Changes to the REG CPA Exam in 2016

Each version of Batman had a cult-like following with individuals swearing that the Batman of the day was the GOAT (greatest of all time) 🙂 However, each time, we soon came to love the newest rendition. Likewise, with the announced changes to the REG CPA Exam in 2016 for 2017, there will be denouncers of the new version, drinking lots of haterade. Instead of denouncing the new version, it is time to embrace it.

Let’s discuss what the new version of REG will mean to you. First of all, the definitive guides for the new CPA Exam come from the Practice Analysis Final Report and the Exposure Draft: Maintaining the Relevance of the Uniform CPA Examination. Warning these documents are fairly long. As a result, I have summarized what you need to know to succeed on the new REG Exam. Let’s start with the basics. First, the new exam will be released on April 1, 2017. So if you want to take the current version, schedule it before April 1, 2017. Second, the new version of REG will be $20 more expensive than the current version of REG. In anticipation, save some moolah. Lastly, any combination of the four sections from the current version or the new version will satisfy the CPA Exam requirement for licensing. If you want to take AUD and BEC in the current version and REG and FAR in the new version, you are most certainly welcome to.
 

Announced Changes: Focus on Higher Order Skills

The new CPA Exam highlights higher order skills such as evaluation, analysis, application, and remembering and understanding. The objective is to make the exam more relevant to what you will do in the “real world.” To get an idea of what skills REG will test along with the associated weights, check out the table below.

REG Skill Levels
Skill Level Weight
Evaluation N/A
Analysis 25-35%
Application 35-45%
Remembering and Understanding 25-35%

 

Announced Changes: Updated Content Specification Outline and Skill Specification Outline

Beyond higher order skills, the new version of REG will have a new Content Specification Outline and a new Skill Specification Outline. Below you can find the specific content areas testable on the new version of REG and the associated weights.

REG Content Area Allocation

Content Area

Weight

I. Ethics, Professional Responsibilities and Federal Tax Procedures 10–20%
II. Business Law 10–20%
III. Federal Taxation of Property Transactions 12–22%
IV. Federal Taxation of Individuals 15–25%
V. Federal Taxation of Entities 28–38%

 

For information about the current Content Specification Outline and Skill Specification Outline, check out Most Tested Topics on CPA REG Exam.
 

Announced Changes: Structure

Most relevant to you, the test taker, are the structural changes to REG. The new version of REG will be longer than the current version of REG and will include a few more multiple choice problems and task based simulations. Check out the table below to get a better understanding of the REG structural changes.

REG Structure Changes

Current Version

Multiple Choice Questions 72 questions
Multiple Choice Questions Weight 60 percent
Task Based Simulations 6 simulation
Task Based Simulations Weight 40 percent
Written Communication Tasks N/A
Written Communication Tasks Weight N/A
Time 3 hours

New Version

Multiple Choice Questions 76 questions
Multiple Choice Questions Weight 50 percent
Task Based Simulations 8-9 simulation
Task Based Simulations Weight 50 percent
Written Communication Tasks N/A
Written Communication Tasks Weight N/A
Time 4 hours

 

For information about the current structure of the CPA Exam, check out What is the Uniform CPA Exam and REG CPA exam duration – How long is the test.

Put your index fingers in the air and shout, “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” You can do this!

Channel your inner Daniel Bryan 🙂 You will succeed on whichever version of REG that you take. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! As always, remember to breathe.

By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh GMAT Prep!

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