theantiscalia wrote:Let's not kid ourselves: the CPA has about a 15% first time pass rate. The bar, by comparison, is generally 75% or above, depending on the state.
If it isn't harder, the curve at least is a hell of a lot worse.
There isn't the same incentive to pass the CPA exam the first time around; even in the Big 4 you can get by for 5 years without it (its required before promoting to manager).
The CPA exam doesn't have a curve; each question has a different difficulty level leading to different point values, but its not a curve. The test modules are even fluid as they change from one module to the next dependent on the testers performance on the previous module.
It may not be curved in that X percent of students don't pass, but they do look at experimental question results, and based on how many people got it correct or incorrect, they'll assign it a difficulty level. So they design the test so a percentage of people can't pass... sounds a lot like a curve to me.
And trust me, there is a big incentive to pass the CPA. You need it for SENIOR (not manager) at most of the firms, and if you pass the first time, you get a big bonus ($5,000 for me). Plus, there's always the fact that you don't want to take the test again, for both financial and time reasons.
I've asked a dozen CPA-JDs, and every one of them said the CPA was harder. As the previous poster pointed out, even if you consider ONE SECTION of the CPA exam, there isn't a bar exam in the country with such a low pass rate, let alone all four sections.