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State Board Report

July 2014

Educators who had received NASBA Education Research Grants in 2013 shared with the Regional Meetings some of the insights their work has produced. During panel sessions moderated by Chief Relationship Officer Alfonzo Alexander in the East and Education Committee Member Dr. John E. Peterson (SD) in the West, the academicians explained how the specialization of faculty, not-forprofit\ educational institutions and gender all impact candidates’ success on the Uniform CPA Examination.

From L to R: Professors Dennis Bline, Fred Mittelstaedt and Brad Trinkle

Dr. Dennis Bline of Bryant University reported that he and his fellow researchers (Stephen Perreault and Xiachuan Zheng) had looked at information gathered from over 700,000 first-time Uniform CPA Examination candidates (from 2005-2013). He thanked NASBA Director of Continuous Improvements and Analytics James Suh for providing the data. The professors found the greater level of specialization of the school’s faculty, the higher their candidates scored on the Examination. The window in which the Examination is taken also has an impact, as those taking the Examination in the first quarter of the year have the lowest passing rate, while those in the second or third quarter do better, and then the pass rate trails off again by the fourth quarter.

Dr. H. Fred Mittelstaedt of Notre Dame, and his colleague Michael H. Morris, compared the performance of Uniform CPA Examination candidates from not-for-profit schools to those from for-profit schools and discovered those from not-for-profit schools scored on average 8 points higher. They noted the for-profit candidates were more likely to be older and female. The researchers focused only on those who had graduated no more than two years prior to taking the Examination.

Dr. Brad S. Trinkle of Mississippi State University (and his team including James Scheiner, Amelia A. Baldwin and George Krull) looked at the Uniform CPA Examination Candidates’ age and gender. They found male candidates were 11 percent more likely to pass an individual section and 7 percent more likely to pass the entire Examination. More research is necessary to determine if this is because of the Examination itself, education or something else, Dr. Trinkle said. As candidates got older, their chances of passing the Examination dropped, at about 1.4 percent per year. The researchers also discovered the more times a candidate sits for a particular section of the Examination, the less likely he or she is to pass that section and the Examination as a whole.

Mr. Alexander announced that when the studies are completed, the researchers will have reports posted on the NASBA website.

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