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September 30, 2023

According to the Internet, the California Ethics Exam Is Harder Than the Actual CPA Exam

You'd think an ethics exam wouldn't even be required for the future CPAs of America, who are surely totally and completely ethical at all times. But if that were the case, the Prometric Gestapo wouldn't be so eager to stop and frisk CPA exam candidates before they sit down at their antiquated machine to take their exams and guys like Scott London wouldn't rise through the ranks only to blow it all for a few bucks he didn't earn.

Not all jurisdictions require an ethics exam, so does that mean CPAs in those jurisdictions are any less ethical than CPAs who took an ethics exam to be licensed as such? Yeah right.

Despite the fact that it is open book, it is entirely possible that the California ethics exam might be the hardest exam a CPA exam candidate will ever take, if you can believe the Internet (which you always can, of course). Case in point from the California Board of Accountancy Facebook page:

The Another71 audience also seems to feel this bastard is a beast, so it can't just be a handful of complainers having trouble with this thing.

In my days in CPA review, I would often hear from frustrated California candidates who breezed right through the actual CPA exam only to get stuck on the ethics exam. My only advice to them – since I couldn't take it for them for obvious reasons – was to get the PDF version and do a keyword search for the answers. What more can you do?

Surely a few of you trolls are going to hit the comment section and say passing the California ethics exam was easier than taking a dump this morning but for everyone else, did you find it difficult? You'd think being open book and all… but if it were easy, people wouldn't post stuff like this.

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