CPA Exam Pass Rate

CPA Exam Pass Rate

Historically, the average CPA exam passing rates for each section have been around 50 pasene. According to the AICPA, at least half of the CPA candidates who take the Certified Public Accountant exam each quarter fail their exam part.

This isn’t an encouraging statistic by any means if you are looking to take the exam, but don’t give up. There’s hope!

Let’s look at the passing rate for all four sections of the CPA exam and shed some light on the trends!

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Overview


Latest CPA Exam Pass Rate

2019 Pass Rates by Exam Section

SectionQ1Q2Q3Q4
AUD48%55%52%48%
BEC58%59%63%59%
FAR44%49%50%41%
REG50%58%58%56%

Here’s an overview of all the sections’ scoring for the last seven years. You can see that there have been some ups and downs, but the overall it has been pretty consistent.

5-Year History of CPA Exam Pass Rates

Takeaway: The FAR is the hardest part of the CPA exam.

CPA Exam Pass Rates

Takeaway: Pass rates for each of the sections has increased (great news!). The improvement in CPA review courses over the years is definitely a factor in this increase in pass rates.

With the new 2017 exam changes and the updates to the Exam Blueprint, there’s bound to be a slight decrease in score release results over the next few quarters until CPA exam candidates get the hang of the new testing layout.

Let’s look at each individual exam section.

AUD Passing Rates

Here’s a graph of the Audit exam passing rates for the last 5 tausaga.

AUD Section 5-Year History by Quarter

Pei ona outou tagai, there is a slight downward trend in AUD scores over the past several years. e ofo ai, AUD is the lowest scoring exam section out of the four. This might have to with the theoretical and vague nature of most auditing and attestation questions compared with other subjects.

Auditing tends to be more judgment based instead of clear-cut like other exams. O lesi foi mea, there is only one correct tax deduction amount of REG. It’s not debatable. Whereas, AUD answers can be misinterpreted and misunderstood.


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BEC Passing Rates

Here’s a graph of the Business Environment and Concepts exam passing rates for the last 5 tausaga.

BEC Section 5-Year History by Quarter

In the past 5 tausaga, candidates have performed better on BEC than any other exam. o teisi faateia lenei mea i le tele o sui tauva e matele lava ina e tauivi ma le tusia simulations fesootaiga i BEC. O lenei fuaiupu suʻega CPA o le itiiti faapitoa, Peitai.

O lenei faateleina o le tulaga o se booster agaga galulue tele mo sui sauni e nofo mo BEC. O loo i ai le fua faatatau mavae maualuga talu 2010!


MAMAO Tufaina o Fua Faatatau o

Here’s a graph of the Tupe tausiga o tusi ma le Tulafono Faatonutonu exam passing rates for the last 5 tausaga.

FAR Section 5-Year History by Quarter

O loo i ai se tulaga i lalo laitiiti, ae leai se mea e matuia tele. MAMAO o le umi ma sili ona faapitoa o suʻega uma, so you would expect it to have somewhat of a negative scoring trend. The high score in 2016 was only 48%. This is the lowest high in the past seven years.

le 2017 FAR exam will probably show some changes, Peitai. Since the AICPA is moving away from multiple-choice questions, candidates will have to practice the simulations more. leaga 'ua, this is bad news for a lot of candidates who are good at MCQs.


REG Passing Rates

Here’s a graph of the Regulation exam passing rates for the last 5 tausaga.

REG Section 5-Year History by Quarter

Regulation scores have been pretty stable over the past several years. This trend might be explained by the lack of information changes in the exam. Unlike FAR where additional IFRS information keeps creeping into the exam, REG consistently focuses on federal taxation.

Conversely, the tax code is always changing. lea, the material covered on the Regulation section is always changing as well. E toatele sui tauva maua foi lenei fuaiupu faigata ona aofia ai le tele o le taulotoina ma le sootaga talafeagai itiiti lava. Faataitaiga, there is no reason why the standard deduction is its current amount. Pau lava le mea e iloa e.


Why is There a Seasonal Trend?

Average Pass Rates by Quarter

Ou te mautinoa ua e matauina nei graphs uma vaai tutusa ma se mataua tele i le tele kuata lona fa. leai, e le faia le AICPA le suʻega malosi lava i le kuata 4 ma faigofie i le itu e 2 ma le 3. Nor is there some conspiracy from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) i lalo CPA fua faatatau mavae i le faaiuga o le tausaga. O le suʻega e tutusa uma le tausaga.

Ou te manatu o le eseesega i scoring ua na ona e pisi i le vaitau o aso malolo i le kuata 4 ma te le tuu i lava le taimi e suesue tagata, ina ia latou faia le lelei.

Ou pasia MAMAO ma BEC i le kuata 4. Laʻu tusi togi pasia o le sili meaalofa o le Kerisimasi e mafai ona ou talosaga mo lena tausaga. 🙂


E tatau ona ou faatulaga loʻu suʻega e faavae i luga o le faiga fua faatatau mavae? O le tali manino e faapea o, leai. O le suʻega e tutusa uma le tausaga. E tatau ona faatulaga suega faavae i ou lava faasologa ma le mafai ona tuu i totonu o le taimi e suesue ai.

O lesi foi mea, pe afai e te galue i le tausitusi o tagata lautele, atonu o le a le uluai kuata se kuata lelei e ave se vaega. Ae ona pisi tele i le taimi o lafoga vaitau e suesue. O le a avea o se manatu lelei e faatali seia oo i le taumafanafana i lalo masina e tuitui atu ni nai vaega.

e le afaina po o faiga. E tatau ona taulai atu i te oe lava ma mea e te mafai ona e faia.


Le auala e faateleina ai lou Togi suʻega CPA ma Pass Faatulaga

O le fasi fautuaga e sili ona lelei e mafai ona ou avatu ia te oe e faateleina lou togi ma CPA suʻega fua faatatau le tufaina o le maua se ala iloiloga CPA tatau ma le pipii i ai. Le faigofie ma le saoasaoa auala e oo ai le suʻega o le maua se CPA taiala suesue e fetaui ma lou faiga aoaoina ma na alu atu ai i.

Tumau i le tuuto ma galulue e ala i au mea ma o le a saunia oe i lou aso suʻega. Afai e te lei tago atu se ala iloiloga ae, tilotilo i laʻu iloiloga. Ou iloiloina uma vasega pito i luga-faatulagaina, ina ia mafai ona e maua se tasi o le a galue mo oe.

Kenneth W. Boyd

Kenneth W. Boyd is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the author of several of the popular "For Dummies" books published by John Wiley & Sons including 'CPA Exam for Dummies' and 'Cost Accounting for Dummies'.

Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, suetusi, Lafoga Preparer ma Polofesa College. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.