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Here’s How California Schools Did on the CPA Exam in 2011

Sorry for the delay in getting this data out to you guys (I know I know, you were sooooo excited by the 2010 data last time), but we had to jump through a few flaming hoops to get permission from NASBA to give it to you. Just a reminder, if you would like to flip through all 298 of 2011's data, you can order your own NASBA candidate performance book here.

I'll be rolling out the top states' performance in the next few weeks for your bragging pleasure, starting with my former home state of California.

With 13,344 unique candidates, California was number one in candidates and total sections among CPA exam jurisdictions, yet ranked 34 in pass rate and 37 in average score nationwide. Like most jurisdictions, the highest number of candidates sat in the 4th quarter.

For all testing events (both first time and repeat), here's how the top 10 shook out for California schools:

  • American River College 66.7%
  • Golden West College (who?!) 63.6%
  • Vanguard University Southern California 59.1%
  • UCLA 58.6%
  • Stanford 56.5%
  • University of Southern California 56.2%
  • UC Berkeley 55.4%
  • Point Loma Nazarene University 51.2%
  • UC Santa Barbara 51.0%
  • Cal Poly SLO 50.7%

This is a major burn for UC Berkeley, who topped last year's list at a big fat 60.2%.

Now, as for the worst California schools, here's your top five:

  • Claremont Graduate University 14.3% (not to be confused with Claremont McKenna College, which came in at 50%)
  • Pacific State University 18.2%
  • La Sierra University 18.4%
  • Irvine Valley College 19.1%
  • Concordia University (tie) 19.1%

The University of Southern California once again sent the most candidates by a huge margin, with 701 candidates sitting for 1,814 sections, 1,181 of which were first-time.

Of first time exams, only La Sierra University (5.3%) and DeVry Long Beach (8.1%) came in with single-digit pass rates.

Remember, how well your school prepared you is just one part of how a candidate performs on the CPA exam, so don't be too rough on your friend from DeVry Long Beach, it isn't his fault.