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  • Higher versus lower order skills can also be


    Higher versus lower order skills can also be understood in the context of the CPA exam. The CPA exam tests four broad topics (FAR, AUD, BEC, REG) using three different testing modes: multiple-choice, task-based simulations and written communications. Combined, the three testing modes place more emphasis on evaluation and application, and less on memorization of accounting concepts and methodology. Thus, it erk inhibitor is likely that CPA exam success requires relatively more of the higher-order thinking constructs described in Bloom\'s Taxonomy, and relatively fewer of the lower-order skills. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that students who are successful in higher-order AP courses would also perform well on the CPA exam.
    Methodology The hypotheses were tested using actual CPA exam data provided by NASBA and supplemental information collected via survey. The data set represented 8845 exam takers across 12 different states. Additional survey data was collected from 1005 of the 8845 exam takers who chose to participate in the study. Their CPA exam data from NASBA\'s database was combined with the survey data and evaluated.
    Results H1 predicts that higher (lower) AP exam scores will be associated with higher (lower) college entrance scores. H1 was tested using a logistic regression where the dichotomous dependent variable, ACT_SAT, was regressed on AP_ENGAGE and AP_SUCCESS, controlling for demographic factors AGE, GENDER and ETHNICITY. The results, presented in Table 3, show that greater AP_SUCCESS relates positively and significantly with ACT_SAT (p < .017) scores, affirming H1. A regression model was used to test H2, H3, H4. CPA_EXAM was regressed on the independent variables ACT_SAT, AP_ENGAGE, and AP_SUCCES. The model included ability/effort variables STUDY_METHOD, GPA, UG_MAJOR, GRAD_DEGREE, ACT_SAT, and demographic variables AGE, GENDER, and ETHNICITY. Results from the regression are presented in Table 4. H2 states that students who have higher college entrance exam scores will perform better on the CPA exam, relative to students who have lower college entrance exam scores. As shown in Table 4, ACT_SAT is positively related to CPA_EXAM (β = 4.521) and statistically significant (p < .000), affirming H2. H3 predicts that students who participate in AP courses will perform better on the CPA exam than will students who do not take AP classes. The results for AP_ENGAGE are not statistically significant (p = .157), which fails to affirm H3. Recall that H4 argues students who pass AP qualifying exams will perform better on the CPA exam than will AP students who do not pass AP qualifying exams. As shown in Table 4, AP_SUCCESS is positively related to CPA_EXAM (β = 5.107) and statistically significant, (p < .001), a result that supports H4. Collectively, the results for H3, H4 suggest that merely engaging in AP courses has no impact on student\'s CPA exam performance. However, ultimately passing AP exams does result in higher CPA exam performance. H5 seeks to provide a more in depth explanation to the relationship between AP courses and CPA exam success, predicting that AP courses emphasizing higher-order thinking skills, relative to lower-order thinking skills, will have a stronger relationship with CPA exam success. In order to determine which AP course emphasizes higher-order vs. lower-order thinking, a key word analysis was performed using each AP course\'s overview descriptions provided on the College Board website. Total key words associated with Bloom\'s Taxonomy higher-order categories of (applying/analyzing/evaluating/creating) and lower-order categories (remembering/understanding) were tabulated for each AP course by a group of three raters, and an average of the ratings was used to categorize each course using a midpoint split (see Table 5). A list of the higher/lower order keywords used in for categorize the courses is presented in the footnote of Table 5. Courses above midpoint were considered higher order, whereas courses below the midpoint were considered lower order. Two new variables were created to represent higher order classes taken (AP_ENGAGE_HO) and passed (AP_SUCCESS_HO) in tests of H5 discussed below.