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January 27, 2023

2010 CPA Exam All-Stars, Illinois Edition

This one's for my FIBs!

Based on the 2011 Candidate Performance book (2010 CPA exam data), Illinois ranked 4th in size of the 55th NASBA jurisdictions (trumped only by California, New York and Texas) and ranked 10th in overall CPA exam performance. 4,274 Illinois candidates sat for the exam in 2010 and they took 2,509 AUD exams, 2,716 BEC exams, 2,639 FAR exams and 2,211 REG exams for a pass rate of 59.7%.

The top five Illinois colleges are as follows (this is for both first-time and repeat exams):

  • Northwestern University 63.5%
  • University of Illinois – Chicago 63.4% (ouch, so close)
  • Illinois State University 61.9%
  • Bradley University 61.2%
  • North Park University 60.5%

The good news for Illinois is that only one school completely trashed their pass rate (Chicago State came in at 12%) but everyone else hovered in a reasonable range between the high 20s and low 60s.

UI Chicago sent the highest number of candidates at 584 while North Park sent the least at 13. Northwestern candidates had the highest average score at 77.7 while Chicago State had the lowest at 57.2.

Note that no Illinois schools ranked in the top 10 nationally for first-time or repeat pass rates. So while the state as a whole ranked 10th nationally, not one school in Illinois beat out other schools around the country for highest pass rates.

Illinois State ranked 15th nationally on first-time exams taken by candidates with advanced degrees. 27 unique candidates passed 54 exams and failed 16 for a 77.1% pass rate.

It is worth mentioning that De Paul University took the third highest number of exams at 1,319 for a pass rate of 46.4%. Only the University of Illinois – Chicago and University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign took more at 1,950 and 1,639 respectively.

Of first-time exams, Bradley barely beat out Northwestern at 69.6% but University of Illinois – Chicago still did the best at 70.2%. That is simply badass. 515 UI – Chicago grads took 1,466 first-time exams with an average score of 78.2.

Western Illinois had the best repeat exam performance at 64%.

Chicago State had the worst CPA exam performance of first-time candidates with undergrad degrees at 4.7%. Of 11 BEC exams, all were failed. Of 8 FAR exams, all of those were failed. But hey, of 12 AUD exams, one was passed; same with REG.

Of advanced degree candidates, Northwestern candidates absolutely killed first-time exams at 83.3% with an average score of 83.4.


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