CPA Exam Pass Rate

CPA Exam Pass Rate

kihistoria, the average CPA exam passing rates for each section have been around 50 percent. 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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Latest CPA Exam Pass Rate

2019 Pass Rates by Exam Section


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 mabadiliko ya mtihani 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 miaka.

AUD Section 5-Year History by Quarter

Kama unavyoona, there is a slight downward trend in AUD scores over the past several years. kushangaza, 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. For instance, 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 Mazingira ya Biashara na Dhana exam passing rates for the last 5 miaka.

BEC Section 5-Year History by Quarter

In the past 5 miaka, candidates have performed better on BEC than any other exam. Hii ni kiasi fulani ya kushangaza kwa kuwa wagombea wengi huwa na mapambano na kuandikwa uigaji mawasiliano ya BEC. Sehemu hii CPA mtihani ni angalau kiufundi, hata hivyo.

Hii kuongezeka kwa hali ni mkubwa ari nyongeza kwa ajili ya wagombea kupata tayari kukaa kwa BEC. Ina juu ya viwango vya kupita tangu 2010!

FAR Passing Viwango

Here’s a graph of the Financial Uhasibu na Udhibiti exam passing rates for the last 5 miaka.

FAR Section 5-Year History by Quarter

Kuna kidogo kushuka, lakini hakuna kitu ambayo ni mbaya sana. FAR ni muda mrefu zaidi na kiufundi zaidi ya mitihani yote, 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.

The 2017 FAR exam will probably show some changes, hata hivyo. Since the AICPA is moving away from multiple-choice questions, candidates will have to practice the simulations more. Kwa bahati mbaya, 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 miaka.

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. Hivyo, the material covered on the Regulation section is always changing as well. Many candidates also find this section difficult because it involves a lot of memorization with very little logical connections. Kwa mfano, there is no reason why the standard deduction is its current amount. Wewe tu kujua ni.

Kwa nini kuna Mwenendo Msimu?

Average Pass Rates by Quarter

Nina uhakika kuwa aligundua kwamba wote wa grafu hizi kuangalia kama hiyo na kushuka kubwa katika alama nne robo. Hapana, AICPA haina mtihani mgumu kweli katika robo ya 4 na rahisi katika robo 2 na 3. Wala hakuna baadhi njama ya shirika moja la Bodi ya Hali ya Uhasibu (decoy) wa kupunguza CPA kupita viwango mwishoni mwa mwaka. mtihani ni sawa mwaka.

I think the difference in scoring is simply because people are busier during the holiday season in the 4th quarter and don’t put in enough time to study, so they perform poorly.

I passed FAR and BEC in the 4th quarter. My passing score letter was the best Christmas present I could have asked for that year. 🙂

Should I schedule my exam based on the pass rate trends? The obvious answer to that is, no. mtihani ni sawa mwaka. Lazima ratiba mitihani kulingana na mwenyewe ratiba yako binafsi na uwezo wa kuweka muda utafiti.

For instance, kama kazi katika uhasibu wa umma, robo ya kwanza inaweza kuwa robo nzuri ya kuchukua sehemu. Utakuwa na kazi nyingi mno wakati wa msimu wa kodi ya kujifunza. Itakuwa wazo bora kusubiri hadi majira ya chini ya miezi ya kubisha nje ya sehemu chache.

Mwelekeo hazijalishi. Unahitaji kuzingatia mwenyewe na nini ni uwezo wa kufanya.

Jinsi ya Kuongeza yako CPA mtihani alama na Pass Rate

The best piece of advice I can give you to increase your score and CPA exam passing rate is to get a proper CPA review course and stick with it. The easiest and fastest way to pass the exam is the get a CPA study guide that matches your learning style and simply go through it.

Stay dedicated and work through your materials and you will be prepared on your exam day. If you haven’t picked out a review course yet, look at my reviews. I review all the top-rated courses, so you can find one that will work for you.

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, Mkaguzi, Kodi preparer na Chuo Profesa. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.