NASBA Issues Update Regarding 2011 Scoring Process

This past week, NASBA posted a follow up note issued by the AICPA, to all candidates waiting for Window 1 scoring results on their Facebook page:

Thanks again to everyone who has been asking about the score release timelines. Its an important topic and we appreciate the feedback. As a reminder, for anyone who hasnt had the chance to visit our website, over the past year we have posted letters to state boards, scoring timeline FAQs, and provided an in-depth white paper describing how the Exam is scored, all available at the CPA Exam website. And if youre interested in a refresher about the eligibility requirements, including the 18 month timeline and instructions for scheduling your Exam, the updated Candidate Bulletin from NASBA contains the information you need.

It also appears that there is some confusion about what it means to administer a high stakes test. For those of you who dont know, the Uniform CPA Examination is a high stakes test. That means that there is a direct consequence of passing (or failing) the Exam in our case, that consequence is meeting one of the requirements to obtain your CPA license. Becoming a licensed CPA carries with it legal authority, and an obligation to protect the public interest. Thats why the Exam must make valid, accurate assessments of examinees. The outcomes are too important.

Making those valid, accurate assessments is what this scoring process is really about. In high-stakes testing, any time an exam undergoes a major revision (as with the introduction of CBT-e), best practices dictate that scoring must be revised as well. That means that sufficient data needs to be aggregated for the required additional analyses (of both test questions and candidate performance) that must take place. This data must be taken from actual, operational exam results.

To our candidates, like you, this means that we have to acquire a sufficient sample size of actual exam results in order to perform the required analyses and score the exams properly. This process takes time and thats why we are only able to release scores at the end of each window, for the time being. After three windows, we will have aggregated enough data so that additional analyses wont be necessary, and scores can be processed on a rolling basis, and hence more frequently.

We hope this information provides the clarity that many of you are looking for. Thanks again for engaging in this conversation.

Simply put, the AICPA wants you to know that there’s good reason behind the scoring timeline process. In order for them to process scores correctly using the new CBT-e process, sample sizes must be taken to make sure that data is being analyzed accurately. After the first three windows of the year, the scoring process will (hopefully) roll out in a more consistent and frequent manner.

Regarding the release of the remaining scores for Window 1 2011, they are set to be out before the end of this month, with predictions having them released the week of March 17th. As many of you have seen yesterday, the AICPA has released 9491 FAR scores for the Jan/Feb 2011 testing window. Be on the lookout for the rest this week and next!

Good luck to everyone waiting! Make sure to follow Roger CPA Review to get up-to-date info regarding the scoring process.