Is the CPA Exam Different in Different States?

Are you green to the CPA Exam process? Well, you are in luck 🙂 You have found the right source for all things CPA. That’s right! Magoosh can be your one stop shop for the CPA Exam and the associated CPA licensing process. First things first. Let’s settle some terminology that you will need to know in order to sound like a knowledgeable aspiring CPA. Although commonly referred to as the CPA Exam, the aforementioned CPA Exam is technically known as the Uniform CPA Exam.

So why are we splitting hairs on terms that seem to convey the exact same meaning? If you came across this blog post by Google searching something along the lines of “Is the CPA Exam different in different states” or “CPA Exam in different states,” then first I am really glad you found the Magoosh CPA Blog; however, second, a potential problem that has occurred is that people around you may have used relaxed language in addressing the Uniform CPA Exam. You see, the Uniform CPA Exam is uniform in nature. Without the use of the word “Uniform” in front of the word phrase “CPA Exam,” there may be some doubt as to whether the CPA Exam is different in different states. In short, regardless of which state you take the Uniform CPA Exam, you will have a similar CPA Exam experience. For more information, please consider reading how hard is the CPA Exam, what is a passing score on the CPA Exam, and which CPA section is the most difficult.
 

Apple 1984: CPA Exam in Different States

Now, it wouldn’t be an Orwellian reference without capturing the iconic quote from 1984 that Big Brother is watching you. Let’s help you break up some doublethink by watching the following clip from Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl commercial.

In the previous section, you may have caught that I mentioned the Uniform CPA Exam is uniform in nature and that you will have a similar CPA Exam experience regardless of which state you take the Uniform CPA Exam. However, your original question was is the CPA Exam different in different states? To fully answer your question, we need to caveat the response above. If you are taking the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the Uniform CPA Exam at the University of Missouri – Kansas City testing center, the person next to you also happens to be taking the BEC section of the Uniform CPA Exam, and a person in Boston, Massachusetts is also taking the BEC section, the three of you will not experience the exact same questions in the exact same order across the various testlets. It is possible that the three of you do not experience any overlap in questions. Instead, you will be tested on the same Content and Skill Specification outline, which indicates that BEC covers Corporate Governance, Economic Analysis, Financial Management, Information Systems and Communication, Strategic Planning, and Operations Management. In short, any given section will most likely not be the exact same in terms of specific questions, but it will be the same in content across different states.
 

Groundhog Day

If this is beginning to feel a little bit like Groundhog Day or if you want a quick break, check out this Groundhog Day trailer.

The déjà vu is setting in 🙂 Let’s summarize what we have discussed today. First, the CPA Exam is technically known as the Uniform CPA Exam. Second, the Uniform CPA Exam is uniform in nature. Third, two candidates will most likely not experience the exact same questions. Fourth, each section of the Uniform CPA Exam has a specific Content and Skill Specification outline, which will be tested to create a similar experience for candidates across different states. If this is your first time engaging with Magoosh or if you are a recurring CPA Magoosh junky 🙂 please leave a comment and let us know if there are any CPA topics you want to hear about. Until next time, remember to breathe.

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One Response to Is the CPA Exam Different in Different States?

  1. Jeremy R July 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

    If I pass the 4 parts of the CPA in MD, will NC honor that?


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