CPA Exam pass rates released for Q2 2009; up over Q1

13 Jul 2009

CPA Exam Pass Rates

By Jeff

The CPA Exam pass rates for the April/May 2009 window have been released. The percentage of passing CPA candidates was up across the board compared to the January/February 2009 window. The biggest movers were Financial Accounting and Reporting and Regulation, which jumped approximately 5% and 6%, respectively.

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PW 15 years ago

Figures why the 3Q FAR was so hard, they need to bring the average back down!

mrzod 15 years ago

the reason why the pass rates went up is obvious: unemployed people have more free time to study. Now, the real question is whether or not the AICPA would *lower* Q3, Q4 pass rates to bring it inline with prior years..

Name 15 years ago

I certainly think they are doing their best to keep the scores down this quarter.
I just took the REG today and it was brutal. I'm unemployed with no kids - so I'm totally dedicated to studying for these exams - and scored 89s the past two tests. Without knowing my REG score I know I failed today's exam in spectacular fashion. Half the questions weren't even covered in my review course.

UFbrett 15 years ago

What review course did you use?

CSI miami 15 years ago

True indeed. I took audit this window and it was really slippery. I think I will do well but It had too many banana peels littered in between questions. Good luck to all of us.

Name 15 years ago

I had the same thought while taking REG this past week too. Like you, I also dedicated to studying for my exams and surprisingly there were a lot of questions that weren't covered in my review course either (I take becker). I am worried about my REG score too. The exam was brutal...

mlav 15 years ago

I took FAR this past week and the simulations were ridiculously long. After the first 3 hours of thinking I hit a wall.

ACD1109 15 years ago

I am relieved to hear someone else is feeling my pain. I took Regulation today, and it was probably worse than a nightmare!! I am taking the Becker review course and I went over every question AND simulation, and there were questions on the exam from left field!! So unexpected. I would rather not even check my score. I am also upset because this is the first part I took so it kind of ruins my confidence for the rest...

mrzod 15 years ago

back. i took REG last week and i thought the mcqs weren't too bad.. but my 2 sims.. wayyy outta my league.

ACD1109 15 years ago

yea my simsfor Reg were nasty. i left one tab partially blank.

BLR 15 years ago

I am glad I read this. Like others, I reviewed all of the Becker material but when I got to the exam I found questions and simulations that were not covered in the material (probably not even in my college classes for that mattter). Is it possible that the AICPA is looking at review courses and purposefully testing on different information?

bart 15 years ago

I'm not sure if we know the answer to this question or not, but if the pass rates are that high, does that shift the "passing" score? I know it's a cluster as to how these tests are scored, but if a certain question in a 46% testing window was worth 3 points, could it now be worth 2 in a 53% window? I guess an easier way of asking the question is, is it possible that the same answers to the same multiple choice questions could result in a different total number of points depending on the testing window?

jeff @ 15 years ago

Good question....not sure if there's really a way of knowing that.

WI - FAR 15 years ago

I had the exact same thing happen to me on FAR last Wednesday - I had a bunch of questions that weren't in Becker, and I answered every question, supplementals and all, twice or more. I think everything was covered at some point in college, but I probably forgot it because I didn't review it through Becker. There were also several questions (several meaning 4-5 MCQ and one tab on each sim) that didn't give me enough information to answer the question! I'm thinking those were pre-test questions, but I spent too much time on them thinking that I should have known them and didn't finish the second sim. We'll see what happens, but I'm thinking Q3 is much harder than Q2 was.

Name 15 years ago

Sorry - been away trying to forget my epic failure.
I took Becker, which was very helpful for the FAR & AUD sections.

rsanchez 15 years ago

I also took FAR this past week and was completely dumbfounded by the material. I even ran out of time in the end and barely completed the 2nd simulation. Many of the MCQ's were over my head and I don't remember studying any of those particular topics during my review (I used Becker as well). I am praying I passed.....

rsanchez 15 years ago

I sat for FAR last Monday, and was completely dumbfounded by the material. I was completely exhausted to begin with from so many late nights and early mornings studying, but I felt that many of the questions were beyond the scope of the Becker material. I am praying I passed.

bartondale 15 years ago

I took REG July 1. It was KILLER, just like everyone on here said. Then I took BEC July 18th and it felt like the easiest test yet (I took and passed FAR in May). Strange. Maybe I over-prepared for BEC because of how badly I felt beaten down by REG.

RobinTX 15 years ago

REG is a challenge Good luck!

ACD1109 15 years ago

bartondale-feel the same way as you about REG. I have BEC next...what did you use/how did you prepare? I'd rather overprepare then under. thanks for the help

bartondale 15 years ago


I used Becker's latest. I made sure to go through all five chapters thoroughly, did most of the practice problems at least once, and memorized all the flash cards (not very extensive for BEC) that came with the Becker package. I also read the extra IT-related stuff on Becker's website, dry as it was, to make sure I understood the basics. I had less than three weeks to prepare and had a lot of other things going on (selling my house and moving) during that period, so I found myself studying night and day for the last 5 days before I took the test. It wasn't particularly fun, but I was really glad to feel that good about the test.

Good luck!!

Kim in OH 15 years ago

Oh my gosh, that's totally how I felt when I took it on July 8. With almost every question, I thought "I'm not sure, I don't know", etc. I studied a lot for that test and felt like I knew NOTHING when I took it. I walked out of there almost confident that I did not pass.

ACD1109 15 years ago

Wow thanks for the help! As for the IT-related stuff on the website- are you referring to the B4 update?

PW 15 years ago

I felt the same way. I put in so much time for FAR, probably 2 months and 180 hours worth. 90% of the things i studied weren't even on the test. Then the sims on the test were completely from left field. I'm pretty sure i failed, but luckily i get to wait 2 months for nasba to grade the exams.... I'm just going to enjoy the summer for now.

bartondale 15 years ago


Name 15 years ago

Becker also gave me problems with REG. By far their worst-covered section. I still passed with an 84, but that was low compared to 93 in AUD and 96 in FAR (which Becker covered very well). If you knew the material in Becker well, you should be fine. I also walked out crying, sure I failed. I gave up on the Written Communication, which cost me some points. I scored worse than other passing candidates in that area, but the other areas mae up for it.

RobinTX 15 years ago

I completed every MCQ in Wiley over 6days I worked and rationalized every single one. I hope this helps; I sit 8/5 and plan on going over them again 2more times next week. Actually I plan on starting tomorrow or today actually. I read the text link write down stuff use the hints all that stuff and so far I felt like I thought I knew alot before but now I know I know alot. While working problems I have noticed/picked up on Yeagers cram lectures so putting them into practice is pretty cool. My weakest area is corp tax and I plan to rework all those Sunday. I really need a pass this quarter.

jeffreyk 15 years ago

It's always possible that they were trying out a lot of new questions and, having done well on the first testlet, you ended up with a lot of the experimental questions which will count for very little if they turn out to be bad questions (ambiguous, overly complex, etc.)

Name 15 years ago

Does anyone have any guidence on when CA will actually release Score Reports for FAR for the last window? I have been at Advisory Score for over a month and a half. Since it is my last part and I passed (All done) does that have anything to do with it???

gina011 15 years ago

Hey I just read everyone's posts over the last month or so and it sounds like a lot of us are in the same boat - saw a lot of unfamiliar stuff on REG (and FAR, but I can't say about that since I haven't taken it). I studied with Becker, sat on July 1 and my jaw dropped when I saw one of the simulations, as well as a couple MCQs. I tried to look up the stuff later, definitely not in the book. It would be interesting to know how you all ended up doing after that nightmare - did you pass? Did you think you passed? I'll get on and let you know how I did when they post the scores, if some of you will do the same.

On another note, I just walked out of AUD. I think it went well. I definitely went into that one feeling a lot worse than I felt about REG but walked out feeling much better. Go figure.

jrk4 15 years ago

..mee too. SIMs were a butchershop. Not enough time!

boondagger 15 years ago

Took REG on 7/27. Coming into this exam I was 3 for 3 and was hoping to wrap this whole exam business up. What I faced was a nightmare. I studied (Becker) over 100 hours for this exam and did every practice problem twice. In the end, I'll be surprised if I passed.... The questions were extremely difficult...worse than I could have imagined. Anyway, one thing I realized in this whole process is that the last exam is always the worst - because you don't know if you passed or failed yet your mind takes a month off from studying while waiting for the results. The whole not-knowing if I'm jumping into full blown 'study mode' again in a few weeks or if I'm truly done is the worst.

RobinTX 15 years ago

yeah that bothers as well; but really is how could I have prepared enough to know how to answer some of the twisted curve balls they is like a debate with yourself and what is the best answer I don't know but I like the break; I need it even if I must test again I need a break from the madness.......atleast one more week off yay! I am not hoping or thinking anything just waiting and enjoying the fact I worked really really hard at something that is worth while and challenging....

certifiedpissedoffaccountant 15 years ago

Here are my credentials:

REG #1 - 73
BEC #1 - 89
AUD #1 - 93
FAR #1 - In process

I sat for Reg (take #2) yesterday. I can't say that I am relieved to hear others posting discussion about the level of difficulty on the exam this window, but it is very true . I felt very prepared, but testlet by testlet, my hopes were dashed. The simulations were moderately difficult and dealt with items that were more in line with BEC material. I really wish I could post on this website the types of questions that I had (they were not in Becker and my managers at work didn't even know the answers or code sections in some instances). Those of you who pass Reg in this window have my respect.

mlave 15 years ago

Does anyone know when the grades might come out for the first window? I took FAR on July 17th.

Nikki in CO 15 years ago

I'm still having nightmares about REG....had a dream a week or so ago that I got a 54! I went into it VERY prepared....I spend half the year auditing and half the year doing taxes at work so I had a decent background in taxes. I think half of my problem was a choke job and half was the questions were crazy! Pretty sure I failed, but that has not yet been confirmed although I know the time is fast approaching. Best of luck to you all!

CPAWANNABE247 15 years ago

hey guyss I was wondering the same about when the first wave of scores might come out...I took FAR on July 27th and will be taking AUD on Aug 26th. Im not sure if I passed FAR and am thinking if I should start studying after the AUD test or not since scores are not released. I would hate to study for another 2 months when I could be studying for another section. Any Advice or Ideas??/ Thanks in advance

G1_HELP 15 years ago

heyy ppl, im givin my BEC an AUD exams on the 24th n 26th respectively. Has anyone given their exams during this testing window...n cud u tell me about how u foun the exam ?? Im using Becker material...and wanted to know if the exam questions were "way outside" the becker material, or somewhat "in line" ????

normkaz 15 years ago

Curious as to how everyone who thought they failed REG this testing window ended up scoring? Just got my score and passed with an 86 and I was 100% certain I failed. I absolutely bombed the SIMS and left a number of tabs blank because I ran out of time. I still don't understand how I passed and can't wait to see my breakdown, I guess I must have killed the MCQs, either that or alot of the SIMS were test questions for future testing windows. Im def not complaining, still can't believe it though. How did everyone else make out?

corrinreneeCPA 14 years ago

I just got my AUD results. What a frustration! ANOTHER 71%. The simulations could not have been easier, but the multiple choice were hard. Not anything I had seen in Becker.

Name 14 years ago

Got my Reg score a 91, thought I would be 73-78. WOW!!! Using Becker, Took BEC today and felt well prepare

modina 14 years ago

Congratulations!! Any tips for Reg? I'm taking it in October

jackzues 14 years ago

Same here. I bombed on the Sims. Basically, didn't know either one and got both research wrong. I guess I wrote good essays. I must have been solid on MCQ's, although I felt there were quite a few I didn't get right. Either way I got an 87!!! Can't believe it. Taking BEC this Thursday... and then I'm done!!!

Allyson67 14 years ago

Congratulations! I'm curious too about the difficulty level this window and the success rate. I took REG yesterday and felt completely defeated. I studied with Becker for a good 5 weeks and felt as prepared as I could be.

The sims were nothing like anything in my study materials. I still can't even find the answer, though I know it was something I learned at some point in college.

mlav 14 years ago

I found out yesterday I passed FAR with an 80! I am done! All four parts passed. It took me two years and 13 attempts. For anyone who is discouraged I just want to say keep at it. The exam is more a test of perseverance than anything else.

nycegurl 14 years ago

Same here!!! I even thought I passed AUD!!! but another 71. I used Bisk.

nycegurl 14 years ago

Same here!!! I even thought I passed AUD!!! but another 71. I used Bisk.

T. B. 14 years ago

I took the financial reporting yesterday and was surprised about the contents of the simulations. I finished one simulation and barely did half of the second one. The multiple choice sections were okay but I spent about half of the time completing them. How do you feel about the August FARE. Did every candidate in the July/August window have the same simulations or was AICPA testing new simulations in August?

bratman2597 14 years ago

I just took the FAR on the 28th and was utterly shocked by the content of the simulations. I was expected one basic case or something similar to what I found on the REG exam. However, the two simulations on FAR made me step back for a minute. I was able to finish, but must have wasted 10 minutes or more just flipping between tabs because I was struggling through each one. I used Wiley as a preparation guide and got no indication that the simulations would be like that. It was very tough!

Name 14 years ago

I took the exam on 8/29, and felt the same way. i was prepared forthe test i think. But the simulation were outragous. it wasn't that it was so difficult, i think the time was an issue. I am happy to hear i was not the oly one