MPA Exam Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the MPA Exam given?
Since 2007, the Comprehensive MPA Examination is a graduation requirement of all MPA degree candidates from UW-Whitewater.

When is the MPA Exam given?
The MPA Exam is administered three times each year on the third Saturday in April, July, and November. Re-takes are administered approximately two to four weeks later, if necessary.

How long is the MPA Exam?
In general, MPA Candidates are allowed six hours to complete the Comprehensive MPA Examination, although most candidates finish in 5.0 hours.

Can I use a calculator on the MPA Exam?
Calculators can be used on the MPA Exam, but they must be basic calculators; i.e., add, subtract, multiply, and divide with simple memory functions. Calculators that contain statistical, mathematical, or financial functions are disallowed, including those that are programmable and have graphing capabilities.

What should I bring to the MPA Exam?
Bring pencils-lots of pencils-but nothing else! Scratch paper will be provided, although there is plenty of space on the exam for computations, notes, scribbling of all sorts, etc.

Are there planned breaks during the MPA Exam?
No. Plan your personal activities to correspond with the end of the first section of the MPA Exam. This will occur approximately 2.5 hours into the MPA Exam. No one can leave the room once they start a particular section of the MPA Exam, unless there is an emergency.

How many sections are there on the MPA Exam; i.e., what does the format of the MPA look like?
The MPA Exam consists of two sections:

a.    10 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) from each of the nine accounting courses comprising the BBA degree in accounting (UW-Whitewater course numbers: 244, 249, 261, 343, 451, 454, 456, 461,and 465)

b.    10 MCQs from each of the six required graduate courses in the MPA program (UW-Whitewater course numbers: ACCT 751, 756, 757, 767, and 781, and FNBSLW 542) and 10 MCQs from either 748 (Financial Statement Analysis) or 783 (International Accounting).

What is each section worth? How many "points" are there on the MPA Exam?
Point values (aka, relative value for scoring the MPA Exam) are as follows:

a.    Each section of the MPA Exam is worth 140 points; the point distribution for each section will be explained at the MPA Exam.

b.    The MPA program exit survey is worth 20-points determined as follows: (1) answers are complete, (2) logically and seriously developed, and (3) (most important) on time.

How is the MPA Exam graded? How do I know if I passed the MPA Exam?
Passing the MPA Exam requires an overall score of 72%; i.e., 216 points of the total 300 points. In addition, MPA candidates must:

a.    Correctly answer at least 5 of the 10 MCQS for each individual course, and

b.    Score a minimum of 60% on each section of the MPA Exam.

c.    Note: Like the Uniform CPA Examination, the MPA Exam may be curved before passing marks are communicated to MPA candidates. But well-prepared candidates do not rely on curving to pass either exam because curving (1) is out-of-their-control and (2) cannot be predetermined by the exam administrators.

When will I know if I passed the MPA Exam?
Results will be communicated via email (UW-Whitewater address) approximately 10-days after the administration of the MPA Exam. All MPA candidates are encouraged to discuss their results with the MPA Program Coordinator (R. Gruber).

What happens if I don't pass the MPA Exam, but qualify for a retake in the same semester as my first attempt?
Candidates who do not successfully complete the MPA Exam, but achieve a certain level of proficiency (i.e., 3 or 4 MCQs correct for a specific course and/or a score between 55 and 72% on either section of the MPA Exam), will be given the opportunity to retake parts of the MPA Exam after consultation with the MPA Program Coordinator (R. Gruber).

What happens if I don't pass the MPA Exam and don't qualify for a retake in the same semester as my first attempt?
Candidates who do not successfully complete the MPA Exam by failing to demonstrate the requisite level of proficiency (see above) may request the opportunity to retake the Comprehensive MPA Examination at the next official administration of the Exam. This, of course, will delay graduation until the following semester.

How many times can I take the MPA Exam?
The MPA Exam can be taken a maximum of two times.

Can I appeal my score and/or "passing status" on the MPA Exam?
Yes. Appeals regarding the MPA Exam start by notifying the MPA Program Coordinator (R. Gruber), who will then notify the Accounting Department Chair (A. Arora). This must be done within three days after you have received your scores. The appeal must be in writing and clearly articulate the reason(s) for requesting an appeal. The Chair will then convene a committee of at least three professors (maximum of two from the Accounting Department) that will meet within five days to decide on of the appeal.