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What Makes the CPA Exam So Difficult?

Tax Day is approaching fast. If you’ve decided to partner with a CPA, there’s a tremendous load that’s been lifted off your shoulders. They will make to work filing taxes as smoothly as possible for you. The ‘C’ in CPA stands for ‘certified’—meaning that every CPA is qualified to represent you in the event of a tax audit by the IRS. This means that they have passed the CPA exam. Today, we’d like to explain what makes the CPA exam so challenging.

Did you know it takes more than 300 hours of study time to pass the CPA exam? Here are some more facts about the test that all CPAs must pass.

Low Pass Rate

Before we go into what makes the CPA exam so difficult in particular, let’s take a minute to examine the pass rate. How many test-takers pass a particular exam is generally regarded as a good way to judge its difficulty.

Pass rates for the CPA exam generally hover just above 50%. This means that almost half of test-takers will not receive their certification. The other half has demonstrated exceptional knowledge in the subject area—which is good news for business owners who’ve hired a CPA!

Rest assured that your CPA has passed a difficult test, and you can place your trust in them.

Hours of Study Time

Another popular way of measuring how difficult it is to pass an exam is how many hours of study time are recommended to pass. Of course, no two test-takers are the same. When you were in school, you may have learned that you learned best in different ways from your fellow students. Perhaps you learned quicker, or perhaps you learned slower.

That said, the AICPA recommends that test takers should generally study between 300-400 hours to have their best chance at passing. That’s 13 full days or more of study time or more! This is hard enough for a full-time student to accomplish, but even more so for full-time members of the workforce.

A Wide Net

We recommend that individuals interested in taking the CPA exam cast a wide net when studying. The breadth of the material covered by the exam is astounding, so it pays to learn as much as you can about its various subjects.

The exam consists of four distinct subject areas. They are as follows:

  • Auditing and Attestation
  • Business Environment and Concepts
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Regulation

A successful test-taker will have a thorough knowledge of all four of these broader subject areas. If their comprehension of even one of them is lacking, they won’t pass. That’s right—you need to pass all four sections to get your certification.

Contact Bowman & Company Today

Bowman & Company CPA, PC provides all of our individual and small business customers with experienced, accurate, and affordable financial services. Our financial services aim at decreasing your taxes and increasing your net worth through responsible, timely, and accurate recordkeeping. We offer our services to clients throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area including Maryland and Baltimore County, Columbia, and Howard County. For more information on our offerings, contact us online or call us at (410) 381-8121. You can also find us on Twitter,  Linkedin Facebook, and  Youtube.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 11th, 2021 at 11:52 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.