BEC Exam Changes For 2017


The 2017 CPA Exam is fast approaching. Beginning April 1, 2017, candidates will be taking the next version of the CPA Exam that will include the testing of higher order skills as well as how the exam will be administered. 

At Roger CPA Review, we are dedicated to helping our students succeed no matter what the CPA Exam may throw their way. Last time we talked about what changes were occurring on the Auditing & Attestation (AUD) section for 2017. This time, we’ll show you how the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section will change next year. 

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Content for BEC

In the chart below, you’ll see that content allocation for BEC in the new exam will have less specified areas of testing. However, this does not mean that topics on the current exam will be eliminated completely; alternatively, they will be incorporated into other larger, more broad areas within the exam. You can see that BEC will be moving from 6 content areas to 5 content areas in 2017. 

Types of Questions on BEC

On the current exam, BEC consists of: 

  • 72 Multiple Choice Questions 
  • 3 Written Communication 

On the 2017 exam, BEC will consist of: 

  • 62 Multiple Choice Questions 
  • 4-5 Task-Based Simulations 
  • 3 Written Communication

As you can see, the amount of Multiple Choice Questions will be lessened on the new exam and the amount of Written Communication will remain the same. What is drastically different is that BEC will now have 4-5 Task-Based Simulations. As a result, the testing time for BEC will increase from 3 hours to 4 hours in 2017. 

Skills Tested on BEC 

Currently, all sections of the CPA Exam only tests 2 skills:  remembering & understanding and application, which are both tested equally throughout the exam. However, in 2017, testing of higher order skills come into play for BEC with the addition of analysis, which will comprise 20-30%. Consequently, the skill remembering & understanding will be tested at 15-25% and application will be tested 50-60% of the entire section. 

Weighted Score for BEC 

As it stands, Multiple Choice Questions account for 85% of a candidate’s total BEC score while Written Communication accounts for 15%. In order to balance out the score scale a bit more in 2017, Multiple Choice Questions will account for 50% of the total score, and the newly added Task-Based Simulations will account for 35% while Written Communication will still account for 15%. 

We hope you found this breakdown of how each section will change in 2017 helpful! Stay tuned for more posts on how the FAR and REG sections will be affected. We wish everyone the best of luck on preparing for the CPA Exam now and in 2017! 

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