Why is the CPA Exam Difficult?

  • 2020-04-24
  • In CPA USA
Why is the CPA Exam Difficult?


The CPA Exam pass rates, averaging at about 50%, are one of the most fascinating aspects of the process of CPA certification. With the AICPA releasing the pass rates for each exam section once a quarter, we have an idea about how well candidates, who sat for the CPA Exam during the previous exam testing window, performed. Historically, the average CPA Exam pass rate for each section ranges between 45-55%.

Given below are the 2019 CPA Exam Pass Rates:


 The CPA Exam tests candidates on their capability to analyze, understand, evaluate, apply, and remember. The exam uses these ideas to assess candidates in their exercise of higher order skills.

The CPA Exam comprises four different sections: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial Auditing and Reporting (FAR), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), and Regulation (REG). Each of these exam sections requires candidates to have diverse accounting knowledge and uses question types like task-based simulations and multiple-choice questions to test knowledge. Each section has a time limit of four hours, or a total of 16 hours to complete the entire CPA Exam. With each exam section lasting four hours, the amount of time you can allocate for each question has to be precise and practiced.


With the amount of material to study, it is no surprise that consuming said material will take a considerable amount of time. With everything said and done, a CPA exam candidate needs to invest over 300 hours of study for the entire CPA Exam, along with probably juggling a full-time job.

Candidates must pass all the four sections of the CPA Exam within an 18-month testing window. Candidates do not have to take the exam sections in a particular order.

With these notorious pass rates and the amount of time it takes to clear all the four examination sections, the Uniform CPA Exam is one of the most demanding professional credentialing exams. That’s why it’s crucial to study efficiently and effectively to ensure that you pass each of the four exam sections and continue on your path to the CPA license as painlessly as possible.

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  1. Swadesh Semwal

    AUD and FAR Section are the two tough sections in the US CPA exam. You can read here and you will come to know why the CPA exam is difficult.

  2. Shubham Manapure

    Great blog

  3. Shipra

    Thank God it is not as difficult as CA


    very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.

  5. suma

    Nice Blog....

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