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Is it hard to pass the CPA?

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Is it difficult to pass the Certified Public Accountant certificate?

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Carson’s Answer

There is no doubt the CPA examination is challenging. I don't think anybody who has been through the process and taken the exams would object to that; however, I also wholeheartedly believe that taking the exam and working towards passing is more than worth it. Depending on who you ask, all four pieces of the exam can be passed during a summer of full-time studying. The time and energy spent reviewing only sharpens the knowledge and skills of each professional. As one who has personally been through the CPA, I would highly recommend sitting for the exam and studying hard to pass. The certification pays huge dividends down the road. I hope this helps!
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Antony’s Answer

To know what makes the CPA Exam so hard, let’s take an overview of the exam. The CPA Exam is made up of four different parts: Financial Auditing and Reporting (FAR), Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Regulation (REG), and Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). Each exam section focuses on diverse accounting knowledge and uses question types like simulations and multiple-choice questions to assess your knowledge. Every section has a time limit of four hours, or a total of 16 hours to complete the entire CPA Exam.
To sum up, the CPA Exam is hard, because there is an extensive amount of information covered on the exam and, with most review courses, quite a lot of study time required.
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Kathryn’s Answer

Hi Tammy! I recently passed the last CPA exam this past November and I am happy to provide some insight. The CPA exam takes long hours of studying and a lot of dedication. It is difficult but as long as you are patient and work hard then you ultimately see success. I studied full time right after I finished my degree before starting full-time work. That allowed me to visualize studying as my full-time job which definitely helped me get myself prepared. I used Becker to assist with studying and it took me step by step through various situations and problems. The FAR exam is the largest to tackle so I took it first to get it out of the way. I took AUD after that as some material relates to FAR. I then took REG and lastly BEC. Personally, I feel that the exams are a mental challenge to be discipline and study what you need to know. Hope that helps!
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Laurie’s Answer

The CPA exam is very challenging. With hard work, dedication, drive and a good study program most people are able to pass. It is very helpful if you are a good test taker. Individuals who struggle with overall tests may find the exam very difficult.
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Godson’s Answer

Hello Tammy, the CPA exam is definitely a challenge but it's nothing you can't overcome with the right study methods, consistency and hard work. Per AICPA, the 2021 Q1 average passing rate across all 4sections of the exam is around 54%. Here's a link for more details. https://future.aicpa.org/resources/article/learn-more-about-cpa-exam-scoring-and-pass-rates. FAR in my opinion is the most challenging because of the volume and number of topics tested on the exams.
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Michael’s Answer

The CPA exam is definitely a challenging exam, but it is manageable if you take the exam in parts and utilize one of the prep services like Becker. I also found getting a couple years of work experience under my belt made some of the sections easier like Audit. Also many of the public accounting firms will pay for study materials and exam fees.
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Hassan’s Answer

Hi Tammy

According to https://www.aicpa.org/becomeacpa/cpaexam/psychometricsandscoring/passingrates.html the overall avg. pass rate is ~50%. Some portions of the exam have rates in the low 40s while others are in the 60s.
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Elaine’s Answer

Yes it is hard to pass the CPA exam. In most countries, the passing rate is around 40%-50%. But the key is, there are a lot of programs provided by your employer, other educational institutes to assist you to pass the it. If you take the CPA as a journey and achieve it step by step, you are going to make it!
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