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You've Come a Long Way Baby: Computerized CPA Exam Turns 10

Here’s to Ten Years of Computerized CPA Exams

According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, April 4, 2014 marks the ten year anniversary of the first computerized CPA exam. To some this day may not seem that important, but for those who remember the “pencil and paper” days of the CPA exam, this evolution of the exam was groundbreaking. So what are some those “groundbreaking benefits” that came with computerized testing? Keep reading to learn why current testees should be eternally grateful to the innovators who made computerized testing possible.

Computerized CPA Exams Mean More Availability

In the pencil and paper days, prospective examinees only had two opportunities per year to take the CPA exam. Now, according to the AICPA, the exam is available 243 days per year, and the wait time between testing and results has decreased considerably. Candidates used to be forced to wait at least 90 days before they received their results. Currently, the wait time is usually between 7 to 45 days.

Perhaps the most important benefit implemented by computerized testing, is that candidates no longer have to complete the CPA exam in its entirety during one setting. Candidates now have the option to take the exam in sections. Computerization also makes it possible to keep the exam questions more up-to-date and focused on skills that current CPA candidates will need in today’s job market.

The AICPA reports that the last decade has shown a 31 percent increase in seating available at testing centers. Over 410,000 candidates sat for the CPA exam during the last ten years. The demand for CPAs continues to increase, and, so far, technology has proven to be a crucial factor in the progress of this wonderful, exciting career field.

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