ACAT Exam Volunteer Panels
Subject Matter Expert (SME) Panels:
These panels review exam questions prior to the two testing windows each year to verify the exam questions are accurate, properly worded, and up to date with tax law. Each ACAT exam: ABA, ATA, ATP and ARA has its own SME Panel.
Typically, each panel member reviews approximately 25 questions in an exam and makes any suggested changes two times per year in September and again right after tax season in late April/early May.
In addition, after each exam administration (in June/July and again in December/January), the SME Panels meet via conference call or webinar to review exam questions that were identified during the testing process as needing further review.
Cut Score Panel for the Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA) Exam:
Each panel member will review the questions in the ARA test bank (approximately 325 questions) to determine the level of difficulty of each question based on the probability of a correct answer by “minimally qualified” candidate. Training is provided in a webinar format.
The ARA test bank questions will be delivered to panel members this summer and the panel members will have approximately 2-3 months to review and submit the ratings for each question. The ARA Cut Score Panel will meet via conference calls in September and October to review the results and make modifications as necessary.
Item Writing Panels:
These panels help develop new test questions for each exam. Online collaboration is being set up to submit and review test questions and more information will be available this summer.