CPA Exam Score Review and Score Appeal

cpa exam score review

Have you ever thought about challenging your CPA Exam score? If you ever get a 74 or face losing section credit as your 18-month window comes to a close, you might be very tempted to take this step. But the truth is that requesting a CPA Exam score appeal or score review is never a good idea. I’ll explain the process, fees, and success rates of score appeals and score reviews so you can see why you should skip these steps and move on to trying again.

Time Required for a CPA Exam Score Review or Appeal

It generally takes a few weeks for the AICPA to get back to you. One reader who requested a CPA exam score review said the process took 8 weeks.

Cost of a CPA Exam Score Review or Appeal

It depends on the parts you are challenging. For example, it costs $200 for FAR. In my opinion, the examiner set the price such that it’s cheaper and less time-consuming to retake the test.

What Are the Odds of CPA Exam Score Appeal or Review Success?

According to the AICPA, the likelihood of a score change following score review is exceedingly small, or less than 1 percent of all requested score reviews since the inception of the computer-based test.

But I Only Missed One Point!?

Your 74 does not mean you were one point away from passing; your 74 means once they determined you failed, they compared your score with other people that failed and determine you performed better than them but still failed. You may be 5-10 correct answers away from a passing score.

Another way to look at it is that your percent of right answers may be exactly equal to the percent of someone who passed, but the questions he answered were harder, as determined by the fact that fewer test-takers answered them correctly, and the questions you answered were easier, i.e. more test-takers answered correctly.

So your score does not depend on only your performance, but also on the thousands of other test takers.

Did Anyone Ever Get a Positive Outcome from a CPA Exam Score Review or Appeal?

A few years ago, the AICPA did mess up on FAR scores once and failed people who really passed. They notified those people and passed them.

Additional CPA Exam Help

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

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  • theo phil says:

    Hello Stephanie, thanks for your great and informative replies. I have a 3yr Bachelor’s degree in History (2007), 2yrs dilploma/associates degree in law (2003), Also, i have a one Master’s coursework credit in peace and conflict studies (not the final degree for the master’s, 2013). all combined academic credits are 216 credits. My credentials are from foreign countries and have been evaluated by World Education services (WES)but i now live in the US and planning to change my career paths for better prospects into accounting related . I intend taking the CPA but yet to accumulate the accounting hours. My questions are these: are my 3 years bachelor degree and 2 years associate degree sufficient to meet the 150hrs credit requirement? Will a 30 accounting credits satisfy the accounting courses for all states? What constitute work experience in Public accounting? will a private CPA firm cover for work experience?
    I hope to do a Masters in Legal studies or Master’s in Taxation starting 2017. Will a graduate certificate in accounting from a University satisfy


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Phil, thanks for your note. I am not sure how the state board evaluates the associate degrees, but at least it looks like you are lacking both accounting and business courses. A typical state board requirement is 24 credit hours for each, so that’s a lot of time and effort (and money) involved.

      Are you sure you want to do this? I am asking because you are planning to take a master’s but not related to accounting. I just wonder why you are interested in the CPA designation…

  • phil akp says:

    i am doing Joint Masters in Accounting/Taxation with Law hence my CPA plan

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