Prometric is continuing its investment in user experience. The company that provides testing centers for the Uniform CPA Examination announced a user interface pilot program refresh beginning in July 2019 with a complete refresh scheduled across all test centers by April 2020. Through upgraded operating systems, a new user interface pilot program, and a few other small changes, Prometric is able to ensure CPA Exam candidates will have a smooth testing experience, while making sure that cheating is kept at a minimum.

How is user interface changing?

The first change to go into effect at Prometric centers is a software upgrade. All test centers will be moved to Microsoft Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10 operating systems by April of 2020. As the operating systems are changed, hardware will be changed where necessary. In addition to the software upgrade, the Seat Availability Tool, a system by which students can sign up for the CPA Exam, will also be optimized. Prometric has created a new mobile interface for this tool, so candidates can schedule a seat in the Prometric testing center by date and geographical location from their cellphones. This makes it easier for candidates to choose a place to sit for the exam within the CPA Exam testing window and align their exam day with their study progress for each section of the CPA exam.

In addition to the user interface changes and updated security measures, Prometric is taking preventative measures to ensure that candidates have the smoothest possible CPA exam testing experience. Based on complaints from candidates, Prometric staff have expanded their standard procedures to include checking to make sure pens work and testing a note board packet that would allow candidates more space for scratch work during the exam. To make sure these changes are effective, NASBA’s CPA Examination Review Board has “secret shoppers” inspecting the exam process.

How will this affect the CPA Exam experience?

These changes are meant to make the CPA Exam a better experience for all candidates as well as eliminate any risks of cheating. The upgraded operating systems will help to ensure that candidates are able to complete the exam with fewer technical difficulties, decreasing the risk that candidates will experience a break in concentration due to having to restart their computers. Plus, making sure that candidates have functional pens and sufficient scratch paper will help candidates feel confident that they have the resources they need with them to pass.

How to prepare for the UI changes

The worst feeling going into an exam is being taken by surprise. Be sure that you know how to properly book your seat at the CPA Exam using your cellphone, and make sure that you’re ready to sit for the exam section on the date you choose. An easy way to know if you’ll get a passing score is by finding out your ReadySCORE™, Surgent’s metric of exam readiness. ReadySCORE assesses the knowledge that you have against the content on the CPA Exam, and it’s been proven to be within four points of CPA candidates’ actual scores.

You will also want to be sure that you’re familiar with the new user interface on the updated operating system and know the testing protocol. The best way to ensure that you’re ready come test day is to do your research and familiarize yourself with the testing environment. On test day, make sure that you have been provided with all of the resources you need, and let a Testing Center Assistant know if you encounter any technical problems.

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