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2022 CPA Exam Pass Rates

The AICPA releases the pass rates for each section of the CPA exam on a quarterly basis. In this video, the Universal team breaks down the trends:

The results for 2022 by quarter (as released) are shown in the table below:

Observations by Universal CPA

AUD: AUD increased ~2.8% from Q1’22 to Q2’22, which puts the the H1’22 average very close to the 2021 average of ~48%. AUD will continue to be a tricky exam do to the conceptual nature and difficult wording of MCQs and simulations. As you work through AUD, think about how you would explain the purpose of certain audit procedures to your audit client or audit partner. This will force you to think about the key risks in an engagement and how your audit procedures contribute to the overall audit. 

BEC: BEC increased from 57.3% in Q1’22 to 61.5% in Q2’22, which aligns with the ~62% pass rate that BEC achieved in 2021. Candidates continue to regard BEC as the easiest exam, but REG actually has a higher pass rate through H1’22 (barely though)! Although the exam continues to hammer obscure IT topics, perhaps those largely tagged as pre-test questions and don’t count in the calculation of the candidates score. Regardless, BEC needs to be taken seriously!

FAR: We saw a slight increase from an average of 44.5% in 2021 to ~45.6% in Q2’22. FAR still has the lowest pass rate and will likely continue on that trend due to the amount of information that is testable. To pass FAR, it’s all about simplifying every concept using your mental map so that you can repeat those steps on exam day!

REG: After averaging 59.9% in 2021, and only a 0.2% increase in Q1’22, REG jumped up to 61.3% in Q2’22 (wow, huge increase, right). With an average pass rate of 60.7% in H1’22, REG has the highest pass rate (Yes, higher than BEC). Basis continues to be heavily tested, as well as the conceptual nature of the other topics. The biggest mistake candidates can make is getting wrapped up in trying to memorize specific thresholds and limitations, which you are almost never required to memorize. Instead, focus on the nature of the rule and how it fits into the big picture!

How does this impact candidates?

As a candidate, take note of the pass rate information, but use it to fuel your internal motivation to be one of the candidates that passes the exam. If you put in the time and effort, you will get this done! If you are looking for a different way to study for the CPA exam, give Universal CPA a try. We’re the only full review course that combines visual learning + video explanations for every question. This approach helps you learn a step-by-step approach that you can use on exam day when you are feeling the pressure!


You can sign up for 7-day free trial here. Learn more about the Universal CPA packages and pricing here

Universal CPA was created for the modern day CPA candidate. We are only successful if you find success, so let’s get this done together!

CPA Exam Pass Rates By Age:

CPA candidates have historically scored higher than those who are older. While every CPA exam candidate is different, there are a few reasons that this could be the case. For one, younger candidates have more recently graduated from their universities and the academic side of accounting is fresher. Thus, it might be more challenging for older candidates to get back in the mindset of studying when they haven’t sat down and opened a textbook in decades.

Now, if you are an older CPA candidate and you’re wondering if pursuing this designation is really worth it, remember that there is a path to success. Universal CPA Review’s visual learning approach has been known to simplify the most challenging topics covered within the AICPA blueprint. Having a visual-heavy CPA review course will definitely allow you to better grasp the materials and understand the intuition behind the topics that you haven’t seen in years!

Comparing 2022 CPA Exam Pass Rates with Recent Years:

While the Covid-19 impact still has lingering effects to CPA candidate data and CPA exam performance in recent years, the future looks bright for the CPA license.

2021 CPA Exam Pass Rates:

The 2021 CPA exam pass rates are very similar to the 2022 rates. It does however seem as though CPA exam pass rates are going up from a year ago.

The table below provides the 2021 CPA Exam pass rates by quarter.

2020 CPA Exam Pass Rates:

The Covid-19 pandemic was in full swing in 2020, making it very tough for the AICPA and NASBA to accurately reflect CPA exam candidate data. The reported scores in 2020 were some of the highest in exam history. With that being said, the sample set of total candidates was much lower.

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