed exam, will be a big stress reliever for exam candidates and should help candidates pass all four exams in the shortest time possible.”
While the accelerated retesting option allows candidates to retake an exam in as little as one month, Brown advocates for a balanced approach. She advises candidates who have faced setbacks to take the necessary time for thorough review and study before rushing back into the testing center.
Transition Details and Updates
The official announcement from NASBA has set the stage for a transformative shift in the CPA Exam landscape. However, it’s important to note that while the transition is underway, NASBA acknowledges that some of the 55 jurisdictions are still in the process of completing the necessary steps for this transition. NASBA assures candidates that all jurisdictions will finalize the transition before the July 1 commencement, with one board delaying continuous testing until 2021.
As candidates eagerly anticipate this new era of flexibility, it is recommended to stay informed about updates and announcements. The NASBA website will serve as the primary source for the latest information related to the continuous testing transition.
Embrace the Change, Happy Studying!
This announcement brings forth a wave of positivity for current and future CPA candidates. The prospect of year-round testing not only streamlines the examination process but also empowers candidates to navigate their CPA journey with enhanced flexibility and control.
To all the candidates gearing up for the CPA Exam, the message is clear: embrace the change, relish the flexibility, and embark on your CPA journey with newfound confidence. As the accounting profession adapts to the evolving needs of candidates, continuous testing promises to be a catalyst for success, enabling candidates to achieve their goals in a more efficient and personalized manner. Happy studying, everyone!