According to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, students from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School scored the highest overall pass rate in the state on the CPA exam (compared to other Texas schools with five or more candidates taking the exam). More than 83 percent of Mays students passed the challenging test, which is the gatekeeper for the field of accounting. The overall pass rate nationwide has been approximately 44 percent while the average in Texas (excluding candidates from Texas A&M) for this period was 50 percent.

This information is from the January/February 2008 test period (the four sections of the test are offered quarterly). In that period, Mays Business School had more candidates than any other college in Texas take the exam; 330 students from Mays took one or more sections of the exam as compared to 195 students from the next largest school, UT-Austin.

“I continue to be awed by the performance of the A&M candidates given the historical difficulty of the CPA exam,” said Jim Benjamin, head of the Department of Accounting at Mays.

Based upon a recent compilation of exam results for 2006 by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Texas A&M University ranked 3rd nationally in first time candidates with advanced degrees passing all sections and 7th nationally for first time candidates without advanced degrees passing all sections.

“It is very important to our employers to have their new hires with the exam completed before starting work,” said Benjamin. “Since many new hires have not completed the exam, this gives A&M graduates an early career advantage over others.”

Benjamin attributes the students’ success on the exam to Mays’ curriculum, which is structured to include time to prepare for the exam, and the quality and motivation of the students.