Like the LSAT’s and the MCAT’s, the CPA exam has a reputation in its field for being a grueling exam in terms of preparation, duration and intensity.
According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the 2019 pass rate for each of the four sections hovered around the 50 percent margin. The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section yielded the lowest passing rate at 47 percent, while Business Environment and Concepts had the highest at 59 percent, on average.
Test-takers must pass all four sections to become a CPA. A passing score on any given section expires after 18 months, after which point that one section would have to be retaken.
JGS, CPA staff accountant Adrianna Andrade felt an incredible amount of validation for her efforts when her license finally arrived in the mail in early September.
Like others before her, Andrade found success in following a consistent process.
“I studied two to three hours six nights per week and one full day on the weekend,” she said. “I didn’t decide to pursue the license until after I had my daughter, so dedicating time each night to study was my biggest challenge.”
Audit Partner Gary Cassiello, CPA shared in Andrade’s success.
“Adrianna‘s hard work and commitment to our profession has been recognized by its highest achievement: the CPA. It’s an honor for her to be part of this profession,” he said.
Andrade’s advice to recent college graduates in the field is simple: Push through it and take the exam sooner, rather than later, while you are “already in the mindset to dedicate time to studying.”
In addition to being in the right mindset, recent college graduates are less likely to have a family to support, which Andrade cited as one of her biggest challenges in terms of time management.
“I believe that anyone who commits the time to studying can successfully pass the exam,” she said.