The ‘Eyeball Trick’ & A Look At CPA Exam Score Anxiety

April 8, 2021

Waiting for CPA Exam Score Releases Can Be Nerve-Wracking!

Do you find yourself checking every 5 minutes to see if your score has been released? Are you looking forward to your score report or dreading it? Have you already tried to do the “eyeball trick” a few times? While you’re waiting, let’s look at where to find official information about CPA exam scores, what the “eyeball trick” is (and who can use it), and what you can do to prevent that feeling of dread about exam scores.

NASBA Already Gives Us A Lot of Information

What Does NASBA Do

NASBA provides answers to many FAQs about CPA exam scores, such as where to access your score report, what to do if you believe there was an error on your exam, and what happens if your score release date is after the credit for your first exam expires. There is also a reminder that those who test in non-NASBA states (CA, IL and MD) can get their scores from their state boards of accountancy. In addition, NASBA has details about international administration of the exam and explains, “Scores for candidates testing at an international location are released on the same timeline as domestic scores.” 


What Does The AICPA Do?

The AICPA provides score release dates, explains how the exam is scored, and supplies information needed for interpreting the feedback provided in your exam performance report, which you will receive only if you did not pass the exam (note that some jurisdictions do not provide performance reports). 

So, What Is The CPA Exam Eyeball Trick?

What can you do, though, if you feel that you just can’t wait for the score to be released? This is where the “eyeball trick” comes into play. Candidates have figured out a method for knowing whether they passed or failed (but not the actual score) a few hours before – or maybe the day before – the scores are officially released. This “eyeball trick” won’t work, however, if you tested in a non-NASBA state. Here are the steps to use the “eyeball trick:”

  • If you took your exam in a NASBA state, and you took a previous exam within that testing period, and the score for the previous exam is still accessible, there will be an “eyeball” icon on your score report.
  • When you click on the icon to review your report, you will also see your current exam listed with a note saying “attended” (acknowledges that you took the exam; check back later for more info), “credit” (you passed), or “no credit” (you didn’t pass).
  • While this gives you some information, the score report, when it is officially released, is much more useful.

Preparation: One of the Keys to Maximizing Confidence & Minimizing Exam Anxiety 

Boosting Confidence With CPA Exam Prep

There probably isn’t any way to eliminate all anxiety about score releases, but good exam prep can increase your confidence so that you can anticipate your score report instead of dreading it. Good exam prep is largely based upon the quality of the resources you used and how well you used them. How well do you feel your studies prepared you for the CPA exam? Was the exam what you expected based upon your preparation? If not, evaluate both the resources you used and the way you used them (below) to determine whether some changes should be made.

Did Your Resources:

  • Provide sufficient quantity and variety of study materials?
    • A larger variety of resources will help to reinforce understanding and can be applied to multiple learning styles.
  • Update their materials based upon changes in laws, regulations, etc.?
  • Provide instructions for each of the 7 question formats on the exam? 
  • Discuss how to avoid common errors and illustrate “tricks” in test questions? 
  • Offer tutorial services and study aids?
  • Link you to authoritative resources to use in your preparation? 

And Did You:

  • Implement a study plan based upon your work-life balance?
  • Make good use of all resources, including videos, flash cards, MCQs, and TBSs? 
  • Take the AICPA’s practice test and tutorial videos? 
  • Work with a study partner and/or get help from a tutor? 
  • Average 80% or above on practice tests?
  • Make a plan for how to allocate your time between MCQs and TBSs on the exam? 
  • Simulate the testing experience prior to taking the exam? 

MDS CPA Review Can Help You Best Prepare For The Big One

CPA Exam Review Course

Are you ready to prepare for the CPA exam or do you need to re-take a section of the exam? Check out the resources and services at MDS CPA Review and start your free trial today!