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Disputing CPA Exam Results - Does it Work?


The CPA Exam isn’t perfect. Even with the AICPA’s intensive psychometric analyses, regular content review, and other quality control measures, there remains a small potential for error in administering, executing and scoring the exam. Because of this small potential for error, NASBA, Prometric and the AICPA provide candidates with two means to dispute their CPA Exam scores.

1. Score Review

The first method is a score review. If a candidate feels that their score doesn’t accurately reflect their exam performance, they can request a review of their results through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). NASBA will submit a candidate’s request to the AICPA, which will then manually verify the correct grading of the candidate’s written communication and computational responses, and then verify their overall score. Keep in mind, though, that the scoring process involves several different quality control measures. This means that any score adjustments are exceedingly rare. In fact, during the 2010 CPA Exam year, none of the score reviews resulted in score adjustments.

Don’t request a score review if you’re just looking for extra points. If you’ve scored a 74 on your FAR exam, for example, a score review is very unlikely to give you any additional points. Instead, you’ll pay fees, fill out paperwork, and wait for the results… all of this most likely ending in disappointment.

2. Appeals


The second method is the Appeal process. This procedure offers candidates the chance to review their responses to incorrectly answered test questions or simulations. By reviewing the incorrect responses and the questions themselves, candidates can determine if they want to challenge the validity of one or more items on the CPA Exam. If the candidate decides to challenge an item, they should be prepared to defend their response as eloquently and thoroughly as possible.

To maintain the confidentiality of the CPA examination, viewing sessions may only take place in specifically authorized secure locations, and, only while in the presence of a representative of the Board of Accountancy. Similar to the score review process, there are also fees, instructions and requirements that must be met. To find out if your state or jurisdiction allows appeals, or, for a list of instructions and requirements for the score review and appeals processes, contact your State Board of Accountancy, or NASBA.

Much like the score review process, candidates should be aware that the appeals process usually does not result in a score change. In most cases, simply moving on and preparing for the next section of the exam is the best bet. In any circumstance, candidates should not wait for the results of the score review or appeal before continuing their exams.

For the majority of Roger CPA Review students, the score review and appeal options are unnecessary. Our comprehensive CPA Exam courses are designed to help students pass the first time. Most of our students find that a failing score simply represents the need for harder work and greater discipline, rather than an error on the part of the AICPA, NASBA or Prometric.

For more information on the score review and appeal process, check out this article from eHow.com.

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