The CPA pass rate fluctuates from year to year. Generally you can expect to see pass rates in the 48-52% mark. You will also notice that the passing rate tends to rise in Q2 and Q3.

No the exam is not easier during these quarters! It is simply a matter of better prepared students tend to take the CPA exam in Q2 and Q3. 

Here is a chart of the 2019 CPA exam pass rate:

cpa passing rate 2019

The AUD exam has had the most variance in 2019. I do not know why the CPA pass rate  varied so much for the AUD section in particular. 

As you can see the BEC pass rates were a lot higher in 2019 vs. historical periods.

The cumulative pass rate in 2018 was 52.43%. Believe it or not, this was the highest CPA pass rate on record! For example, the cumulative pass rate in 2017 was only 48.3%. One should remember that the new versions of the CPA exam were rolled out in April 2017. This was the beginning of the SIM regime where every section feature SIM’s more prominently.

In the modern versions of the CPA exam, it is quite clear that the FAR section gives students the most trouble. For example, in Q1 2018 the FAR pass rate was 41.5% which was the lowest on record. I have not seen the FAR pass rate over 50%. It usually hovers in the low 40% mark. 

The CPA exam was modernized in 2004. This was the advent of the computerized exam. AICPA started to release CPA exam scores online in 2006.

The average CPA pass rate in the 2006-2015 time frame ranged between 45-50%. Due to the massive exam changes in 2011, that year showed a major dip in the passing rates.

To improve your probability of passing the CPA exam, you should take a look at our CPA exam bundles that feature practice questions and study notes.