CPA Exam Pass Rate

CPA Exam Pass Rate

Historically, 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 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 сол.

AUD Section 5-Year History by Quarter

Тавре, ки шумо мебинед, there is a slight downward trend in AUD scores over the past several years. тааҷуб, 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 Business Environment and Concepts exam passing rates for the last 5 сол.

BEC Section 5-Year History by Quarter

In the past 5 сол, candidates have performed better on BEC than any other exam. Ин аст, то ҳадде тааҷҷубовар, ки дар бисёр номзадҳо майл ба мубориза бо тарҳсозии коммуникатсионӣ навишта бар рӯи BEC. Дар ин фасли имтиҳон CPA, ки на камтар аз техникӣ аст,, Аммо.

Ин тамоюли баланд бардоштани як booster худогоҳии бузург барои номзадҳо омода барои BEC нишаст ба даст аст,. Он дорои баланди ағбаи соли 2010!

ДУР ҳавасҳояш гузарон Нархҳо

Here’s a graph of the Баҳисобгирии молиявӣ ва танзими exam passing rates for the last 5 сол.

FAR Section 5-Year History by Quarter

Як тамоюли камшавии ночиз аст, Аммо чизе аст, ки аз ҳад ҷиддӣ. ДУР дарозу ва техникӣ бештар аз ҳама имтиҳонҳо аст, 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.

Дар 2017 FAR exam will probably show some changes, Аммо. Since the AICPA is moving away from multiple-choice questions, candidates will have to practice the simulations more. бадбахтона, 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 сол.

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. ҳамин тавр, 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. Барои намуна, there is no reason why the standard deduction is its current amount. Шумо танҳо ба он медонанд,.

Чаро як раванди мавсимӣ дорад?

Average Pass Rates by Quarter

Ман боварӣ дорам, ки шумо пай, ки ҳамаи ин графикҳо назар ба ҳамин бо нутфае калон дар холҳои семоҳаи чорум. нест, Дар AICPA тавр имтиҳон дар семоҳаи 4 ва осонтар дар семоњаи 2 ва 3-юм водор накардам ҳақиқат душвор. Ва баъзе аз ҳила Ассотсиатсияи миллии Шӯроҳои давлатии муњосибї нест (decoy) ба паст Қурбҳои ағбаи CPA дар охири сол. Дар имтиҳон ҳамон тамоми сол аст,.

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. Дар имтиҳон ҳамон тамоми сол аст,. You should schedule exams based on your own personal schedule and ability to put in the study time.

For instance, if you work in public accounting, the first quarter might not be a good quarter to take a section. You’ll be too busy during tax season to study. It would be a better idea to wait until the summer down months to knock out a few sections.

Trends don’t matter. You need to focus on yourself and what you are able to do.

How to Increase Your CPA Exam Score and Pass Rate

Беҳтарин порае аз маслиҳати ман ба шумо барои баланд бардоштани холи худ ва CPA имтиҳони меъёри гузариш аст, ки ба даст рафти баррасии CPA дуруст ва пайваст бо он. Осонтарин ва босуръат роҳи воқеъ дар имтиҳон ба даст омӯзиши CPA дастур, ки дар мутобиқат тарзи таълими шумо ва танҳо ба воситаи он рафта аст.

Бимонед бахшидашуда ва кор ба воситаи маводи шумо ва ба шумо хоҳад дар рӯзи имтиҳони шумо омода. Агар шумо бигирад на аз курси баррасии ҳанӯз, дар шарњи ман як назар. Ман дида тамоми курсҳои боло баҳои, Пас шумо метавонед як ки барои шумо кор хоҳад ёфт.

Кеннет W. Бойд

Кеннет 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, аудиторӣ, Густарандагонем андоз ва Коллеҷи профессор. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.