Navigating the CPA Exam Landscape Amidst COVID-19 Challenges: Updates from Prometric, NASBA, and AICPA

Navigating the CPA Exam Landscape Amidst COVID-19 Challenges: Updates from Prometric, NASBA, and AICPA

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, significant changes have occurred in the CPA Exam landscape. Vishal recently conducted a virtual meeting with key organizations involved, including the AICPA, Prometric CPA, and NASBA, to address the most pressing questions from candidates. This article provides a comprehensive recap of the insights gained from each organization.

Prometric CPA: Resuming Testing and Safety Measures

  • Overview of Prometric
  • Prometric serves as the global testing services provider for the CPA Exam, and candidates can plan their test day using the online Prometric CPA Exam schedule.
  • Resumption of Testing
  • As of May 1, Prometric CPA has resumed exam testing. However, some regional centers may remain closed based on government restrictions. Continuous updates on testing center openings are available on Prometric's site status list.
  • Testing Center Environment
  • To adhere to social distancing guidelines, Prometric will implement the use of every other seat in exam centers. Regular visits to Prometric’s website are recommended for the latest updates. Candidates scheduled in a seat affected by social distancing measures should receive an email prompting them to reschedule.
  • Mask Requirement
  • All candidates are required to wear a mask during testing. The mask does not need to be medical-grade, and testing centers will not provide masks.
  • Scheduling/Rescheduling
  • For a Prometric CPA Exam reschedule, candidates can visit Prometric's COVID-19 update page. Scheduling or rescheduling is advised as soon as possible due to limited Prometric seat availability resulting from COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Contact Lines
  • Prometric CPA is working diligently to manage increased call volumes and address candidate queries.
  • Open Testing Centers
  • A list of open testing centers can be found on the Prometric exam site status page.
  • Future Testing Center Openings
  • Prometric will make bi-weekly evaluations to determine which cities and markets to reopen based on local government recommendations.
  • Social Distancing Impact on Seat Availability
  • Exam centers are implementing social distancing by using every other test station, reducing seat availability. Despite increased testing days and hours, candidates are urged to schedule early.
  • Difficulty in Scheduling Exam Dates/Times
  • While it may be more challenging due to supply and demand, Prometric is extending its days and hours of operation to alleviate backlogs.

NASBA: Navigating NTS, Exam Scheduling, and Continuous Testing

  • Impact on International CPA Exam Testing
  • Information on open international testing centers is available on the Prometric website. Continuous CPA Exam testing in India is set to begin on January 1, 2021.
  • Scheduling Exam Amidst Closures
  • Candidates are advised to schedule exams now, considering the anticipated increase in testing center capacity from June onwards.
  • Delays in Exam Application Processing
  • Currently, there are no significant delays, and applications are taking four to six weeks to process.
  • NTS Expiry and Extensions
  • NTS expiring between April 1 and June 30 have been extended through September 30. Further extensions are expected, and candidates are encouraged to check NASBA’s website for updates.
  • CPA Central Updates
  • Updating CPA Central is a manual process, and NASBA is diligently working on entries. Candidates are urged to check CPA Central for the latest information.
  • Score Release Dates
  • Additional score release dates have been added for those testing during the emergency period (June 11 – June 30). Continuous testing will follow with four score releases each quarter.
  • Continuous Testing Implementation by States
  • Forty jurisdictions have completed the transition to offer continuous testing, while 14 additional boards are in the process of completing the steps. One board is expected to offer continuous testing in 2021. Regular updates are available on NASBA’s website.
  • South Carolina's Continuous Testing Delay
  • South Carolina is working on legislative changes to allow continuous testing, and candidates can take the exam in any state.
  • Retaking Exams under Continuous Testing
  • Under continuous testing, candidates can reapply for a failed exam part as soon as they receive their score. The application process takes approximately 72 hours.
  • Blackout Dates
  • Blackout dates will only occur if the AICPA needs to make software upgrades, and any needed blackouts will be limited to the last week of a quarter.
For the most accurate and up-to-date information concerning the CPA Exam and COVID-19 restrictions, candidates are advised to continuously refer to the Prometric and NASBA websites. It's essential to stay informed and be adaptable to changes during these unprecedented times. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Candidates are encouraged to seek advice from relevant authorities for their specific situations.

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