Is CPA hard: What is CPA Difficulty in 2024- Is CA tougher than CPA?

Is CPA hard? This question often arises in our mind every time we look for a credential of high reputation. To begin giving you the answer for this, then yes CPA might be hard for individuals who are giving the exam without enrolling in the relevant and reliable CPA course. The main question here is what makes this credential so difficult to pass? Why is it that to gain a professional degree like CPA, one has to work hard in order to gain the credential in one go? 
This article gives the answer to the question of whether is CPA difficult. No matter how much one tries to study by themselves, there will always be a need for assistance. And what�s better than NorthStar Academy, to begin with! NSA in association with AICPA helps the candidates in preparing for the CPA exam. CPA is a rigorous exam and in this, the Northstar Academy helps you with the study material, experienced mentors like Mr. M Irfat , and reasonable prices with bundled discounts. The academy helps the candidates in earning CPEs which is required to maintain the CPE license as well. 
CPE license is provided after one has gained the CPA certificate. But let�s not get too far-fetched now. This article talks about the CPA exam. So, let us stick to it.

What is CPA? 

CPA is a prestigious credential that helps an individual get highly paid and senior-level job roles in the financial and accounting sector. The best thing about gaining this credential is that it opens a wide range of opportunities for the candidates. One can work as an accountant, financial analyst, and in many other areas. 
When someone wishes to take the CPA exam, he/she always thinks that is CPA hard to crack. Well, it might be! CPA is indeed a challenging exam to go through, but one needs proper study material; live sessions, classes, and the support of mentors, like from NorthStar Academy, who can guide the individuals to crack the exam in one go. 
Is CPA difficult to study? Well, that�s a valid question because there are certain preparatory steps to be taken by the candidates in order to pass the exam. CPA exam difficulty level is high for you if you do not follow the certain specific roadmap that NSA creates for you. Therefore, candidates need to prepare well before the examination takes place. 
So, what does a CPA do? A CPA is a professional designation that provides mobility and flexibility to candidates. CPAs are licensed individuals who can work in numerous job roles related to finance and accounting. CPA has already become a sought-after course because it provides individuals with practical and industrial knowledge in the accountancy field. 
Well, there are many areas that CPAs can work in. The AICPA has listed some industries that hire CPAs, such as: 
  • Business
  • Education
  • Non-profit Organization
  • Public accounting
  • Government
Don�t worry as this isn�t the entire list. There are a lot more options provided to CPAs. These are just the top five industries we have listed. Now that CPAs are considered professional beings, it is expected by the recruiters that CPAs have expertise in the following areas. They are: 
  • Consultancy services
  • Tax preparation
  • Financial planning
  • Auditing
  • Litigation Consulting 
In order to gain expertise in these fields, one needs to work hard and invest time and effort in the same. 
Why is CPA hard? The answer to this question is that it is comprehensive have some strict requirements to follow. Now, let us put some light on how one can become a licensed CPA. To become a licensed CPA, one needs to fulfill the following:
  • Accounting education is a must if one wants to become a CPA. The 150 credit hours of college are necessary to gain the certification. This criterion can be fulfilled while a candidate is pursuing an undergraduate degree. 
  • The second is Experience. One needs to have at least 2 years of work experience in the financial or accounting sector to gain the CPA certification. 
  • The next requirement is professional ethics, i.e., one must do an ethics course to complete and get a CPA license. 
Now, do not misunderstand this requirement as an eligibility criterion. There are certain points of eligibility criteria that a candidate needs to keep in mind in order to apply for the exam. Here they are: 
  • A candidate must possess a bachelor�s degree or diploma to apply for the CPA exam and enroll in a CPA course subsequently. 
  • 150 credit hours to gain the CPA license.
  • 2 years of work experience is necessary to enroll for the exam. 
Now that the eligibility criterion is cleared, let us give you the answer to why is CPA hard and what the exam includes.
In simpler terms, let us talk about the exam. These are valid questions that come into the minds of candidates. So, let us give you an overview of the exam. 
  • The CPA exam is divided into four parts that take around 16 hours for evaluation. 
  • The four parts are there to test the candidate�s abilities and knowledge in the accounting and finance field. 
  • The exam is computer-based and the certification is globally recognized. 
  • The exam is conducted in English in the form of MCQs and some descriptive questions. 
  • The CPA pass percentage in India is 50-55%. 
In order to gain the CPA certificate, the candidates need to gain 75% of the CPA exam pass rate first time. 

What is the CPA syllabus?   

For giving the CPA exam, one needs to prepare for four subjects, which might sound a little hard. They are: 
  • Attestation and auditing 
  • Business Environment and Concepts
  • Financial accounting and reporting 
  • Regulation 
Is CPA difficult? We guess now you know that one has to prepare well for the exam in order to crack this rigorous exam. 
Now, here arises a question, i.e., what is the number of average attempts to pass the CPA exam? Well, there�s good news! There are no restrictions on the number of attempts to give the CPA exam. Just make sure that you have a bachelor�s degree.
But one thing to note here is that you need to clear the remaining CPA exam parts in a time frame of 18 months after you have passed the first exam. So, to answer the question once again � is CPA hard? It should not be as many candidates are getting CPA-certifed without any problem. 
Now, let us give you the possible reasons why is CPA difficult or could be difficult for you. 

What is CPA Exam Difficulty?

Well, the CPA exam is considered one of the most challenging exams in the field of accounts and finance. The rank and the pass percentage are also quite problematic. For people from the non-accounting fields; this might sound stupid. But people from the accounting and finance fields know how agonizing the exam can be if one does not prepare well. 
Accounting is a business language and it follows certain principles. The exam is hard to elevate students to the level of the examination. In simpler terms, the exam is to test the capability of a candidate and whether he/ she is capable of being a CPA or not. 
So, is CPA hard? Not that much! The CPA exam is not the typical accounting exam that you might have given many times. Each part of the test is for four hours. This means that the total time to give the exam is 16 hours. The CPA exam checks the candidate�s abilities to apply, analyze, and evaluate. 
Also, many candidates think that it is possible to crack the exam by doing self-study. Well, that�s not likely. No candidate can clear the exam without the assistance of a mentor. The complex concepts are difficult to understand if one is not taking help from any institution. 
This is when NorthStar Academy comes to the forefront. The academy has a record of a 83% and above pass percentage not only in India but across the globe. NorthStar Academy is associated with AICPA and Gleim to give you the best study material and guidance to excel at it. This is a great opportunity for the candidates to have numerous career opportunities. The exclusive study material provided by the academy can help one get through the examination in one go. The CPA certification course helps in passing the exam in just 12 months along with gaining the certification and necessary CPEs to get a CPA license.
Now, coming back to the reasons why is CPA hard, we would like to throw some light on the fact that the exam is a mix of multiple-choice questions, descriptive questions, task-based simulations, etc. These areas are intricately designed and are different from what a candidate might have seen in a normal accounting exam. 
There are other factors that depict why is CPA difficult. Have a look!

Vast Material

The material that one has to study for CPA is vast and seems to be never-ending without proper guidance. Each and every segment of the exam has a wide syllabus. Therefore, the candidates need to prepare for each and every segment beforehand to clear the examination. Having a vast syllabus is one of the major reasons you ask why is CPA hard! 

Time Management 

How you strategize and prepare for the exam results in how well you score! As everyone knows that the syllabus is vast. Therefore, the candidates need to manage their time in order to prepare for the examination. Many situations will be arising, wherein the candidates have to review and revise their study plan. This is important as students learn to manage time in a better way. 

Using the Time Productively 

As the day of the exam approaches, candidates must be well-prepared for it. Do not think that the exam is going to be easy. It is important to manage time effectively during the exam. Now, it is essential to note that every exam is of four hours and contains five question papers. Therefore, candidates must provide only 48-50 minutes to each question paper. Make sure that the MCQs are completed within 40 minutes and not more than that. This will help you in managing time effectively and productively during the exam. As a result, you will be able to complete the exam on time. 

It�s challenging yet Possible! 

We know that it is challenging to clear the exam in one go but it is not impossible to do so! One might feel unmotivated and exhausted at certain points. But it is important to give the exam with the motivation that you will be designated as a CPA. No doubt, the exam is hard and it is difficult to crack it. But it isn�t impossible! Remember that! Procuring those three letters after your name is all that must motivate you. 
So, these are the reasons why is CPA hard for some of the candidates. It is important to stay focused because CPA is a high-level, reputed, and professional credential that can boost your career growth and provide you with numerous job opportunities not just in India but across the globe. Once a person becomes a CPA, it is impossible to turn back. There is job security, financial success, a designated post, and much more! So, apply for the exam and prepare well! 

Is CA tougher than CPA?

CA and CPA are the two highly recognized and preferred credentials that open a wide door of career opportunities for the candidate in the accounting field. Though the CA and CPA include finance and accounting, the career prospects are different. CA and CPA require a lot of hard work and dedication. You can pass the CPA exam in 6-12 months, whereas it takes 3-4 years to become a CA. 
Both exams are equally difficult, however, the time frame might say that CA is more stretched and comprehensive. Thus, it is not right to compare the two exams. Both are challenging and boost career growth once the candidate gains these credentials.


1.What is the hardest part of the CPA exam?

Financial accounting and reporting is the hardest part of the CPA exam. Therefore, it is advised to pay more attention to this section as the majority of marks are deducted because of this section. 

2.Is CPA tougher than CA?

No one can compare the two exams because they are different in syllabus, eligibility, etc. An important thing to note is that a CA takes 3-4 years to complete. On the other hand, CPA is cleared within 12 months. Both the exams are equally tough.  

3.Is clearing CPA tough?

Yes, CPA is hard to clear. But with proper study material and the help of mentors, one can easily clear the examination. We agree it�s tough but it is not impossible to clear the exam. 

4.Is becoming a CPA worth it?

The demand for CPAs is increasing rapidly. As time passes by, this demand will increase manifold. Thus, by gaining this credential, one can have rapid career advancement, promotion, and a high pay grade. 

5.Does having a CPA guarantee a job?

Yes, of course! If you become a CPA, you can work globally in any role you wish to. There are many accounting and financial roles in industries that require a CPA. Thus, one can get a job easily if he/ she has the credential �CPA.� 

6.What is better: MBA or CPA?

CPA is a better choice than MBA because MBA provides you with a vast knowledge of management, accounting, and business (no specific professional skills). On the other hand, CPA provides you with knowledge of finance and accounting (working strictly on these specific aspects). However, doing CPA after MBA could be a great choice for many who would want to enhance their Resume and importance in the field.

7.Why is CPA a good career?

A CPA is a highly professional credential that can open up wide opportunities in terms of career and job opportunities. A five-salary figure is easy to pull off once you become a CPA. so, yes, CPA is a good career option if one wants to go into the finance and accounting fields. 

8.Is CPA higher than a master�s degree? 

To become a CPA, one needs a master�s degree. A master�s degree is an important step in getting a CPA license. So, one first needs to do postgraduate work and then apply for the exam.        


In this article, we have covered why is CPA hard and its related aspects. The main reasons are given above. Yes, the exam is a rigorous one and demands hard work and investment of time and effort. But by the time one becomes a CPA, the career reaches a new height. 
The candidates get to work not only in top companies but also get a good pay grade. But to gain the CPA certification and license, it is important to clear the exam. And this can be done with the help of NorthStar Academy. The mentors and tutors strengthen your fundamental concepts and help you throughout the journey of becoming a CPA. With the help of pre-recorded sessions, live interactions, and study material provided with our top CPA course, one will definitely be able to crack the exam. 
So, don�t think much and apply to Northstar Academy to gain the CPA certification and CPEs for maintaining the license. Don�t forget to check the eligibility criteria for the exam.For more information, please contact us, or call at +91 8147470707.
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