And Now, We’re Going to Judge Florida Colleges’ Performance on the CPA Exam

First, can I just say I am beyond thrilled that you guys even care about these CPA exam stats? I mean that. I half expected all of you to call me a boring loser for wasting precious Going Concern real estate going over these, so thanks for proving me wrong. I might still be a boring loser but at least no one is calling me one (to my face).

NOW… By popular demand, we're cracking open my now dog-eared, beer-bottle-stained copy of the 2011 Candidate Performance Book (2010 CPA exam data) to take a look at Florida colleges. You guys will have to forgive me for not being as familiar with Florida schools as I am with California's, so if I call your school by its technical name that no one uses, don't judge.

Before we get into the school stats, let's see how Floridians did on the exam overall. Florida ranked 10th in size, with 2,344 candidates sitting for the CPA exam in 2010. Candidates took an average of 2.13 exams each. They took 1,143 AUD exams, 1,469 BEC exams, 1,322 FAR exams and 1,054 REG exams. Florida came in 11th of 55 NASBA jurisdictions on pass rates for an average pass rate of 59.2%; 57.3% on AUD, 59% on BEC, 56.7% on FAR and 64.7% on REG.

For all testing events (both first-time and repeat exams), Stetson University ranked #1 with 70.2% of its 47 exams passed. Yes, only 18 candidates took 47 exams. The rest of the top five Florida schools are:

  • University of Florida 69.2%
  • University of Central Florida 61.6%
  • University of South Florida 57.5%
  • Florida State University 55.8%
  • Florida A&M had the worst pass rate of 2010, with just 31% of its 155 exams taken passed with an average score of 65.1.

Commenters asked on an earlier post for Florida International University, the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic; those schools scored 44.1%, 51.7% and 49.8% respectively.

Florida International University candidates took the highest number of exams with 171 unique candidates sitting for 472 exams, 123 AUD, 144 BEC, 117 FAR exams and 88 REG exams. Not surprisingly, they also sent the highest number of candidates.

For first-time testing events, the University of Florida had the highest pass rate, with 74.4% of the 201 first-time exams taken by 96 candidates passed. Nova Southeastern University had the worst, with 21.6% of 51 exams taken by 33 candidates passed.

Now this part is interesting: For repeat exams, no Florida schools had pass rates higher than 55.5%. I guess that shouldn't be all that surprising, assuming repeat candidates are not necessarily the best and brightest or are just too overworked to put the time and effort into the exam. The other interesting part is that even the worst school – again, Nova Southeastern – had a 33% pass rate, making the spread much smaller for repeat exams than first-time. No Florida colleges averaged a score above 75 on repeat testing events.

Considering a graduate degree from Florida A&M? You might want to reconsider. Of first-time exams for candidates with advanced degrees, Florida A&M had the second-worst pass rate (25%), second only to – you already know where this is going – Nova Southeastern at an even 16%. University of Florida candidates with advanced degrees did best on first-time exams with a pass rate of 75%. Oh wait, Florida A&M sucks across the board with a 22.8% pass rate for first-time exams taken by bachelor degree candidates. Even Nova Southeastern managed to pull 26.9% so… yeah.

That's all I got, kids. If you think your awesome alma mater should be next, hit me up.

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