About AUD CPA Exam
[Updated for 2023 - 2024]

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The Auditing and Attestation (AUD) CPA Exam covers the entire auditing process, including auditing procedures, generally accepted auditing standards, standards related to attest engagements, and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. The AUD CPA Exam is significantly different from other sections. It allows the candidate to assess a problem on their merit and suggest a solution based on their judgment.

Beginning in 2024, there will be significant changes in both the structure and scope of the AUD CPA Exam. In this article, you will find information on the upcoming changes to the AUD part of the CPA Exam in 2023 and 2024, as well as study ideas and techniques to help you get ready for and succeed on the exam.

How is the AUD CPA Exam Scored?

Scores for the AUD Exam are given on a scale of 0 to 99 with a score of 75 needed to pass. In the AUD Exam, 60 out of the 72 MCQ questions from the first two testlets are operational. The rest of the 12 questions are pretested, which means they are not graded. Of the 8 TBSs on the AUD Exam, there is also one TBS that is pretested and will not count towards the final score. The pretested TBS and MCQ questions are only given for data-collecting purposes.

The scoring is done based on the difficulty level of the question. Not every question has the same numeric value. The harder the question, the higher the numeric value. Thus, if you answer 5 easy questions and 3 difficult questions correctly, the score of the difficult question would be higher than the easy one.

Steps in computing AUD exam score Steps in computing AUD exam score

By default, the first AUD CPA Exam MCQ testlet is set to medium difficulty. The difficulty level of the subsequent MCQ testlet is decided by the candidate's performance on the first AUD testlet. As a result, the applicant will be presented with one of the MCQ testlet difficulty sequences below:

  • The level of difficulty varies from medium to difficult (candidate performed well on first testlet)
  • Moderate - Moderate (candidate did not perform well on first testlet)

The TBS testlets in the AUD Exam are pre-selected and have no influence on the candidate's performance o prior MCQ testlets or any of the TBSs that follow.

AUD CPA Exam Testlet Selection AUD CPA Exam Testlet Selection

Non-research based TBSs receive partial credit while MCQs can be answered correctly or wrongly. Research based TBSs are graded as correct to incorrect, with no partial credit.

AUD CPA Exam Pass Rates

The AUD section of the CPA Exam is mostly theory-based. Candidates often express that the questions are confusing. The reason for this could be the fact that many questions can seemingly appear to have more than one correct answer. In 2022, AUD had the second-lowest pass rate among the four sections of the CPA Exam. Here’s a look at the AUD Exam pass rates over the years:

How To Study for the AUD Exam Section?

As a CPA candidate, you must be wondering how to study for the AUD Exam section. It may initially appear challenging and confusing, but you may overcome these obstacles with proper study planning and consistent practice. Let us guide you through the process:

AUD CPA Exam Study Tips

  • Memorize the study materials with proper context.
  • Take practice exams and analyze your weaknesses.
  • Follow up on weak areas until you understand them.
  • Practice time management for each testlet so that you can finish the exam on time.
  • Try creating a CPA audit exam review sheet.
  • Go through a past years’ AUD questionnaire.
  • Make a study plan and stick to it. Consistently following the plan will help you complete your study material quickly.
Practice. Practice. Practice. See what first-rate questions and answers TRULY look like.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Passing the AUD section of the CPA Exam isn’t a cakewalk. Candidates are assessed at four different skill levels, hence the low pass rate: it hovers around 50% on average.
If audit is your strong suit, you should get the AUD Exam out of the way first. But if you are not well prepared or have major uncertainty about AUD, we suggest you take it as your last section.
It is possible to study for and pass AUD in a month. But first, focus on the MCQ sections and finish them early. Then focus on the rest of the subject material.
Focus on the MCQ part of the exam. The first two testlets are MCQs and each testlet consists of 36 questions. This will help you obtain a passing score.
The AUD section of the CPA Exam covers financial statements, compliance, and processes. It evaluates candidates’ assessment power, understanding of the auditing process, internal controls, and fundamental principles.
Candidates with limited auditing experience may face difficulties in grasping the subject matter. Memorizing the subject may not be helpful, as auditing depends heavily on the evaluation skill set. However, not having previous experience in auditing should not discourage you. You can still score well in the subject with a proper CPA review course, study plan, and time management.
Significant changes to the CPA Exam will be made starting in January 2024 as part of the CPA Evolution effort. The goal is to guarantee that the exam continues to assess candidates on the abilities and expertise that newly licensed CPAs require in today’s technologically advanced economy. Candidates will take three core sections and one new discipline section under this new format. In 2024, candidates will still be required to take the AUD section as part of the core. Much of the material for AUD will remain the same. However, since Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) will no longer be offered in 2024, some of the topics from the present BEC section will be moved to AUD.
Yes. The 2024 AUD CPA Exam will still follow the 18-month rule. Please take note that an 18-month credit extension was announced by NASBA and the AICPA to accommodate the change from the current to the 2024 CPA Exam. Any CPA Exam parts that have been passed before January 1, 2024, will, according to this rule, remain valid until June 30, 2025. Please be aware that although most states have implemented this rule, not all 55 states and jurisdictions have done so yet.

Other CPA Exam Section Pages

Find out the format and structure of the BEC Exam and how to prepare for it.
FAR is considered to be the toughest CPA Exam section. Learn how you can pass FAR quickly and easily the first time.
Wondering what to expect on the REG Exam? Get to know the REG section in detail here.
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