Getting your CPA exam regraded can be a nasty business; it costs money, time and effort on your part, all of which could be spent actually studying for an exam. If you believe your exam was graded incorrectly, check out these options for having your exam checked over.
What Was Your Score?
I’ll say it again — contesting a score is not an easy process. So unless you are on the very cusp (i.e. you got a 74), you probably shouldn’t bother. If you got a 73 or less, it is highly unlikely that your score is going to be improved those two points through contestation.
CPA Exam Score Review
The first way to get your exam “regraded” is by having a score review done. This isn’t technically a regrade; it’s when an independent third party ensures that the correct answer key was used and applied correctly. However, your exam is subject to quality control and is in fact scored TWO times before the score is released to your State Board of Accountancy. This means it is very unlikely your exam was scored incorrectly.
If this independent third party DOES find that the answer key was not right or wasn’t applied correctly, you may have a chance for a boosted score. But, according to the AICPA, less than 1 percent of all score reviews have resulted in a score change since the implementation of computer-based scoring.
Score Appeal Process
The appeal process is much more in-depth than the review process and should only be done if you are absolutely sure something on your exam wasn’t right.
The appeal process essentially lets you look at the answers you got wrong on the CPA exam. If you believe that one or more of these answers could be viewed as the correct answer, you can create an argument as to why the answer was correct and present it to AICPA. The AICPA reviews your responses and, if they believe you are correct, will adjust your score.
This process is highly involved; firstly, you have to live in a jurisdiction that even allows appeals. If you do, you can request an appeal with your jurisdictions board of accountancy. You have to submit a request, obtain your board’s approval, AND pay a fee. If your board determines you qualify for an appeal, they submit the request to the AICPA. You then have to sit through a viewing session of your wrong answers, and submit detailed responses for those you believe were correct. After that, you wait to see if your score was changed for the better.
The Conclusion On Getting Your CPA Exam Regraded
I would avoid having an exam score review or going through the score appeal process unless (a) you got a 74 and (b) you are one-hundred percent sure that the score you received is incorrect. It just isn’t worth your time, effort, or money to contest a score if these two items are satisfied. It would be better just to pick up where you left off and try to pass the exam again.
I truly hope none of you are ever put in a position to have your exam regraded. It seems like an un-fun process! But if you are, good luck my CPA exam friends!