Q. Why will there be a score hold for the Examination in Q2, Q3 and Q4?
A. Anytime the Examination undergoes significant changes, a passing score is set so that the assessment remains legally defensible. This is common practice in the world of high-stakes testing. The score holds after each testing window will allow sufficient time for the Board of Examiners to properly conduct its standard setting process. Upon completion, candidate scores will be released once after the close of each window as outlined in the tables above.
Q. What is the standard setting process that you will conduct in 2017?
After the close of the Q2 2017 testing window, the Board of Examiners will assemble panels that consist of CPAs with experience supervising the work of newly licensed CPAs. There is one panel of CPAs for each section of the Examination. These CPAs will review test questions and performance data for candidates in the Q2 2017 testing window and approve ratings to recommend a passing score for the Board of Examiners approval.
Once the passing score for each section is approved, it will remain in place until there are significant changes to the Examination in the future. Prior to the 2017 standard setting process, passing scores were most recently set in 2004 when the Examination was computerized, and again in 2011 following a revision of the Examination.
After the close of the Q3 and Q4 2017 testing windows, additional data analyses are require for quality assurance and validation purposes.
Q. What if the score release hold impacts my ability to complete the Examination within 18 months?
A. There is no need to contact your state board of accountancy. The AICPA, NASBA, and state boards are aware that some candidates testing in the Q2 2017 launch window will be impacted by the 10-week score reporting hold. With Q2 2017 AUD, FAR, and REG scores scheduled for release by August 17, and BEC by August 21, candidates may be unable to retake a failed section in Q3 2017.
NASBA's National Candidate Database is designed to prohibit expiration of conditional credits until advisory scores are received if candidates take the Examination prior to the date of their score expiration. In June and July, NASBA will notify state boards of all candidates testing in Q2 2017 with existing conditional credit who will be impacted by the score hold. The state boards will consider extending a candidate's conditional credit. Extensions of credit are handled on an individual case-by-case basis. State boards will notify candidates if an extension is granted.
Q. It is past the target date for my score release, and I still do not have my score. What happened to my score?
A. A vast majority of the scores will be released on the target date; however, these dates are still targets, not a guarantee.
There are several factors that can influence the score release. First, the target date reflects the day that NASBA distributes scores to state boards of accountancy, and the turnaround required for each state may vary. Secondly, some scores can be delayed due to a scoring inquiry that requires additional psychometric analysis. And finally, some scores in the BEC section might be delayed to a subsequent score release due to additional analysis required for the written communication task (see below).
Q. What about score releases for candidates testing under the international testing program?
A. The scoring timeline for candidates testing under the international testing program can be found in the International Testing FAQs.