I am just curious as to what the percentage is of people who pass this whole thing the first time? I know its pretty low, but I just wonder if anyone has an actual number of the people who only take each part once.
I am just curious as to what the percentage is of people who pass this whole thing the first time? I know its pretty low, but I just wonder if anyone has an actual number of the people who only take each part once.
I am not 100% sure, but I think it is something like ~50% of applicants pass all 4 sections on their first try. I seem to remember reading something like that.
much lower bobbins
I wonder what the pass rates are for people who sat 3 or 4 times for 1 section??
Pass rate for people passing all 4 parts on the first try is about 10% or less. Pass rates for each section is around 50%.
When you think about the odds, 50% x 50% x 50% x 50% is less than 10%.
I can't remember if those stat's come from the AICPA, Journal of Accountancy, or Becker...but I think that's crazy!
Ok it's definitely less than 50% but more than 10% guys. I don't know the exact percentage but somewhere in the high 30's is sticking out in my head for some reason.
yes...it's less than 30% first time pass rate.
45-50% of people who take a particular section pass it.
Probably 20-30%. On a macro sale if you assume 50% pass the first time, you could likely use Bayes' Theorem to extend the conditional probability to four variables, one for passing each section, given the probability that the other sections have been passed, etc.
First timers pass rate is less 20%. Thats also according to one of the review courses.
Now that I can say I just passed my last section. I would its pretty low, under 25%. I studied pretty hard while working full time and having family at home. That said I passed FAR and REG the first time through, but needed 2 sitting each for BEC and AUD.
Becker says less than 10% this is either in the Course review CD that you go through before you start studying, or in the beginning of FAR. Although I'm not sure that it makes sense to me, 4 tests at roughly 50%. 50%, 25%, 12.5%, 6.25%. Of course, that would mean that each individual persons chance of passing is completely random, like the flip of a coin. We know that this may be true for a person who has never taken a test before and we don't know his/her study habits etc. However, if a person passes his/her first test, then the chances are probably higher than 50% (at least slightly), that he will pass the second, third, and forth. I would be willing to bet that the pass rate for the second exam, of people who passed their first exam, is substantially higher than 50%. Even if it were 75% for the remainder of the exams, the following would be more approximately the first time pass rate. 50%, 37.5%, 28.125%, 21%. I would venture to guess that this is more likely. But like I said, Becker says less than 10%.
90% of people who have adequate time to study pass the first time.
I talked to someone on the phone at the CA state board of accountancy and they said it was somewhere around 10% as the first time pass rate for all sections.
45-51% chance each time you sit for a section.
Somewhere between 1-30% for all four parts on their first try.
I think its comical when people compare the CPA exam to the Bar exam, medical exams, etc.
So many people take the cpa exam just to take it... never even pass one part, but they still go on to have successful careers in the accounting and finance world. Some people have to take it at their firm, some take it a few times and then decide to just flat out leave accounting, etc etc, and so on and so forth. I'm not saying this exam is easy by any mean.
How many people spend 5-8 years in undergrad/law school, and have to sit for the Bar exam more then twice.. and then just decide to leave the profession. These people are a lot more dedicated. Same thing with doctors. I'm not trying to take anything away from any diligent cpa studier, but come on people, there are 10000x more accountants than lawyers, doctors, etc. We are a dime a dozen, and all we need is a 4 years degree to take the exam, which our employer may or may not even require.
TinkelTinkel. Bravo senor, excellent points all around, really swell job. Except the part about people going on to have extremely successful careers without passing the CPA exam (that really doesn't add to your point about the CPA exam not stacking up against the other exams does it? It fact it does quite the opposite and is rather irrelevant to your point). Also, people taking the CPA exams, aren't trying to be just "accountants" are they? They are trying to be CPA's. So when you compare those numbers to people who are actual lawyers, I'm not really sure that the numbers are that staggering. For example the American Bar Association has 400,000 members, while the AICPA only has 350,000. http://www.aicpa.org/MediaCenter/FAQs.htm#aicpa_answer6 and http://www.abanet.org/about/home.html. Oh and also, most states require 5 years of college units, and those states that offer to allow you to sit for the exams with only 4 require extra experience. Oh and also, you don't actually need law school to be a lawyer either, it's called the Law Office Study Program (LOSP) where you can trade in your extra schooling for actual experience under an already licensed lawyer (sort of like the 4 year thing mentioned above that requires extra experience that some states offer). http://www.ehow.com/how_2377162_become-lawyer-going-law-school.html. Keep up the good work TinkelTinkel, I know I speak for everyone when I say that I find your thoughts to be extremely inspiring. Nothing says keep up the good work like "Quit complaining, the test is really easy. Just be glad you don't have to take an actually hard test like the bar exam." Now I'm not disagreeing with you about which test is harder, frankly, I wasn't aware it was a competition nor am I aware why I should care about the Bar Exam at all as I am not actually in the process of taking it. However, unlike you, I will admit that my ignorance of the bar exam renders my opinions utterly useless and will not even purport to know a damn thing about it. But again, does it matter?
Well said, bbrowning911!
Thanks bbrowning911 for your response.
Really? I find it equally comical that "so many" people would pay our buddy Jon Corzine a boatload of money just to say that and pay the additional college costs for the 'privelage and prestige' of being fingerprinted, photographed, and patted down (OK,a little exaggeration there) and videotaped for four hours in a test center, for "nothing"
I nearly tinkled on myself when I read that. Or is is "tinkeled"?
Thank you bbrowning911 for your fabulous response! Well cited!
Ok. Looks like some of you have no clue what you are talking about. One response of, "...~50%" and another of over 30%. Granted, with the new testing process the numbers are up, devalueing those of us who tested all 4 parts at once.
So while a few of you are super proud of your first time passing--one section at at time and spread out over months, while it is an accomplishment, you did so by taking one part of the test at a time. That's like claiming to have run a marathon but running 6.5 miles one week, 6.5 miles the next week, and so on for 4 weeks. Yes you ran 26 miles but not all at once. See how the numbers of succes grow as you make the challenge easier.
Take 2 full days and test all 4 parts and lets see how you do. Then you can brag.
Wow. This thread is about to get ugly.
I think I smell troll.
@ TheREAL_CPA_test - Do you realize the breadth of content is probably 40-50% more per part than in the "paper exam"? That alone makes it equal to the paper exam. Nothing else to say here.
When troll took the paper exam, there was no BEC either.
@the'REAL'_CPA_test, I would have preferred taking the paper exam over 2 days than doing the CBT version, so take AND pass the computerized exam, THEN you can brag. How do ya like that one?
Comparing the paper exam to the computerized exam is like comparing apples to oranges to a certain degree and there's no need to feel superior to those who took/passed one or the other. Get off your high horse and find some other way to stroke that fragile ego of yours.
Nice post bammers!
I just prefer to see the standard maintained rather than diluted. Shame on the AICPA for this. No doubt the change was driven to drive up revenue. More members means more revenue. Simplify the process and add to the "customer" base.
The selling point of the newer test is that the "breadth" of each section will compensate for the simplification fo the testing process. Sorry, but the ability to focus on one section only still does not compare to preparing for all. And the argument of breadth is pedestrian at best. The breadth was there before requiring the tester to prepare for it all.
So @herbert7890 and @bammers3, go play with your nerf ball and leave the leather to the pros.
The old paper and pencil had Blaw and Pr was one whole part! So EZ!!
I think your generalized statements about the current exam shows your ignorance. I work with many CPAs who have passed "the paper and pencil" exam, and they lack many skills needed in today's professional arena to be competent, efficient, etc. Who the heck uses paper and pencil as their main source to do anything any more? Most of these people are lacking in the basic computer skills that are needed nowadays.
As for the current system where you can take one exam at a time, do you think the required accounting knowledge is increasing or decreasing from year to year? Of course it is increasing with IDRS, etc.
So, is one exam harder than another, it's tough to tell, but I'm pretty sure you aren't the expert to decide.
REAL CPA EXAM-
Brad Paisley wrote a song for guys like you....so much cooler online(sarcastic).
I would like to see you go through the application, scheduling, testing, and results process for these exams and then get back to us all on how "simplified the process" really is.
Do you work for NASBA, or the AICPA by chance?
WantMyLifeBack, you are absolutely correct. I've encountered many CPA's who were horrible accountants. Whether they passed the old exam or new is not an indication of their true accounting/analytical/problem solving abilities. I've also had an individual who had a Theater degree work for me who was a better accountant than most people I've worked with in this profession.
Now, I presume that all of you who are responding to me are relatively new to the profession (note: I said presume). If so, you have a great deal to learn in the real world. It is different than what you are reading in your text books. If you really want to challenge my view, do so when you become a Controller in 3 years, develop a shared service for more than 15 financial operations--in excess of $100MM, save your company more than $200K in an audit, implement multiple ERP systems, save your company over $30K in a sales tax audit, or fix the errors of your newly hired accountants--explain to them why we are doing a reversing JE.
Some of you will turn out to be great in the profession and many of you will turn out to be adequate at best. Some of you already see this amongst your colleagues. As you progress in your career, you too may see the frustration I see with the "new" testing.
Unlike your mother told you, you are not all winners.
So you can quote your Brad Paisley, or your Britney Spears, but let's compare resumes before you respond.
So...your beef is what exactly?
William Parrott, Ph.D. says the passing rates are about 20% in this article: http://www.ascpa.org/Content/38248.aspx
He also discusses the the differences between the new exam format and the old 'paper and pencil' format. I found this article interesting...I hadn't actually known too much about the old format, other than I would not have wanted to do it that way any more/less than I want to be doing it this way. It stinks either way...those that took it the old way had no choice then just like those of us taking it now have no choice either...so what the heck are we arguing about?!
I just hope that everyone is able to pass this exam, get their letters and move on...
My point is this....
I sat for the exam when it was required to test all 4 sections. I passed on the first sitting. The core amount of material has not changed. The key principals have not changed. We had to be prepared for all 4 parts and everything that goes with each. CPA candidates now only focus on one section at a time which does not require the same level of study or preparedness.
Thus, by allowing the candidate to focus on one section it devalues the accomplishments of those who had passed all 4 sections in 2 days, preparing for everything (on our first sitting). There is no way that the preparation of one section compares. It's absurd to argue it does.
Now, testers claim a pass on their first sitting but it's diluted. They test over the course of several months. By reading the responses to the initial question of what is the pass rate, it's higher now--appears to be between 10% to 20%. Previously it was less than 10%.
Be proud of passing, as it is difficult. But also acknowledge that the test you are taking is easier to pass now.
Again, it's like claiming to run the full marathon but taking a month to do it....not the same.
That's my beef.
Well, if the scoring was graded on the paper/pencil exam like it is now (I presume it was, I don't know), then they only passed a certain percentage of testers. That means you could have a lower exam score and still pass. So by taking all 4 exams at one time, you learned it all at one time, but didn't learn it was well and detailed as the current test takers. We could argue this all day,as it's extremely subjective. There are better and worse characteristics for both exams.
Exam candidates must now know MORE than you did when you had to study. That's a fact.
SOX, IT, IFRS just to name a few.
You also didn't have to jack with adaptive testing.
There is no beef.
Wow, sounds like someone got picked on in high school!
I think your Mom needed to tell you that you are winner, or perhaps give you a lesson in modesty. Then you wouldn't be on here with the sole purpose of gloating to a bunch of people you think you are better than. You are not impressing anyone with your list of accomplishments, I think I can speak for everyone in that the only thing we have gotten out of your posts is the fact you are a pompus a$$.
Sure glad I don't work for you! And I feel bad for anyone who does
And if you want to use another analogy - maybe the old exam was a marathon, but the current exam is like four sprints.
@TheREAL, it's bammers2, not bammers3. That is all.
cool story bro. but seriously, if you were really THAT good at what you do, you would be so busy with work that you wouldn't have this much time to post on an internet chat room that is made for people studying for the cpa exam. its really weird dude.
TheREAL_CPA_test -- If you have so much going for you, why are you wasting your time posting here?
Im an auditor, is 30K or 200K even material? ;)
Since passing the exam in December 2010, I have not posted here although I drop by from time to time to check on Allyson (aka CPAWannaBe). I CANNOT understand why anyone fortunate enough to have this process behind them would ever come back for here for the sole purpose of knocking other people down. My mom always taught me to be careful of how you treat people on your way up because you may see them again on your way down. Just sayin'
Well I passed all papers on my first attempt individually and I am not going to tell anyone that this is an easy process. In fact people who express to me that they want to do the exam, I warn to not to start unless they are ready and able for the commitment that is required. My only response is to challenge @TheREAL_CPA_test is go take all 4 papers in the current format in 2 consecutive days and I would love to see those scores lol. I can bet the scores would be nowhere near the required 75 lol for any part.
Hahaha, there is no way "The Real CPA Exam" is actually a CPA. It is almost amusing how horrible his points are and how ignorant he is. In order to take it back in the day took a few days of *memorization* and then spitting it all out at once. Now, you really have to *comprehend* the material. I've had a dozen 50+ CPA partners tell me there is no way in hell the paper exam was ever harder then the current exams, how could this "3 year controller that blah blah blah implemented erp blah blah" think this way? This one is to you, dumbass! Cheers
Excuse me TheREAL_CPA_test, you cannot comment about the difficulty of the old v. new formats unless you took the exam under both formats. If you passed under the old format I really doubt you took it under the new format. I did take the exam under both formats so I think I can respond with some knowledge.
Quick refresher: under the old format if you made between 70-74 you were re-graded up to 75 or down to 69 and you had to pass 2 parts the 1st time to "condition" and only have to take the remaining two. If you passed one part, you had to retake all 4 parts. I made 75-69-69-69 the four times I took it. I passed each part once but got no credit. I also took the exam 4x under the new format & passed each part the 1st time I took it.
I can tell you this without a doubt: The new format i way more difficult. Much more specifics, much more detail and more questions to answer. The old format had more time so the new format is that much more rushed and time is more of a factor. I will say the old exam was harder physically with 2 days of testing but that's it.
I studied much more for each section of the new exam than I did for all 4 parts of the old exam total and yet I almost passed it before. You do the math. I honestly think that if I had studied as much for all parts the old exam as I did just for BEC, I would have passed back then.
In closing, Mr. TheREAL_CPA_test, stfu.
I've passed the Bar Exam already and am now taking the CPA...let me tell you, the CPA is HARD!
Overall, I think the CPA Exam is more of a challenge. While the material for the Bar is harder, the volume of material for the CPA is worse. I've put in so many more hours studying for the CPA.
As for passing, got the Bar on first try and am 3 out of 4 on tries for the CPAs (1 to go). The nice thing for the Bar is the pass rate for most states is above 75% on first try and the whole exam is done in 2 days (about 3 months studying) and doesn't eat you up for a year or more taking 1...exam...at...a...time.
Thanks for the insight @brla and @RustyGator!
@ TheREAL_CPA_test - nice job trolling. Seriously, I don't think I could have played arrogant, ignorant and ridiculous better if I tried! Thank you for the show. :-)
My boss is a CPA/Controller and he is constantly asking me questions about SOX, IT stuff, etc. He took the paper format test and he recognizes that I'm learning things that he didn't have to when he took his exam. I respect that he passed a while ago and has more experience than me. He has still complained to me that he had to pass two sections at once, had to take the whole thing at once, etc. But I think that we both respect each other's achievements because we know that CPA = CPA, paper test or electronic test. We're both hard working and dedicated, and that's what the CPA exam really takes.
The real bond between CPAs is the sacrifices we've all made to pass this exam. I'm so grateful to have all of you along side me in this journey! Well, except for TheREAL_CPA_test maybe.. ;-)
I'm now a licensed CPA (Passed all on first try) and would never treat CPA candidates with disrespect, no matter how many times the exam format changes or how they struggle on a particular sections. This is one of the hardest (if not the hardest) professional licenses to obtain and the exam is a real barrier of entry to "the club". Also, I will never rub it off that I passed without failing a part because I consider that insignificant, since a CPA = CPA. The president of the Puerto Rico Society of CPAs told me he failed the exam twice (old format) and he is truly a genius. This is exam is all about sacrifice, struggles, patience, hard work and persistence. If we want it bad enough, WE WILL all be CPAs someday.
Repost: I placed this in another thread and felt it belonged over here as well.
If the test were soooo much easier these days then I wonder why the head of the accounting department at my university(and former dean of the business school) was so adamant I take the cpa exam back in '03 when I graduated? I recall him trying to tell me it would be getting progressively more difficult to pass down the line and that the newest round of changes right around the corner (back then) would be making the thing a whole lot more challenging to pass. For the record realcpatestroll: My former professor's dossier of writings in international accounting publications ALONE makes all of your "accomplishments" appear to have been produced by a droopy, armless child.
And for what its worth:
"In the next 12 years, according to Friedman’s estimates, 75 percent of all CPAs will become eligible for retirement." - cpatrendlines.com
That tells me the baby-booming curmudgeons who passed it back in the day HAD IT MADE compared to those taking it today. OTHERWISE, we'd not have so few CPA's filling that huge void.
Suck on that CPA-holes!
Success is not measured by where you begin..........but by where you end that matters.
True when you run a marathon to the finish, as well as when you take the exam. What you do with those credentials is what it's all about.......
I did it =)
Hate to bump an old thread but just thought I'd add a couple of points for anyone who seeks this out as it is the first result when googling first time cpa exam pass rate.
My Mother passed the old CPA exam some 20+ years ago. As of this week, I also have now passed the CPA exam. She looked over my study materials various times and admitted flat out that had they had to deal with all of this information, the pass rate would have been nearly zero. It is quite ridiculous to compare at all considering the fact that things like Information Technology and SOX were not even feasible concepts years ago. But there was one point that really stuck out to me. I remember sitting through audit thinking wow, had I not done a full review course I would have had absolutely no chance at this. And this is coming from a college degree where we had three full classes dedicated to auditing and internal control (from a D1 school with a accounting programmed ranked highly in the state). My mom happened to mention that many people back when she took it, would sit right after college and pass all four sections by reviewing school materials. Now I can only speak for myself, but I believe many others can vouch that if we tried to go straight from college and take the exams based off of our degrees we would probably be seeing 30-60% on most sections. I openly admit this as someone who averaged a 91% of all four sections. Of course there will always be those who are just incredibly intelligent and talented, but they are few and far between. The fact that they did not need a review course and that their degree was enough speaks volumes, in my opinion, to the differences of now and then.
I remember reading this post way back. I thought your comments were interesting. Thanks for sharing your Mom's perspective.
And congrats on REG and being done. Yahooooo!
@the real CPA-test: It's all hard past and present. Comparing the old test with the new one is like comparing the notary to the bar exam. Go sort some checks.., I know what you old timers do, delegate all the hard stuff. Pencils, what a joke you guys have no idea.
@giveme - that dude hasn't logged in in over 9 months. He probably isn't going to get your message. Lol.
I know this is an old thread, but wanted to add my 2 cents.
My CFO passed the CPA exam back in the paper and pencil days, and I think he was more excited than me when I passed recently LOL! He is one of the best supervisors I have ever had and he has never said anything towards me about him having to pass it back in the day when you sat for all 4 at once. I am really lucky to work for him.
He sent a really nice email to everyone in the dept after I passed and even bragged about me passing all 4 on the first try. He's nothing like the troll on this thread :)
btw, when I passed the first 2 sections he walked around calling me 50...for 50%, then 75 after I passed the 3rd....today he called me 100 LOL, he's an awesome boss.
...This one was great
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