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Nondisclosure plan for CPA exam.

The American Institute of CPAs board of examiners issued a position paper describing the board's plan to make the Uniform CPA Examination a "nondisclosed" exam beginning in 1996. Under the plan, questions and answers will no longer be published after the exam has been administered.

Questions and unoffcial answers have been published since 1917, when the exam was first offered--a practice that is unique among large-scale professional licensure examinations.

According to the board, a non-disclosed exam will

* Improve exam quality by allowing many questions to be pre-tested. Questions with desired content and psychometric characteristics could be used repeatedly.

* Allow the use of statistical equating methods to ensure grades reflect comparable levels of difficulty from one exam to the next.

* Alleviate "test score pollution," the fluctuation in CPA candidates' grades due to studying previous exam questions and answers, without a corresponding change in the candidates' mastery of test content.

* Make it easier to implement technological innovations in testing, such as using computers to administer and grade the exam, as they develop and become feasible.

In addition, many academics believe a nondisclosed exam will broaden accounting curriculum and teaching methods by minimizing the exam's enormous influence on the development of curriculums, textbooks and study assignments. Academics believe such minimization will broaden accounting curriculums and teaching methods to encompass nonlicensing content and skills.

The board of examiners will be holding a series of open meetings to discuss its plan. Requests for the position paper, A Nondisclosed Uniform CPA Examiantion, should be made in writing to the Board of Examiners, Examinations Division, AICPA, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036-8775.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Dec 1, 1991
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