Is It Possible To Get a Harder Set of CPA Exam Questions In Different States?

Oh, the things CPA exam candidates come up with when they should be studying.

This winner of a question comes courtesy the CPAnet forums:

It may sound stupid but I wanna ask….. Is there any particular State where you get relatively easier exam and score good marks?

I’m asking this question because somebody told me that you get most difficult exam in California so I was thinking the other way round!

The asker recognizes the ridiculousness of this question immediately so I’ll resist making any comments on that and slide right into the point of this post. Is it at all possible that candidates in certain states get more difficult exams?

I’m going to have to say highly doubtful. There’s no reason that would make sense, as the “Uniform CPA Examination” implies exactly that, uniformity. While we all know different states have different requirements for licensure based on the determinations of the individual state boards of accountancy, the AICPA administers the exam across the jurisdictions. It is presumed that candidates are assigned questions at random from a single database and I have never read, heard or seen anything that tells me otherwise. Logically, I can’t see a reason for this, and we should safely assume that the AICPA will not do anything that might be an unnecessary burden on the already precarious process of administering the exam.

And even if this were true, wouldn’t California be the easiest? They have some of the most lenient requirements to sit for the exam of all the jurisdictions and boast a longer NTS than other states (because who wants to get off the beach and go to Prometric?), surely they would also have easier questions.

What is the takeaway from this, kids? Don’t listen to what your friends told you about the exam.

Oh, the things CPA exam candidates come up with when they should be studying.

This winner of a question comes courtesy the CPAnet forums:

It may sound stupid but I wanna ask….. Is there any particular State where you get relatively easier exam and score good marks?

I’m asking this question because somebody told me that you get most difficult exam in California so I was thinking the other way round!

The asker recognizes the ridiculousness of this question immediately so I’ll resist making any comments on that and slide right into the point of this post. Is it at all possible that candidates in certain states get more difficult exams?

I’m going to have to say highly doubtful. There’s no reason that would make sense, as the “Uniform CPA Examination” implies exactly that, uniformity. While we all know different states have different requirements for licensure based on the determinations of the individual state boards of accountancy, the AICPA administers the exam across the jurisdictions. It is presumed that candidates are assigned questions at random from a single database and I have never read, heard or seen anything that tells me otherwise. Logically, I can’t see a reason for this, and we should safely assume that the AICPA will not do anything that might be an unnecessary burden on the already precarious process of administering the exam.

And even if this were true, wouldn’t California be the easiest? They have some of the most lenient requirements to sit for the exam of all the jurisdictions and boast a longer NTS than other states (because who wants to get off the beach and go to Prometric?), surely they would also have easier questions.

What is the takeaway from this, kids? Don’t listen to what your friends told you about the exam.

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